Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, June 09, 2006

It's About Time

by Kerry Blair

Next year I will be thirty-five years old—since I took weekends off. I stole that line from a movie I saw this week. The character to whom it was said did the math in his head in less than five seconds. I couldn’t do it in five days if you gave me a graphing calculator and forty-nine calendars. I’m counting on the fact that you can’t either. But math isn’t the point. The point is that considering how loooong I’ve been around, shouldn’t I have learned to use my time wisely by now?

As Latter-day Saints, we are practically obsessed with anxiously engaging in good causes. Maybe it’s subliminal. Glancing through the hymnal last Sunday I noted that as sisters in Zion, we who are called to serve are all enlisted to go marching, marching forward because the world has need of willing men to all press on scattering sunshine. We wonder if we have done any good in the world today because we have been given much and want to do what is right, keep the commandments, press forward with the Saints, choose the right, and put our shoulders to the wheel going where He wants us to go. However, as the morning breaks high on the mountain top, truth reflects upon our senses, and while we still believe that sweet is the work, we also realize that we have work enough to do ere the sun goes down. And thus we ask Thee ere we part, where can we turn for peace?

Peace for me would be a reassurance that I am choosing the right things. For instance, in the time it will take me to write this blog I could write a page of a new novel, read twenty pages of scripture, iron six of my husband’s shirts, run ancestral names through TempleReady, weed my garden, compose a sonnet, watch three innings of baseball, write my congressmen, do yoga, drive one-third of the way to the Mesa Temple, babysit for my ill neighbor, exchange e-mail with friends, bake bread, write in my journal for posterity, bathe the dog, brush the cat, clean the fishbowl, or cure cancer.

Okay, that last one is about as likely as ironing my husband’s shirts. (I threw them both in to see if you were paying attention.) But the rest of the list is plausible and it goes on and on. The thing is, I’d like to do all those things (okay, most of them) and more. Unfortunately, I’ve developed an annoying habit of sleeping seven hours a day. No matter what I do in the remaining seventeen, I tend to feel guilty about what I don’t do.

And sometimes I feel guilty about what I do do—even when I’m trying to choose the right. Remember that movie I mentioned watching? I should also have mentioned that while I watched it I copied the Ten Commandments onto eight 1’x2’ pieces of sandstone. (That’s eighty commandments, by the way. I think I’ve got them down now. I shalt not make a graven image of the frog. I shalt not covet Jeff’s spot on the bestseller list. I shalt not kill Rob. Have I missed anything important?) The guilt comes in wondering, “Now that I’ve done all that commandment copying, do I have a stack of memorable handouts for my Primary class—or a sandstone monument to a colossal waste of two hours?”

In another thirty-five years—still taking off weekends and major holidays—maybe I’ll have this time management thing figured out. I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, if you have any ideas of your own, I’d love to hear them. In the time it would take me to read your comment I could fold a load of laundry or clean the toilet—and I certainly don’t want to do that!


11 Comments:

At 6/09/2006 4:37 PM, Anonymous TCR said...

I like the thing with the hymns. Can I use it?

 
At 6/09/2006 6:28 PM, Anonymous AR said...

Try saying "May I?" and maybe she'll agree.

 
At 6/09/2006 6:49 PM, Blogger JWH said...

Love it, love it! Awesome blog today. How nice it is to be reminded that I'm not the only one who feels overwelmed at times with the 'must do' list.

 
At 6/10/2006 11:19 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Considering that I "steal" lines from movies, tcr, you can (may & probably should)steal anything you want from me. (And in your case, "Mother, may I?" might work even better.)

Thanks for the comments, but they were so short I still had time to fold laundry. Sigh.

 
At 6/11/2006 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent blog! I loved it.

 
At 6/14/2006 7:00 PM, Anonymous Krystina Dalton said...

Ok, I'll leave a longer comment so that you can feel justified in ignoring another heap of laundry. (better late than never, right?)
Anyway, I loved your blog! I look forward to your posts every week because you are so witty and personable!

I've read This Just In (one of my all time favorite books) and Mummy's the Word, and LOVED them both. You are a fantastic writer. Keep it up!

 
At 6/15/2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Krystina, THANK YOU! (Sorry it took me so long to reply. I don't usually check the comments after the first day or so.) Today I'm glad I did!

And I love your name! May I steal it?

 
At 6/15/2006 9:38 PM, Anonymous Krystina Dalton said...

Thanks Kerry, I'm quite fond of the name myself ;) Feel free to steal it for whatever purposes you may have for it. (I must say, its an honor when Kerry Blair wants to steal something of yours.)

 
At 6/16/2006 10:05 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

You might think it's an honor, Krystina, but that will all change when Kerry steals your VCR. I learned that lesson the hard way.

 
At 6/16/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Rob, since my kids have thrust me into the DVD era, I'll be happy to lob a VCR at you the next time I see you. (No, really, it will be my pleasure.)

Krystina, you just have to ignore Robison Wells. That or read (and re-read) his books. I have a hard time deciding which to do myself...

 
At 6/16/2006 3:37 PM, Anonymous Krystina Dalton said...

Kerry, feel free to my old VCR as well :) Its not too big to throw with some accuracy, but big enough to bonk Rob pretty well.

Rob, you'll be pleased to know that I have read and loved both of your books and am eagerly awaiting The Counterfeit. (So after Kerry decks you with a VCR, you can sign my books.)

 

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