Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

5/2/10

Time out


I missed my post days for both the cycle on technology and the following one on deadlines. I gave myself a "time out" from the blog group. But I didn't misbehave. Instead, let's say I've been doing independent study (really more like head on combat) on both topics. I had MAJOR computer problems concurrent with multiple deadlines. I am not keeping all my balls in the air.

Over spring vacation I counted 900 e-mails in my inbox. Like Sisyphus, I'm caught in a never-ending cycle. I try to clear out my inbox, but it fills right back up. I hardly bother to keep up with Facebook posting these days. Anyone else out there feeling increasingly ADHD with the demands of modern life? There have been recent studies coming out about our INability to successfully multitask.

I can't help musing about the larger idea of TIME. Two decades ago I read a book that still resonates, Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History by Jeremy Rifkin, Simon & Schuster, 1989. Rifkin explains changing perceptions of time over the course of human history—from nature time, to clock time, and now to computer time. He claims there is a war going on, between the advocates of speed and efficiency and those who prefer a "more empathetic union with the rhythm of nature."

I was web-surfing to see if I could find excerpts from the book, and stumbled upon some quotes about time that I will share instead:

"I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million, count half a dozen."
— Henry David Thoreau

"A cup of tea with my mother,
looking at each other,
enjoying our tea together.
The point in life is to know what's enough.
With the happiness held in one inch-square heart
you can fill the whole space between heaven and earth."
— Gensei, 1650

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

On the subject of time and more speciffically time management I would like to recommend you "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. It is a really great book.

Christy said...

Thank you for the recommendation. I have requested GETTING THINGS DONE from my local library.

Stephanie said...

Love those quotes:)

Lauren said...

Christy, I appreciate everything you have just written- the struggle with time and getting things done, and even finding the time to read books on getting things done is a constant balancing act-- especially when you mix family, partner, life, and art all together. I think it becomes necessary from time to time to just sit quietly for an hour, a week, a month, a year- in order to find/notice one's own pace. I was just reading an interview yesterday with a poet who has published a book of poetry every ten years. When asked if she felt pressure to publish faster- she replied of course, but when writing poetry, she concentrates on the poem-- the universe of the single poem, rather than the "book of poems"... she added that everyone has their own pace- I am still figuring out my own- that is for sure!

Christy said...

Thanks, Lauren. It's so hard to avoid comparisons (but they are indeed odious). I need horse blinders so I keep on my path without distractions.

Do tell me the name of your poet.

Lauren said...

Marie Howe.
I don't know her poetry, but I was reading an interview with her in The Writer's Chronicle, the summer 2010 issue.

Edie said...

Welcome back, Christy! Yes, I, too, am feeling increasingly ADHD with the demands of modern life. I love the image from the Gensei poem, especially knowing that it was written in 1650 and is still apropos to today.

David LaRochelle said...

Wonderful quotes, Christy. That lure of being faster and doing more can be so tempting, and it is so easy (for me at least) to feel somehow less worthy for not juggling as many balls as other people. As Lauren said, we all need to find our own pace. Sometimes I'm very good at being happy with my slowness, and sometimes I'm less accepting, but your post is a good reminder that we don't have to jump on the "faster is better" bandwagon, if strolling instead fits better with who we are.