It used to be that any given day consisted of the necessary blocks of time to accomplish a multitude of things: work at the job, standard daily chores, running here and there for children’s activities or to assist other family members, and maybe a start or stab at a project or a leisurely read of a chapter or four of a good book. There were curtains sewn, rooms painted, planting beds dug; all these easily worked into the schedule along with standard duties.
Then the children grew up and left home.
Then new hobbies began.
Then those blocks of time began diminishing…
Then age crept in.
I’m telling you quite seriously, I don’t feel my “age”.
I don’t feel older than I felt ten or fifteen years ago.
I don’t believe that I’ve accepted an aged mindset and settled into a slower pace, or that I’ve bent to the societal notion that I’m physically less capable than I used to be. That’s simply bullshit.
Except that I cannot accomplish the same number of tasks that I did just five years ago.
I put the same number of tasks on my list.
They don’t get done in the time they used to.
Where does the time go?
Why do I have smaller blocks of time?
Oh sure – I could blame the time I now spend in front of the computer. That would be the easy out.
There is a bit of truth there, but that does not fully explain the undone tasks.
So I mused on this and realized my work methodology has changed.
I’ve become more focused, more attentive to a well-done task. My goal is to be thorough, where my priority used to be speed.
Time has not sped up, I’ve slowed pace.
Oy! There’s a tough admission.
I guess I have physically slowed pace, not that I have less strength or that my mind is muddled, but because I’m more in tune with making the motions count rather than bulldozing through. I’m also more careful to keep my fingers and toes intact – I no longer leap from the bed of the truck, I carefully dismount. I now visualize the accident before it happens and take more care to prevent it.
Okay. I now have some idea why I don’t accomplish as much. How to reconcile that with my list? How to relieve my angst?
There is much to do. There are many projects that are in my visual space and taking up residence in my mental storage.
What to do about this?
Now the hard truths are faced: Do I give up tasks? Do I forego favored hobbies?
I face the fact that I may have to change my methods.
I’ve always enjoyed doing tasks by hand. I relish the feel of the dirt clod breaking apart in my palm. I enjoy tugging each interloping weed out of the ground. On hands and knees in the garden, I’m connected to the cycle of life. I feel privileged to glimpse the community life of the insect world close up and personal.
There are tools (I even own a few of them) that would make these tasks efficient. I perused them at the hardware store this past week. Tools labeled “Grandpa’s weed puller” or the like. Alright, perhaps I’m not ready to use that particular tool, but I could dust off the hoe and put it to use. That would buy time.
What do you do to regain time? Are you able to complete your task list?