Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

2/24/12

The Busier, The Better

As I am learning from my fellow spuds, time management is a universal struggle. I have found that the more free time I have in my life, the less focused I become and the less I accomplish. But the busier I am, the more I am able to define small increments of time to accomplish specific tasks. I am a list maker, mainly because I love to cross items off my list once they are accomplished, and it allows me to look back at my day and pat myself on the back. Lists also keep me from forgetting those necessary tasks, and they help me prioritize.

When I worked fulltime while also enrolled in an MFA program, I accomplished more writing in my one-hour lunch break than I did in 3 hours on the weekends--that is, if I left my office and hid in a study carroll in the basement of the library. And now that I am spending much more time sitting with my father, I always take along a notebook and pen. If he's in a talkative mood, as he was today, I ask him all sorts of questions about his childhood and jot down notes. I am so enthralled with his family's experiences in south Florida during the 1920s and 30s that I may incorporate them into a future book. And right now, my time with my father is of the essence.

This photo above was taken in the mid-1950s in front of my grandparent's coral rock house in North Miami Beach. My father is the first on the left, and I am the little girl waving.

9 comments:

john said...

Edie, i love the photo and I love the way you are spending this time with your father. Well done.

David LaRochelle said...

It's true, Edie; if you want something done, give it to a busy person. I, too, have found that I get more done when I have less free time, because I know I have to use my time more wisely. And like you, I keep on track by making lists.
Thanks for sharing your photo. It sounds like you are making, and reliving, great memories with your father.

Lauren said...

I love the photo Edie-- your little waving hand touches my heart. I envy you your time to listen and write with your father and his stories. What a treasure you are making!

Edie Hemingway said...

Yes, it is a time to treasure! Thanks for your comments, John, David, and Lauren.

betsy woods said...

Edie, what precious time. The photo is a treasure. Sending only goodness.
It is as if you are greeting the world with your wave. I love that.
Busy is good.

Teresa Crumpton said...

This photo is awesome, Edie. Think of the stories that could spin off from it, and your father is so handsome. Does he enjoy telling all his old stories? "Like a householder pulling out treasures new and old." Your talks are great opportunities to capture "the voice" of the times. And the concept of the extended family is so prominent in the photo--important times in the life of America. It also reminds me of driving through that neighborhood with you looking for the house.--if I accomplish something not on my list, I add it just so I can cross it off. That may be TMI?

Mark said...

Edie, you're so right about free time becoming wasted time so often.

I think these days with your father are a blessing, in spite of the circumstances. Keep asking questions and jotting notes and just being there with him -- your example is an inspiration to the rest of us!

Take care of yourself, too, as best you can. I empathize with your situation, but more than that, I admire you for your strength and decency.

Edie Hemingway said...

Thank you all for your caring comments!

Stephanie said...

I love the photo and nothing is more important than spending time with your dad right now.