Where does all the time go?

Gravel warning.

I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to link you to someone else’s post today. I prefer to write my own posts and not re-post or direct readers to someone else’s words. Originality counts with me. Even if it’s gravel.

I’m at a tough time in my life right now here in the middle lane with aging parents to worry about and young adult children to worry about. There’s nothing new in that statement.

In the past I used to be able to grasp hold of time and spin through it to create something or be productive in some way. These days my time just seems to slip through my fingers and at the end of the day not one of the things on my mental, and now written, to-do list are finished.

Part of the problem is age and energy. When I was in my 20s I could shop for new shoes, go to the grocery, clean my entire apartment, prepare dinner for a friend and go out dancing all in a day. There were some days when I amazed myself at my productivity. Now I amaze myself at my lack of it.

Prioritization, structure and discipline, I thought. Of all the ways I could be spending my time and all the things I could be doing, which ones are the most important to me? How much time a day should I devote to them? Make it happen. So I thought, I’ll spend three-four hours on my writing activities which would include blogging, editing my manuscript, writing a book proposal, scanning photos for the book, researching agents and sending out query letters, and learning about self-publishing. That’s quite a lot for a three-hour time period, but I don’t have to accomplish everything in one day.

Then I could spend one hour on gardening, two hours on house work which would include any homemaking activities such as grocery-shopping, meal preparation, laundry, regular cleaning and spring cleaning. I like to do spring cleaning. It gives me a chance to re-order my life and I feel freer when the closets have been organized and the windows are sparkling.

That still leaves a large number of hours a day for personal hygiene, meals, phone calls to family members, general shopping, projects like photo albums, exercise (this one should be scheduled) and general loafing around.

It worked pretty well on Monday. I blogged, read blogs, finished incorporating the edits into my manuscript, gardened for about a half hour, and spent a couple of hours tackling the storage room in the basement that hasn’t recovered from our initial move here 18 months ago.

Tuesday was  a crash and burn. I blogged when I first got up, then I had a meeting in the morning at Panera that lasted about two hours. (I could count that as writing time.) Since I was already there and it was close to lunch time I called Mark who joined me there and we ate, that killed about another hour. I couldn’t garden because my back hurt from the previous day’s work and anyway it was cold outside. I continued to work in the basement for a short while. I didn’t work on my manuscript at all. I’m not really sure what happened with the rest of the day.

Today I was planning to visit my parents, so all bets are off, but Arthur spent the night coughing and gagging and is not eating well, so I may have to reschedule my parents for tomorrow and take Arthur to the vet today. Maybe I can try to get half the house-cleaning done instead. I used to have a cleaning service before we moved, but gave it up because they didn’t travel as far out as we moved. I’ve been dragging my feet because I don’t want to have to find someone new. Besides, I should be able to do it myself.

I have no control over my life.

If you know exactly what I mean, you can read some helpful ideas at a blog I follow by a clever and interesting woman from Holland: Figments of a Dutchess.

I hope you have a happy and productive day.

14 thoughts on “Where does all the time go?”

  1. AAAD !!! My God, this is a microcosm of my entire day all day long for several years now. Oh my God.What must I do? At least I am not alone. How do I even survive a day? It is miracle the whole country doesn’t collapse.

  2. I’m so sympathetic to your cause and I’m just like you (although sadly, it seemed to start for me at the beginning of motherhood and has never ended)–and that video was HILARIOUS!! A great post, so how can you possibly say you didn’t write a post only redirected us?

  3. A. you are entitled to a down day and 2. I bet if you thought about it you did quite a lot. Hope Arthur is okay

    1. Arthur is fine. Mark took him to the vet appointment I set up. He acted perfectly fine at the vets. I’m just glad he’s okay and I hope he’s a lot quieter tonight when I’m trying to sleep.

  4. Relax. and let your day flow. That is what I tell myself. And it is true. My days and nights go better when I just release.

    I am amazed too at what I was able to accomplish when I was younger…but then…it is now.

    Now tells me to be. And that is all required.

    I know..i know…:) But the dishes can sit 5 more minutes while I have a cup of tea and calm my mind by looking at nature.

    The yard work will still be there…as you look around enjoy your surroundings… notice the green tones…notice the shades of earth…do you hear birds? 🙂

    Breathe. Relax. Live. (these words are for me too…hugs for you and all of us 🙂 )

    1. I’m not really that hung up over the mundane household chores like dishes, making beds, clutter, dusting, etc. Believe me, if you stopped by you would agree. I just want to accomplish things that I want to accomplish, and sometimes I see my sands of time running out.

  5. Mom, you never had control of your life. Im in that period you speak of where i do so much in a day im absolutly astonished, but you know what. I dont have control either. I could slip and fall and break my ankle (not that this particular scenario is something you wanted to think about) but it would derail my day. Maybe it feels like you have less control and maybe thats true, but you live a comfortable loving life and write beautiful blogs. and no matter how unproductive you may beleive yourself to be, this is an amazing blog post and there are many prior that are beautiful, and people read them and are touched by them. you leave out all of the indirect productivity of the affects you have on the people around you. those you know and love, and those you have never met.

    1. You’re such a sweetheart. Your comments make me want to keep going with these posts. Thanks, Sport. (And “yes” about the not wanting to think about comment—enough emergencies for a while).

  6. Hi Christine. Time is flowing faster and faster when we grow older. Days, months and even years flash by, which I find a bit disturbing. By the time we’re 80, perhaps a year feels like one month brrr hehehe.
    Like you, for me time is hard to hold on to. Despite the planning, sometimes it just leads its own life and leaves us wondering why we were not able to work according to the schedule. I’m trying to let go of the unfulfilled feeling this brings. Perhaps we NEED to have time to do ‘nothing’, in which we can recuperate physically and mentally. Perhaps we should accept and even enjoy these weird fluttering hours, let go in stead of control to make the fullest of each moment. But I want to feel and live each hour, don’t want them to rush by. But they do. I guess it is called life 🙂

  7. I’ve finally decided that the issue isn’t that I don’t have enough time anymore – I don’t have the physical and mental energy that I had when I was younger. I need more downtime and more rest.

    I’m still struggling though trying to change my life to its new reality.


  8. Having an organized and decluttered home seems to help keep my mind organized and decluttered. As I’ve gotten further into blogging, however, writing has taken precedence over all. So the housework isn’t up to snuff, the yard still beckons, the pets vie for my attention, projects loom large on tabletops, and in closets. But as I’ve aged…expressing my thoughts about life seem more important somehow than keeping abreast of all things that I won’t be able to take with me, or that I may not care about on my deathbed. But I am fortunate that my hubby agrees with me, otherwise I might be in serious trouble.

    i can certainly commiserate…hugmamma. 😉


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