Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – September 15, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – September 15, 2004 – If you want to get a reaction out of most people, ask them about their time. Most of us, and I’m one of them, proclaim that there aren’t enough hours in the day. In fact there are 24 hours in everyone’s day. I wonder how and why some people are able to pack so much into their days while others (like me) seem to spend a good deal of their time in “flounderville”.
I’m incredibly organized in most areas of my life. I’m never late (unless there is a traffic issue or an unforseen problem) – I keep my business on track, I look after my financial responsibilities, my personal commitments, my pets, my car and my home. In recent years I’ve been able to afford a cleaning lady and a person to prune my gardens, but prior to that I did those tasks as well. Even today, when it comes to my life – I’m it.
So what seems to be the problem? Okay, here goes – “Dear Diary, I feel perpetually scattered. I haven’t been able to establish a routine to the things that should be important to me – like “exercise” . Okay here we go again with the excuses. I’m going to spare you the details. If I managed my days in better fashion there would be ample time for everything I’d like to accomplish.
So how exactly do I spend my time? My business schedule tends to be unpredictable – but still manageable. I have evening and week-end work, but I usually know ahead of time what that will entail. I do have free hours during the day and I’m managing to fit in my work, daily responsibilities and my writing – but I still feel a tad chaotic – sort of last minute a lot of the time. Perhaps the answer lies in not attempting to establish a daily routine, when I know that my days are never the same. I think a timetable works well for people with a predictable schedule. Rise at six – shower – breakfast – work – relax – repeat. Days and weeks are the same.
My life will never be that way, but I keep trying to schedule it in those terms. If I could write in the morning, I would free up the hour that I currently spend writing, for other things I want to accomplish in the evening. I could do a work-out, catch up on reading, do my grocery shopping or meet with friends. Now that I think of it – my work commitments are always fulfilled – it’s my personal ones that go astray.
I have more than enough time – I need to use it differently without trying to subscribe to a rigid schedule. Perhaps I could write in the morning, afternoon or evening depending on my other daily commitments. When I leave it for the evening, there is always the pressure to write before the day’s end. Then the joy of the creative process is lost in the sense of obligation that hangs over the task. I keep my business running at an optimum level, so I deserve to enjoy my personal time, and not let it be clouded by the resentment that builds up when it’s compromised by work-related things.
The only difference between my twenty-four hours and those of anyone else is in the way I use them. I can chose to be productive or not. I can stop working when I’ve had enough. I can balance work and play. I’m fond of a wonderful quote that I heard years ago – “Backward – turn backward oh time in your flight – make me a child again – just for tonight”.
When I was a child – time was endless – not constrained by schedules, timetables and obligations. Now that I’m an adult I recognize that my life is finite. However there is still enough time for or me, (or anyone else) to accomplish everything that is important enough.
My time is my life in motion. The next twenty-four hours will go by at the same pace as the last – but anytime I choose to, I can make different decisions about how I spend it. Understanding that is an amazing realization. I should be less concerned about managing my time and more intent on living it.