Path through gorse‘Can you just throw the dog’s ball for me?’ I ask as an excited Labrador rushes up and down the kitchen while I am busily mixing a large tray-bake of sticky dark parkin ready to go in the oven for tea.

My darling husband had been walking past the backdoor, beaker in hand, to put milk in it so that he could make himself a cup of instant coffee. The next thing I know, he has turned back into the living room where our aga cooker is situated (don’t ask!) and a full minute later, has reappeared without his beaker, then proceeding to go outside to throw the dog’s ball.

‘Where did you go?’ I ask as I tip the parkin mixture into a large tray.
‘You asked me to throw the dog’s ball, so I went to take the kettle off the Aga.’ he  replies.
Oh, for the luxury of doing just one thing at a time!

How often do you do little tasks whilst on the way to somewhere else? I do it all the time. Sometimes I walk around the house like a human trolly, picking up and putting down items which the rest of the family have left lying about. Or I run the washing-up water into the bowl while feeding the birds. I have, on occasion, found myself cleaning out whole cupboards or weeding and sweeping out thirty foot drive while actually on the way to another part of the house or garden. Sometimes my ‘life on the way to somewhere else’ has developed into a whole afternoon’s activity as I end up doing a huge job of work which I never originally intended setting out to do at all.

They say that women are better at multitasking than men. I think that anyone who has brought up a young child will have had to learn how to multitask just to stay on top of everything and survive a busy life. Feeding a child whilst making a meal, answering the door or telephone and attempting to help another child with its homework is not an uncommon sort of combination for the full-on parent or home-person. The same goes for bustling activity in any walk of life – we all try to cram in as much as we possibly can in the little time we have got. Over the years I must have spent months engaged in activities which I performed on the way to somewhere to else.

Which is why I would like to share with you something which I have just read in the North-Western Federation Journal for Theosophy. I do not know who the author of this piece is, but it is a timely reminder that we do not always have to justify each second of our time with multiple activities. In these strange times of isolation and lockdowns due to the pandemic, many of us have suddenly experienced more time than we normally have to spare. How do you fill your life on the way to somewhere else, and what do you choose to do with those little ’empty minutes’?

Take time to think – it is the source of power.
Take time to read – it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to play – it is the secret of staying young.
Take time to be quiet – it is the opportunity to seek God.
Take time to be aware – it is the opportunity to help others.
Take time to love and be loved – it is God’s greatest gift.
Take time to laugh – it is the music of the soul.
Take time to be friendly – it is the road to happiness.
Take time to pray – it is the greatest power on earth.