Digging my way out of things to do – Orange County Register

I used to think people who declared bankruptcy were spectacularly bad with money. Now that I lived through a recession, and know people who were backed into that particular corner, I’m no longer judgmental.

Times are tough when you have to choose between fixing your car and paying your rent.

Financially, our family is doing well, but I’ve been thinking about declaring a different kind of bankruptcy lately – task bankruptcy. I’ve got too many things to do, and my hours in the day don’t seem to be covering them.

Gayle’s Time Bank is in the red.

It’s easy to see how this happened. It’s been building since I stopped working as an engineer in 2004. I left that job for three reasons: Marcus was going into middle school and someone needed to be in the house when he got home; my horse was going to have a baby and I wanted to be there for his training; and, I wanted to pursue more writing opportunities.

If you read that carefully, you might notice that working with a young horse, writing and spending more time with family might be enough to fill the eight hours I was usually spending at my job.

Clearly, I didn’t see it that way, and took on more. My house cleaner had to retire because of illness, but I didn’t hire a new one, because I “have enough time.” I got the opportunity to teach riding lessons, so I did because I “had enough time.”

From the first week, I could see I didn’t have enough time, but I was in denial. There are always enough hours in the day, aren’t there? Over the years, I added booster clubs, writers’ organizations and the library.

I never learned to manage my time, I only learned to juggle it.

Lately, I’ve added travel to the mix. Since Dale retired, he wants to go places and see things. Sometimes I have to travel, as a writer, as a library trustee and when I’m showing my horse. Now I’m juggling column deadlines, riding lessons and meetings, just so I can go to a conference and learn how to be a better trustee.


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