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Bon Journal

Where has all the time gone?

Considering the number of diary entries I've devoted to my time-starved life, I'm surprised that I haven't bothered to figure out why I am in a constant state of trying to catch up or trying to create more time.

My main objective right now is to create more personal time. By this, I mean the freedom to be frivolous, the liberty to "do nothing" and to "do whatever I please." As my wise father so brilliantly put it, "To enjoy life, you must learn to do nothing."

At the moment, there is just too much demand on my time. One day I caught myself sitting still for 7 hours just responding to e-mails. Communication, whether e-mail, post, telephone, or face-to-face, all demand my attention. Even junk mail, the kind of spam that piles up exponentially, as distracting as they are, require my attention. To check that they are definitely not worth my attention, I have to spend time figuring it out from the recipient and subject lines.

There's not enough downtime to recover from my trips. Instead, I try to catch up on the backlog that's accumulated while I'm away. Since I'm away every other weekend, I have just one weekend to unpack, unwind, and repack. Before I go away, I need to empty my refrigerator. Once I return to my empty fridge, I have go out and fill it up again. My home becomes a dumping ground for dirty laundry and all that I've accumulated from my trips. It becomes a vicious cycle.

When asked why she was not more proactive about pursuing a gentleman that I had introduced earlier, my friend Wanda replied that she valued her personal time too much.

What personal time? It's not in my vocabulary. I've donated all my time for the good of the world. I am hot-wired to the pulse of the world economy. If I don't check my e-mail while on vacation, I risk getting too stressed out when I return - or risk missing out on important opportunities. As I make more and more contacts through work and travel, I have less time to reply to each e-mail.

Sometimes I just want to shout: STOP!

Time, be still!

Earth, stop spinning!

World, just leave me alone!

14 November 2001 Wednesday

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Tired to tears
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Chill out or you'll burn out
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Quality time