Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Reflections by Christine Duncan

It's natural to evaluate how you're doing around this time of year. I like to take the time to figure out what went well and what could have been improved on. But the key phrase there is "like to take the time."

Time is an astonishingly expensive luxury anymore.

Not so very long ago, I was in the middle of a run, (it must have been a weekend, I was at the park) when I decided to stop in the middle of a bridge just to look at the water. I live in one of the smaller suburbs of Denver and have done so for a number of years. So I know a lot of folks and run into many of the same people at the grocery, and the library and the park. So when I was on that bridge, I wasn't surprised when a lady I know by sight came by. I was surprised by what she said. She had never before seen me not in motion.

Whoa. I had to think about that. Because this lady has seen me around and about for years. At that park. At church. Around town.

I tend to try to multi-task On my morning runs, I pray. But I also plan my work outfit and my day, figure out what is for dinner, sometimes run a total in my head of what is left in the checkbook. When I'm in the car, I brush my hair and put on make-up (the latter only at red-lights.) I might peel a banana left over from my hurried breakfast and eat it. I make lists for the grocery store and fill out deposit slips for the bank.

Work is eight full hours of multi-tasking and then when I'm home, I'm constantly trying to fit just one more thing in. When I'm cleaning house, I listen to a book on tape or try to catch up with friends on the phone. I eat my breakfast, while I make my lunch for work and put my contacts in. It's probably efficient. I think.

The thing is, I don't really feel like I've accomplished more. What's that silly quote? Something about the hurrier you go, the behinder you get? Two days before Christmas, some one asked if I was ready. I guessed I might be February. And that is the way this past year has gone.

Last year, I had a ton of resolutions. Write one page on my WIP before I went to bed. Do one promo item a day. Organize my research.

This year--I'm cutting back. Literally. I'm looking for all the things I can cut. So I can take the time to stop on that bridge. And maybe have a conversation with that lady again. Take the time to write and enjoy it. Take the time to spend with my friends and family.

Sigh. I think I might have resolved this one before though. Bad habits take a while to break.

Christine Duncan is the author of the Kaye Berreano mystery series. Safe House, the second in the series is available now.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I too am a multi-tasker, though I've slowed down a bit with age. And now, I find I forget sometimes what I started with and need to go back to--like moving the laundry along.

Good post.


Jean Henry Mead said...

What's the old saying, Christine? "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get?" I'm also a multi tasker but I'm learning to put off until tomorrow what I don't have to do today.