Midway Through

July 1 marks the halfway point.  There are only six months left in the year.

The remainder of the year will slip through our fingers faster than we can imagine. (I’m still shaking my head, wondering where the first half went.)

School kids have one more month of summer vacation, and, then the school year will start and the rush toward Christmas and the new year will begin.

July 1 is the beginning of the ending.

July 1 is also the beginning of new opportunities and possibilities.

Look back quickly over the past 6 months.  Just a quick look, don’t linger.  Your future is not found in your past.

Did you accomplish all you intended? Did you change all you’d hoped? Did you head in the direction desired?

Do you need a fresh start?

Today offers that opportunity to finish well.

Pick one thing from your “I hope to accomplish this year” list and make that your focus. Begin today.

Debating the Sun’s Rise

Here, in Tennessee, lawmakers are debating what time the sun should rise and set.

We are five days into Daylight Savings Time and if one lawmaker has his way Daylight Savings Time will become our standard time.

That in itself poses problems, time wise, because, well…we would be a nonconformist.  And, when time (most other places) reverted back to Standard Time, the eastern portion of TN, that is in the Eastern Time Zone, would be an hour ahead of New York City.

(Lawmakers said it might need to be a time zone all its own.)

I work in Central Time.  My office is in Mountain Time. The home office is in Eastern European Time (Daylight Savings Time doesn’t begin there until March 30).  I deal with businesses in ALL time zones in the US and conduct my business and make my phone calls appropriate to the time it is here AND there (where clients, customers and coworkers are).

Personally, I wish they would do away with Daylight Savings Time all across the board and just stick to standard time.  And, if standard time needs to be rolled back so that on the shortest day of the year the sun comes up at 6:00 a.m. (or sets at 6:00 PM) and daylight lasts until 9:00 PM on the longest day of the year – then do it.  And, do so everywhere.

This business of changing the time is for crazier birds than I.

The sun comes up when it comes up.  I like to get up with the sun and move through the day with it.  And, when the sun goes to bed, I like to see my day slow and settle into quiet for the dark hours.

Longer daylight hours means more outdoor work and greater opportunity to get it done without it impacting normal work hours.  But, with work scattered across various time zones there is no such thing as “normal work hours.”

We do what we do with what’s given us.  God provides the light at set times depending on the day and the season.  And, God’s given us the sense (well, most of us) to know that.  And, it seems to me that people who want to be active outdoors will make a way to do so by adjusting their schedules instead of their clocks.

Making more laws or changing those that exist now isn’t going to change anything other than the time on the clock.  The sun comes up and the sun goes down.  It’s not going to give us any more (or less) daylight.

We are a people of convenience. We want what we want…and what we want is more.  And, we want it at the least cost in convenience to us.

All this time and money spent debating time is ludicrous to me.

Excuse me…I’m burning daylight.

If the lawmakers want to do something that would be beneficial (to me) – figure out a way to make the sun stand still between the hours of 6:30 and 8:00 A.M.  I need that 1.5 hour time frame to stretch into at least 3 hours.

Oh, wait…that would take an act of God and even though they may think they are gods…they aren’t.

Spring Forward

It’s time…that irritating time of the year when we fall back an hour…no…wait…we SPRING forward an hour.

And, if you don’t think time change is confusing enough – check out this site:  Daylight Time.

Just setting standard time took an act of Congress.  I’m not kidding!

Personally, I say leave it one way or the other.  I’m fine with Standard Time and I’m fine with DayLight Savings Time.  Having an extra hour of light at the end of the day is nice.

However, I REALLY missed the sun waking me this morning and found it extremely hard to crawl out of bed at 7.  My mind insisted it was far earlier.

Let’s just put it on War Time and leave it that way.

Fall Back Sunday

If you awoke this morning to find the world marching to the beat of a different drummer, it’s probably because you forgot to set your clocks back.

Daylight Savings Time expired at 2:00 AM. This is Fall Back Sunday.

Standard Time is now in effect.

That’s “real time,” not government time.  It gets us up early and puts us to bed early.  It encourages a natural rhythm…one in sync with nature and natural living. It’s the way things were way back when…back before we got smarter than God.

