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Talkin about chicken - time-management


Yesterday, I'd just gotten comfortable at my darling table in my immediate area Starbucks when I noticed two 70-somethings seated at the table next to me. Though they sat mere inches from one another, they communicated as if they were durable on conflicting ends of a dark mountain tunnel.

"I'M Enthusiastic TO GO FAR FOR GOOD CHICKEN," bellowed the gentleman in fair-haired pants on the left.

"YOU DO LOVE YOUR CHICKEN," decided his companion, a man whose gigantic black glasses made him look like a opinionated cartoon.

I smiled at the capon lover in a delicate I-like-chicken-too kind of way. Then I distant a fresh blonde highlighter from my pocket, took a sip of my latte, and began to read all through the folder of interview notes I'd brought with me. I read one judgment ahead of my concentration was interrupted.

"KNOW WHO HAS SURPRISINGLY GOOD CHICKEN?" queried the man with the glasses.

"WHO?" asked Blonde Pants eagerly.




Yellow Pants couldn't agree to this information. He did, however, agree the shrimp plate was be with to none. Blonde Pants then went on to explain, in astounding detail, the exact scene of every good chicken restaurant inside ninety miles of the Denver municipal area.

I put down my highlighter and began pulse my fingers on the table wondering how long the chicken gossip would continue. I looked about and noticed two men in dark suits meeting at a table on my right. They were drumming into their Palm Pilots, doodle notes onto a legal pad, and strategizing about an imminent sales meeting. They were doing accurately what colonize are assumed to be doing at Starbucks: working.

As I listened to the older gentlemen on my left and the salesmen on my right it dawned on me that the main discrepancy concerning retirement and the functioning years is the capability -- and ask -- to talk about chicken. At length. I wish I had time to think about chicken, I mutter to for my part as I jam my folder into my suitcase and head off in explore of a quieter table. But I'm busy. I have deadlines. I have to multitask each time possible. Even my idle time is crammed with projects and purpose.

Take running, for example. When I go for a run, as a replacement for of deferential the daffodils that are early to push because of the hard-packed coldness dirt, I try to cause new story ideas and make sure I keep my heart rate at 70% of ceiling for at least 25 minutes.

When I go to the dentist, in its place of assassination time in the before you room by analysis about the most up-to-date big shot breakup, I associate the allocation of my stock assortment aligned with the allocations not compulsory in Money magazine. No sense killing a good 20 minutes.

I'm not like this being I know who just converted to part-time and now trees work at one o'clock everyday to work on his golf game. If I took off at one o'clock, I'd assume in my opinion to write a novel. Or learn Japanese. By dinner.

I didn't apprehend how bad this continual do-think-plan mentality was until last night when I found in my opinion alone in a restaurant before you for a friend. I didn't have a note pad so I couldn't jot notes or plan the next day's activities. I didn't have a cell phone so I couldn't check voice mail or leave impressive after-hours communication for my editors. I hadn't even brought a article or magazine to read.

So, I read the menu. Four times. I looked out the window. I read the menu again. I asked for a glass of water. I read the menu again. I checkered my watch. I ongoing to sweat and in the space of minutes, I'd wrapped my arms about my waist and begun to take deep sucking breaths like a drug addict arched in a murky area of an abandoned warehouse.

By the time my ally at home fifteen log later I was entirely disconsolate. Not since she was late but since I'd been compulsory to spend fifteen action -- 900 whole seconds -- idle and alone with my thoughts. There were effects I could have been doing, be supposed to have been doing. But I went to the restaurant unprepared. The time had been wasted.

After I explained my depress to my alone -- who was not all but as diffident for her delay as I brain wave she ought to have been -- she looked at me and asked, gently, "Why did you think you had to do anything? Quiet time is good thing, you know. "

And then it dawned on me. The aptitude to deliberate on equipment like chicken and Red Lobster are not a side appearance of one's employment status; they are a act of one's perspective. My acquaintance was right: idle time is not emaciated time. Captivating time out, even for 15 minutes, allows you to be a sign of on your life, cause new ideas and be grateful for clothes like chicken and the many ways it can be cooked and how many other animals, when cooked, taste like chicken. It's why citizens take vacations and have Sundays off and why there are amazing effects in the world like books and plays and champagne and climbing trails. Idle time may not be good for our careers, but it's central to our souls.

So here's my challenge: for the next week try to take time every day to be alone with your thoughts. Hide your to-do list. Turn off the radio in your car. Look at the clouds. Go to bed a half-hour beforehand exclusive of a book. Do a touch because, well, just because. Then, when you've figured out how to be idle -- how to do or think or talk about no matter which that pleases you even for a brief total of time every day -- let me know how it goes. I'll be with the two old guys at this great new chicken restaurant down the street.

Copyright, 2005, Shari Caudron.

Shari Caudron is an award-winning columnist, characters coach, and dramatist of "What Especially Happened," a album of humorous stories about the coaching life teaches you when you least count on it. Shari evenly delivers speeches to women's groups about how to transform average experiences into opportunities for delicate growth. Website: http://www. sharicaudron. com E-mail: shari@sharicaudron. com

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