Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Devoting Time (#IWSG) (#AtoZChallenge)

       Success depends partly on the time we are willing to devote to an endeavor.  Talent is important but if no effort is expended and no time invested then that talent will likely lie fallow.


 Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


Days to Decades

        Each day was an adventure and the days seemed to last for weeks.  Childhood was like that.  I had the time and the world was mine if was willing to take advantage of it.  But those days turned into decades as first my college years passed, then living to work and working to live life to the fullest. I had time to write, and often did, but there was no particular aim to it all.  Writing was mostly relegated to something of the nature of a hobby.

          Eventually life was mostly work and family. I was fortunate to be working jobs that I enjoyed doing and that allowed me to still be very involved with my kids.  Sometimes there was writing involved, but mostly that was when some nagging idea insisted that I write it down.  So I did.  I wrote in spiral composition books at night after the kids were in bed or during a spare moment at work.  When the compulsion subsided, my writing books were tucked away for some later use.

          Writing has always been in the background of my life--rarely taking center stage.  I probably spent more time thinking about what I might write someday than actually writing.   But sometimes I did write.   And now I need to continue to write.  I need to consider devoting more time to writing.  Thankfully I have blogging as one outlet and writing blog posts has been a bit of writing salvation to me.

          Days fly by quickly as what I had planned on writing today has been postponed until tomorrow. Or someday.  Yes, the days are flying by faster than I would have ever imagined when I was that kid with all the time in the world on his hands.  Then I could wait.  Now I'm not sure waiting is what I should be doing.  After all, the days are turning into decades and one day those decades will amount to a lifetime.  When I was a kid a lifetime was forever.   Now I know the truth.

           Are you fulfilling your writing dreams?   What is your current favorite way to release your inner creative self?   Do you devote time to writing as much as you'd like to?  



91 comments:

  1. Lee I must congratulate on your theme it is great and TIME consuming to read. Excellent.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, April can be a time consuming month with A to Z, but my time gets well consumed no matter what I'm doing.

      Lee

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  2. The older we get, the fast time moves. Weird, huh? So that's why we can't put things off forever.

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    1. Alex, that speeding up of time is an illusion of course, but it's something that I think humans universally experience. Best not to put things off except for dying--that I am will to procrastinate.

      Lee

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    2. I read that time seems to speed up when you are older because you are having fewer new experiences or learning fewer new things. As a kid, everything is new, school, math, first field trip, holidays, it's all new... and time stretches when we are learning. Remember how school days seem to last forever? So, to slow time down, I read one can learn a new skill, a new hobby, learn about a new topic...

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  3. This is exactly right. Now we know the truth about time. A day does turn into a decade. Doesn't seem quite fair that when you finally have the appreciation, the time is limited.
    Writing was always in the background of my life, as in yours - a few words here and there. Now with blogging my hope is to capture more of those thoughts and words before they escape and before the days run out. I wish I had something my grandparents had written. I hope my grandchildren will have something to read and wonder at - at least when they are old enough to appreciate the slipping from days to decades.
    Donna Smith
    Mainely Write
    DAM

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    1. Donna, when I was younger living for the moment, the future seemed somewhat irrelevant. The future is always something that can be done later until that future has become the past.

      I also wish I had stuff my grandparents or other forebears had written. My sister has some old letters that my mother had kept. For a while we had discussed compiling all of that stuff in some sort of book or something. Maybe someday (there I go again!).

      Lee

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  4. I'm in the beginning of my writing, just trying to get rhythm. Yes time and tide wait for none.
    Thanks for sharing
    http://www.allaboutthewoman.com/

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    1. Woman, I wish you well with the writing. Getting into the rhythm helps increase the pace is what I've found in my experience.

      Lee

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  5. Research does indicate that time does appear to accellerate with aging.

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    1. Pop Tart, I've heard an explanation for this, but now I don't remember what it is. Forgetting is another offshoot of the passing of time.

      Lee

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  6. I can relate to most of what you said, Lee. In the '70s, I tried to make a serious go of becoming a professional writer, but all I got was rejection letters and that discouraged me. Plunging head first into the corporate world and weathering various problems buried the muse for decades. It only came back to life when I got my first laptop in 2008. My intention was to write and publish memoirs. Then I got side-tracked with blogging, which I love, but it's all-consuming (especially in April). There are three WIPS waiting to be completed, (like the boarding school stories from the A to Z) but, there are only so many hours in a day and there's life offline to live, as well. Conundrum! May your writing dreams come to fruition, while there's still time.

