Chasing Down The Muse: The best time to live is now

September 26, 2011|By Cherril Doty

"How did it get so late so soon?

It's night before it's afternoon.

December is here before it's June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon?"

—Dr. Seuss



Time really has "flewn" just as Dr. Seuss says.

"Thirty days hath September…"

This old nursery rhyme echoes in my head as I push myself to find time in the studio on this lovely autumn day. September is nearly gone. The list of tasks for the day, made before bed last night, looms large. Still, my spirit longs to play in the studio — to create.

Lately, the muse has been chasing me — running up to tap on my shoulder, then, daring me to chase after. Too often, I have spurned these advances, opting for one of the many other pulls for my time.

When I was with my grandsons the other day I heard myself say, "Not now."

Then, a bit later, my response to "Let's play chase" was "In a minute."

Why not now? Later, when we were getting back into the car after our time at the playground, Hank reached up to a piece of paper I had months ago clipped on my visor.

"What's that?" he asked.

"It's a note to remind myself," I answered.

Oh, yeah! Some reminder. When was the last time I had even looked there, let alone heeded the words I had written there — "WHY NOT NOW?" I had just spent time with the boys wherein I had pushed "now" aside way too many times. For what?

Christian, who at 6 can now read like a champ, read the words aloud — " 'Why not now?' What does that mean, Grammacherril?"

One never has much time for reflection with these boys and I blurted a response, telling them it was to help me remember that important things need to be done now, rather than later. Satisfied with my answer, they climbed into their car seats and we headed back to their house and dinner time.

But I was dissatisfied. I felt found out. Like I had done something I shouldn't. In reality, it was not what I had done, but that I had not done some things that I might have done. I had not been reminded by my own note, but had somehow managed to dismiss the wisdom of the question countless times.

Clearly, this bothered me. I thought about my commitments on the drive home that night. Continued contemplation has come up in succeeding days.

It seems that I find time for the most of the many tasks at work and at home, even when they come up as surprises in the moment. The mantra of "Do it now; don't put it off" works to keep me up to speed both in my job and in household tasks.

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