Who’s counting the days?

No, not until Christmas. I mean, who’s counting the days in general? Me.

But I keep losing track. I’m guilty of letting all those 24-hour days get away for weeks on end. I couldn’t find enough time to write in my blog. I couldn’t find time to take a walk. Uh-huh. If you believe I didn’t waste a second of precious time, can I sell you a nice island called Manhattan?

Of course, the time was there, none missing. I can’t account for all of it, yet I know I used it all. At home, I took pictures and posted items for sale on Craiglist and even sold a few things. I had a garage sale and sold a few more things. After another garage sale, it’ll be time to inventory and donate. But the stuff will come back. The time won’t.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living on borrowed time. With Thanksgiving coming up and the house in a terrible mess, I turned off the internet while I cleaned. That got my sons moving, cleaning up their own rooms, at least. But everything I personally put away has since migrated back out; there’s clutter everywhere. All that laundry I cleaned is dirty again. Nothing stays clean for long, but the time is long gone.

Where else did the time go? Running errands, picking up a son from school and hauling both of us to doctor and/or dentist appointments. Going to the bank or grocery shopping. Yes, I made a few nice dinners for guests and family, including Thanksgiving. We were stuffed and the fridge is still stuffed.

Where else did my hours go? I visited family across the country, well worth the time. I think the raccoons got back about the same time I did. We caught one last night, a slow walker, maybe sick. Now it’s home on the range, Eglin that is. But I expect even a slow walker will return here given a few weeks, quicker if we don’t catch its companion so they can spend some quality time together, learning to forage in the woods. I’m open to other ideas to keep them away that don’t involve killing or hurting them. Now killing time would be fun, if I had some to kill. I don’t.

I do crunch time a lot, working on finances, fixing broken internet, paying bills. I spend more pleasant hours with church choir, practicing and performing — often without a pianist. Another big chunk of time goes to Boy Scouts. I enter data, send emails, go to meetings. And I prepare and teach church lessons. Then I read a slew of business and personal emails, usually piled up for days. In the end, crunched or killed, the time is gone, all passed into the past.

Last week I studied the Black Friday newspaper ads, went shopping, and studied the ads again. Being thrifty isn’t just a Boy Scout law, it’s necessary for our financial health. But finding the best quality for the lowest price consumes lots of time.

With the little time left in the past month, I took far too few walks outdoors for good physical health. My vitamin D level is too low to build my bones. My spiritual health suffered too, because I fell behind on scripture reading. Interruptions got me before I could walk out the door. I’ve got to start ignoring the phone and the “what are your plans today?” questions that involve me doing something extra, guaranteed to prevent my taking a walk.

To anyone else, being told to take a walk is an insult. Say it to me and I’ll smile — and take a walk. I’ll be happy to comply because I figured out how to insert another piece in the time puzzle. Really. I can walk and solve a sodoku just as easy as I can walk and read. So now I have a new way to dovetail fun with exercise.

But if you really want to make me happy, find a way to add a couple extra hours to the day. In a month dedicated to writing an entire novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) participants, I spent 10 hours writing, tops. Sometime, there must be more time to write. Maybe I’ll find it tomorrow. Or the next day, because there’s a huge pile of mail on my desk, still waiting. And speaking of waiting, let’s face it, my writing won’t pay the bills until I sell a book. It’ll have to wait. But sometimes I can hardly stand the waiting.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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