School has started! I now have FOUR GLORIOUS HOURS of uninterrupted grownup time every day where before I had to fight and beg and bribe for every minute of practice and reed work and thought that I got. I’m already planning my approach.
I read a book this summer: Laura Vanderkam’s “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think”. I’m not exactly recommending it – there are plenty of spectacular productivity books out there and this was not at all one of the best – but I was inspired by her way of considering the week in terms of total hours – so that you can decide how to spend your time over a longer block than a day or an hour.
It’s a little bit obvious – that if a week is composed of 168 hours you can choose how to spread your work and life out within that time, and plan hours for sleeping, working out, cooking, and DOING GOOD WORK. But somehow I’ve never thought of it that way – as a big chart instead of a little one. I often feel bad if I don’t get to practice, run, write, cook, and catch up on laundry and emails every single day, on top of teaching and orchestra work, but over time everything eventually does get done. It would relax me to remember that the 45 minutes I am practicing today and the 2 hours I got in yesterday are all coming together to make up a good week’s worth of productive time.
During the summer it was hard to predict how my day would go. I can plan ahead all I want but if Zoe is determined to bother me or is having a cranky day I can’t always get past her to everything I want. Steve has his own work to do, and I can only justify so much TV in her life. Often my day becomes one of responding to only the most urgent emails in my box between four-year-old demands, and arguing about the relative proportions of macaroni to veggies on a plate.
Now, though, with good, productive morning work behind me I can enjoy my daughter in the afternoons. We can eat together, go for a walk, talk about her day which was DIFFERENT FROM MINE. Interact like people who like each other.
And I have so much that I can’t wait to work on! A stack, many inches thick, of exciting recital music. A budget and website and programming for my new chamber music series. ALL of the student scheduling that has to happen at this time of year. Loads of blog topics that I have contemplated and just haven’t gotten to. The introvert in me is rejoicing at the possibilities.
Life is good – but it’s about to be so much better.
1 thought on “Time!”
Hello! I recently came across your blog and your thoughts have resonated with me. I'm originally from GR, MI, a recently returned graduate student and mom of 3 kids, a runner and deeply in over my head. I love this post, you have articulated well the challenge of balance and TIME. I love the idea of the 'bigger picture.' Thanks for sharing!
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