Service of Time Was Like Closet Space, You Made it Fit–But No Longer, At Least Yet

April 20th, 2020

Categories: Benchmark, Frame of Reference, Time


I’ve previously written about time in a few contexts such as “Service of Respecting Other People‚Äôs Time,” and “Service of Time vs. Result: Is it Worth It?

Time reminded me of the closets I’ve had in my various homes. Whether large or small, many or few, I’ve adjusted my stuff to fit. I was similarly good at triaging my time to meet deadlines whether long-term or bolt from the blue. I’ve come close but never missed one and I don’t plan to do so while sheltering at home. But since I’ve been home, I don’t yet have a handle on my new time. Some days I’m the Jeanne-productive juggler I’ve always been but others float by and I wonder, “Where did the day go?” My time melts like an air-filled Christmas peppermint and my “to do” list stares back at me with few strikeouts.

Photo: franticbutfabulou

It’s clear what happened: My time benchmarks have changed. I always marked weekdays by dressing for work, leaving for the office, taking a lunch break and returning home. I now start out the same: I won’t sit at my laptop until I’m clean and dressed, though my clothes are far more casual. Next I break to hear Governor Cuomo’s press conference–he usually starts between 11:30 a.m. and noon ET. Between 4:00 and 5:00 pm I dance around the apartment for exercise and at 7 p.m. I stop what I’m doing to clap my thanks for the medical community from my balcony.

Everyone is similarly impacted. Retired people are cut off from their second jobs, classes, libraries, friends, shopping patterns, charity work, activities, restaurants, fitness centers, participation in religious services and so forth.

Speaking of closets, one of the things I hope to do while home is to reorganize each closet but so far, I haven’t had the time.

Have you been thrown off kilter as your time points of reference have changed and you’ve adjusted to sheltering at home? Are you easily distracted? Are your “to do” lists in good shape?


9 Responses to “Service of Time Was Like Closet Space, You Made it Fit–But No Longer, At Least Yet”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    I was born lazy, so have fit into this “new” lifestyle easily enough. The days are passing all too quickly, what with mess to clean up, online bridge dates, books to read, & remembering to eat! Today, I’m going to dare myself to join that lone soul in the parking lot, at 7:00 PM, making his/her gratitude for health workers known. Perhaps this will inspire some of our even lazier friends and neighbors into action…..The parking lot is huge, so social distancing is no cause for concern……Yawn! PS Should all else fail, one may catch up with Bach & Co. on the radio or those Ancient Aliens on TV :))

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I am not having trouble filling my days, it’s just that I don’t fill them with the things I should do and time slips away. My priority counter needs adjusting. It will settle, pretty sure.

    It reminds me of a transition I made to putting as many expenditures as I could on my credit card so that I would know precisely how much I spent in a month. For years I paid for a lot of things with cash but a few $s here and there adds up. Now I know the often alarming truth.

  3. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: I make lists but don’t necessarily adhere to them. They do remind me what is on my “wish” list vs needs/should do. Reviewing my lists allows me to prioritize and shift gears as necessary.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I have been a list person forever. I have almost stopped right now as there are so many “to do’s” it would only depress me and I remember–or see–what must be done every day.

  5. ASK Said:

    Some things on my to-do list get done, others do not…My attempts at deep-cleaning the apartment beyond the cleaning lady’s ministrations have resulted in a few aches in the joints (polishing the floor) and muscles (polishing some silver), but I decided to put those on hold. I do admire people who can work at home as I always found it difficult unless a really hard deadline loomed. Some good things to come out of the lockdown: Many fewer robocalls, fewer catalogs in the mail, and fewer cash withdrawals from the bank.

  6. Hank Goldman Said:

    Never dreamed I would spend retirement in quarantine! So far, sanity intact. But For how much longer?

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    One day I could no longer look at the tarnished silver in my living room and my lackluster silverware and it was on that day–weeks after “polish silver” was on my list–that I attacked it. [A friend asked “why bother? Nobody is dropping in,” and I realized it was for me.] I noticed I did it on a weekend when in “the old days” it would have been done.

    I can work pretty much anywhere. When I worked at someone else’s company I would often hide out at home to give birth, without interruption, to a complicated proposal or article . And I’m used to working at home over weekends.

    I still get robocalls–not nearly as many, you’re right! The callers must be furloughed.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You have so many interests and talents I suspect you will be just fine for weeks or months. I wish I could paint for example! What’s crucial for us all is to stay well in no matter how much time that takes.

  9. ASK Said:

    FYI…when I told a neighbor I was polishing silver, she accused me of staging a dinner party and not inviting her!

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