Not enough time?

Thoughts to Ponder – November 11, 2015

“One of the most essential tasks for living a life of purpose and joy is to command your time, rather than let it command you.”

Martha Beck*

 Martha said it so well. In this age of doing more with less and over-scheduling ourselves with work, family and community demands we tend to live by the clock. As a result we feel constantly pressed for time. We feel there is just not enough time in the day to do what we want to do. And, if you’re like me, you’re thinking “Where did 2015 go? It’s almost Christmas. Did we even have a summer?” It seems that every year gets shorter. Or, is that my imagination?

Today is a day of reflection on the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made for each of us. We need to take some time to thank those we can and reflect on the contributions of those who have gone before. Regrettably, many of us look at the calendar and say, “Today is Veteran’s Day. That means the banks are closed. Darn, I should have gone yesterday,” making this day just another time issue.

Remember the old saying, “Take time to smell the roses.” As trite as it has become, those words hold a lot of truth. While we must give adequate time and energy to our jobs and commitments, we can do a lot more rose smelling.

We can take a moment to listen to what our child is telling us. We can take a moment to listen to the birds sing or watch a leaf float to the ground. We can take a moment to deeply enjoy that first sip of coffee, inhale the aroma, feel the warmth on our lips, hold the taste on our tongues, experience the warmth spreading throughout our bodies and notice the alertness coming to our eyes and ears.

Do we envy the person who is over-worked? Do we envy the person whose stress level is 15 minutes short of a stroke or heart attack? Of course not. We envy the people who command their time, finding moments to regenerate their lives and their souls.

Each of us can take a moment to be grateful for our own existence and the people in them. We can be grateful that we have events in our lives that make us think we are too busy to take a moment to express that gratitude. A quick “Thank you” tossed out in the midst of our busy-ness will reach its target and be acknowledged.


Thank you for this new day. Show me how to use each moment wisely. I choose to be the highest and best I can be this day.

And, so it is.

* Daily Inspiration, Martha Beck, November 11, 2015

© by Sharon D. Dillon, November 11, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at


Nine minutes a day

Thoughts to Ponder – October 2, 2015

“Procrastination always delivers stress and disappointment…

so what are you waiting for…

do it now.”

Window of Wisdom*


Life goes in cycles. Sometimes I’m focused on writing, then on housework and other times on yard work. Right now my focus is on the many inches of rain saturating this area, creating flood zones and leaving our trees and homes vulnerable to the forces of Hurricane Joaquin that will be arriving in the next couple days. My question is how do we keep up with all our activities at once?

Some people seem to be able to juggle many balls at once. I struggle to keep one in the air at any given time. I have a million excuses for procrastinating. I’m —

tired after working all day,

choosing to spend time with the great-grandsons,

wanting to write or finish a project,

and so on.

The list is endless. As a result I tend to feel like I’m not accomplishing anything important, like blogging on a regular basis.

Last year I had some health issues, nothing terrible, mostly annoying, but I just didn’t feel up to home tasks. Work took all my energy. Now my health is good again, yet I was feeling overwhelmed by all that needed done. Recently I traveled to Niagara Falls and surrounding area with Road Scholar. The trip was fantastic. When I arrived home with a huge pile of paperwork, souvenirs and dirty laundry to add to the rest of the piles, my mind switched gears. I must organize. Now.

I spent part of one day just getting the vacation mess in order. The next day I spent several hours sorting my writing cabinet by “Things I’ve written,” “Quotes and ideas,” and “How to.” I had been tossing everything into any drawer just to get it off my work table. After that I was able to slow down a bit. Now I’m focusing on one small task at a time.

A few years ago a wise woman told me to tackle tasks in nine minute increments. She said nine minutes is enough to sort one drawer. Nine minutes each day would get my house organized in no time. That works for most things, but not my writing cabinet. But, once I managed that task, I’ve been able to tackle one small task at a time. Yesterday, I picked up a small pile that had been hiding in a corner and found it to be last year’s Christmas cards. Less than nine minutes took care of sorting them into cards to toss and cards from loved ones to keep.

