July 19, 2010
How I find the time
Numbers always have a meaning. This 60th posting will be dedicated to time management , and more specifically to how I make time to write for this blog, as the number 60 is one of our standard units of time.
"When do you find the time to write for your blog?" is a question I am asked so often (because I have been posting daily), usually from tired mothers or working friends.
First, I have to reiterate the fact that my blog entries require very little reflection. I do not assign myself a topic or subject. My posting is a single thought that I jot down almost instantly on my faithful blackberry, almost in a stream of consciousness. A question from somebody ("how do you find the time?"), a movie, a good book, a funny episode in my life, and then the inspiration rises within me. So I write. Now, typing is much faster than handwriting and the machine is always close at hand. Often, I do delay the writing, storing my insight for a near future, because I usually am with my kids, or with friends, or with my husband or food shopping, driving, teaching, reading, sporting, socializing, learning.
I am somewhat of an asocial animal in that I do not have social habits like surfing Facebook or A Small World (does anybody go to that last website anymore?). In fact I never surf on the internet. I also don't spend much time chatting with friends on the phone, local or international. I never watch TV, rarely a DVD and only glance at magazines at NBar (my favorite manicure/pedicure spa in Dubai). I do indulge in books and my dated LeMonde, but because I like my news older, I can always postpone reading them.
My winter and summer schedules are somewhat alike, with a few more extra free hours in Geneva in the summer months, because I socialize less there. However that time is easily converted into socializing with the kids or reading an extra chapter of literature. Otherwise the commute time is the same, time spent exercising the same, the errands are the same.
But I do have what I have coined "empty time" or simply down time, and that is when I write: while waiting for a bus solo or even riding it (when I am with them I am too concerned with their safety and well being to type), while waiting for my son's counselor to arrive at camp, or while waiting for my kids to exit camp or school. I am always ahead of time for drop offs and pick ups. I write when I have coffee at a cafe alone, or waiting for a film to begin at the movies, on a park bench while the kids climb, in the car before my pilates class starts, while waiting for a friend, or right before I fall asleep. I even write during red tape moments while I wait in line for a visa or at at the checkout counter at the supermarket. When given the choice however, I choose an extra hug or a last minute quizz poem , and certainly common decency (I never write in a social moment) over my enthusiastic blackberry typing. But as you can see, we can all find the time to write down our thoughts.
These are the slots of time in which I fit my writing . It isn't a job. It's a hobby, like sketching. And what I write is merely a sketch of a piece of writing. I am fortunate that its nature is to be simple, short and fleeting. I am not J.K. Rowling writing Harry Potter novels. How did SHE find the time? How powerful was the brick of inspiration that hit her one infamous day?