Let’s see why according to some common statistics that are very accurate in my case.
Personal time: 10 hours
Personal time includes sleeping, eating and every personal task around it: getting cleaned up and prepared. If you count eight hours of sleeping time, it leaves only two hours in the bathroom and to have three meals a day – not much. I usually don’t sleep all eight hours.
Work: 10 hours
I would distribute this as eight hours of work per day and two hours of commute, one hour each way. That is if you are lucky. An executive works 10-12 hours on average and at some point in my life I had to commute four hours per day, five days a week.
Chores: 4 hours
Statistics say that on a weekly average working women still spend three to four hours per day doing chores. Stay-at-home parents do more. An average means that some do only one hour (not my case), some do five or six hours. I’m in the average. Some chores are not disagreeable: cooking, gardening, gourmet food shopping. But others are more annoying: staple food shopping, watering or mowing large areas, cleaning, doing the laundry and above all ironing – I hate ironing! Other chores not happening daily but that do take time include sewing/mending clothes or repairing things in the house or bringing clothes to the dry cleaner’s or shoes to the shoemaker’s or coordinating for someone to come and repair them. At this rate even men do a weekly average of 2h30 per day in chores.
Doing the math
We are already at 24 hours and I did not mention taking care of a child (or children), a parent (potentially a sick parent – even more time), a pet (several pets, different species), let alone socialize with friends or neighbors. Oh – and what about reading, learning, doing sports, traveling? Am I missing something? Television and social media? Volunteering?
All my calculations don’t even come close to reality since you have to add all the unplanned events. They don’t need to be big events (tornado, bomb, etc.), just things that get in your way and make you waste your precious time. A car is poorly parked and blocks the tram which cannot deviate from its rails. 5-15 minutes. Rain makes the garden muddy and the dog comes back leaving a trail of mud everywhere: clean the floor + clean the dog. 10-15 minutes. A bottle of spices loses its distributing top and suddenly you have to scoop up all the unwanted thyme from your dish to avoid ruining it – I’m not inventing this, it just happened to me – which is why usually it’s my husband who cooks! A minute before I was also putting hot peppers in my dish, I’m glad that top stayed on …5-8 minutes. Does this sound familiar?
My sad conclusion
All this explains why I’ve missed publishing a post yesterday. When do I have time to write? Become a real writer? I write since age six: novels, poems, essays. So I am de facto a writer. What makes it more real?
Being read and appreciated – so don’t spare the comments!