Monday, August 22, 2011


“You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.” -James M. Barrie

Being by nature a daydreamer, I savor quotes like that. They give me permission to do what I’m prone to do anyway: let time just slip by. That usually makes me feel guilty so I was glad when I came across the quote by Barrie. The man who created Peter Pan and granted him the pleasure of perpetual childhood surely knew the value of time. I’m sure there were some who thought dreaming up fantasy adventures was a silly way for a grown man to spend his time – until he succeeded. Success has a way of validating silliness.

People who are good at math are fond of telling us how many seconds/minutes/hours we are given every day. It’s a formidable number. Granted a large portion of that time is spoken for. We all have things we have to do: a paying job, children or elders to care for, meals to prepare, a house to maintain, commitments to worthy organizations … the list goes on … and let’s not forget sleep. Still, if we’re honest, most of us can do all these things and have at least some time to call our own.

If we choose to spend every second engaged in a productive endeavor, imagine what we can accomplish. On the other hand, what if we put the “to do” list aside, slowed down, sipped lemonade, read a frivolous book, or lay on a quilt in the back yard and watched fireflies while the time slipped by? What would happen? I’m pretty sure the world wouldn’t end. In fact, maybe the idea for an ingenious invention would germinate and grow from those idle moments. Maybe we’d be inspired to create a soulful poem or a great painting. Maybe we'd write a blockbuster novel and make literary history. Or maybe not. Maybe we wouldn't accomplish anything tangible. Maybe we’d just be … nicer (not an insignificant accomplishment).

So, do yourself a favor. Slow down. Daydream. Let the time slip by and don’t feel guilty about it. Remember … you have the opportunity to create a golden hour.


Leigh Verrill-Rhys said...

Sandy, thank you! I'm so stressed at the moment, this is just what I needed to read. Deadlines. Deadlines. Must get this done. And that includes my commitment to write something for Avalon Authors.

One of my friends – the poet and philosopher, Dan Langton, once said, "For a writer, there is no such thing as 'wasting time'." Great ideas need time, idleness and room for quiet thought. Thank you for the reminder that we're not machines or cogs.

Sandy Cody said...

Thanks for the kind words, Leigh. I have to remind myself of the importance of "down" time on a regular basis.

Beate Boeker said...

Oh, Sandy, what a wonderful post! I've once read that 100% (!) of creative ideas of employees happen while they are NOT at work. Go figure.
I also love the word "golden hour". Such a promise! I hope you'll have one today!

Sarita said...

What a great post. Thank you for the gentle reminder. I'm so busy filling the hours that slowing down is exactly the advice I need.

Sandy Cody said...

Thanks, Beate and Sarita. I think we all let ourselves get so busy that we sabotage our creative energy.