Busy Poly Life: Mister Time, This is Harper


Busy Poly Life: Mister Time, This is HarperSo I’m working this (pretty-much) full-time job; and I’m doing my Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature; and I’m running two podcasts; and I have a weekly column; and I’m doing freelance writing work; and I’m attempting to write publishable fiction; and my family want to see me; and I have a much neglected website; and I’m supposedly a photographer; and I’ve agreed to teach teenagers to sing; and for the first time in years I would like to not be ill and to be able to enjoy Christmas the way it’s supposed to be (which I have to organise, of course)…

…I mean how could I possibly have thought it’d be difficult finding time to see my not one, not two, but three partners, on a regular basis? LOOK at all the free time I have!

I think, by the way, that the two often go hand in hand: people who want more than one partner, often want more than one occupation; more than one hobby. We like to be busy; and I wouldn’t call it greediness either: it’s closer to ambition and enthusiasm and a desire for variety. When I first left school I got a job; a full time job. No studying, no particular hobbies, just a job. And it was BORING. So boring. Just thinking about that time makes me want to yawn. And it wasn’t even a particularly boring job – just doing the same thing, day in, day out, does NOT suit me well, at all.

Yes, I’ll confess, I may have taken on slightly more than a sane person should. (Not that I’m claiming to be sane.) But it’s not all going quite so well as it may seem: my studies are lagging, my job is grinding, my fiction writing is non-existent! The only things I can currently claim to be doing with healthy momentum are the podcasts and this here column (all of which I love).

Although on the non-monogamy side, I’m actually not doing too badly either. I typically spend a weekend every two to four weeks with M and M; and D and I make time when we can during the week. Not to mention, of course, the constant stream of Skype notes and Direct Messages and texts and emails and phone calls and tweets and Whatsapp messages that tide us all over in the interim. All things considered, this is a good time to be non-monogamous.

Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of life and projects and work and studies and da-da-da-dah… I’ve forgotten me! I have forgotten to make time for myself; to make time for long baths and good books; for cooking wonderful meals and making my home clean and inviting; for watching a film once in a while and listening to podcasts. I mean to say, the latest Radiolab episode has been available for two weeks – TWO WEEKS – and I only got round to hearing it last night! And don’t even ask me how far behind I am on Breaking Bad.

Last week I didn’t even have time to shave my armpits. Yes, you heard me: that little task that takes two minutes, tops. I didn’t have time. (Not that this is a catastrophe: unshaved armpits are not the end of the world, but it seemed a reasonable illustration of the problem I’m facing.)

But you know what? For all the things I love; for all the books and podcasts and films and TV shows and meals and baths I am so sorely missing… the only thing I want – really truly want – is to sleep and not be woken by my alarm clock.


Harper Eliot is a writer and podcaster whose work mainly centers around eroticism and social observation. You can find an archive of work, and links to all her other projects, on her website Harper Eliot. Harper lives in London, but rarely sees her own house, spending most of her time on public transport, listening to podcasts and tweeting too much. Her vices include cigarettes, lubricant, Earl Grey tea, opera, nail polish, and pinwheels.

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