wasting time


kosmic blogging in samsara

Image by ~C4Chaos via Flickr

I should be writing today. I told someone – okay, my editor – that I would. But I am not. I am dorking around while I have three stories waiting on me for the paid gig, but inspiration and desire to write eludes me.

So what do I do when I should be writing but I find it task-like and unappealing?

I spam my own Facebook feed with nonsense.

This is not productive and only serves to remind me that other people are more clever than I am … and have more work ethic. And are more mentally disturbed.

What happened to my work ethic?

Oh, right, I never really had any personally. It was just pragmatism disguised as productiveness.The curse of those born in the shadow of the Valley of the Boomers. We work hard when necessary but we prefer coasting. Just look at President Obama if you don’t believe me.

I was talking about my contribution to the household finances the other day with Jade, the owner of the yoga studio where I teach, I mentioned that Rob smiles fondly at me when I talk about my paycheck. That smile reserved for cute children and pets.

“Awwww … she’s so sweet when she thinks she’s contributing.”

Because monetarily, I am not so much.

My heavy lifting is kind of just that as I make the trains run like the house’s wife should – efficiently and looking quite fetching as I do so.

And it’s not as if my husband doesn’t give due credit or is anything other than appreciative. He just thinks my fixation on my money-making endeavors – the blog stuff in particular – is not worth my worry.

If I write and get paid – awesome, and if I slack, well, then I do. It’s not like the compensation is commensurate with the effort. And that’s the problem. I put in time for a token and though I am not creating a Huffpo empire for someone exactly, I am not creating much for myself either. I am an Internet content serf.

So, I vacillate. One month, I pour it on and the next? Meh.

I was asked recently when I was going to open my own yoga studio.

“No plans for that,” I said. I’d just spent a week holding down the fort for Jade while she was on her yoga cruise, and there is no glamour in running a studio – though the studio itself is glamorous  and I always get a little thrill when I open and close up. It has, frankly, a feeling of purpose that regurgitating news sans personal commentary doesn’t.

But I am not sure I am up to run a business on my own though it would be sort of awesome.

Or I could just go back to fiction writing and pretend that people read my blog.

Poised. I am in a constant state of poised. Where is the tipping point? Poised seems frozen and first runner-up.

If only patience was one of my virtues but then I would probably be a famous blogger if that were the case.


I’m running the risk of sounding whiny by broaching the topic of my lack of time again, but it has been eating at me all day. I had nothing on my schedule today but an appointment for a haircut at 1PM. Everything else was optional but for finding some time to go to the gym, buying cat food and getting over to the bookmobile at 7Pm. And yet somehow, my day completely slid away from me to the point where even though I did get quite a bit accomplished – for example: the laundry is near done; the kitchen is clean; I made a crock pot of homemade chicken veggie soup and a wholesome lunch and supper for husband and child; I got over to Sherwood Park to the pet store for food, the Starbucks to replenish tea supplies and hit the grocery store – whew! Right? But, I still feel like I got so very little done. Here it is nearly 7:30 in the evening and I am only just getting to my blog, and I haven’t touched my novel more than a handful of times since last Friday between traveling, helping Rob’s mom and child-minding. Valuable things all too. Don’t get me wrong. And perhaps I am just insanely selfish. Do I really need to work-out for an hour and a half every day? Do I need to blog daily? Is the novel something that has to be done by the end of the month, so I can spend December editing?

Sadly, I still have the widow tendency to putz around and waste time. However, is reading the newspaper daily(okay, two newspapers) a waste of time? Am I wasting time reading and responding to others’ blogs? When I choose to write this blog instead of going to writing group, is that being as productive as I could be?

Rob says it’s a matter of prioritizing, but the trouble is that what is most important seems to vary from week to week. Last week my deep water exercise class went by the wayside because Rob was working on finishing the roof – which is a matter of some urgency with winter basically upon us here in Alberta. Tonight both water aerobics and writing group bit the dust because I needed to write. I just needed to and I can’t explain the importance of this need any more clearly than it is like an athlete who misses too many training days in a row due to an injury. After a certain point your body just cries out to move and sweat and be allowed to do that which it was trained to do. The same is true of writing. My mind just screams to be unleashed on the keyboard. I need to write almost like I am beginning to really need to run and lift weights. I don’t feel like myself otherwise, and it has been so long since I have felt like me that I am afraid to take even the tiniest break lest I fall back into the dark times when writing and movement were luxuries.

I don’t know. The scheduling thing is still eluding me, and I can rationalize that there are more important things that come up because that is the nature of life, but the truth is much simpler. I am still not using my time wisely. I still surf the net aimlessly when I can’t string words together instead of using that “think time” to do something productive. In the old days when I wasn’t writing, I was reading. Really reading. Novels. I sadly don’t have the attention span for that yet, but the Internet is hardly the place to pump mental iron. And I could be getting up earlier. I have shamelessly luxuriated in my timelessness these last months. I don’t wear a watch or set an alarm clock at bed, but those days need to end mostly.

I know there are probably many writers who dink about and write here and there, but I don’t think many of them are published much less successful. To be good requires commitment and discipline and probably sacrifice. And, I just cannot do all the things I would like to do and still spend time with Rob and Katy, and whatever my aspirations, they come first.

I guess it is back to the drawing board for a little more scheduling and organizational fine tuning, remembering always that they are just details.