I should be golfing today. Tuesday morning golf is just for the women members at my club and I try to participate as much as possible. It’s an opportunity to mingle with a truly lovely group of women of all ages, get to know them better, and work on my game which, ahem, can certainly use some help.
I should be there … but I’m not …
The problem is TIME and the enormous “to do” list that manifests itself as a messy pile of post-it notes stuck on my calendar.
I’ve got a guest post to write plus this post for my blog along with some books to send to giveaway winners – whose enthusiasm and excitement at winning a copy of my book makes me feel like a million dollars, by the way!
Then there are some submission forms to fill out and send as it is time to enter The Promise of Provence in book award competitions. (The Bridge Club did well in past years and I’m excited to see what happens with The Promise of Provence. ) So this also involves trips to my friendly and efficient PostNet office to send off the books … and gulp at the cost of postage these days. Sheesh! Never mind! It is what it is. More pieces of paper for my expense file!
I’ve got to pay attention to the business side of writing and record information that so far is sitting in an untidy stack of receipts, invoices, and assorted bits and pieces of papers like, for example, boarding passes and hotel receipts from the RWA conference. I used to be very organized about filing things like that but since I entered into the world of writing, I appear to have misplaced that skill. I have got to get it back!
I considered taking a photo of my desk to include in this blog but it’s way too
embarrassing. When I look at it, it feels just like the desk in this picture. Seriously! I am going to clean it up completely today. That’s a promise. I will post that photo.
Then of course there is social media. I usually spend the first hour of my morning taking care of that and making certain I connect with the amazing online writing community that is such an important and valued and appreciated part of my life now. That “first hour” I mentioned often turns into several … or more … so much to do, so much great information to read and discover.
Did I mention I’ve begun writing my next book? I’m still in shock about that! I thought I would have a few months to kick back, read and get organized before I started into a new novel. Here’s the thing … the absolutely fabulous thing that inspires and motivates writers … I’ve received so many emails from wonderful readers asking when the next book is coming that I knew I had to get down to it.
So I am. And I am loving it. It’s exciting for me to see what is happening to my characters too! I will spend a few hours at that today as well. I don’t need to mention the time it involves. Thank goodness I have a supportive husband … that’s all I need to say about that …
Oh, I almost forgot, part of today I am going to spend making chocolate-dipped strawberries to take to my local indie book store, A Novel Spot. They have invited me to do a book signing tomorrow evening and we will have “une petite fête” to celebrate The Promise of Provence being one of their top-ten best sellers this summer. It’s a wonderful thing to have booksellers that love your work. They are so appreciated!
But it’s not all about the writing. I’m staying home to take care of these things so that later this afternoon I can leave writing behind and spend several hours with The Adorables (ages 4 and 5). Grandchildren are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you are too young to even be thinking about that, just trust me.
I’m 68 and I thought this was the stage in life where there was all the time in the world to do whatever needed to be done … or whatever I wanted to do. I never had an inkling this would be what I wanted to do and I’m so incredibly glad I’m around to do it. More time in each day would be immensely helpful!
Live your life, dream your dreams, and make things happen. My golf game will just have to wait …
I’m not sure how I got from ranting about time to philosophizing about life but there you are. Gotta go attack the desk …
What are the choices you find you need to make in your life these days? Do you have any good tips for managing your time? I can use them!
First of all Wow! You don’t look close to 68!
My desk feels like that one in the photo even though it doesn’t look like that. I need to organize too.
I think you have your priorities figured out. The girls and golf will be there when you have the time. Good luck on the contest and kiss the adorables for me!
Ha! Thanks, Susie. It’s just a number, you know. I don’t feel any different than when I was 40 … seriously … and I feel blessed to be this way. One day at a time!
I’m with Susie. You do look great, Patricia. Your drive amazes me. Often, all I want to do is nap. I should have been born a cat.
I’ve considered coming back as a cat in my next life. I’m not one for naps … too many other things to do … but next time round I might feel differently. As long as I don’t have to eat that crunchy stuff …
I was so glad to read this post because I’m going through the same thing with more lists than you could shake a stick at. So, I guess it’s one step at a time and we’ll get there.
It’s interesting to watch as our writing worlds expand, isn’t it? It looks like a lot of us are feeling the same way and trying to figure out the balance of it all. I’m with you – one step at a time. My desk is looking 70% better and I think I’ll be able to post that picture in another day! 🙂
Laura Khederian says
Hi Pat! Love that you call the grandkidlets “The Adorables”…. My desk looked the like one in the photo as well, until I did an 8 hour cleaning and filing marathon this weekend. It’s still not perfect….but I can see some spots of desktop wood. Your blog post is motivating me to finish it up today – so thank you for that!
Kit Domino says
You look fab. Have to admit my desk is almost as messy but I know where every scrap of paper is! Never enough time here either. If only we could slow down the clock.
Oh Kit, I wish I could say that about every scrap of paper on mine! I passed that point quite a while ago without even realizing it. I moved my computer into another room and just kept pitching things on my desk. Never again!
Prioritize and set goals for each day. And don’t quit until you’ve crossed everything off the list.
I’m a procrastinator so maybe I should take my own advice 🙂
Good advice, Fransi. I think I’ve given it to many in our family but neglected to follow it myself since I began writing. I don’t feel like I’m procrastinating but everything takes a back seat to the writing. I bet you have found that since you began blogging … oui?
