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.