What do you wish you had more time to do each day?
Now this is an interesting question, one that threatens to send me off in philosophical directions…
I lead a busy life. Nobody who knows me would ever argue about that. The farm keeps me pretty busy, I write at least one book a year, I work as a freelance publicist, review books, lead workshops, give school presentations, perform as a storyteller, do occasional radio appearances, and, most recently, have started recording audio books.
Of course, there are certain tasks that need to be dealt with on a semi-regular basis – feeding the dogs, laundry, putting out the recycling, eating every two hours because I’m always ravenous…so you’d think that after all that there wouldn’t be a lot of time left over for hobbies.
And, you’d be right. Hobbies are exactly what I’d love to have more time for each day.
A number of years ago I made my first quilt. This first effort was entirely hand pieced, quilted, and finished – it is full of mistakes and has a bit of a random feel to it, but I don’t think I could have made one that was much farmier…
I have stacks of UFOs [unfinished objects] lurking around in various boxes and bins, piles of neatly cut triangles and rectangles and wedges and whatevers all waiting to be assembled into more quilt tops.
And quilts are not my only weakness. I love fiber (remember the cashmere goats?) and would love to knit something again. The last completed project in that genre was a super cute baby hat for my daughter. That would be the same daughter who is getting married next summer (oy!)
Spinning looks pretty cool – I have sheep, those sheep produce fleeces, and I would LOVE to make a pair of socks from start to finish!
And all those books – remember them? Even if I didn’t indulge in any of my other many passions, I could be reading from now until I tumble into my grave and be quite happy.
I enjoy going to plays, musical performances, and the ballet. Long hikes (like days long, requiring hiking boots and a backpack) are awesome! Travel of any kind, really, is something I’d love to do more of, but as you can imagine, getting away is, at the moment, somewhat tricky.
Photography, writing, sailing, baking, going to great restaurants, improving my driving skills [as in horsedrawn cart driving], designing and building my fancy treehouse/cob goat palace/gypsy vardo are all things I would happily do more of if only the days were longer! And dancing – and yoga – and making music – and being in a choir… sigh. Life is, seriously, too short. Because I didn’t even mention the garden, or seed-saving, or starting a co-op farm/farm school, or WOOFING my way around the world, or the fact I have always wanted to learn to weld.
I’ll stop there, not because I am at the end of my list of things I would do with a longer day but because this particular day is coming to an end. I write these blog entries at night after I’ve shoe-horned in as much as possible into my waking hours and at some point, I just have to turn off the lights and roll into bed.
What is strange, though, is that despite the fact there is always more I could be doing in any given day, I am rarely discontented [philosophical musing alert! I knew it would come to this!] I think that’s because whatever it is I happen to be doing – on the farm, in my writing work, or during those rare evenings when I actually do indulge myself and busy myself with a hobby, I am completely involved in whatever it is that’s right in front of me.
If I’m quilting, I’m not thinking about milking the goat. When I’m milking the goat I’m not fretting about getting the fence done around the new garlic bed. When I’m hiking up the hill hauling a cart full of water vessels because all my hoses are frozen, I’m not planning what I’ll write in an email to my editor.
Maybe it’s by allowing each moment in the day to be full and complete in itself that somehow it doesn’t bother me that it isn’t humanly possible to get to every item on my list before I croak. Maybe we have exactly the right number of moments each day and the trick is not to want to do more or something else but to enjoy each moment as it comes.