Friday, December 22, 2006

Just ten minutes

Have you ever experienced the ‘ten more minutes syndrome’? I’m sure you have. There are so many things that we want to do but keep putting off just because we do not have those ten minutes that are required to get them done. I tried making a list of such things and found the list rather long. I then had to shortlist a few that were important to me. I invite all of you to add to this list your own experience and help me compare notes. I do understand that while we endlessly postpone certain things, we never seem to be too busy or tired to attend to some others. I’ve never been able to fully understand why this is so. I leave it to you to come up with answers.

When I started working I was kind of baffled at the thought of cooking for the family, getting three children ready for school and reaching my workplace by public transport at seven in the morning. I managed to do all these things but I never found time to have my breakfast. If only I had ‘ten minutes more’ I’d sigh. The college timing was shifted from 7 o’clock in the morning to 8:00 AM and later to 10:30 AM. Children left home to study and have now settled down in life. I still don’t find time to sit down and have a proper meal in the morning and it is almost certain that I am never going to have the time. I drive to college and my husband has now retired. I still stuff my brunch in a hurry and choke over it. My husband fetches water and gives me a look that says ‘when are you going to learn to be organized? What were you doing since morning?’ I cannot bring myself to admit that I read the newspaper at leisure and worked on my crossword and sudoku. Or that I had a peep into my blog and read my mails. I continue to wish that I had just ‘a little more time’.

I seem to find time to do so many things but I am a bit weird in that I don’t care too much about shopping in general and for myself in particular. I keep postponing and procrastinating and although I can easily pick up the items on my shopper’s list on my way home, I rush back as if I have a two year old crying out for mommy and waiting for me to get home. I don’t seem to have time. Once I reach home and change to a more comfortable attire, nothing in the world can make me get ready to go out again. I wonder if I really managed to put in all those hours doing combined study during my M. Sc. and if the person who attended PT meetings managed the routine bank and post office work was someone else.

I really want to keep a sparkling house with everything in perfect order. I manage to do it once a while. My friends have a way of absenting themselves on those days and landing home when I decide to relax with a book munching peanuts with the empty coffee cup right beside me. I feel like telling them that it was only yesterday that I tidied my kitchen and put away the magazines. With the children away I have to take whole and sole responsibility for a messy house. It may be a good idea to invite friends on the days that I am hit by the cleaning ‘bug’. My friends are rather tolerant and find excuses for me. For my part I always wonder why this is so. It may not be a bad idea to take a few photographs as proof that I am okay and it is they who choose to pop in just when I plan to clean up the house in just ten minutes. I am in awe of people whose house looks swabbed and cleaned throughout the day. I thought of hiring a servant to do it. I gave up the idea because I am very bad at extracting work. I literally apologize when there are extra vessels to wash and advise my servant to ‘do as much as you can’, offering to do the rest myself.

My Christmas break has just begun and I have great plans - the main one being to check on my loft and dispose of all unwanted items that have not been used for the past 14 years. I decide to do so many things during vacations. But summers are ‘hot’ and winters ‘cold’. I remain in the coolest room in summer like a sleepy crocodile and never seem to find time!

Please don’t imagine that I am a lazy person and a real good for nothing. I’d feel lousy if you do. I want to be the perfect mother, wife and teacher. I need ….. Well you’ve guessed it – just ten more minutes!!


Usha said...

hehehhe...story of our lives.It is so true that noone visits on the days the house is perfect and everyone decides to drop in when it is at its messiest worst. Now I almost expect people to come on those days and don't even care.
Yes, if only we had those 10 extra minutes to do all the things that we want to...Sigh....
So glad you got your new system and are back.

Cee Kay said...

Well, I have one example for you. It is a little different from "10 more minutes" - it is "next month..."

When I and my husband decided to try for another baby more than 4 years back, I was just getting out of depression and was always tired/in a bad mood. We kept putting "it" off to "next month" when we will have more time, when we won't be as tired, when I would have lost another 5 pounds.... :)

I often wonder if we hadn't procrastinated, would we have realized we needed help sooner and maybe already would have a toddler by now (since we would have started with the infertility treatments sooner)?

hillgrandmom said...

oh am I glad to read your post and know I'm not alone:)

Something to Say said...

its like reading the story of my life :)
except that I do manage to have breakfast - but rarely manage to shine up the kitchen or pick up the toys sonny has scattered all over the house.
Story of my life "where's the time?"

passerby55 said...

lol...nice post, Preeta.

Yes, ten minutes i often told my husband when he waited for me below my office building. Lol,

infact, now that i am at home, and my hubby calls to tell me that i am leaving in ten

Kids, when told to open books and enuff of that cartoon say. "mom, only ten more min".

lol..."maggie instant noodles"...(just two min).. ten is too much eh?

that was a good post!

Itchingtowrite said...

removing the chimmney and asking the maid to wash them, clearing the polythene bag collection i keep in the hope of recycling, opening the bill mail, clearing the study table, the list is endless. that was a good post and set me thinking

Hip Grandma said...

Usha:I feel good to be blogging at will and always seem to find those elusive 10 minutes to do it.I've managed to check out a drawer and throw off some unwanted items.Wish me a 'happy cleaning week'I cannot afford to postpone any more.

gettingthere: may I call you GTN?I do hope you have a safe pregnancy and an easy delivery.My good wishes are with you.You're right in that we keep postponing and planning but then we are humans aen't we?I wonder if with less education our mothers were better house keepers?

hillgmom:We should all get together and exchange notes.We'd be laughing our lungs out.

somethingtosay:cling on to your son as an excuse.I did so too.Now all my 'excuses' have left me and I feel lost at times.

passerby:we all need those 10 minutes to explain things to ourselves such as why we did not call back or reply or why we waited till the last hour to pack things.Aren't we accountable to ourselves if not others?

