Where Did All That Time Go? On Being Busy But Not Accomplishing Much

Columbia Falls, Montana, Rocky Mountains
The view as I run errands and do not get my shit done
Keeping your own agenda while not keeping your own space is not an easy thing to do.

This month in Montana – while wonderful, and notable for the lack of morning alarms being set – is more a transition than the beginning of this thing I’m doing, whatever that is.

I had promised to do whatever I could to help take care of things for my mom (who moved to a new place the day I arrived) that would normally have fallen on Susan’s already quite full shoulders. So my days were filled with errands and cleaning and packing and organizing and stuff – but not my stuff, someone else’s stuff.

And staying in a household full of other people, and therefore other people’s agendas, exerts an influence, even when not intentionally exerted. Dishes are dirty, dinners need to be prepared, various chores completed and errands run. AS I’M TYPING THIS – I received a phone call to add one more (important, necessary) thing to my list of chores today. THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

I’ve been the only adult in my household for most of the last 16 years. All chores were my chores (or those having to do with the minor child in the house – so, mine), all my agenda, all my shit and no one else’s.

The only other agendas that got in the door were those I made a point of inviting. This is not always ideal, frankly, because I tend to isolate myself. But as far as ‘who’s shit am I working on today?,’ the answer was almost exclusively ‘MINE.’

I remember – long ago and far away – living in a house with five adults and one child (mine). Most of the other adults were either working or in school. As the only adult with free time during the day and a vehicle, it fell to me to do the chores and errands for ALL the adults in the house. It was easy to have an entire week go by where nothing of my own got accomplished other than my share of the household chores.

This is not by way of complaining that I was forced/expected to do these things – no, no, no.  This is me realizing that I will have to be more disciplined about creating my own agenda and making sure it gets on the list of things that need doing while staying with other people.

It’s really easy for me to go along with those around me who have a plan, especially a plan for the upkeep and maintenance of me and those around me. Of course I have to contribute to those things. And I volunteered to do all the things regarding Mom’s apartment. But if I don’t put my own stuff (organize things for road trip, confirm crash pads for road trip, write for blog, investigate writing for cash, etc.) on the list, then three weeks can go by while NONE of those things get accomplished.

Which is basically what just happened.

I will need to get better at this if I’m going to extend this current lifestyle beyond the money in my savings account.

3 thoughts on “Where Did All That Time Go? On Being Busy But Not Accomplishing Much”

  1. And so you’re describing my life here, and why I’m (finally) in therapy: “And staying in a household full of other people, and therefore other people’s agendas, exerts an influence, even when not intentionally exerted. Dishes are dirty, dinners need to be prepared, various chores completed and errands run.”

  2. Perhaps this why some of us are happy with a more reclusive life…I can spend hours delving into a new book, a new canvas or even playing solitaire on the ‘puter! While I love to travel…staying with other’s (other than a very few select people) isn’t for me. It has come to my attention, that I love missing the ‘old days’ of kids, parents. job and wifely obligations. I love the memories and the time it all happened, but have come to enjoy my solitude between visits with family. =)

  3. This is my life. My life that I made a choice to have yet has sucked all of what makes me who I am. I wish I had a choice to leave it sometimes but I am responsible to see it to the end. In 5 1/2 years it just may all change and be completely about me. We shall see…

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