Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 201: I'm taking a smoke break

This sign pretty much sums up why I have, at times, complained bitterly about work life. Lately, the moment I get one job completed, another one arrives in my office. Sometimes within seconds. Often these jobs "Have to get out by the end of the day. They just have to." Really? Why? Because someone sat on it for a long time and now that it's come to a head I have fix it? Is that why?

Seems I never have time to do anything. Time to get done the writing on my advertising jobs. Time to get done writing in this blog. Time to get writing done in my morning pages. Time to practice guitar. Time to paint... you get the idea.

Lately, I've been fantasizing about throwing it all away and running off to Europe for awhile. A friend of mine asked me what it is about Europe that is so appealing (besides Claudio, of course). I wrote down a list in my morning pages:
  • Time to write big projects
  • Time to update my blog
  • Time to see beautiful sites
  • Time to go for long walks
  • Time to practice my guitar
  • Space to think
Notice a pattern here? 

So underneath wanting to run away is the root issue, which is about wanting more time. If I figured out how to get more time or to manage my time more effectively (thank you Rotation and Balance for noticing this on Day 191), I wouldn't need to haul myself anywhere. (Very Wizard of Oz of me.)

As if to prove my point, I came across this longish quote from Letters to an Artist by Julia Cameron:
"It is remarkable how much we can get done once we get rid of the fantasy of time. We will never have unlimited time in which to make art. Our time will always be limited and sometimes severely; by accepting that unpleasant given, we get a great deal accomplished. The year that I wrote my best-selling book, I was teaching full-time on two separate faculties and I was deeply involved with my family. My daughter was having a "bumpy" year, and that took a lot of time and attention to try to straighten out. In order to write my book I set aside fifteen minutes a day, hoped to stretch it to forty-five, and aimed at the rough draft of one short chapter per week. Instead of making my work fragmented, this system seemed to make it cohesive. I probably wrote better in that period than I have in many others, and it was all because I resolved to use well the little time I had."
It's that last line... because I resolved to use well the little time I had... ya, that's the one I've got to work on. So as of today, I've incorporated a few smoke breaks in my day. I don't smoke, but giving myself a few minutes here and there to begin carving out the time I crave might give me a little taste of Europe in my own backyard.


  1. That Rotationandbalance.blogspot.com is one smart cookie. Also Julia Cameron's advice is dead on - carve out a little bit of time each day to set your creative self free. It's like instead of making one huge deposit, you can save a little at a time just like Suze Orman says. Oh, wait a minute...never mind.

  2. I love your new picture. Love. I had a professor in college teaching a management class who said goof off time or thinking time was the most important 20 minutes to schedule into the day. Shoulda remembered that.

  3. I feel like I could have written this post (including the stupid emergency project part...we seem to be having a lot of those lately).

    A few months ago, I made a list of times I wanted to pencil in every week. 30 minutes a couple times a week for one project, an hour for another. I stuck to it for awhile, but I've gone astray. And now I want to use all my free minutes for wedding planning. I guess we just have to continually remind ourselves of what our priorities are and force ourselves to put them into the time slots we allocated for other things. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I'm on day 2 of my smoke breaks. What it does is make me feel a bit Tom Waits-ish... weird.


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