Beating the Thief

…If you can fill each unforgiving minute with 6o seconds of distance run…

 

Stephen wrote a brief history of it, Jules dreamed of traveling through it, some people waste it, when it is the most precious gift we can give someone. Mine is being stolen!

 

Of course I’m talking about time. Just now I’m keeping a grip of it, using it. Not as well as some do, but, for me, a lot is getting done. That is now; it isn’t always the same. There is a thief in my head. It makes me loose track of time, unable to move, each minute seems to stretch out into an eternity. That is one of the lies the thief uses. Before I know it hours, even days, have slipped by; with nothing to show for their passing.

 

Some will say just do something, in the words of my father, “Shap thy sen”. If only it was so easy. Just as the steel of handcuffs encircle a prisoner’s wrists depression equally restrains my mind. Locked down, a prisoner of thought. At those times I have to believe there is a key, something that will release my mind from this dark dungeon. What it is isn’t as easy as a simply operated key. One time it was a game of snooker with friends. Another a day’s fishing. Thankfully for me it has never been alcohol, or drugs. They offer the promise of freedom, but are just another shackle.

 

Just now though, I am free of it. The challenge for today is to stay free. One part of that, for me, is to keep myself occupied. Some kind of meaningful work is good. Simple monotonous labour will not do. Something that engages me with a positive outcome, for me, or others, is a way to stave off the dark. Depression is a self-centered SOB. Sometimes you can see it sneaking up on you. Learning to spot it is the first stage of fighting back. That is hard enough. Don’t think for one second any of this is easy. It gets even harder. The next step is to take one step in the direction of someone else.

 

This step is not the one people expect. It isn’t running to someone for tea and sympathy. Well meant, as it is from the person you go to, it is still centered on you. Doing that is not fighting back; it is feeding the devil. The way to fight is to put self aside; to summon up the courage to help someone else. They don’t have to be worse off than you. Anyone will do. For me it is impossible to face someone who is thanking me, and feel bad about myself at the same time.

 

Doing this may not “fill the unforgiving minute”, but one step in this direction means the minute isn’t lost. A win is a win by any margin. One second of any minute doing this, wins you the minute, sixty seconds wins you the hour. That first step is a mountain to climb, the second a hill, the third is no harder than stepping up a curb.

 

By nailing the first second of any minute, you can cram in “sixty seconds of distance run”, and be a winner. In this contest there is plenty of room on the winners podium. Will you join me there?

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