While I don’t look forward to streetlights coming on at 4:30 PM, I do look forward to the rising sun peeking in my bedroom window and waking me gently before my blaring alarm sounds.

Like you, I’ve grown accustomed to having more light at the end of my day and have adjusted my life and the living of it to make the most of it.  Now, I’ll have to adjust again as daylight fades an hour faster today than it did yesterday.

That “extra” hour of daylight that was tacked at the end of the day will now come at the beginning.  And, most days this winter that early hour of daylight will be too cold to allow for any outside activities.  So, as far as daylight and outside activities go…it will be a wasted hour – at least for me.

If the government really wanted to do it up right, it seems that saved hour of daylight should fall about noon or mid afternoon. …just sayin’.

Personally, I think they should just leave it alone….  As it is right now, most of the year is spent saving daylight (8 months) and if having daylight at the end of a work/school day is such a good idea (and apparently it is), then why not continue it into the dark days of winter?

Kids like to get outside and play in the winter, too. At least Brother and I did. If you’re required to be home before the streetlights come on, Daylight Savings Time extends play time and gives opportunity to be outside, active and away from the TV and sugary snacks.

I say – choose one or the other and leave it alone. This business of springing forward and falling back wearies me. Some change is inevitable.  But, this change is unnecessary.

My natural tendency is to march to nature’s cadence…my body in tune to the beat and rhythm of nature – up with the sun and to bed with the sun.  Perhaps your preference is to march in time to the government’s decreed cadence which promises a lot and provides a little and then expires when it’s most needed.

Excuse me…I see a clock that’s still saving time…I need to run it back and get back that hour it was saving.

Make Time Productive

In the Nashville Tennessean (Saturday, September 21, 2013), there was an article on making time productive by Mridu Parikh.

I didn’t have time to read it when I saw it, so I set it aside to read later.

Two weeks have passed and, to be honest, I’ve not read it yet even though it lies 2 feet from me, open wide and inviting me to invest time in saving time.

Okay, okay…give me a minute and I’ll look at it.

I started to read her intro, but got bogged down…my fault, not the writer’s.  I want quick answers that will save me time.

Here are the high points offered in the article.

  • Getting the most done each day comes down to making choices.
  • Step No. 1: Take a goal inventory
  • Step No. 2: Keep a time log
  • Step No. 3: Purge!

I hesitated a bit when I typed “Keep a time log.”  Why?  Keeping a time log takes extra time and extra time is one thing I don’t have an abundance of these days.

So, I took a moment to read that one section.  Here’s what she says.

  • Evaluate how you’re spending your time and days.
  • Keep a diary of everything you do for one week to determine how you’re really spending your hours.
  • Look for time that could be used more wisely.
  • How many hours were you on Facebook or surfing the Web?
  • How many hours did you spend on things that were not related to your top four priorities?

Hmm…that spoke to me.

And, it tells me that I need to invest the time and start at the beginning of the article and see what’s said about goal inventory and purging.

Perhaps you would like to read it, too.  You can here.

To learn more about organization, visit Life is Organized.

I set up a Google calendar on my gmail months ago. I’ve begun using it to account for my time and to keep myself accountable. It’s amazing the time it takes….

October 1

Has it truly been a month since Hubby and I walked through the Farmer’s Market?

30 days have passed?

September is gone?

Must I turn the calendar page yet again? It seems only yesterday….

30 days spent and what do I have to show for them?

What change has been made?

What good has been done?

What’s new in my life?

What old has been tossed?

How have I grown?

31 fresh calendar days mark October.

If God gives me strength for each day, how will I invest the time offered me? And, how will I fill each day with only that which matters?

Time to Change Time

I woke this morning at my usual time.  Light through my window was muted.

“Cloudy,” I assumed. “Wonder if it rained.”

A quick peek through the blinds revealed sparkles of dew upon the grass but everything else was dry.

Day was late dawning.

Sunlit hours grow minutes fewer with each day that passes now.  At first I noticed it most in the evening. But, now each morning is a little darker when I rise.

