I’m ready to start. Had a good sleep. Drunk some coffee. Head bouncing with ideas and possibilities: “I could…”
Get out my “today” book. New page. Heading:
“What I’d like to do today” (recognising that after I’ve slept well I’m likely to attempt the impossible- all the things I’ve been wanting to do but have been too tired or too busy or …)
- See my Uncle in the Nursing Home and my Book Club friend who lives alone and is unwell.
- write and publish a post.
- go to the gym, swim and use the steam room
- sort out my study
- write thank you cards
- fold and put away the washing
- organise my diary, plan and book the trip to Canberra
- wander around my local shopping centre and window shop
- visit Greenpatch nursery and buy some vegie plants
- garden- weed under the deck and pot up some plants
- make some phone calls
That’s only the beginning and it’s already midday.
Years ago I experienced one of those rare moments of insight that lead to self understanding: I was- completely, hopelessly, totally- unrealistic about time. It came about like this:
My current man (boyfriend? lover? partner? my significant other? never quite know what to call them) was organising a conference and ferrying delegates from the airport. I was to pick up one international arrival. I suggested to him that we have dinner en route. Well! He looked at me as if were crazy- “Dinner!” he said. “Where’s the time to have dinner?”
It was one of those optical illusion moments for me. You know the ones, where the vases turn into a profile or… I have personal moments like that, when a set of facts transform into something else. I looked at my watch- thirty minutes to the airport, fifty to the accommodation, home for me, back to the airport for him… an impossibility, absolutely no spare time. Whatever was I thinking of?
A light went on. This was why I could sometimes be late, didn’t get things done and kept running out of time… it was because I was so completely, totally unrealistic about time. (And about money, maybe the two go together.) I believe there is an unlimited amount, or at the least, much, much more than there is in actuality. And so I run into trouble.
Since that moment, if I’m functioning well, before I need to be somewhere I will sit down and work backwards:
if I need to be there by two o’clock then-
it will take me forty minutes of travel, thirty minutes to shower and dress, fifteen minutes to organise the things I need to take, that adds up to eighty five minutes. I must start getting ready, then, by half past twelve.
Sound over organised? Frankly unbelievable? You can do all that without even thinking?
It’s the only way I can be sure of being on time and even then my head will sometimes do its optical illusion trick and I’ll switch the appointment time with when I need to leave. Oh dear!
You will appreciate that I remain ever grateful to that particular man for his shocked reaction to my simple “we could have dinner.” If he’d said calmly that he didn’t think so, I may never have reached this level of self awareness and I could be back in that land of rushing, being late, wondering why I never get things done….instead of being calm, organised, accomplished, poised…(if only!
Today? Well, I realised the list- just a beginning mind, was possibly a little long…