There may be those among you who wonder why I am so sloppy about getting these blogs out on time. If I have an excuse… and it has to be said, it’s a pretty spurious one, then it’s because I am snowed under with what is known as ‘unfinished business’.
I was staying with friends in London. On the night I arrived Richard was going out to his men’s group.
‘Do you want to come along?’, he asked me.
‘I don’t think so,’ I thought aloud. ‘What will you be doing?’
‘We’re going to discuss “unfinished business”.’
‘Hmm… then I shan’t come. What d’you mean anyway – unfinished business?’
‘Unfinished business is a broad term for all that stuff you’ve left undone that you ought to have done, all the work, tasks, jobs, relationships – everything you ought to finish but have left unfinished… and what it all does is builds insidiously up and harms you.’
‘Oh,’ I said blithely, ‘I don’t have any of that stuff.’
‘I bet you do,’ said Richard, perhaps a trifle needled by my smugness. ‘If you cast about, I know you’ll find a whole load of unfinished business…’
‘Maybe,’ I said, thinking about it a bit. ‘There’s about eighteen months of unanswered correspondence, e-mails and paperwork… does that count?’
‘Of course it counts. And I bet you’ll find that that’s just the tip of the iceberg – and it’s probably affecting your health too.’
My initial instinct was to dismiss all this as the codswallop it so patently was, but even so I cast about a bit in the darker recesses of my mind. As it happens I was suffering at the time from a rather painful infection that affected one of those parts of the body about which one prefers not to speak. The limb in question was becoming increasingly inflamed, even to the extent of making it rather painful to walk. Ana, the Wife, was very understanding about it and seemed to accept my explanation that the condition had been caused by some wind-blown particle – which indeed it had. But perhaps Richard was right… maybe the distressing condition that was afflicting me had been brought about by the callous and sloppy attitude I have to my correspondence heap, which was on the verge of reaching critical mass. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with this concept: when a correspondence heap goes critical, you toss the whole lot in the bin and start again with a clean slate.)
When Richard came back from his men’s group I owned up, and presented him with a long list of unfinished business.
‘Right,’ he said. ‘We’re moving. Now you’ve acknowledged this lamentable state of affairs we’re halfway there. Next you’ve got to do something about it. You must promise me that by the next time we see one another… which by my calculations should be June the eighth – you must have sorted out all your backlog of unfinished business, especially what will by then be two years of unanswered letters.’
I agreed to this draconian solution in the hope that it might revive the sagging fortunes of my poor organ. Fortunately though, on June the seventh the correspondence heap went critical and I was able to tell Richard with a clear conscience, that I had dealt with it.
You see what I’m driving at? Toodle pipp