Friday, September 18, 2009

In Search of the Thirty Hour Day

This has been an extremely busy week. Between my two jobs and keeping up with my homework, I haven’t really had time to write or work on crafts. Part of me is frustrated with this – after all, one of the perks of retiring is having time to do what you want, or so I thought. But another part of me is happy about this. Each day when I get up I have places to go, people to see, and things to do. I have a reason (or several reasons) to get up.

Granted, not everything I schedule into my day qualifies as a “must do.” I don’t HAVE to go to my sewing group. I don’t HAVE to drive 18 miles to have lunch with former co-workers. I don't HAVE to stop at the library to pick up the latest comedy/murder mystery. And I don’t HAVE to keep playing Spider Solitaire until I manage to hit a score of 1500! But my days are getting too full to fit in all the things I did this summer.

It seems I’m going to have to adjust my daily goals. When I started this blog, I promised myself I would write 200 words each day, and spend at least one hour a day on a non-writing creative project. Now that the school year has begun, other responsibilities are vying for my time. I could probably continue if I disowned my family, hired a maid (my dear husband cooks and does laundry, but there’s a limit to what I can ask him to take on), and cut back to two or three hours of sleep per night.

So – where do I cut back? If I reduce my writing goals, I’ll never get this infernal book finished. I think I’ll save that as a last resort. I’d really, really like to be able to write “THE END” sometime this year on at least one of my writing projects.

I’ve also got a lot of unfinished craft projects, but I can’t work on them every night. There just aren’t enough hours in a day. So as a compromise, I think I’ll simply broaden my definition of “creative project.” For example, if I spend two hours preparing a PowerPoint Presentation for my students, I’m creating something that wasn’t there before. If I spend time selecting music to illustrate my lesson and burn a CD with those selection, I’m also creating something. Of course I’ll have to tackle the usual projects when the “have to” stuff is caught up. But this way I’m not really reducing my goals, just redefining them.

Phew! I feel better. I’ve written my 200+ words. Now I can move on to something else.

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In light of my adjusted goals, I am considering the preparation of food as a creative project – especially since I don't cook all that often. Last week I went to a Japanese potluck/movie night. My contribution was a pan full of onigiri (riceballs) sprinkled with a Japanese seasoning called furikake. It’s not a particularly challenging dish, but it was food, and the kids at school wolfed it down in a hurry!

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