I’m often told that I pack a lot into a day. I have a lot of hobbies and interests, and my circle of family and friends is always expanding. I guess I’ve always been busy – my parents encouraged it when I was young, and being a working mom of busy kids requires a lot of running. When I look back at those years, I wonder how I managed. More often than not, I’d fall into bed bemoaning something I hadn’t had time to do that day.
After retiring I had more time for things I wanted to do. I joined a sewing circle and a second writing group. I got a gym membership and started walking more. I got out my instruments and joined first one community group, then another, then another. I attended Japanese language classes and started communicating with my cousins. It was so nice to be able to do the things I didn’t have time for when I worked full-time. But for some reason I still end each day wondering where the time went.
Back when my life moved at 90 miles an hour I used to wish for one extra hour a day. If I had an extra 60 minutes, I thought, I could finish one or two more things. My house would be more organized. I could read another couple of chapters. My to-do list wouldn’t have to be so long (yes, I made those lists back then, just like I do now). Snow days and fog days were my saving grace. The school where I taught covered about 100 square miles of mostly farmland, and when blowing snow covered them, buses couldn’t get through. In the spring, thick pockets of fog often made driving hazardous. Several times a year I’d get the great news that I didn’t have to make the twenty-mile drive to work. Of course, by the time I got that news I was already up and dressed, so I started in on my to-do list. It never failed to amaze me how much I was able to do in that extra day. It was like having two week’s worth of extra hours.
I’ve never needed much sleep, so when I have a lot to do it’s normal for me to simply stay up until things are done. But an extra hour would be a gift. I’ve got a list of things I could choose from each day (note there are seven, so each one could happen once each week!):
- Contact an old friend and chat
- Write in a journal (my scrapbooks sort of journal my life, but don’t have a lot of details I’d like to remember later on.)
- Read a book on my TBR list
- Study a lesson in my Japanese language texts and practice with my mom or cousin
- Watch one of those TV shows my kids rave about
- Walk an extra half hour, then take a relaxing hot bath
- Take a quick nap
What would you do with an extra hour each day?