Definitely “oui” 🙂
Your are beautiful and living life to its fullest!
Thanks! We all give it the best try we can. Right?
Kitt Crescendo says
You don’t look close to 68, Patricia! As for the pile of “to-do” work on desks…I’m right there with ya!
Thanks, Kitt. I don’t feel it either … whatever that is supposed to be! Onward and upward! I did reach the tipping point with my desk though and hopefully won’t be doing that to myself again!
68? No effing way! I hope to have your energy and spunk when I hit your age. Living well is the best revenge!
I know! Yes effing way! Forget about the numbers and roll with the punches, Phil! Keep doing what you are doing!
Congratulations on “The Promise of Provence being one of their top-ten best sellers this summer.” That’s great. But, you shouldn’t be making your own treats. As the honored guest, they should bring you treats. Just sayin’!
Now back to work.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Pick what you love and forget the rest! 9 times out of 10 it can all wait.
Haha – keep in mind that is my wonderful local indie bookstore and not the NYT! . They are supplying lots of treats, no worries!
Hi Patricia, it sounds like you’re doing it right! I hope to be as busy as you are at 68 (although I could do without the cleaning of the desk, haha)! Good luck with the writing of the new book!
Thanks! I’m having a good time discovering what is happening next to my characters. Some of it is quite a surprise … even to me. That’s part of the great fun of writing fiction! Still working on the desk though …
Move to an island where “to do” list means “I will maybe (never) get around to doing that sometime before I die”
There are times that advice sounds just perfect!
Susie sent me over, and I’m glad I stopped by! You’ve given me encouragement – right about now, more time in each day would be so helpful for me, too! I’m so happy to read that at your stage in life, you’re writing and enjoying it. There’s no age limit to creativity, which you’ve so wisely reminded me of. Thanks!
Hi there and thanks for stopping by after Susie’s party. They are always so much fun! I’m glad you taken some inspiration from my post. I’ve been known to say more often than not that age is just a number. If you have a dream, go for it!
Jackie Cangro says
I just came over from Susie’s place. I’m
Congrats on starting your next book! I’ve just started my next novel, but I had to put the writing on pause while I edit the first one. I’m almost done editing and I can’t wait to get back to writing. I know what you mean about having a full plate.
Sometime soon I hope there will be a clear desk!
Hi there! Susie and her parties are the best, aren’t they? I love making the connections that I do through her. Congratulations on your writing too. When are you releasing your first novel. Are you indie or trad? I’m still working on my desk and I’m not posting again until I can put up a photo showing the deed is done!
Susie sent me to say hello to you! 🙂
I’d love to have choices i today’s world! We may think we have but at times they are merely a compromise!
Regarding managing time, can’t say it’s a god tip, but has worked for me. I prioritize my tasks, and take care of the ones that has immediate impact and procrastinate on the other ones and half of them auto resolve. And yes, two hours of daily free time is usually on my priority task list
Hi there! Don’t you love Susie and her parties? Always a good time! It sounds like you have a good handle on managing your time. Bravo! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m going off to check out your blog now.
Brenda Moguez (@BrendaMoguez) says
This is going to sound wrong, but it’s not meant to.. you look hot for 68. Write to More Magazine and tell them your story. I don’t think there is every enough time to do the things we need do. Sometimes a little ranting is necessary to make it through the day.
Patricia Sands says
Haha! Thanks, Brenda … for the hot compliment and the tip about More. I’m not familiar with it. A little rant now and then is a very good thing, you are right about that!
Gina (@Endestruction) says
It’s always comforting to know that many of us share similar struggles as we try to balance everything out. I usually start my networking and catching up with the online community in the wee hours of the morning. I start work at noon so I try to wake up by 530am just so I can have enough time to do it all, or at least try! And somehow, this still isn’t enough time since there is also the AM workout I have to conquer each day so my butt doesn’t drag to the ground. At night, I’m useless because when I get home from work, I just want to stuff my face, enjoy some quality time with the love of my life, and pass out. Brenda is right, you are gorgeous for 68!
Thanks for your kind words! Wow! You do have a full schedule! I am always in awe of all of you with workout commitments and day jobs. I simply don’t know how you manage it all! Kudos!
I’m right there with you, sista! Never enough time. I make lists and never get everything done. It will work itself out in its own time, though. I don’t stress about this stuff now but would really love to be granted a 30 hour day and enough energy to accomplish all the work and fun stuff in that time. Your energy is enviable, Patricia. I know you’ll catch up and get it under control. So happy your local store is so great at promoting you! What a treat! And speaking of treats, I’d love to be your taste tester for those strawberries. I know your age but your energy and outlook defy that number. Enjoy your grandkids!
Patricia Sands says
Marcia, we should compare lists sometime! But you are right, everything works out. My local store is fabulous and our “fête” was good fun and well received. Chatting with readers is the best inspiration to get back to the WIP! *sending virtual fraises au chocolat*
sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says
Patricia – What a marvelous, fun and open post. I love reading post that feel as if they flow from the authors pen (keyboard) without a single thought. All of your do, but there’s something that rings downhome about this one. Perhaps I’ve always imagined your desk was a beautiful glass top without a thing out of place and heavens, there couldn’t be a crumb on the floor anywhere. The best thing I did for myself when I retired was to do away with the ‘to do list.’ That list ruled my world and made life miserable. I do the sticky note thing and we get along just fine. Wonderful post.