Monday, August 29, 2011

A Reflection On Time

I read an interesting article by Anne Lamott the other day, that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. (If you don't know who Anne Lamott is, she's a writer and she teaches classes in creative writing as well.)  It was all about time and how it is so hard to find the time to do things we want to do.  How crazy is that?  If we really want to do something, we should be able to find the time.  Right?

Well, I have to admit, I have a huge "to do" list that only seems to grow longer and longer.  I was on vacation last week, with a goal of accomplishing all those little things that have been on my list for way too long.  I'll admit, I caught a cold in the middle of my week and it set me back.  I don't know about you, but I really don't want to do much of anything when I don't feel good.  I did, however, manage to get some of the things crossed off my list. Most of them didn't really take much time either. But then it dawned on me, that I had found it necessary to use my vacation to get these things done....and some of them were "wants" not "have tos".  That's just plain crazy.

What has happened to us that we are so caught up in the day to day that we have trouble stopping to smell the roses?  My daughter found a sign she wants for her kitchen.  It says something like: 'Pardon the mess, memories are being made'.  I want to go shout that message from all the rooftops.

The article that started all this thinking asked some key questions to help us find time such as:  Do we really need to watch 30 minutes of news ever day? As a former news producer I first found this to be an horrendous idea.  But then I thought, is it really necessary to be caught up on all the robberies and fires?  Would we be okay if instead of watching the news, we worked on a creative project, or played with our kids?  How about what time we get up in the morning?  If we get up 10 minutes earlier, will we really notice the difference other than have10 minutes to for instance pack our lunch, instead of hitting the snack machine during our lunch break.  I know many people find facebook and twitter fun, but do we really need to post and check status updates several times throughout the day?

The Flylady website starts people organizing their messy houses by using bits of 15 minutes at a time.  It works.  So why can't we use the same 15 minutes to be creative, do projects, or just have fun?

August is just about over.  Perhaps the Dog Days of Summer add to our lack of productivity at times, or is "it's too hot" just another excuse.  As for me, I'm ready to manage my time better.  Wish me luck.

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