We used to love hearing her stories and often asked about what it was like “…in the olden days”. She used to laugh and tell us about her life growing up in and around Manchester, England, and what my Dad was like when he was a boy.
One of the things that I remember was how her days were ordered around the things she wanted – or needed – to do. Mass on Sundays, Holy Days and lots of other days, too. Bridge nights, tennis and every Monday was wash day. Doing the laundry in post-war Britain with six kids was no mean feat. She boiled water in a copper, soaked and pounded the clothes, then put them through the wringer carefully to minimise creases. Then everything went on the clothes line and the hanging rack in the kitchen. And if it rained….then there was lots of soggy clothes around the house.
When I was little my Gran moved out of her house to live in a modern flat since her knees were bad. We moved into her house, the house my Dad had grown up in. In the cellar the old copper sat and we used to look at it and imagine this backward time when there wasn’t even black and white telly…
As I walked home from dropping my daughter from school this morning I was counting all the things I needed to do today. The last few days have been full of work and new ventures and my ‘To Do’ list is becoming more of a play in five acts. Plus encores. I need to prioritise and deal with some of the multitude of things I should, need and want to do.
Help is only a Day away
I follow many people on Twitter and Friendfeed (under my other name, worldofhiglet). I’m trying to cut down the time I spend there because I need to Get Things Done. But Felicia Day shared an article about protecting your work that really struck a chord. Jennifer Crusie sets out clearly why prioritising is important for writers and how to do it. My Gran used to divide her time between all the things she needed and wanted to do without the help of lifehacker or anything more than a pencil and paper. So. To quote Mal from my favourite film, Serenity: “So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don’t push me, and I won’t push you….”
Except I need a push. I need to keep moving forward. I have some really exciting projects going on at the moment and everything is poised. Things have not finally fallen into place and when that grinds on day after day, week after week, it takes its toll. But I have an agent waiting for a book proposal – a proposal she asked me to do. Has that been a priortity? Yes. And no. In trying to make the proposal better I’ve sacrificed finishing it, and time is dragging on. So this week that proposal is going to be finished, no excuses.
Let’s clean this place up
And this blog – not been updated for a month. That’s bad. I know it’s bad. I fret about it nearly every day and yet there are seven unfinished posts waiting to be discarded or completed on this site alone. So, from now on, Monday will be the day I update here. It’s not as if I haven’t got anything to say, or that I’m not saying things elsewhere.
More next week
So I’ll be back here next week with tales of lists tamed, a proposal submitted and priorities…prioritised. How do you keep yourself on track?