Lately I’ve been experiencing a distinct lack of time. (In case you hadn’t noticed.) Working 18- to 20-hour days leaves very little time for other, less important things – like eating, showering, and sleeping. I’m paying my dues right now, hoping that all of this time and effort will pay off. But right now, it’s stressing me out.

I had way too many years where I ran my own schedule. Even when I was writing books or traveling, I decided how much time to spend doing what. I balanced work and play. Found time to eat, shower, and sleep. And shop, visit, walk, laugh, nap – all of those things normal people do in the course of a normal day/week.

That’s not to say that I don’t choose how I spend my time now. I just have less flexibility. And it made me think, as I was finishing the 18th hour of a marathon day, about how we decide how to spend the waning minutes of our lives. Everything we do is a choice – working 20 hour days is the result of my choosing to be responsible, pay my bills, help my coworkers, and produce a high-quality product.

But there’s so much I want to do. I want to write again. Sell my books. Travel. Visit friends. Sit by the pool. Shop and walk and nap and think and and and…well, there’s just not enough time in one lifetime to do all that I want to do. But how do you choose? How do you pick one thing – or ten things – to focus on, and let the others slide?

I want to do it all. But when you try to do too much, something suffers. Is it better to be very good at one thing, or so-so at a variety of things? The true Renaissance woman (or polymath, one who is very knowledgeable, according to Wiki). It seems that I often encounter this dilemma, always wanting more. To do more, be more, see more, experience more. Hence my belief that I’d go nuts if I were a checker at the local supermarket for 27 years. Or never venture more than an hour from my hometown. My father took us overseas when I was 4, and cemented my wanderlust-ical traits (I’m not sure how my sister escaped the Hanggeli curse).

Anyway, I don’t know what the answer is. This driving need to do more and more leaves me tired and dissatisfied, but also hopeful and determined – and satisfied, when I meet my own stiff standards. I hope that someday I learn to narrow my focus, and concentrate on doing one or two or ten things well, instead of dabbling in the plethora of things around me. (Somehow I doubt that’s gonna happen, knowing me.)

I’d love to write more, but that little alarm clock in my head is shrieking. Time to move on to the next project. Whatever that is. Maybe I need to start writing “nap” on my to-do list…

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