I’m sure you’ve had those days. The ones when you plan what you’re going to do with the next 24 hours and then the whole lot goes to crap in one easy move. Sometimes it’s me; sometimes I just can’t get myself into gear; sometimes I have so many things on my ‘to do’ list that I get overwhelmed and can’t see where to start first.

But sometimes, quite a lot in fact, it’s other people who muck it up. Sometimes that’s a nice thing (like a friend phoning or calling in); sometimes it’s just plain bloodyminded. Business people trying to flog you something you don’t want are just a nuisance — time-wasting but soon dismissed.  Worse are those whose  incompetence requires you going over matters already supposedly complete but you have to spell it out all over again in words of one syllable. Even more worser is when they still can’t comprehend what they should be doing in return for the typically serious amounts of money they are charging to do it.

Why is it, I wonder, that sometimes we can see things so stunningly obvious yet to others they are apparently more opaque than stygian darkness? This morning it was a financial company unable to see that a new contract to extend a situation in operation for the past five years — and in which there will be no change in the next five years — should be able to be maintained as status quo.

And while I was grumpily reflecting on this piece of nonsense which had occupied an hour on the phone, I checked on one of the news-feeds on my computer and read a number of postings related to the imminent withdrawal of armed forces from Afghanistan. Now, with the wonderful advantage of 20/20 hindsight vision, all the pundits are pointing out the utter senseless waste of more than ten years warfare in that sad country and the most likely outcome being an immediate descent into tribal violence and destabilisation as soon as the withdrawal of the USA, Australia and all the other gung-ho military adventurers is complete.

Sometimes your own problems become rather insignificant when you lift your eyes and re-focus on the broader scenario.

Here’s a couplet which may be worth pondering.

The biding is done, there will be satisfaction for the longing;

The night comes down, and the sun ascends in the dawning.

Ruari Jack Hughes