ITW:We working women have so much to do that we end up doing nothing at leisure.There is this mad rush that we crib about but enjoy all the same.

The Visitor said...

Hello G'ma
Wishing you A Merry Christmas

Cee Kay said...

HipHopGMom: Yes, GTN is fine. Thanks for your good wishes.

I think TV is the main culprit - at least for me. The day I decide to turn the idiot box off, I get so much done! And yes, our mothers were/are so much more disciplined than us. I am still learning the art of self-discipline form my mom (and trying to teach my daughter some)!

Artnavy said...

Good to see u back

My problem is not the house but the wardrobe- i congratulate myself when things do not topple out of it

Mahadevan said...

Every one of us is given just 24 hours without any discrimination and yet, we struggle to find time and yearn for that extra 10 minutes. For want of that extra ten minutes, atleast one or two articles in newspapers remain unread and such unread newspapers accumulate to the annoyance of my wife. Similarly, in the internet too, for want of those ten minutes, one or two sites have to be skipped and I would often feel that without visitng those sites, life is meningless.

I think, to succed in Time Management, one has to be ruthless and keep away all distractions. The most important one is to draw the right priorities. Those at the bottom of the priortity table should be discarded without feeling remorse. Easier said that done.

Anonymous said...

Hi, been here for the first time and I enjoyed reading your posts!!! You are one grandmom everyone would wish for.... even me :) I am not very old though :P

Reeta Skeeter said...

Instead on 10 more minutes u've got grand holidays! So better hv ur breakfast each day till the holidays last... :D Cheers!

Balaji said...


That is i feel human nature and the one who makes difference to the world are the ones who get over this nature, priorotize and make sure that everything is done. I am bad at it too.

Life Lover said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hip Grandma said...

the visitor:So you finally decided to visit me.Welcome back.I am waiting for Broadband connection to visit blogs without worrying abt my telephone bill.Just a few more days please bear with me.Happy New year!

GTN:I am not a TV person thanks to my husband who keeps changing channels and bugs the life out of me.When we have nothing else to do we quarrel about the way he monopolizes the TV.My priority is working on crossword (Quick)and I have to sit with it early in the morning to my husband's annoyance.We are all different people and that is why life is interesting.Happy New Year!

artnavy:My wardrobe is one area that is not in a mess.That is because I keep giving away clothes.Unfortunately we can't keep it open for public view.Happy New year!

mahadevan:you are right.It is easier said than done.But we do try don't we?Happy New Year!

rooma:Those were kind words.Thank you and welcome here.Happy New year.

reeta skeeter:Thanks a lot and welcome here.I am going to do that.Happy New year1

balaji:nice to hear from you after a long time.You are right about prioritization.I am in total admiration of those who do it.Happy New year!

life lover:Your friend's mom must be a very organized person herself.I am a little too relaxed.In our family roles are reversed with my daughters taking on a role similar to your friend's mom.Happy New year!!

Artnavy said...

A happy new year to u- ur chennai trip happening?

Shari said...

Been there, done that. Maybe it's just that other things are more worth our time.

I, too, put off doing things. I end up doing homework, emailing, blogging, and some of the more urgent housework (cooking, doing dishes, laundry). The things on my "to do" list that get checked off in the fastest amount of time wins.

I want to organize the attic. It's gotten a bit cluttered. When the Christmas stuff get put away, I want to stick around up there and organize things. (I hope I stick to it.)

I do not think you are lazy. It's just motivation.

mommyof2 said...

story of my life;-)

And Happy New Year:-)

Space Bar said...

came here from india uncut and shall visit often!

happy new year!

passerby55 said...

Happy new year to you!

Hip Grandma said...

artnavy:Happy New year to you too.Coming over to Chennai on the 26th Jan.Will be there till 30th Jan.Will try to contact you.

shari:Welcome here.I'm glad I'm not alone.Managed to do a lot of stuff this X mas vacation.Happy New Year!

mommyof2:Yeah it IS the story or OUR lives!!Happy New year!

space bar:welcome here and a happy year ahead to you too.

passerby:Wish you too "a happy New Year"

Anonymous said...

Hi Hip Hop Grandmom, wishing you a rocking New Year. Great to see someone like you blogging. My friends still roll their eyes in disbelief when they bump into my mom on Orkut. Do you get similar reactions as well?

Hip Grandma said...

toe knee:Happy New year!!I too get very good responses.Say hello to your mom and a Happy new year to her too.

Kathak - The Story Teller! said...

I always thought the "grandmom" types had everything figured. But I'm glad to know thats its not just the "indiciplined generation" who is plagued by the lack of time!

Makes me feel nice, that too on the first day of the new year!

Archana Bahuguna said...

Happy New Year to you and your family! :-)

venky said...

Nani (oh how i love to start my writing with that name)....

why dont u write a blog on J*A*M (just a minute) - am sure that all of us could pile in an infinite list of missed things under that category.

very thoughtful post...

Just Like That said...

your post sounded so very familiar.

I also LOVE to have my house looking tidy almost all the time, but- I always manage to find excuses for not doing things when I have to do it.

Now I know that its just a question of not having ten more minutes...;-) If i had, my house would be neat, my fridge would be stocked, my bills all filed, nad life generally very organised, but where would one go then for that motivation to spring clean once in a while?

Anonymous said...

omg! so much in love with u'r blog...stay the way u r ...'coz u rock!