Thursday, September 6, 2018

Guest Post: Katherine Gotthardt on Time Management

Why slow down? Enjoy this enlightening post on time management by guest blogger, Katherine Gotthardt.


I Will Not Manage Time
By Katherine M. Gotthardt

It’s past midnight, and I’m writing this. So that should tell you something. I’m more awake than I ought to be, but yesterday, every time I sat still, I fell asleep, feeling guilty for having fatigue. I pretended to be awake. My eldest child, twenty years old and mature enough to know I tend towards workaholism, asked me questions, receiving answers that made sense in my head but had nothing to do with the questions. That’s how she knew I was talking in my sleep. She doesn’t understand. I need to manage my time, but I have no time. So I won’t manage it.

Dusty on my desk are three books on time management. All of them say to take time for self, and while I’m getting better at it, I admit I’ve had to become extremely unhealthy to make it happen. This is not something I’m particularly proud of, nor something I would recommend. It’s expensive, for one thing. And then there’s that thing of, “You’re getting too old for this, and you’re literally killing yourself.” That’s a problem.

But the reality is, I need to get things done. You see, everyone on my mother’s side of the family, with the exception of one brother, died in their 60’s. This doesn’t scare me in the sense that you’d think it would. It scares me because there’s so much to be done, and I really don’t want to leave my family so soon. I don’t want to waste time trying to manage time. I want to use the time I have. I want every moment to count.

Now the holistic healers out there will say I am talking myself into an early grave, and the western medicine men will tell me I’m working my way into one. And the cynics will say, “She’s being dramatic,” and the empaths will say, “That poor woman.” And I say in return, hold up. I’m getting better at this self-care thing, but it’s taking me time. But there’s so little time, at least in this life. And that, too, is problematic.

In my next life, I might have more time. I’m coming back as a lilac (I’ve already decided). They might live longer than humans. I’m not really sure. They smell better, though. And bees. They feed bees. They are delectable things, lilacs, and I’ve always wanted to be beautiful in a simple, fragrant way. I’ll get my way in my next life. But right now, I’ve got no time.

On my right arm, I have a tattoo of a plume, tiny birds flying from it. The nib scrolls “Carpe Diem” down towards my elbow. The tat needs recoloring, and I’ve got scabs on my arms where I’ve been scratching hives. I don’t know where the hives come from. The allergy tests all came back negative. My husband says it’s stress. Some days, he’s probably correct. But other days, they just appear. I watch them rise on my forearms, amazed that little lumps can grow on their own. What’s feeding them?

Author Katherine Gotthardt
Maybe they are eating time. That would account for the lack of it, yes? That would explain a good many things, like why the months speed by more quickly as you get older, why the road ragers fly by on the highway like mad men (and women) and why I’m enamored with Buddhism but so damn bad at it. I’m watching these hives eat time. Even a Buddhist would have difficulty with that.

So next week I’m off to the doctor’s to look at my neck, post-op, and another to look at my blood pressure. We’ll talk about my swollen feet and numb toes, and they both will wonder how it is I don’t have diabetes, why I’m driven to create a legacy and what the heck that has to do with anything when the world continues to spin on its axis, each day becoming night, each night becoming day, the passing of time something absurd. We kid ourselves, thinking we can manage it. The most we can manage is ourselves. And even that we’re not evolved enough to do.

No, I will not manage time. I won’t even bother to try. I’ll just manage to barter for more. Somehow.

Katherine Gotthardt is a poetry and prose writer with five books under her belt and many more to write. She is a founding member and Vice President of Write by the Rails and CEO of ATW - All Things Writing. Learn more about her at

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