Why is it we have either too much time, or too little? For that matter, why do we either have time and no money, or money and no time? Or is it a matter of perspective?

I like being busy. Not frantically, insanely busy, but having a list of tasks and chores that keep me moving seamlessly through my day. I like being productive; it makes me feel as though I’ve earned my place in the world. Wasting time feels like a huge black mark on my record because there aren’t enough minutes in a lifetime as it is, so how can I justify wasting any of them? I’m sure I’ll look back at the end of my life and wish I had spent those wasted minutes more wisely. But then again, I’m pretty hard on myself.

When I’m not busy, I have too much time to think. And when I’m not focusing my thoughts on a specific project, they turn to less productive avenues – like picking myself apart. All it takes is a slight dip in my self-confidence to give me fodder to overanalyze and criticize every aspect of my life. Then I get mad at myself for wasting time being so critical, so it’s a double whammy.

Obviously the solution is to fill my time with something productive. That might be why I move so often: all of that moving and cleaning and packing and organizing keeps me pretty busy, and feels constructive. It’s once I get settled that I look around and realize I once again have time to fill – and decide I should move.

Right now I have way too much time on my hands. I’m not working (although I AM looking for work). I’m housesitting, so don’t have chores. I don’t have extra cash to shop, and don’t really need anything anyway (although retail therapy is a nice distraction). I don’t have a full social calendar. So my stupid brain is working overtime, finding reasons to be miserable. Which is just dumb. I need a lobotomy.

Actually, I need to get back to writing. I need to channel my overactive mind into finding an agent, or deciding to self-publish, or deciding to stop writing forever and find another creative pursuit to occupy those frantic brain cells. I would fill my time with going to Disney or shopping or traveling or going to movies or restaurants…but that’s where the “no money” part of having too much time comes into play.

It would help if I could allow myself to relax. To play without feeling guilty. To stop overanalyzing everything. To just be for a while. It’s a lesson I’ve tried to learn before, to be content with what lies directly in front of me instead of always looking ahead to where I should be, and what I should be doing.

See? Even this post is over-analytical and self-critical. I’m a lost cause.

Maybe today I’ll take time to relax. There’s a writer’s meeting I might go to, a concert in the park (with cake!), and the first night of college football (although the games I want to see are Saturday night – go Boise State and Oregon!). And this weekend there are lots of chances to play. I have friends in town from MD, so we need to plan a visit. A dear college friend has offered pool time and grilling with her kids. There’s live music, wine tasting, and who knows what else? Think I can turn off my brain for a couple of days and just live, without that still small voice whispering in my ear, “Why aren’t you doing X?”

I hope you have enough time to play AND be productive today. And enough money to do both. And if you have any suggestions on how to still an overactive brain/conscience (legally), I’m all ears!

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3 Responses to Time

  1. LH says:

    Hi B!
    I say we collaborate on a project that will fill both of our “overthinking” time! If we cant find something concrete we can agree on, I say we “punt!” (It IS football season, yanno.) I too overthink and have no extra $$$ to do seemingly fun schtuff, so I say we use our overthinking to come up with a moneymaker of ANY kind – to fill our time AND our checking accounts! I have no idea how people DONT do this! I spend so much time thinking things out that I never actually get around to DOING them. Im bored with them before I even start. If you find the remedy, let me know ASAP. 😀


  2. Brancy says:

    Two things work for me, hobbies and learning. How about getting serious about photography? I don’t know what kind of camera you have, but regardless there is always more to learn about it and new things to try. Money can be made by both travel and stock photography and although it appears to be a crowded arena, there is always room for an innovative and dedicated soul. The best part is going out on shoots! Great time filler! Some days I go on scenic shoots, other times stock shots, or city shots, or urban decay…I love urban decay. Sometimes I just go look for a “story” to tell. If photography isn’t your bag, what would you like to learn? Painting? French? Cooking? Crocheting? (Everyone loves extra long scarves for Christmas!) Or more eclectic art like collages or cool jewelry http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2011/09/its-a-wrap-bracelets/ or http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2011/08/custom-vintage-charm-bracelets/ Writing is a wonderful endeavor but doesn’t seem to be able to be forced (except for maybe in the case of Stephen King…what a machine!) so perhaps having other artistic outlets will stimulate the writing as well. = )

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for the input, Nancy. I have lots of interests, just channeling my energy into more productive outlets is the key. But thanks for the reminder!!

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