Tag Archives: stress

Not Enough Hours in the Day


I’m frustrated.  I really want to get more balance in my life–to have the life I imagine on a daily basis, where there is time in the afternoon for a cup of tea or time in the morning to sit and read the paper.  But I’m starting to think that my problem may not be mine.  It may just be a matter of mathematics!  Let’s consider the numbers!

If you figure there are 7 days in a week, and each day has 24 available hours, that’s 168 hours allotted to us each week.  If you take away 40 hours for work, minimum, you get 128 left, but I would have to add in an extra five a week, at least, for the extra hours that go into work each week.  So, that brings us to 123.  Then, if you figure tht most normal people (myself excluded) spend at least 40 hours sleeping during the work week and 20 on the weekend, that brings our remaining hours to 63.  (And I have to take off the same number of hours here, since I never do a damn thing in the middle of the night that could be considered either balanced or productive–and I would be sleeping, if only I knew how!).


Next, if you take off 21 hours/week for meals (3 hours/day, since I’m including prep time, eating time, and cleaning up time), that brings us to 42–(or, 44, if you add an hour or two back for the mornings where your daughter is eating her bowl of cereal and bananas in the car on the way to school!).


If you figure you drive at least an hour per day just going places–school, work, the grocery store, to pick up someone somewhere–plus there’s got to be at least another hour per day spent doing stupid stuff that you have to do to get through life, such as calling to make doctor’s appointments (or to apologize for forgetting your doctor’s appointment) or working on your taxes or filling out the damn FAFSA or answering some stupid survey on the phone that you picked up because you don’t have Caller ID and then felt sorry for the poor college student asking the questions, you can take off another 14, leaving 28.  And then, you might try taking off an hour a day for exercise, if you are really driven, but let’s say you’re normal and average only about 4 hours a week, on a good week, so now you’re at 24.  And you’ve got to take about five extra hours off on the weekend to catch up on everything you couldn’t do during the week, so you end up at about 19. Continue reading Not Enough Hours in the Day

In Praise of Vacations and the Beach

Thanks to my loving sister, who let us use her beachfront cottage, I am staying at the beach at Emerald Isle this week with my family.  It is too cold to sunbathe.  Too cold to walk on the beach.  Way too cold to swim (although my youngest daughter insists on jumping in every afternoon).  So, it doesn’t sound like much of a vacation.

But it’s heaven.

Here’s my schedule: I wake up with the sunrise in the morning and go out and sit on the deck, watching the ocean, maybe sipping a cup of decaf coffee.  A little bit later, after the family wakes up, I have some breakfast, lovingly prepared by someone other than myself (beach vacations include freedom from cooking!).  Then, I take a morning walk on the beach, stopping every now and then to pick up a shell or pat a passing dog.  When I get back to the cottage, I might read a book for a while or do an acrostic puzzle from the book my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day.  Then, what do you know, it’s time for lunch!  One of the kids is on lunch duty, so I wait to eat what they prepare.  Later in the day, I might sit on the deck for a little longer–or take another walk–depending on my energy.

Josie in the Water


Sometimes, I take a nap in the afternoon, listening to the sounds of the waves breaking on the beach and the seagulls flying around, calling to each other.  I’m often hungry here–something about the ocean air!  So I have to be careful about not eating, eating, eating, every spare minute.  I’ve been good so far.

Double Rainbow at the Beach


Later in the afternoon, I read my book again–or write–or have another walk.  It’s difficult sometimes to choose!  There are no phones ringing.  No emails to be answered, since I don’t look at them.  No places to go or people to see.

Then, before you know it, it’s time for dinner, once again prepared by someone else, followed by a board game with everyone or, perhaps, a rented movie on the t.v., with popcorn.  Then, time to go out on the deck and look at the stars before climbing into bed.

There are ways to spend lots of money down here.  We could go go-carting or eat at fancy seafood restaurants or take a ferry over to Ocracoke Island for the day.  But why bother?  We’ve got the ocean out our front door, carrying away months and months of stress each morning and lulling us to sleep each night.  Oh, and did I mention the moon over the ocean at night?

I recommend it to all women over 50!