Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Where Does the Time Go?

It's "wondering Wednesday" and I have no question to be answered--at least not one that somebody else asked me. So I thought I'd ask myself something. Or rather, ponder the answer to a self-imposed question. (I'm known around town for talking to myself, because if I didn't tell myself what to do, I wouldn't know, would I? So of course, if I talk to myself, I ask myself questions. And sometimes I even answer them.)

Then I got to wondering what kind of question I could ask myself--er, ponder. And then of course, I got sidetracked into wondering whether I would get everything done this week that I need to get done, which evolved into a question. Where does all the time go?

I could get silly with this question--pondering whether time pours into all the cracks in the sidewalks and works its way down into the earth's core where it... Okay, it's way, way early, or maybe late, and I tend to get silly when I'm tired. Time doesn't literally slip into the sidewalk cracks. At least, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. But it's really slippery and squishes through our fingers when we try to grab hold of it.

I don't have a day job. I'm really very lucky to have writing for my full time job. And I'm very careful to protect my writing time. I tell people I work in the mornings, and it gets me out of a lot of volunteering. (I'd write in the afternoons too, if it weren't for my nasty predilection for falling asleep on top of it.) But there are still funerals to bake cakes for, and spouses (spice?) to spend time with, and grandboys to find Easter goodies for, not to mention books to read and movies to watch and nasty prickly weeds to pull from behind my rose bushes. And when the end of the week rolls around again, I'm always surprised it's arrived Again, already.

Where does your time go? Do you know?

Um, while you think, I guess I'd better go fix the jelly beans and Easter cards to mail to three little boys, and then I'm probably going to have to chase down my time and tackle it before it gets completely away from me. Wish me luck.


Christie Craig said...


Time does get away, doesn’t it? I think it’s amazing how much time we let slip through our fingertips. I’m guilty of spending days fretting over something that only takes a few hours to do. I’m amazed at how many people quit their day jobs to write full time and discover they got more work done when they were employed elsewhere. I found this true as well. I think a lot of us are inclined to procrastinate less when we have less time to procrastinate with.

Who was it that said? “There is no such thing as time management. We can’t manage time, we can only manage ourselves.” This is so true.

Not that all idle time is wasted. Some of it is needed to let our minds recharge – a couple of games of Spider Solitaire, (Okay, five or six games!) or watching your cat nap on your desk and counting how many times his ears twitch...twenty-three...twenty-four....

Oh, and that time spent gathering up jelly beans is time well spent. We need to remember to be good to ourselves and those we love. I think any self-employed person is in danger of being bullied and abused by the boss.

Great post, Gail!


Sharon Schulze said...

"I think any self-employed person is in danger of being bullied and abused by the boss."

What a great comment, Christie--and all too true.

Gail, I hear you on the time thing; some days just fly by, so quickly they barely register on my radar. I don't like that much for a number of reasons, but especially because I want to be grounded in now, to savor it a bit. While I'm quite happy to look ahead, I don't want to lose sight of what's right in front of me, either.

It's one of those things that is a work in progress!


Nancy Morse said...

Time doesn't slip through the sidewalk cracks? Then where does it go?

Time means all sorts of things. There's time well spent (ah, the feeling of accomplishment),

Time wasted (oh, the guilt)

Idle time (permission to do nothing)

Maybe next time (hope)

Time out (before you spank their little butts off)

Time and again (repetition)

Time after time (the broken record syndrome)

If I have to tell you that one more time (frustration on the brink of madness)

It's about time (relief)

I could go on and on, but who has the time?

Sally MacKenzie said...

I hate to say it, but one of my biggest time black holes is the Internet. So useful--and such a time eater!

Gail Dayton said...

LOL, Nancy! Yep. Who has the time?

And oh, yeah, that Internet. I write down the things I need to accomplish while I'm surfing around and reading e-mail--and I usually discover that I've forgotten--AGAIN--to send that e-mail I needed to send, or post that blog, or whatever. Oh well. This is why Lists were invented. (It would probably help if I brought my list into my office, huh?)

gailbarrett said...

I think about this question a lot, actually. My (very unscientific) theory is that time speeds up as you get older. My days go by faster and faster AND I get less done as a result. I just can't keep up with it. It is nearly overwhelming!

Sierra Donovan said...

Oh wow. So many relatable comments on this one!

I'm a stay-at-home mom and the house MAY look marginally better than it did when I was working full-time. I wasn't writing fiction at the time, so I can't judge that, aside from my incredible capacity to procrastinate and be distracted and not set aside time from the daily minutaie (sp?), like the darn grocery store.

But Christie is right about setting aside that time to stop and gather up the jelly beans. There are times when I worry that my kids will remember me as the back of a yelling head -- that's not the legacy I want to leave behind.

And, yup. The Internet IS an implacable, soulless time-sucker. I swear it grabs me by the face just about every time my husband goes out the door.