Friday, July 23, 2010

Holey Moley!

     Yikes!  There is just too much to do! Some things never change.  But twenty years ago, it was too much to do as in laundry, read to kids, bathe kids, go to grocery store, take kids to the library, make dinner, snuggle with kids, eat dinner, clean up kitchen, read to kids, snuggle with kids, clean the bathroom, take a walk with the kids, do some exercise, take kids to the park, snuggle with kids, play legos and barbies with kids - you get the picture.    Make no mistake about this:  those were good days but busy, busy, busy days, building a family days, being a responsible parent days, good days.  Kids have flown the coop so why so busy now days?
      Okay, then, let's start with a job and bingo, you can say good bye to  40+ hours a week.  I hasten to add that they are good hours.  I love my work and wouldn't want to change that at this time - I appreciate the paycheck too (since the kids have flown the coop to college).  Next, consider that the aging body needs time and attention and I am not referring to botox and boob lift time!  No, general maintenance for good health necessitates, for me, at least an hour daily of physical exercise.  Again, I don't object to this as I generally enjoy the physical exercise, particularly when it involves my bicycle or walking with a friend. But besides the cardiovascular workout, I have to do some weight lifting (you gotta be able to lift yourself out of the bathtub!) and I should be doing more flexibility stuff. The years make the joints stiff and stretching the body appears to be the solution. The whole exercise package can easily add up to another twelve hours a week. Bye bye, precious time. Besides exercise, I do choose to use time to keep myself reasonably presentable, ie, shower, wash hair, slap some sunscreen and foundation on, figure out what to wear, get an occasional haircut and, yes, color the hair every so often - Bingo! average another 6 or 7 hours a week just to attempt to not present like a bag lady.

     While we are on the topic of maintenance, let's consider house, laundry, and food.  Enough said.  Chalk up ten hours a week and know that none of them gets the attention they demand.  If my time were without borders, I wouldn't mind futzing with the house or doing something beyond salad and some kind of protein for dinner but, for now, these are called chores and the least amount of time I spend here, the better.

     What next?  Now the fun stuff!  Read, read, and read some more!  There is never enough time for me to read all that I want to read.  I enjoy contemporary novels,  I gravitate to a lot of non fiction work (including the social sciences and biographies), I have discovered several very engaging on line reading sources (Huffington Post could easily take up an hour of my day), and I am still a subscriber to the daily newspaper and 6 or 8 magazines.  In my ideal world I would have several hours a day devoted exclusively to reading but this is the real world.  So, leisure reading (not reading for work) gets only maybe 8 or ten hours a week of my time but it could get a whole lot more.  The same can be said for writing.  I enjoy writing, even writing for work, but now I am getting into the bits and pieces of discretionary time and so writing gets shoved over there on the fringes of my daily life.  The same applies to painting and photography for fun.  LOVE LOVE LOVE both of these pursuits but they simply don't get to come to the party very often.  I have found ways to incorporate the photography into my work - create a yearbook! And I leave all the painting stuff set up in Alex's bedroom so that I can always have work in progress.  Sometimes I steal ten minutes to add to a work in progress and, because I have the luxury of leaving everything set up, I can do that quite nicely.  And ten minutes is all it takes to remind me that, yes, I am an artist.
     And why exactly do two dogs live at my house?  Because they were once  irresistible and now they are friends, fun, and a part of the family.  And they require time...... But they do bring us to my last category for now:  people.  People are the best and the reason that all the rest of life exists.  And people is where I choose to put my time too!  Family first followed by the best friends a person could want.  Remember that list from twenty years ago?  Did you notice that "friends" was absent from that list?  Not an oversight but the way it was.  Yes, there were friends and family with whom I shared time but growing healthy kids didn't allow much time for growing strong friendships.  And the older I get , the more I want to envelope myself with connections.  I thrive on conversation and laughter, on shared confidences and tears.  I need my friends.  I need my family.  And they can have my time.


1 comment:

  1. My friends are a huge part of my quality of life as well - I treasure each of them and am so glad for those shared moments that we can carve out from our busy lives.