January Play Date – A Poem

Janus said, “Let’s go out and play!

I heard it was a holiday.”

Maybe it is for you, old foe,

But today, that is something I must forgo.

No time to play when I peruse my face

And see the lines that spell disgrace

Of worries and what could have been

There is no fun when I look within

But Janus, oh! that crafty man!

He looked ahead and had a plan,

“My friend, there’s nothing you can do.

What done is done! You’ve paid your due.

Look forward! See! The future’s bright!

Now is the time to do what’s right.

The past might mark your face with sorrow.

But you still control what happens tomorrow.”

I smiled at his two faced wisdom

It’s true that time rules this kingdom

No matter what path I chose to take

The fun of life are the decisions I make

Whether good or bad, hindsight will see

And foresight might prevent a tragedy

But to refuse to play is to die right then

We know it will happen just not when

So I say to Janus with a smile,

“You’re right, let’s play! I’ll stay awhile.

I won’t worry about the why and what if.

I’ll enjoy the present because…it’s a gift.”

This poem was written for d’Verse Poetics: Time and What If. Thank you, Merrill, for this timely prompt!

Time has always been my nemesis, being a chronic procrastinator. Maybe on some subconscious level, I think it has to do with my ambivalence towards change. Or maybe I am just lazy. Getting started or changing course has always been a struggle. But once I’m on that path, then I am fully committed and seldom have I strayed from the task.

I know these characteristics have their positives and negatives. For example, in the past, my focus on running has been all consuming to the detriment of spending time with family or self care. Since dealing with some medical issues, I’ve had to switch paths since I was not able to run as much. But now, I struggle with incorporating some running (or any exercise) in my daily life since my focus has shifted.

Does time only allow us to focus on one thing at a time? Research on attention point out that multi-tasking is a myth and that people are really only meant to focus on one thing at a time. So those of us who suffer from FOMO and procrastination are in a double bind.

I don’t have a solution to this quandary despite finding myself in the midst of it for most of my adult life. I’ve come to accept that it’s ok to miss out on some things as long as what I am focusing on is important to me or important to someone I love (that’s the mom listening for hours about trains and pandas and other things instead of cleaning the bathroom). So yes, I chose play over work (to my hubby’s dismay). And I try not to let those what ifs creep in.

©️ iido 2019

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28 thoughts on “January Play Date – A Poem

  1. i love how you rhyme so effortlessly! takes my breath away as i try to catch your thoughts that fly off the page, so very good writing! and my take away and something i find very positive is that you are enjoying the present because indeed it is a gift!! outstanding response to January prompt as a play date! you have harnessed the Janus duality with such energy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! FOMO has its good and bad side as well. The clock is on our book shelf and is usually surrounded by books. I liked the juxtaposition of time and wisdom (found in books).

      Like

  2. “Not to play is to die right then.” I like how you have painted choosing life as choosing play, I like that, it is serious play – but I feel the joy bursting out of your poem. They are two different moods, but I feel a parallel kinship with my poem this prompt, the choosing of life. We choose our time, so we choose what we can. Poppingly fun and wise verse! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, I think we have the same message to choose life, choose to live our truth in the now. I love your phrase “Poppingly fun and wise” – this might need to be my theme this year! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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