Thoughtful Thursday # 13 – Extra Time

Describe what you would do with 4 extra hours today?

Honestly if I had an extra 4 hours I would probably ‘waste’ them like I do many an hour.  Do I feel guilty about this?  Not much.  I feel fortunate and indulged, but not guilty.   I have lived a good part of my past being productive, busy, and feeling like every hour of waking time should be fully utilized.  Do I think that all the people who say ad nauseam “but I don’t have time”  would be better off if they only had an extra 4 hours?  Absolutely not.  We all get the same 24 hours a day.  Learning to take enough time for sleep, for self, for others, for work is something everyone gets to balance.  I do not think a 28 hour day would do anything but exhaust the exhausted more.    

Now if you ask how I might take 4 hours for myself and use them wisely then that is a different matter.  I think I would take 1 hour and split it between just getting up and bedtime.  I would use that time to be even slower getting ready for the day, or winding down at the end of the time.  Perhaps I would read a little more, or actually do some extra grooming or tidying of the bath & bedroom.  A second of those hours could be devoted to remembering that I have a nice piano that ought to get played.  A third hour could be devoted to chipping away at culling clutter or some deep cleaning.  And if I really did those 2 hours of projects I think that 4 the hour should be totally social — meeting with a friend, talking on the phone, or writing email and checking the blogs of interesting people.  And do I think the ‘busy’ over extended people of the world could and should claim 4 hours for themselves,  Yes.  And if they think 4 hours would be impossible, fine.  My reply to them is OK but don’t tell me that finding 1 or 2 hours is not possible.

Real Simple has a number of pie charts showing how a typical day is spent.  And they have a page for you to create your own pie chart of how you spend a typical day, a typical weekend day, or a fantasy day.  Perhaps the most fun of all however would be making a pie chart of “how others think I spend my day”.

Real Simple is also having a  blogger contest, where you could:

  • Join the ranks of Real Simple’s editors as a blogger on Simply Stated for one month
  • Receive a prize of $1,000

by writing on this topic:

What was the most difficult thing you had to give up in order to balance your schedule? Maybe you stopped watching a favorite TV show or dropped out of your book club. Whatever that sacrifice was, tell us your story for a chance to blog on RealSimple.com.

illustration from Real Simple email

click here for more info on the contest

I have no intention to enter but it would be wonderful if one of my blog readers won it because they heard about it from this post.

Wacky Wednesday # 13 – National Cleaning Week

Oh joy,  March 26-31 is National Cleaning Week.

Personally I am sure I could list 50 or more cleaning projects that ought to be done around my house, inside & out.  I will spare you, and myself, a complete list.  But my top priority, when the weather cooperates, is going to be cleaning my screen porch so Thunder & Lightning can use it as a cat playpen.  And that is all I am going to say on this subject.

Travel Tuesday # 13 – New Mexico

Back in the summer of 1997 I made my first (and thus far only) trip to the American South-West.  I was tagging along with my husband who had some professional meetings in New Mexico. 

After the trip I have never attempted to grow hollyhocks again.

The sky, the mountains, and fields are all strikingly different from my home region.

These sunflowers caught my eye.

Although I don’t have a photo that is a good illustration I do remember coming home from the trip with a much more vivid idea of what the term ‘plateau’ meant after seeing geographical plateaus first hand.  And while it was nice to visit this part of the country I was positive I would not be happy in that climate for any more than a week or two.

Thoughtful Thursday #12 – Worst Injury

What is the worst injury you have ever sustained?

Expecting a gory tale with multiple fractures and a prolonged recovery process?  Sorry to disappoint.  Broken Bones = 0, Stitches = 0, Concussions = probably 0, although I did fall off the back of a chair sometime before my 2nd birthday and “crack my head open” (Yep, that explains a lot!)  I have, however, despite my very moderate inclination towards physical exercise had 2 or 3 bouts of annoying tendonitis.  Not worth writing about – mild chronic pain is not amusing but it is also not a tale worth telling, unless you want to provide context to a fellow sufferer.    Broken hearts ? = 1, or maybe 1.5, again not exciting, educational but not exciting.  Injured pride = Oh yes, too many times to count.  Sometime after age 45 – 50, in my case at least, one’s pride has toughened to the point where it does not injure too often any longer.

So have I lived a charmed life?  On the physical injury side you might think so.  I am inclined to believe it is more the result of much caution and the law of averages.  Limit your risk taking and you reduce the chance of injury.

Wacky Wednesday # 12 – National Common Courtesy Day

“Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

March 21st is National Common Courtesy Day.  March 21st was also the birthday of my Aunt Erma who raised me.  I do not remember her ever telling me to be courteous, per say, but she did expect proper behavior and good manners. As far as I can tell, at this point in my life, behaving properly and exercising good manners equals courtesy.  I don’t feel right if I don’t put on a smile and say hello when meeting someone.  I am usually inclined to feel that I should hold the door if someone is coming a few steps behind me.  I don’t expect doors to be held open for me but if they are I smile and say thank you.  These habits which were instilled early strike me as core common courtesies.  The effort is tiny but the pay-off is heart-warming.

So I encourage you to take an extra second of two today to extend some little common courtesies to those you encounter and to say thank you to anyone extending courtesy to you.  And if you enjoy the pay-off go ahead and do the same tomorrow also.

Travel Tuesday # 12 – Butchart Gardens

If only every abandoned quarry looked like this. Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada

I want to go back.  My husband was experiencing allergies on the day we went to Butchart Gardens so I did not get to see as much as I wanted or to have as much fun as I expected.   But I did get a few glorious photos and the ability to say “been there.”

Music Monday # 12 – Back in 1966

Back in 1966 the  “Ballad of the Green Berets”  was in the middle of a five week run at the top of the Hot 100 number-one singles chart (March 5 – April 2).  The Wikipedia entry on the song says:

It is one of the very few songs of the 1960s to cast the military in a positive light … The song was written by Robin Moore and Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, while the latter was recuperating from a leg wound suffered as a medic in the Vietnam War. Moore also wrote a non-fiction book, The Green Berets, about the force. … Sadler debuted the song on television on January 30, 1966 on The Ed Sullivan Show.

I was a six year old at the time.  I remember the song, even though I grew up in a house where the radio was rarely on and no one spent money purchasing records.   Perhaps I saw it performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, as I do have recollections of my uncle watching that program.  And I know I remember the song that preceded the  “Ballad of the Green Berets” on the charts, Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walkin’“.  I wanted to look like her and to have a pair of “go-go boots.”  Neither of those things were meant to be. (Thank goodness! – now that I have looked at YouTube.)