Friday, January 8, 2010

Mark My Time: The Right Balance

Our school's PTO runs a reading program for the students in which they receive a reward for every 200 minutes read.  Keeping track of minutes is important for achieving these goals and I insist on making sure my son's time is calculated accurately.  While browsing at one of my favorite stores, yes a book store, this year, I found one of the best Christmas gifts for my oldest son, O.  My husband and I purchased, wrapped, and placed under the tree, a special bookmark that marks the reading time of our eager reader. 

Believe it or not, O was excited when he tore the paper to reveal his new blue and white bookmark.  You know you've been raising a reader when your child is full of joy over books and bookmarks.  This fancy contraption has 3 modes:  clock, count down, and count up.  Clearly, the clock mode is just that, a clock.  With the count down mode, you can set a certain amount of hours and/or minutes that need to be read and an alarm will go off when you have completed the time.  An orange start/stop button can be pushed if you need to take a break for any reason.  When in the count up mode, the timer counts your minutes as you read, and the start/stop button is used just as it is in the count down mode.  Needless to say, good use has been made of O's new gift since it was opened on Christmas morning.

Time is precious in this life.  While our minutes are counting up, and down for that matter, we can spend our time in so many ways.  As the clock keeps ticking and the years go by, we can accomplish an abundant amount of simple and large tasks, love tremendously, volunteer, forgive, work, vacation, enjoy hobbies, smile, laugh, and so much more.  Our time is valuable, priceless, and treasured. 

I often struggle with making the best use of my time.  Volunteering and helping others is something I'm drawn to do.  You may have heard this already, but I have a hard time saying "no."  Maybe I have a target on my head, or more likely my heart, but I feel dedicated to serving others.  Ummm no!  That doesn't mean I'll be waiting on you hand and foot!  Seriously!  No matter how little time I have for myself, I am called to consistently do for others.  When I have to give something up, it's rare that I will step down from my self imposed, although I'm not sure how much of it really comes from myself, responsibility.  Although it frustrates my husband to see me do so at times, I would rather give up some of my own time.  Over the past year however, I have made a commitment to taking more time for myself.  Which is one of the reasons I started to blog.

Blogging is many things for me, two of those things being: a creative outlet and a connection to others.  Since I've began, I have struggled with the right balance for a blogging schedule and taken time off for vacations, sick days, and family.  As 2010 is now upon us, I am once again altering my blogging days to search for a bit more balance.  If I continue to juggle the amount of balls that I have accumulated, I'm liable to drop the entire load.  Attempting to ignore that self-imposed guilt, do be quiet please, I made the decision to drop Friday and only blog on Monday & Wednesday. 

My WIP, aka work in progress, is desperate for more attention and is pushing the self-imposed guilt out of the way like a playground bully.  Writing tools are calling out to me and begging to be held, and not left idle and alone.  Characters in my story are tossing bottled notes into the ocean of my mind, hoping that they will be discovered in my notebook.    Apparently, all three agree that Friday is the most relaxing and creative day of the week to ignore responsibility and wade into the murky unknown waters of that ocean in my mind.  Personally, I think they just want to learn to surf!  I mean really, who could blame them?  It does look like a fun adventure.  Who knows, maybe they'll find the time and ability to ride a big wave into a long weekend of writing.  As long as everyone keeps their balance.


  1. I think everyone is reassessing their time and cutting down. Glad your WIP will get the love it needs. :O)