15 August 2022

The Author Gives Advice Because it's High Time

My kind of rabbit

It’s high time I again dispensed with advice. 

Hold on a second, what exactly does “high time” mean? I hear it all the time but don’t know how it’s any different than “low time” or “medium height” time. 


(The author now departs to seek answers, he'll return shortly, I'm sure.)


Here’s what I found out by using a computer function called “google.” 


“High time” derives from the allusion to the warmest time of day - when the sun is highest in the sky. High noon is another way of saying it. Shakespeare used it in his Comedy of Errors, 1590:

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE:
There's none but witches do inhabit here;
And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence.


After more searching I discovered that Willie Shakes (as the great bard was called by his friends) did not coin the term which dates back as far as 13th century.


Now then… where was I?


Oh yes, advice.


1) When ruminating over your shortcomings, failures, missed opportunities, foibles and wrong roads taken, also be sure to take a second to celebrate your successes, your health, family, friends, accomplishments and all the possibilities that lay ahead. You’ll find a lot to be grateful for. Hard as it can be at times, being a glass half full person is far preferable to a glass half empty one. Also remember that bunny rabbits are cute although I don’t personally fancy the ones are all white and have red beady eyes. Give me a gray or brown one with big ears and some personality.


2) Don’t spend too much time on the internet, particularly social media. It’s easy to get sucked into twitter and instagram and all that other nonsense and indeed I spend some time there myself. But moderation in all things. Don’t sacrifice time that you could be interacting with a live human being for scrolling through your twitter feed. Don’t gape endlessly at Tik Tok when there are books and poems to be read. Take a walk and bury your phone in a pocket. Go to the park, a concert, a lecture, a poetry reading, a piano recital, a ball game, a museum, a hike, a bike ride, a dance, a friends’s house. Host a barbecue, arrange a picnic, write an email to a friend, mediate, do yoga, exercise, clean the house, make love. Let your brain absorb more than 140 characters at a time. Live.


3) Cut down on the complaining. It’s too easy and too easy to get sucked into. Work environments are breeding grounds for complainers. I’ve wasted far too much of my time griping, grumbling, criticizing, bellyaching, lamenting, moaning, whining, bemoaning, bewailing, carping and deprecating. This is something that, again, is fine in moderation. But my god, so much of it is repetitious and unproductive. Is there something to be done about the complaint? Can you take action? If so, do it. If not, let it go. Get it off your chest and move on. Also, try not to abet others who are in a complaining cycling. Hear them out once then disengage from further bitching sessions, maybe suggest that they do likewise. If someone is a chronic complainer (and lord knows there are plenty of those about) steer clear of them, especially when they get wound up.


Now a few quickies:


4) Don’t engage in protected internet arguments with people you don’t know, especially if they are obviously intractable. And for God’s sakes don’t get yourself into a lather because there’s some moron who stubbornly insists that two and two is three. They’re not worth your energy.


5) If you’re in emotional pain, get help. Most folks don’t hesitate to see a doctor if they’ve got a physical ailment, but are reluctant to seek help when the problem is something like depression or anxiety. Many people self-medicate — with booze or drugs — others grit their teeth and bear their pain in silence. Don’t. There’s zero shame in getting help and you’ve everything to gain — such as happiness.


6) Don’t be late and don’t bore people. My two greatest fears in terms of human interaction are that I’ll be late or I’ll bore someone — or some people — while talking. This is particularly important in my role as a teacher. Making people wait is rude. Don’t do it. Boring people is tougher to avoid. What is fascinating to you may be of little interest to someone else. Know your audience, look for signs the other person is not interest, such as if they fall fast asleep while you’re describing a painful bunion you just had removed. 


I hope that helps. Thanks for reading this far. You’ve been great.

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