I miss the sun streaming into my bedroom window, wakening me and teasing me to get up and experience the day.

It’s time to change time.

Sun up at 5:30 a.m. sounds good to me.  And, sun down at 8:30 p.m. sounds good as well.  As sunlit hours diminish from 15 plus to barely 10 these next few months, we need to find a way to pack more time into the sunlit hours.

15 hours of living crammed into 10 hours of daylight.  Shouldn’t be impossible.  The government already tells the sun when to get up and when to go down.  Surely something can be done to make the 10 day lit hours of Winter more productive.

Here’s what I propose.  When Daylight Savings Time ends in a couple of months, let’s go on Daylight Investment Time.  We’ve saved all that daylight since, when, March?  Well let’s make it work for us now instead of us working for it.

Hours from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. will be 120 minutes long.  That means instead of sleeping 8 hours, we will sleep only 4. (But the wonderful thing about Daylight Investment Time is that we will feel as refreshed as if we’d had 8 hours of sleep.)

Hours from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. will be 60 minutes long and will give us 3 hours to get up, get ready for work/school, arrive and settle in…normal schedule.

Hours from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. will be 30 minutes long – instead of having 7 hours of productive daylight hours, there will be 14. (What a boost that would be to the economy – all that money coming into paychecks and all that spending….)

Hours from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. will be 60 minutes long to allow time to slow down, settle down…wind down after all we’ve accomplished/achieved in the past 14 hours – and, of course, to allow for TV viewing.

14 productive daylight hours – not bad for dark winter days.  And, with three hours mentioned previously (that are usually sun lit) – 7 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. – there will be a minimum of 17 hours of daylight with the Investment system during the short days of Winter.  That’s two hours more than the 15 hours offered during the long days of Summer with the Savings system.

A quick tally reveals a total of 27 hours.  How’s that for investing time saved? Not only do you have more daylight hours at your disposal during the short days of Winter, but the days are extended by 3 hours.

And, you still wake up feeling refreshed in the morning!

Daylight Investment Time = longer days, more productivity, greater focus….

Yep.  I say it’s time we stop saving time and start investing it.

Behind Schedule

I slept two hours later than usual.

Body was tired and mind…well…she needed a rest, too.  Last week was a busy week and I’d not slowed down at all, or allowed myself to recover from a day filled with grass and hedge cutting in bright sunlight with a temp of 95 humid degrees. Day after day I pushed myself.

Push on. Push through.  Get it done.  That’s my mantra.

Sometimes that’s good.

Sometimes that’s not so good.

I over did and now I’m overdone.  Body said, “Enough.” And when she says she’s had enough, I don’t have a choice but to obey her.

It frustrates me when my body demands rest.  But, I remind myself that there are things more important than getting the job done.

Taking care of myself is one of those things.

Being kind to my body and mind is not a selfish or frivolous activity.  It’s necessary and beneficial – to me and to others around me.

So what if I’m behind schedule.  I create my schedule.  I punch my own time clock.  No one even knows I’m behind schedule but – ME.

So…why don’t I schedule in a little “me” time to ensure I get the rest/recovery time I need?

Good question…and one I don’t have an answer to.

Apparently, until now I’ve not thought it important enough to make sure I schedule regular maintenance on the engine that drives this force called “ME.”

With regular maintenance, this body is less likely to break down and this mind is more likely to remain sharp.

Makes sense – take care of the body and the mind and they take care of “ME.”

Hmm, perhaps I’ve not thought “ME” important enough to schedule “me time.”

What about you?  Do you schedule in a little “you time” each day to keep yourself in tip-top shape physically, emotionally/mentally and spiritually?  If not, why not?

My day calls to me – time is slipping away.  Before I answer, I’m heading to my Google calendar and schedule in a little “me time.”

35 years + 55 = Me

Math was not my favorite subject in school.

Perhaps the fact that I preferred to equate on my own terms had something to do with my dislike for it. 😉

My resolution to problems offered were, at times, random (or totally off the wall).  I took too much into consideration and attempted to formulate my solution based on ALL information I thought pertained to the situation, and not just on the information presented.

Here’s an example.

