Not enough hours in the day…

May 26, 2023 | 2 comments

My “state of the art” electric typewriter on which I wrote a series of social studies texts in the early 1970s.

It seems to me that I get less done as the days go by, even though I have cut out a good number of activities as the years have passed.  First and foremost, I’m retired from teaching.  By my calculations that should give me at least ten hours per day (yes, ten) every weekday and often three or four hours on each of the weekend days.  Plus I wrote a series of K-5 text books subsequently adopted by the State of California to be used by every child K-5 child in public schools.  Admittedly, all his was back in the dark ages before technology made things easier and faster.  (Or does it?)

And I now have help in the garden so I’m not slogging around in the flower beds except for the occasional Slug Patrol or Deer Fence duties.  I don’t have  help in the house — never have had in this house — but I go by my mother’s mantra — “An old place like this (built in 1869) wouldn’t feel like home without a little patina of dust.”

Oysterville Schoolhouse — 100 years old in 2008

Plus I’ve given up any duties with Oysterville organizations — volunteer or otherwise.  And The Community Historian Project has turned a corner and is not based upon 15 weekly half-day classes.  I am hoping that our fledgling plans for a monthly History Forum at the Oysterville School September through May will not require too much of my non-existent time.

So… my question is:  what has become of all those hours in my life.  I seem to be busy all the time — tidying up, writing, researching, tidying some more.  But I fail to see very much actually accomplished.

Christmastime or anytime is rocking chair time these days!

I seem to remember my mother telling me now and then that my eyes were bigger than my stomach — reminding me, of course, to eat up everything on my plate or, more importantly, not to take so much next time.  Maybe there is an expression that relates to getting things done.  Perhaps, “My expectations exceed the realities of time and energy.”  Or, more likely, “Cut yourself some slack, old lady.”  Hmm.  Words to ponder.


  1. Caroline Miller

    We are enjoying parallel lives, Sydney, and experiencing parallel thoughts. My Facebook page overflows with reports from others who travel, or have newly returned from a play or dinner with friends. By compairson, my world has imploded, not because of age, but by design. I’m turning inward, it seems– after teaching, heading a Labor union, and serving in politics. In these witing years, I travel an inner world. Some of my thoughts are surprising. Those worth sharing, like you, I publish in my WriteAway blog, exposing each insight with enthusiasm, like a child cuping a shiny stone in both hands.

    Old age is a remarkable time of discovery. I sit relaxed in my rocking chair as my mind explores the universe.

    • sydney

      I love peeking at that shiny stone through your eyes, Caroline! Your “inward outlook” is a wonderful balance to my occasional feeling that I’ve lived too long and had too many glimpses at a future I won’t be able to help fix… Thank you! Sydney


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