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