Life has returned to normal in the Ashbury household. Well, as normal as we ever get, at any rate. My beloved is back at work, the cat has forgiven me for leaving her with my daughter, the evil diet-meister, and the dog is once more content in the daily presence of his deity, the daddy of the house.
This week, I have a few more days to myself before routine returns full force with my grandchildren sleeping over a few times a week, and my getting them up and ready for school in the morning.
They’re good kids, and not difficult to manage at all. They seem, for the most part, a lot more amenable than my own children ever were. For the record, I think their mother—our ‘second daughter’ who was our late son’s former fiancée—has done an excellent job in raising them.
As I reported to you at the beginning of the year, I never make New Year’s resolutions, per se. I do, however, constantly seek to “do a better job” of everything in my life. And nowhere is that a more pressing need than in the area of time management.
I have to try and learn how to make better use of my time. But the older I get, the faster time seems to go. I try, I really do, but more often than not I’m left at the end of the day wondering if I’d been abducted by aliens, who then went ahead and sucked two or three hours of precious time out of my schedule, and my conscious mind.
I think in many ways, I defy definition. In some areas and about some things I am so anal that my family is left shaking their heads in my wake. In case you ever wondered, let me set the record straight right here and now. Yes, there really is only one way to: fold towels, put away clothing, make the bed, set the table, make out a grocery list, prepare juice from frozen concentrate, and vacuum the living room carpet.
But about other things? Holy chaos, Batman, you should see my office! You’d think I had never heard of the word, ‘organization’. I have all manner of pieces of whatever under my monitor, around my keyboard, and beside and on top of my printer. My desk drawers would give pause to the most dedicated tidier, and my shoes and slippers can be found all over the darned house.
One of the areas where I am very ‘sanguine’ is in my (nearly non-existent) time management skills. It’s an effort for me to stay on track each day, to keep my mind focused on what I want to accomplish, because at times I can be so very easily distracted.
I know that I’d be better served if I got myself one of those nifty little word processor machines my good friend Lara Santiago has. That way, I could write without easy access to the Internet, and all those wonderful and fun time-sucking ways of being distracted.
Alas, I’m weak.
I know the secret for me lies in my own ability to employ some good, old fashioned self-discipline. And as each day dawns, I fully intend to do just that.
Some days, I do a pretty good job of it, too.
And then we have the other five days of the week.
Just today, as I was composing this essay, I had a bizarre thought. Do you suppose I could be looking at this situation all wrong? Could it be that this fluctuating, nose-to-the-grindstone one day and devil-may-care frittering away of minutes the next might actually, when the two are melded together, simply be my process? We all know that each writer’s process is unique unto them. Could that possibly be it?
Sigh. No, I didn’t really think so, either. I guess I’m just going to have to try harder.