Monday, December 12, 2011

Time Is A Tricky Mistress

The passage of time is a strange thing, isn't it? We all have time, and we all chose what we will do with it (though sometimes it can feel like we don't have a choice, but really, we DO). Right now it's 12:33am on a Sunday, and I'm thinking of the new novel I want to plot out and hopefully start to write tomorrow. But of course there's the day job which takes up 9 hours of my day. And my general lack of early-rising ability (let us remember it is 12:33am--I am a night owl apparently). Let's also remember that dinner must be made, and that usually takes about an hour. Oh, and the laundry. Monday is laundry day in the Olivieri household. So let's say that after the day job, dinner, and laundry duties are over, it's about 8pm. The husband and I have our nightly TV watching routine that cannot be broken (okay, sometimes it is broken), which means that by the time I get a moment to THINK about my novel, it will be around 10pm. Oh, dear goodness. Where did the time go? I don't LIKE going to bed late, despite my previous statements. It just seems to happen that way because nighttime is the only time I can do stuff, like write. Although I have found that my best writing happens during the day when I'm not falling asleep over my laptop at midnight.

Anyway, time.

It passes whether we like it or not. It pauses for no one. It makes no exceptions. It doesn't care what our circumstances are or whether we have a 5 YEAR PLAN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD or if unexpected things happen or if we have direction for our lives or if we don't. It just. keeps. going. And we can either DO SOMETHING while it passes, or not.

I tend to complain about no having enough time. I'm sure you do too. Time is a valuable thing which gets filled with many invaluable things, and when that happens and we notice it we tend to get upset. The trick is not to let it get filled with invaluable things. And that trick is tricky.

Like, even though I would prefer to write during the day and then go to bed at a decent hour, I need the day job to pay the bills. So, that needs to stay. And even though I wish dinner would magically make itself while I write, that never seems to happen. So, cooking needs to stay too. Same with the laundry. And, uh...the TV know. Sometimes you just need to watch some good evening television with your spouse. And so the THING that is VALUABLE to you is somehow pushed down the line of things to do, and by the time to get to it, there's not ENOUGH time.

So, back to the trick that is tricky, which is to say, filling time with things that are valuable. You'll never get to erase those chores and necessary things that aren't fun from your schedule, but usually you CAN find time in between these things. For example, although I find it TORTURE to wake up earlier than absolutely necessary, I could, COULD wake up an hour early and get some writing time in. I COULD also write during my hour lunch break instead of...what do I do on my lunch break anyway? Obviously it is nothing important if I can't even remember it. I COULD also set aside an hour before TV time, which is probably wasted by browsing the internet. And then I could write for one more hour after TV time (which, again, is usually wasted on the internet) and go to bed around 11-12 which is much earlier than I have been. Did you see what I did there? I took the larger chunk of time I would normally write (which can end at 2am sometimes), and I broke it up into smaller chunks throughout the day, where normally I would be lollygagging on the computer or hanging off the side of my couch acting like I'm bored even though I have a million things to do or pretending to be productive by folding laundry but really I'm procrastinating writing. I mean I didn't actually do this in real life yet, but I COULD. I really could. And then I could fill my time with value and actually get some SLEEP. Sleep is good. I wish I was sleeping right now, in fact. My bed is insanely comfy, by the way. Literally, almost every night when I climb into bed, I think to myself "This is the most comfy bed in the world." No, I'm not joking. I really think that to myself every night.

Anyway, what was I even saying? Something about trickery? Time is a tricky mistress? DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T SCHEDULE YOUR TIME? You end up writing delirious blog posts at 1am (did I seriously, SERIOUSLY just spend a half hour writing this? Time has evaded me once again!) that start out sounding all mystical and interesting..."Time...what is...time?" and then you end up going on a tangent about your schedule and your heavenly bed then you forget what you're talking about and a half hour has passed and you don't know how because it feels like you just started typing this three minutes ago. And then you write an entire paragraph out of one long run-on sentence?

So the moral of the story is that time is a tricky mistress and you must schedule your time properly to fit the important things in, lest time get the best of you.

And now I'm going to schedule this post before I re-read what I wrote and decide against it. And maybe I'll make a to-do list for tomorrow so I can have some semblance of time management after writing this.


  1. I can only concur with all of the above!

  2. Yepppp. I'm trying to start a business while working evenings and juggling the housework. (Just got a part time job as a cook about 2 months ago. So the last thing I want to do after having cooked a 3 course meal is cook AGAIN, rotfl!)