Monday, June 4, 2012

Sting Operation

    Thieves lurk among us, and they are stealing our time.  As I age, this reality becomes more clear with each speeding day.  When one is young, time means very little because the demands on that time correlate more directly to our desires in how to spend said time.  As youth, we slept in a little later in the mornings, we arranged our own schedules according to activities we willingly chose ourselves (excepting the required hours in school, or course), and we believed the future was ours for the taking.
     Then the future looms nearer as marriage and family rearrange time into categories.  Time then becomes measured in terms of family, work, household, and social categories.  The more activities  family members are involved with, the more organized the time available.   Our accomplishments during this life stage seem amazing, in retrospect, given the time constrictions.  Organization is the key to completing everything on our daily plates of activities and tasks.  We never seem to have enough hours in our days for all that needs to be done.
      One would think that when the children move out and begin lives of their own, Time would suddenly step in and offer itself for one's pleasurable use.  The time once designated for family and household chores could now be rearranged to allow for more social time or, like the time from youth,  more hours to spend on one's own desired activities.  However, this is not the case.  Suddenly we question how we ever got so much done when we had families at home because now there seems to be no time for anything.  We ask ourselves where did the time go?  Any often we have no answer.  The thieves have struck, and time has disappeared.
      Now the future seems oh, so much closer, not some distant element that once was the target of procrastination.  "Oh, I'll do that later"  or "When I retire...".  We begin to recall our past in much more favorable memories and we tend to view our futures as limited, unpromised days.  We make bucket lists of the many things we always wished we had done when we had the time.  Now that time is limited, these lists are comprised of the serious and the silly.  I want to ride a hot air balloon, travel out of the country, and write a novel. But none of this will be accomplished if we can't identitfy the thieves that keep stealing time away from us.
     These thieves suck the very hours right out from under our noses.  Determined to catch these thieves, I have begun to document the findings of my research.  The entire world shares the same number of hours per day, yet some don't seem subjected to this thievery as much as others.  So I decided to document my own use of each twenty-four hour time period to determine just exactly when the thieves are striking at my house.  I want my time returned!  By glancing at the schedule for Day One, I think I can capture two of the thieves that lurk insider my computer hiding between Facebook and e-mail.  Another thief resides inside my television every evening between six and ten.   There may be a third one that sneaks in and keeps hitting my snooze button on the alarm.  I'm almost certain these thieves are part of a gang that, when planning a heist, know the soft targets, beginning with me.  Now that I have identified them, I plan to set up a sting operation and capture these time thieves.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

     An opportunity presented itself this week in the form of an online writers' group for teachers. Excitement and anticipation urged me to join, as I have always considered myself a writer from my first poetic attempts in grade school.  Yet doubt also clouds my mind and stirs my conscience more than a little.  I don't write every single day.  There is no set desk time in the wee hours of the morning or late at night after the house is quiet.  And most published writers will tell aspiring writers like me that if you wish to be successful, you must write. Write something. Anything. But write every single day.  And I don't.  So, maybe I'm not a writer afterall.
    Last November I took on the challenge of writing a  novel in a month.  It lies dormant in its infancy, incomplete yet still ruminating in the recesses of my mind.  Recesses.  Perhaps I have taken too many of those, as I recall other tasks I have started and not finished.  Not just writing, but in all areas of my life.  Projects once deemed worthy of my immediate attention have lost their glimmer.   The organized office room to be used as both business office and writing space?  I can't seem to find the desk or figure out where the cord is to connect my printer to my computer, which is seldom in that room, or I wouldn't be able to find it.  The porch swing that needs refinishing?  That was a summer project three years ago.  It still needs refinishing.  And the organized daily Bible study that I started off so well?  It isn't happening, much to my chagrin at having to admit that.  I don't even want to mention the diet programor exercise classes that have gone by the wayside. Those are but a few.
      I could list innumerable tasks which devour my time.  Some would be legitimate, such as a fulltime teaching position and a Sunday school class to teach.  But if I were brutally honest with myself, I would admit that television, Facebook, and reading suck up more hours in my day than is appropriate.  My energy levels are depleated in direct proportion to my productivity.  If I recognize this truth, then why don't I do something about it?  I am.  I signed up for the online writers group, and I am writing again.