Note to new readers: Message from your Mother is a series of letters written by Lilly to her daughter which are based sometimes 'too closely' on their most recent phone calls. The letters are often written in the kind of irrational way that seems to come naturally to most mothers when it comes to the lives of their children. Whether the letters are funny or serious, you will always find a 'message'.
Well hello stranger
How are you? It seems so long since I heard from you and I know that when time is critical some things like mothers have to be bumped off the list. What with 7 billable hours a day, plus your training, networking, charity work, eating, housework, shopping, the gym and not to mention your social life, it doesn't given you much time to even sleep, does it?
Don't feel bad. I know you will contact if there is an emergency (um like this phone call about the fire). I'm always here for life's big questions. Like if Gary the gregarious, gorgeous hairdresser stuffs up your latest colour or you don't quite know what you are going to wear with your hot pink satin pumps with the emerald green bows (in fact don't ever ask me that because there really is no answer to that question). It's just that I am not that good with real emergencies particularly when your kitchen is on fire and I am 6 hours away.
I know it was because you were multi-tasking.
Cooking, applying makeup, talking on the phone, text messaging, one eye on the TV and riding your exercise bike.
I have been trying to make the best use of my time too! And there is no easy answer. It seems we all have to multi-task and risk it all going up in flames.
It all started when someone told me that you only need to spend an hour a day, every day for a year to write a book. I have always wanted to do that...one day. So, I marked that into my daily plan.
Then there is my blog but apparently I can't spend anymore than one hour a day online otherwise I am branded a social misfit.
Then I also read that a really determined person needs to spend just half an hour a day to achieve a firm butt and flat stomach. So I have scheduled that before the book writing and after the blogging because I had to prioritise and I am not sure how many firm butted authors there are out there (and everyone needs marketing leverage anyway they can get it if they are low on talent).
Then, as you know, I have been going through the whole organic diet experience. You know, trying to go back to basics and live like Hal and Liz did in the depression. Apparently I only need to spend 15 minutes a day looking after chickens and voila, I will have a fresh supply of eggs. Then, I need to spend another 30 minutes a day on the vegetable garden to produce a bountiful spread (and unfortunately another 15 minutes just to get the gardening boots on) .
So, now I am up to 4 hours already.
Now, you probably remember my IQ score. The one which showed my logic ability was almost non existent? Well, I found out that meditation for about 20 minutes a day increases the size of your brain and gives you a 30% increase in your IQ. So I had to weigh that up - what comes first the flat stomach or the bigger brain and the possibility of joining MENSA?
Then there is the whole environmental issue which is weighing heavily on us all. So I am walking more and saving on fuel. So that adds another 40-60 minutes a day.
Then, I also want to continue learning new things and doing my hobbies. So there goes another hour a day.
Then it takes me 15 minutes to write my daily schedule.
So now I am up to 6 hours.
And I haven't even added my family, business, work, friends.............not to mention your emergencies....
I feel stressed.
I need to cut my commitments down because there truly isn't enough hours in the day. I turned to my best friend....the big G.
I asked Google about what "just an hour a day" means. There are 219,000,000 web pages, all full of advice. In just one hour a day I can be fit, rich, look ten years younger, learn the flute and have a working knowledge of Spanish. Spend the hour "in selfless service" and I can change the world. Spend it listening to Bach and I can increase my mathematical abilities and radically lower my blood pressure. It now needs lowering.
All this pressure is making me panic. How to choose between learning Spanish, blogging and saving the world? Between "infusing myself with inspirational thoughts" and achieving a working knowledge of organic gardening?
Maybe I need a shorter time frame, just to fit it all in. I changed my Google search to "just 30 minutes a day". This time I got 128,000,000 web pages. In just 30 minutes a day I can make $7000 a month, become familiar with past life regression, learn to paint and be fluent in Zulu.
The shorter time frame seems a good idea. I narrow it again, to "just 10 minutes a day" and have now got 30,300 pages of advice. In just 10 minutes a day I can read Jane Austen's complete works, learn conversational Italian and become a pole dancer.
"Five minutes a day" is even better. In that time-frame I can develop a beautiful bust and become closer to God and make bread.
It comes to 65 hours a day of constant activity, not including sleep, work or eating. But I will have rock-firm abs, look younger, be fluent in six languages and have a regular supply of eggs.
That's the trouble with this sort of relentless advice. Everyone talks as if you are stupid if you don't meditate, do yoga, walk for 20 minutes and read all instructions carefully before use. You're also meant to check the batteries in your fire alarm, form meaningful relationships with your neighbours (who has time for family), make soup from scratch and save the world in Brangelina style.
If we did everything demanded of us, we'd need 300 hours in every day, would never be able to sleep or work and would still wake up every morning with this vague feeling of guilt and underachievement.
I am so confused, guilty and weary that I want to do precisely nothing........yes, I totally get why I don't appear on your list. Truly a smoke signal every now and then is truly ok! Then again, you tried that this week ....um, just ring when you get the chance....
PS And now I have wasted 7 more minutes of your time by reading this.....and no doubt another 30 minutes while you correct my grammar.....oops sorry....