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    1. Debbie D, writing was more difficult in the seventies considering the traditional publishing routes available and worst of all (to me at least) was typing on those old typewriters. That was always a real chore for me and access to a typewriter wasn't always easy for me to gain. I think blogging has been great for me in respect to writing and having some people read that writing. I wish you the best in wrapping up those WIPs.

      Lee

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  7. Time does pass more quickly as we get older! I track my writing time each week to make sure I get to it in a balanced way.

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    1. Yvonne, at least it feels like time passes more quickly as we get older, but I think that's mostly because each day there is less left to us. Balance is the key to anything.

      Lee

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  8. For the most part, we just play "Spore"... and often post our creations at "Spore.com" (where we post as the "Creeping Terror")
    a pleasant mid week to you and yours, good Sir.

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    1. Stacy, Spore is a new one for me, but I don't keep up with those kinds of things. Hope life for you is going as well as it can be.

      Lee

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  9. Yes, I am finally putting writing in the forefront but it hasn't been easy. I'd say most of my dreams and prayers come to pass.

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    1. Eve, I've been fortunate about having my dreams and prayers fulfilled for the most part along with many unexpected pleasant surprises.

      Lee

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  10. Great post and I have to say yes, I am meeting my dreams. I have people reading and enjoying my books and that is good!

    I completely missed the #IWSG post...argh! LOL!

    D: Dominica & D-Day Museum
    DB McNicol, author & traveler
    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

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    1. Donna, people reading and enjoying your books is a good thing. And if you're selling them as well then that's really good.

      Lee

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  11. I have a friend that says you never want to wait to the point you don't dare buy green bananas anymore.

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    1. L.Diane, I usually don't buy green bananas, but I've been buying a lot of green plantains. They are good to prepare when they are green.

      Lee

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  12. yes, I'm absolutely meeting my writing dreams. I wrote the memoir, my first novel, the anthology on aging. And now I'm pondering another memoir. Life is good.

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    1. Karen, it's all pretty exciting. Good for you!

      Lee

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  13. At first it was the hour that flew, then the day followed closely by the year. As the decades sweep past, I'm beginning to think like my grandmother. Get up early. Do your thing and enjoy every minute.

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    1. C.Lee, I'm now older than my grandparents were when I used to think they were really old. Might as well enjoy life while you are able.

      Lee

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  14. I failed my English exams at school. I was never interested in writing and didn't read a single book until I was in my 40's. Then it all changed. I started being critical about things I was reading, and I thought I could do better myself. And so it was, 11 years ago I got myself my blog and since then have posted almost 1500 short stories, often several a day! How things change!



    Meet Amble Bay's Dapper Dan!

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    1. Keith, better later than never and sometimes it's just better later when you have more experience and insight. Good for you for being so prolific.

      Lee

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  15. so necessary to devote time to what is important to us, although not always easy to do with so much else requiring my time and attention. Yes, writing is important to me, and my book (co-authored) is OUT. The hard work is paying off! Thanks Lee, great post.

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    1. Susan S, it's good when the work starts to pay off in some form or another.

      Lee

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  16. I am focused, I have plans, I will shoot for the stars and land on he moon.

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    1. Guy, at least the moon is close enough where it's relatively easy to get back home compared to the distant stars.

      Lee

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  17. You are right, Lee. Time moves slowly when we are young and speeds up as we age. At least it does for me. I try to write and create something new as often as is possible for my pre-occupied mind. Sometimes I need to just go outside and walk to think about life and writing. Thanks for sharing this with your followers. All best to you, sir.

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    1. Victoria, walking outside and thinking is a great way to explore ideas and make plans.

      Lee

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  18. Writing is a fulltime project for me now but I've spent much of the past five years focused on group activities. Soon it will become "me" time and that brings s smile to my face.

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    1. Gail, being a part of something can be nice, but so can being on ones own.

      Lee

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  19. As school years dripped ever so slowly past,I couldn't wait to get out and DO something. Now that years rush by in a torrent of cluttered days, I realize the one and only constant 'something' was and is - writing. Guess it's time to do something about it ;-)
    Thanks for the thoughts, Lee!

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    1. Diedre, writing is especially good as we become more sedate and less in a constant party mode of youth.

      Lee

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  20. Can't just wait, as there may not be another new date. Time flies by, I never get enough time for writing, but I could write ever minute of every day and live to be 100 and I'd still never get all the ideas out.

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    1. Pat, "I'll do it tomorrow," can be a scary thought if you really think about all of the possible implications.

      Lee

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  21. Likewise, I definitely need to devote more time. I was really good for a couple years, but slowly other things sort of seeped in... gotta steal it back.