Much of my time yesterday was spent moving plants and other items into my house and shed to protect them from the weather, shopping for nylon cord, water and batteries and tying down large items. Even with that huge task and working a short shift, I was able to sort the Christmas cards. My friend was right. Nine minutes was enough to take another step toward my end goal of having an organized home and to feel good that I accomplished something useful.

I still have a lot of small piles. Most of what’s in them can probably be filed in the recycling bin. Now I know they are manageable. Nine minutes a day really does save the stress level.


Thank you for showing me that I can accomplish more than I thought in just a few minutes a day. I still have much to sort and other tasks to tackle, yet it now seems manageable. Also, I ask that you protect all areas potentially affected by this storm. I know that fear draws disaster, so I ask that you ease the fears of all who are located in the storm’s path. Please show everyone what steps to take to prepare or evacuate as needed.

And, so it is.

* “A Window of Wisdom, #907, September 27, 2015

© by Sharon D. Dillon, October 2, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at

“Ask for what you want. You just might get it. And. . .”

Thoughts to Ponder – August 6, 2015

Two days ago I was scheduled to assist at a local hospital blood drive. I had an earlier appointment so arrived two hours late. I found the canteen in a mess: no cups, no napkins and no recycling container. I asked my co-worker where those things were. She said, “This is all they gave us.” This was true. The Red Cross only provides the basics and the host site provides the nice touches.

I walked across the hall and asked a cafeteria worker if we could have some paper cups. She walked into the store room and returned with an unopened bag of plastic cups, just the right size for a little ice and a can of juice. I then went to the dining room accessory table and grabbed a stack of napkins. Then I asked one of the blood drive staff if he had an extra plastic bag I could use for recycling. He produced the perfect size bag. At the end of the afternoon I had a full bag of cans and cardboard containers to bring home and add to my bin.

My co-worker said, “You’re a miracle worker. You just show up and we get everything we need.” I replied, “I’m not a miracle worker. I just asked if these items were available.”

While I was slightly bemused by the incident, I also felt sad for her. I used to be that way. When I was a child we were poor, so I learned quickly not to ask for things. My parents provided what they could and otherwise I did without. They also told me not to ask others for things because it was not polite. When I married and was dissatisfied with our living conditions an officer’s wife told me, “If they Army had wanted your husband to have a wife, they would have issued him one.”

A few years later I needed a new pair of shoes. My Keds were getting holes in the canvas. Finally, in frustration, I asked my husband why he didn’t buy me a new pair. He said, “Why didn’t you ask? I thought you liked wearing them that way.”

After still more years I was hired at a new job and given a tiny cubicle with a wobbly chair and a few worn out desk accessories. I used my own pens and pencils. One day I happened to ask my co-worker how she had acquired such nice office supplies when I had such poor quality items. She walked me over to the office supply cabinet and told me to help myself. I did and she helped me carry my new supplies to my cubicle. When she saw my chair, she walked with me to the supervisor to ask for a new chair, which I received within a day. It turned out that my cubicle had been empty for some time and people had just gotten in the habit of dumping their old things in there when they got new. Ask for what you want was beginning to soak into my brain.

A few years ago my mom (about 4 ft. 11 in.) and I went to a public event and thought we’d chosen a good viewing area. Just as the program was starting, a few very large men stepped in front of us and blocked our view. My mother became angry and said, “I guess he doesn’t know he makes a better door than a window.” I told her that they probably didn’t even notice us since we were smaller than they. She replied, “Well, they could have looked around before they barged in.” I tapped one of the men on the arm and asked, “Can my mother stand in front of you. She’s short and can’t see.” The man smiled and said, “Of course, and you come up here too. I’m sorry. We just didn’t notice you standing there.” I thanked him, we moved to the front and enjoyed the program.

Learning to ask for what I want was a long, slow process. But it works, even when what you want is intangible. I’ve learned to ask my Higher Power for things like safety, arriving where I’m going on time, friendship and even groceries. All are provided when I remember to ask. A lesson from the Bible says simply, “Ask and it shall be given.”

However, we cannot forget that asking is a two-part process. The second part is saying, “Thank you.” All people and entities enjoy giving to people who appreciate their efforts and tend to feel used when those who ask don’t express gratitude.

Thank you for reading and commenting.


Thank you for giving me these words. I hope they will help someone find the courage to ask for what he/she needs.

And, so it is.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 6, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at