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Cindy L. Freeman – Using Time Wisely, 4/9/19

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Cindy Freeman

You’ve heard the saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” I suppose that’s because busy people must be efficient with their limited time. I’ve noticed the more time I have, the more I waste. When I’m the busiest, I seem to accomplish the most.

Last week, I was preparing for guests to stay with us for several days. I needed to dust, vacuum and mop the whole house, scrub the bathrooms, clean out the refrigerator, sweep the garage, prepare the guest bedroom and bathroom with clean sheets and towels, buy groceries—okay, I don’t get credit for that since my husband does the grocery shopping—cook some meals to access quickly while they’re here, arrange tickets for sightseeing activities, etc. The list goes on. Amidst all that, I participated in two critique-group sessions, edited a novel, and wrote three chapters of my memoir.

This week? Let’s just say I’ve been less productive.

I sit at the computer and go through the motions, but then I notice the birdfeeder outside the window. I should tell my husband it’s almost empty again. The cardinals are busy. I wonder if they have a nest nearby. What do cardinal eggs look like? I’ll do a Google search. There’s a picture. I didn’t know cardinal eggs were speckled. How interesting! And cardinals often mate for life. Here’s an interesting article: Fun Facts About Cardinals. It says the cardinal’s life span is about three years. Since they don’t migrate, we might see the same birds at our feeder year after year. Oh, there’s that pesky squirrel! We named him Fat Albert for obvious reasons. Okay, back to work.

I can’t seem to concentrate, so I make a cup of coffee and try again. Wow! Just look at those redbuds across the street. They’re in full bloom. So pretty! Soon, the dogwoods will sprout blossoms. I love spring!

I haven’t heard from my grandsons in a couple weeks. I text the older one and email the three younger ones. Just quick notes to let them know I’m thinking about them. Now back to work.

Surely, I can write a sentence, just one sentence. Maybe if I take a walk, the exercise will energize me.

My thirty-minute walk turned into an hour, but it would have been rude to pass my neighbors and their dogs without stopping to chat. Right? Now I’m ready to churn out a chapter or two. Nope! Not happening. I’ll edit instead. Oops! Time for lunch.

With a full stomach, I’m ready for a productive afternoon, but first I’ll wash all those sheets and towels left behind by my guests. How can I concentrate with laundry hanging over my head?

At last, with the washer and dryer fully engaged, I can handle my overflowing inbox and get started on this week’s blog post. But I have a deadline to meet on editing that novel. Yes, I’d better finish that first.

Fun, fun, fun! How did I get so fortunate as to be paid for reading interesting novels? And it took only three hours to edit 20,000 words of a 65,000-word book. At this rate, I’ll be finished by dinner time.

The dryer stopped. I should fold those clothes before they wrinkle.

Cindy L. Freeman is the author of award-winning short stories and three published novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room, and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Her books are available through or

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