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    1. Hart, you have been one of the inspirational writer/bloggers over the past many years I've been blogging. But I can totally understand how sometimes we have to take care of other life things.

      Lee

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  22. I'm where you were. Writing is more of a hobby for me than anything else. It took me years to finish my first book and I'm sure it'll take just as long to finish my next. I'm okay with that. My family comes first.

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    1. Elsie, at least you finished one and that's an accomplishment. But I agree that family is the most important obligation we have.

      Lee

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  23. I totally get it. I feel the years slipping by too, but life is nothing but a series of decisions. I sometimes think about how much I'd love to be writing full time, but then I think about the investment I'm making in my kids, and consequently, in the future and society, and I'm okay with sacrificing a couple dreams if that's what's needed. There are more important things.

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    1. Crystal, decisions and consequences of those decisions. We hope we make the right ones, but if we don't then we get new chances to make things better.

      Lee

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  24. Days to decades--isn't that true? I can't imagine retiring. Haven't I only been working for a few years?

    Good post, Arlee

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    1. Jacqui, I never thought about retiring either until my company branch closed and I couldn't find another suitable job to replace my old one. Now that I'm retired I wouldn't want to go back to work unless it was a really special job that I liked a lot.

      Lee

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  25. My writing dreams have developed the more I've written. I thought I might try fiction, but I was really lousy at it, so I moved on to memoir. That seems to be a better fit for me, and it gives me a chance to use my bent sense of humor...

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    1. John, thanks to blogging my writing dreams have been fulfilled to a certain extent, but I'd still like to see a hardback book published with my name on the cover and published by a mainstream publisher.

      Lee

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  26. My ultimate writing dream is still to win the Nobel Prize in Literature someday, with a secondary dream to win the Sydney Taylor Book Award (for Jewish fiction for young people, named after the author of the All-of-a-Kind Family series). Lately, I'm having trouble finding motivation to do as much writing I should. It's hard to get back into a WIP after spending a certain amount of time away to edit something else, or to do another thing entirely.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, you've set the bar high, but why not? I hope you can achieve those dreams one day. Motivation is often a struggle for many of us.

      Lee

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  27. Balance is a tricky thing to learn when it comes to fulfilling our dreams and juggling life as well.

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    1. Lynda, life tends to come first for me since it's more immediate, but we should never lose sight of our dreams.

      Lee

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  28. What you said about spending more time thinking about what you were going to write. That is brilliant. It is who I am. It is what I do...

    I never wrote much, other than a few songs, until I turned fifty. From that point, writing has become my favorite hobby. I write for my friends, and occasionally read one out loud, but most of what I read out loud was written by my friends. It is better that way.

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    1. Michael, many a writer has started late in life. By then you've got the experience and knowledge to give you more credibility. I wish you well with future endeavors.

      Lee

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  29. I needed that to read that quote. I am happy to see you blogging A-Z! I thought of you and the challenge the other day. I miss blogging-maybe I will come back! Once the concrete dries in my yard and my ISP comes and hooks up a new cable. The work crew cut the line. Hot spots via cell phone are keeping me sane! I have an essay in a magazine called Willow and Sage-surprised me. I had no idea... Nice to visit you, again~

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    1. Ella, good to see you again. I've been wondering where you got off to. Congratulations on the published essay!

      Lee

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  30. You're so right. Days fly by awfully quickly. I don't write as much as I want and I don't know why. Writing block seems to become a permanent feature in my life, but I keep fighting it.

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    1. Olga, I never blame "writer's block" as keeping from writing, but I blame my own lack of initiative and pursuit of distractions that are easier.

      Lee

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  31. I wrote letters in days past before Skype and cheap phone rates and people told me I should write. I thought they were being nice but crazy...who me? write? Then about eight years ago I got a computer and found the blog world. Writing here ever since and wondering why I thought those nice peeps were crazy.
    Patricia'sPlace

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    1. Patricia, I was always bad at writing letters--I mean, they were good when I wrote them, but I was bad about actually writing them. Computers have made the act of writing so much easier for me.

      Lee

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  32. I don't write as much as I want or need to write. Time does get away.
    ' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Juneta, it's the story of many of our lives.

      Lee

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  33. Nice post. Someday is when I had always planned to write also. I am trying to make someday happen now instead of waiting for it.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador

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    1. Emily, someday must be made now or it is merely an imagined dream.

      Lee

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  34. I devote a lot of time writing. I write, therefore I am.

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    1. Stephen T, that's the right way for a writer to write.

