March 4, 2010

Counting The Seconds

The other night around 10:30, I walked out of my office and thought huh, despite the fact that I just worked a 14 hour day, the day sure as hell seemed short. And now I know why:

The massive earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday may have shifted the Earth's axis and created shorter days, scientists at NASA say. The change is negligible, but permanent: Each day should be 1.26 microseconds shorter, according to preliminary calculations. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second. A large quake shifts massive amounts of rock and alters the distribution of mass on the planet. When that distribution changes, it changes the rate at which the planet rotates. And the rotation rate determines the length of a day.

Of course I didn't think that. I thought hey, I'm outside and not working, how new and different is that? But still, when I saw the article it got me thinking - would I add more minutes to the day if I could?

Over the past two weeks I've juggled more than I ever thought I could. I conducted assessments on the staff who work for me, I completed a major project, I led a team developing a proposal for new work, I was a dad, I finished one book and started another, I wrote ten entries, answered somewhere around 1,000 emails and somehow managed to sleep. And I wished for more hours in the day.

On Wednesday afternoon the whole gigantic work project was complete. I worked the rest of the day from home. And promptly fell down half a flight of stairs. As I was lying there, the kids asking if I was okay, I started to think do I really want a longer day? The answer was no. Because I'd just manage to fill it up with things to do, more balls to juggle, more plates to keep in the air. Eventually, I answered the children, I was okay (though really I was pretty banged up). And I hugged them both.

Do you need more hours in a day? Do you want more hours?

Posted by Chris at March 4, 2010 7:26 AM

Not necessarily a longer day, it would indeed just fill up again with other stuff to do.

no or less sleep would be good though...

Posted by: mikkie at March 4, 2010 7:35 AM

Usually I feel like I *need* more hours because really - who has time to get it all done? But then when do you stop and say enough is enough? So for now, I am content with the standard 24.

Posted by: rougeneck at March 4, 2010 8:03 AM

I hope if I had more time I would use it to sleep :P But considering I don't use the time I *have* to sleep, I dunno if I'd be that clever.

Posted by: Heather at March 4, 2010 8:31 AM

I agree with the above: Extra time to sleep would be nice.

Posted by: Spring at March 4, 2010 9:23 AM

umm, I think more hours in the day has its appeal, if i could have those extra hours after the kids have gone to bed they would be super!

Posted by: Heather at March 4, 2010 9:23 AM

I couldn't live your life. It would make my head explode. And I routinely fall down the stairs, just thought I'd let you know.

And no more time in my day. No.

Posted by: k8 at March 4, 2010 10:06 AM

I want secret hours. Not hours that anyone else could fill with more stuff for me to do. Hours that are mine, all mine.

Posted by: Lemon Gloria at March 4, 2010 11:16 AM

I need more hours in my day, and not necessarily to take on new things, but to keep up with the things I've already got on my plate. I work full time, 20 miles from my home, so that's 9 hours plus 1-2 hours of commute per day that I am not attending to the things that are important to me.

I'm usually up till 11 working on these things, which include playing with the kids, reading, washing the dishes, tidying the house, eating dinner, watching TV with my husband. On the weekends I work on larger projects, like cleaning out the garage and doing laundry. I would have less to do in my evenings and on my weekends if my darling husband would do some of that while he's home all day.

I also gave up soda for Lent, which shortens my day considerably, because I am WIPED OUT by 9:30 without my caffeine infusion.

So I guess I don't need more hours; what I need is caffeine and a useful house-husband.

Posted by: Brooke at March 4, 2010 11:26 AM

Need, maybe. Want, no. Same reasons as yours, but without the necessity of flinging myself down a flight of stairs.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at March 4, 2010 11:32 AM

I would totally love more hours in a day, but not for work. But for play. I find there isn't nearly enough time for the things I love to do. Just only time for the "have to's".

Posted by: SoccerMom at March 4, 2010 11:32 AM

Sure sure, but sometimes, I want nighttime to come 'bout an hour after I wake up. Just enough time to drink my coffee, check my e-mail, and go back to bed.

Posted by: Surfer Jay at March 4, 2010 11:46 AM

I don't need or want more time in my day. We as a society fail to recognize our limits. We always want MORE, but it's only when we understand what limited time we're working with that we can profoundly appreciate what we've been given. Wanting more is just a way to avoid decisions about what to do with what we actually have.

Posted by: Laura at March 4, 2010 12:17 PM

I just wanted to say that I am so excited to see someone on here that likes to read, and will list the books they are reading. thanks!

Posted by: SoccerMom at March 4, 2010 1:18 PM

No matter how much time I had, i could find a way to fill it and it wouldn't seem like enough -- and odds are, it would fill up with the things that DON'T bring me joy like: filling the dishwasher, cleaning, and doing meaningless spreadsheets for work.

So, while I feel like there isn't enough time sometimes, I'd be better off saying NO to some tasks versus adding more hours.

Might be EASIER to knock the earth off its axis and create longer days than to get me to stop taking on so many projects.

Posted by: Sarah at March 4, 2010 4:03 PM


All I'd do is find more things to fill the hours up with.

Posted by: Krush at March 4, 2010 5:04 PM

I don't want a longer day for everyone...just for me. I need everyone else to be paused for a couple of hours every day so that I can do all those extra things I never have time for, and then life can continue as normal.

Posted by: Teresa at March 4, 2010 6:24 PM

If there was a way to add more hours to the day and not let the powers-that-be know, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I need and want more hours, but I know if they were available, they would quickly turn into frequent overtime :-(.

Posted by: Kat at March 4, 2010 11:48 PM

I would *love* to have more hours in the day because we (hubby and I) are just always so insanely busy. However, when I once mentioned this to a friend, in the sense of wanting time to relax, he simply sighed, shook his head and said "if you had extra hours then you would just find more things to do". And he's right. As much as I would love to imagine having an extra hour or two every day in which to chill out and relax, I'd probably spend it running around doing things, or working, or cleaning etc. So I kinda think limiting myself to 24 hours in a day is a good thing :-)

Posted by: Delia at March 5, 2010 3:22 AM

i know, pretty unbelievable. however, i heard after the earthquake that this has happened in other earthquakes and it can go the other way too. for a while there I was all proud there that my country had shortened the world's days forever.

Posted by: carmen at March 5, 2010 12:18 PM

If I were to ever have children, I really hope the athletic gene that totally missed me from my mom's side hits them. Cos this clumsy crap has GOTTA GO.

Hope you're feeling better.

Posted by: alektra at March 7, 2010 5:24 AM