As you get older, you notice that time is getting shorter. You get to the age at which you're entering secondary school, where you feel as if you have all the time in the world to have fun, so you go shopping with your friends, take your dog out for long walks and spend time on family picnics, with a bit of homework here and there. Then there are the end of year exams. This cycle progresses throughout your career at secondary school, with your free time being cut shorter and shorter without you even noticing it. Then BOOM. Year 11 whacks you across the face and you realise that your 'end of year exams' actually have an effect on your future, so for a few months you cut off most of your free time and filling it with endless revision, past papers and note-taking, before eventually spending the last remaining moments of your free time sprawled across the desk of scattered papers dozing off.
Eventually, by the time you hit Sixth Form (the last two years of compulsory education), you have a sudden realisation. All of that time you had spent with your loved ones has been evaporated. You haven't left the house aside from popping to school or the library in weeks and you feel confined to the same few rooms in your own house. That time you spent teaching yourself how to play the piano has all gone to waste, as you can't even remember how to shape a minor chord. You don't remember what daylight looks like. You haven't had a meal out in months.
This realisation happened to me two weeks ago, when we began to write our Personal Statements for university. I used to be able to speak about how I had an "ear for music" and could instantly pick out the correct chords and melody to any song on the keyboard. Now I can only remember one song. I used to love to socialise with my friends on the weekends, which rarely ever happens anymore. Hey, I even used to win at a round of bowling against my friends and family, now I can scarcely remember which finger goes in which hole in the bowling ball.
Now, free time is almost a foreign word to me. Any "free time" is spent trying to retrace the steps of my old skills, completing my book list for university, writing my Personal Statement (just kidding, that's just not happening), organising my life and also the occasional blog post. Even then, that doesn't happen often, as seen by the number of posts by my fellow writers in comparison to me.
What I wanted to get across was that I wish that I had made myself take some more free time, as I regret letting past hobbies go down the drain. I used to look at a piano and rush over to it, desperate to lay my fingers on the ebony and ivory keys. Now, I have that same enthusiasm, but I stare blankly at the keys in wonder of how I lost the skills to play.
Please make sure that you do more of what makes you most happy, as I wish that I had.
-LF, LR and MG