      Lee

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  35. 15 years ago, I tried writing novels. Blogging has satisfied my writing bug and I've managed to make it a creative exercise. I dedicate more time to it than my blog probably reflects.

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    1. Harry, blogging can provide such immediate gratification that it becomes a compulsion or a habit.

      Lee

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  36. Thoughtful post indeed. I hope you do get your writing out of the hobby category because you write so well - you sparked off empathy within me. Also, I'm going through the same crisis as you. Thanks for a fabulous post.

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    1. Kalpanaa, thank you for that! This kind of encouragement spurs me on and gives me hope.

      Lee

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  37. Writing has always been one of the two creative outlets that I've pursued since being a teenager (the other is verbal wordplay). I write when I can and though what I produce each time is minimal, ultimately it works out in the end.

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    1. GB, if it works then it must be okay.

      Lee

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  38. Lee, No, I'm not fulfilling my writing dream. I think I've come to the point where it just doesn't grab my soul like it once did but I do have the urge from time-to-time and perhaps I'll find my way back to it. Currently, I'm expressing my inner creativity with my A2Z Art Sketching Through the Alphabet theme and am absolutely loving it! Thanks for hosting the fun and for making the time to check out yesterday's letter "D" for dog sketches.

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    1. Cathy, you have so many outlets for expressing your creativity. I think you are doing fine with all of it.

      Lee

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  39. I was just thinking along this recently. My current outlet is hand lettering. Basically modern calligraphy. I started in Jan and have had a lot of people comment that they would love to but don't have the time or want to do the drills. And I thought, well, then it's not something that means anything to you. You have to spend the hours and find them if it's something you truly want to do/learn.

    My A to Z at herding cats & burning soup

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    1. Anna, a skill needs to be practiced if one wants to be exceptional in proficiency.

      Lee

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  40. Yes, that's true... I'm glad you have been able to do some writing, even if only on the sidelines. I have started doing a little painting again, tiny little steps, and telling myself it's ok to do it badly. What stops us from doing things we want to do? Fear I think. A quote I kind of remember is: We often overestimate what we can do in a short time but underestimate how much we can do over a long time. I've botched it, but the idea is that, we can actually accomplish quite a lot by doing little increments every day. It adds up! Writing even 15 min a day could be enough to write a book or a screenplay. I did a crazy butt project to terrace the side of the gulch behind our house to put the chickens there and make a chicken enclosure. ha ha. well, 3 years later, or is it 4, it is finally functional enough to have chickens there. Was it dumb? perhaps... i did a little bit here and there, and then pushed to get something on it done almost every day that I could, when it wasn't raining. One of these days, maybe I'll blog more about that process. Maui Jungalow

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    1. Courtney, I guess we do anything badly until we start doing it goodly. Practice is the key to being better at anything. A little bit of effort gets more done than no effort at all.

      Lee

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  41. Very thoughtful piece. It's definitely good to seize the day and write, even if it's only a few words at a time. They all add up! :)

    Here's my "D" post :) http://nataliewestgate.com/2017/04/descent-secret-diary-of-a-serial-killer

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    1. Natalie, even a few minutes each day can help us progress and maybe build the stamina to keep adding minutes. Getting in the habit can't happen until you've started trying.

      Lee

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  42. This is so true, especially as I look at my children and see that now my oldest is 30 and the youngest is 20. Where did those decades go?
    Janet

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    1. Janet, my oldest will be 40 this year and soon all of my daughters will be past 30. Now I have grandchildren to watch grow. The decades pass by and I barely notice until they are behind me.

      Lee

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  43. When I was a kid I felt Christmas took forever to get here but now, it comes all too quickly. Has time changed? No but I have grown up and that excitement has waned a bit even if I enjoy it. I think about the times I was waiting for a package to arrive, or going on vacation. Once again, time seemed to take forever because I was so looking forward to it. It just shows how our perception of time changes things. I like to escape into watching movies and creating my cards

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    1. Birgit, and back when we were kids, preparations for Christmas didn't start until after Thanksgiving while now we sometimes start thinking about it around July or August. Even with more real time there is a perception that there is little time for adequate preparation.

      Lee

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  44. "I probably spent more time thinking about what I might write someday than actually writing."

    You may be talking about me! But right now, I am trying my darnest...

    My D post: Why Dialogue is Important

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    1. JGIF, yes, shame on us! But we have to consider life don't we?

      Lee

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  45. I listen to a life coach talk about devting time to a huge list of things, and I was like wow I'm lucky if I can devote to a handful.

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    1. Mike, time management hasn't been among my greatest strengths.

      Lee

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Lee