Question: Your age/life experience equals _______________.

My answer follows.

55 years – the years since my birth. (56 years if count begins at my conception.)

Hmmm…should I add 35 years? 35 =  the years I’ve been married and that’s added life experience.

55 + 35 = 90 (my life experience)

Oops, it’s going to take more than simple arithmetic to truly answer this question. To get an accurate total of my life experience I would need to calculate the years I worked in different fields/occupations, the lessons learned, the years I was a child, the years I mothered children (mine and others), the years I dealt with hard issues/hard people, the years I served as Pastor’s Wife, the times I’ve grieved, the time spent rejoicing….

See why I don’t like math?  It presents a problem for me that grows into something that ages me exponentially.

Arithmetic, however, is a different matter. It’s simple and straight-forward.

Question: By subtracting the year you were born from the current year, determine how old you are.

Answer: 55

I’ve done a lot of living in those 55 years – most of it I’ve probably forgotten.  And, there’s probably a mathematical equation that would explain why.

Am I interested?

Not a chance.  As long as 1+1=2, I’m good, thanks.

Telling Time

In Mom’s house there are 87+ clocks – alarm, wrist, wall, digital, atomic, pocket, coo coo, chiming, antique – you name it, she probably has it (with the exception of a Grandfather clock, but she does have her grandfather’s).

When the time changes twice a year – from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time and back again to Standard Time – time changes at Mom’s house, too.

When she and Dad were in better healthy, they changed the time on every clock in their house twice a year – at least the ones that kept time.  The clocks that didn’t keep time marked the last second they did and those of us familiar with where those clocks were knew not to count on them for telling time.

As the burden to change time grew heavier with age, they decided to change only those clocks they relied on and those that announced the time audibly with chimes or coo coos.

  • three in their bedroom (two alarm and one wall)
  • one in the spare bedroom
  • four in the kitchen
  • two in the bathroom
  • one in the half bath
  • five in the living room
  • two in the dining room (or was it three?)
  • one in the washroom
  • four in the den
  • their wristwatches
  • one in the car

That’s still a lot of clocks – and in the number above, I’ve not counted clocks on appliances, TVs, VCR/DVD players, etc.

And to those of us who visited only a couple of times a year, it could be confusing.  One tends to trust a clock to portray the correct time.  An hour off one way or the other can make life interesting – and frustrating. Add to that the fact that we were in a different time zone and our cell phones didn’t always change time as quickly as we needed them to…we didn’t know which clock to trust.

After Dad’s death last year, we moved near Mom a month or so before time fell back to Standard Time. Mom decided to change only those clocks that SHE depended on.

  • one in their bedroom
  • two in the kitchen
  • one in the bathroom
  • one in the living room
  • her wristwatch

The problem was, during the two months I had stayed with Mom after Dad’s death, and the month (or so) after our move here, I became dependent on several clocks that she apparently was NOT dependent upon.

Mom said the clocks she chose not to change reflect the correct time at some point during the year so it’s a simple task of remembering which show Standard Time and which show Daylight Savings Time.

Ha!

No longer moving between time zones, I came to trust my cell phone for time keeping and dismissed the guess-the-time game with clocks at her house.

Except for last week.

I was visiting Mom and it seemed time was moving slowly. The clock on the table beside me chimed and I dismissed the count – I’d ceased counting chimes months ago…too confusing trying to remember if this clock chimed true time or not.

The clock on the living room wall indicated 6 pm plus a few minutes. I commented to Mom that it was yet early and I was surprised…seemed I’d been there far longer than the time showed.

She asked which clock I was keeping time with and I pointed to the one on the wall – one I had become accustomed to using before time sprang forward. She, in turn, pointed to the small clock atop her TV.

It was after 7 pm and quickly moving toward half past.

A quick check of my cell phone revealed the joke was on me and that old habits die hard.

Did I change the time on the clock on the living room wall to reflect the current time?

No.

When time falls back to Standard in the Fall, it will keep the proper time until time changes again next Spring.  I’ll just remember to treat it like those that chime: ignore it and the time it offers me.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me three times and I’ll take your batteries out.