Tick Tock

Is it just me, or have the days gotten shorter? I don’t mean the amount of available daylight. I mean the number of hours in each day. The amount of time available to complete tasks, chores, errands. To work, to relax, to eat, sleep, read, daydream, shower, cook. To live.

Last night we were browsing through the television programs the new Tivo has Tivo-ed (this is a verb, to Tivo). Apparently this is a very smart machine that knows what you want to watch on television, and records it for you. I’m not really sure why this one thought we’d want to watch Family Guy and Monk, when the only thing *I* watch on television is sporting events.

Anyway, Phil did convince it to record The Best of Mike and Mike, which I would love to watch. I’d also love to watch men’s college basketball games – March Madness is just around the corner. I’d love to catch up on all the movies I’ve missed recently.

I used to watch House, but have missed all of the new episodes this season. I used to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. At one time in my life, I knew every episode of M*A*S*H…three seconds into any show, and I could tell you what it was about.

But I don’t know how I found time to watch those shows. How was my life different back then? How did I have time for a job, and relationship, and chores, and errands, and friends, and still have time to watch TV? It baffles me.

Maybe it was because I only worked 40 hours/week. I wasn’t trying to write novels (although right now I can’t find time to do that, either). I wasn’t struggling to pay bills. There had to be something different about those days, compared to these days. I just don’t know what it is.

Life moves at a frantic pace. Microwaves, cell phones, Smart Phones, high-speed Internet, Keurig coffee makers. If it isn’t fast, it doesn’t last. (Hey, I could write slogans for commercials!) If a website takes longer than a couple of seconds to open, I give up. I just don’t have the time to sit there and wait.

Anyway, I’m thinking I’m going to burn out if I keep up this pace. That everyone else has figured out the secret that I’m missing. That somewhere along the way I either lost my ability to manage my time wisely, or I went into overload when it came to deciding what I need to accomplish in my daily life.

But I feel like I used to accomplish a lot more than I do now, in less time. I wrote books and crocheted doilies and met friends for coffee/lunch/breakfast/drinks. I read. I took walks. I answered emails when they arrived, not weeks/months later. I had demanding jobs and demanding social schedules, but never felt like I didn’t have enough time.

Anyway, I’m frustrated and tired and baffled. Obviously I’m doing something wrong. I just don’t know what. But I really need to figure it out. I’m weary of having a to-do list, yet getting nothing to-done. Of repeating over and over, “I just don’t have time to do that.”

I guess I need to simplify. Lower my expectations. Decrease my goals. Limit myself to doing one thing, instead of one hundred.

Or else create a strict schedule for myself and stick to it. An hour writing. An hour reading. An hour walking/biking. Eight hours working. Eight hours sleeping. An hour for eating and cooking. An hour for chores and errands. An hour blogging. Four+ hours with my partner (although those can be combined with some of the other categories; and obviously that number would increase on the weekends). An hour (maybe two) socializing. An hour answering emails. An hour watching sports. An hour researching agents. An hour job-hunting. Two hours watching a movie. Somewhere in there traveling and daydreaming and writing songs and taking pictures and watching sunsets and and and…

It’s a good thing there are 33 hours in a day.

I’m open to suggestions. At this point, I’m considering eliminating sleep. That would free up eight hours/day (well, to be honest, it’s down to about 5-6 hours…I just don’t have time to sleep).

I’m sure you have a similar problem. If not, how do you avoid it? I know there’s an answer – I’ve just got to find it. Maybe I can squeeze another hour in the schedule, and call it “find time to find time…”

Anyway, gotta go. I’d write more, if I had the time….

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5 Responses to Tick Tock

  1. Whit says:

    Morning Beth,

    I’ve often thought that with all the new electronics and people never being out of touch with each other (work, family and friends) how anyone gets any peace or anything done now of days. However, I will say that after being retired for a number of years and practicality being a hermit that the whirlwind time of your life is good. I look back to when I never seemed to have enough time and think those were the good old days. 🙂

    • Beth says:

      Heck, I remember those days too, Whit. I used to live at a crazy pace. But never felt like I didn’t have time to do things. I think working at home, and trying to write books, are a fatal combination – you always feel like you should be doing something, and there’s never a moment when it’s not true.

      Anyway, enjoy your slackdom for me this weekend!

  2. John Reno says:

    As my good friend Dennis always tells me, “Don’t beat yourself up… there are plenty of people willing to do it for you!” That said…. you can scratch “writing a cool jingle” off of your to-do list. Have a good day, Beth…. and be good to yourself!

    • Beth says:

      Thanks, JR. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out! Maybe I should start drinking their coffee…caffeine might speed me up! Dennis is a wise man. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  3. bajadock says:

    What is time?

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