Mer, rhymes with bear (merriehaskell) wrote,
Mer, rhymes with bear

Whelm; or, Things, Up with Which I Shall Not Keep

Sometime after I ran away from home last week--which was as much a reaction to carrying on during spring break at a department of a large university that leans heavily on student assistants as though the students were not gone, as it was a reaction to finishing the latest draft of this Difficult Sophomore Novel--I realized that yes, I'm just going to have to let Some Things Slide.

And one of those Some Things is very probably the notion that I will someday catch up on things. (Less capitalized things there.)

Dayjob accounts for 29.7% of my time, between actual work, commuting, and lunch hour. I can reclaim 3% of my time for socializing or writing (lunch hour), but it would be generous to suspect that I really do, since a great deal of my lunch hour "socializing" is spent with work mates talking about work. In productive ways, even. I can reclaim another 3% (the commutes) for entertainment, as I usually absorb a podcast or an audiobook during these times, though, just as often, I'm devising strategies for work and singing at the top of my lungs. In any case, it's ironclad that this time is spent away from home and fairly rigidly split amongst these possibilities.

I also answer work email from home a fair amount, much to my husband's horror, but you know. That's what exempt status really means, right? Though this tallies to much less than 3% of my time. Probably more like 1%.

Sleep accounts for 28% of my time, which is down from 38% of my time pre-CPAP machine. So, hallelujah, time-saving device, though that's not what your true or intended purpose is. But the fact is, with fully oxygenated sleep, I rarely bank past 7 hours a night. I just--don't need to sleep anymore. I zonk out when I'm tired--and the Wall is much less negotiable now that I have proper sleep hygiene--but at the same time, I inevitably wake up 6.5-6.7 hours later, alert if not bright-eyed, and 98% of the time unwilling and unable to sleep again until the Wall comes bearing down again about 17 or 18 hours later. Miraculous.

So, another 6% of my time (if I'm low-balling it) relates to eating or planning to eat. As the main cook of the house, it's my task to get everything in the Sphere of Food accomplished, even if it's planning out a meal for someone else to execute. I get occasional, hard-won input from husband or child, but... So yeah, 10.5 hours a week is definitely low for food, but it's hard to sort that out.

I spend a mere 2% of my time on exercise. I'm working to increase that.

So, just 34% of my my life is left. Let's say... 4% to grooming. Down to 30%. During the low ebb of writing, that absorbs 8% of my time; high ebb, it's more like 20%. Sometimes 30%, when the deadlines are bearing down. Sometimes more.

That leaves 10 to 22% of my life, i.e. 2-5 hours a day (except we all know there's more time on weekends and less on weekdays), which is supposed to cover: being a friend, being a wife, being a stepmother, keeping house, putting away laundry, paying bills, taking care of finances, taking care of pets, meditation, reading for pleasure, seeing movies, watching television, calling my mother, answering fan mail, any hobbies I might want to acquire, relating to extended family, marketing books, attending conventions, and, you know, any sort of volunteer activities I might ever want to undertake. All of which has its own jumble of priorities, but too often get sorted out in crisis mode. No wonder I feel like I am failing at everything.

So, when people say, "Did you see Neil Gaiman's blog?" and I heave a surly "NO, I DIDN'T" or when people say, "Didn't you get my Facebook inbox message?" and I apologize, or when people ask why I don't keep up with an obviously superior TV show and I have to gibber and explain that if I'm going to watch TV, it's going to be a quick 22 minutes that make me laugh, not a lengthy 44 that make me think or cry... this would be a good time to just give me a hug, and not try and debate why I'm letting Some Things Slide.

It would also NOT be a good time to question why I'm spending 5% of that day's free time on Pinterest. If that happens, it's I don't have the brain capacity left for more than pinning pretty pictures. I am not one of those people who can dominate in three spheres (or more!); who can go from dayjob to writing night to demanding hobby and to second demanding hobby and not break a sweat. At best, I can pull a solid B+ in my double major, and otherwise, I'm just going to have to take the C on the rest of the core curriculum, and get an F, a W or an I on everything else.

Um. This was actually supposed to be a witty breakdown of how I spend my time, but mostly, it's just become a breakdown in every other sense of the word.

Sorry about that.
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