A blank page has been staring at me for a month
waiting for me to do something,
like the future laid out before me
anticipating my next move,
but it's still mostly blank
except for a few scribbles
that don't amount to much.

With all the free time and open space
I should be able to accomplish something,
but I feel a little like Burgess Meredith
in The Twilight Zone,
filled with hope because 
there is time enough at last,
then dashed by the realization
that there is never enough time 
and there never will be;
now is all we have
and we cannot waste it.

Staying up late and sleeping in
after years of early to bed, early to rise,
isn't a sin, I don't think.
A weekend getaway, mid-week,
makes a wonderful change of pace;
planning a trip to paradise
makes fun and stress-free dinner conversation.
Feeling carefree isn't wasting time, is it?

A lifetime of a well taught work ethic 
and pushing to do the right thing
isn't easy to overcome.
For all the small victories,
the blank page keeps taunting me
to do something now,
to write down the words
while I have time.
Now is all I have.
I must not waste it.

~Elise Skidmore ©2022

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6 Comments

    1. Thanks, Lisa. As you know, I’ve never been a prolific writer, someone who writes every single day, but I wanted to write something. I did manage to finish a poem I started before I retired mid-month, but I wanted to get something down because I know me, the longer I let it lapse, the harder it gets. Anyway, I opened a new file, stared at the blank screen, when nothing came, I saved the file calling it “blankpage”. Next time I went back to it, I just started rambling whatever, and finally this came out.

  1. I absolutely love this because every word is true and I can totally relate. When my Mom passed and my son went off to college (within a month of each other), I swore I now had so much time to do all those things I wanted to do. I was going to declutter the entire house. I was going to better organize all my paperwork, drawers and closets. I was going to make all those phone calls I never got around to. I was going to take the dog for more walks. I was going to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. I was going to take a few trips and attend more local events. I did return to bowling, and as you know, I became an active volunteer with LI Cares. But all the time I swear I had to do all these things just didn’t happen quite as I had thought. My Dad always told me that time was valuable, and giving someone my time was the best thing I could ever do for both them and myself. He was right, and as I am getting older, the reality that my time here on Earth is getting shorter is a little scary. This was a great piece Elise.

    1. Thank you so much, Regina! It always means so much to know that I’ve written something that others can really relate to. I’ve heard busy people get more done, and I think that may be true. I wrote when I was young and then didn’t write more than a business letter or note to the teacher for 20 years. When I got involved in the writers forum at Compuserve, my girls were both young (9 & 14) and I was working as well as running around with them, yet for more than 6 years, I wrote 2 stories a month as well as comment on every story other members posted. I lost momentum when my mother passed, and once both girls were mostly independent, I thought I’d get that back with the free time. Sadly, it never happened. I tend to write in spurts (I could embellish on that metaphor, but it might get “indelicate” so I’ll refrain.) April and November tend to be good months because of the PAD. But I really have been enjoying just taking everything day by day. Getting up and going to bed when I feel like it. No stupid BS to aggravate me (other than the normal little things you always have at home). It’s nice to be able to do things at my own leisure instead of having to cram everything into the weekend. My current plan, if it could be called a plan, is to just do what I’ve been doing and write when the feeling (or the guilt) moves me.
      And thanks so much for checking in here. While I don’t miss going to MDI at all, I do miss the good people I worked with for so long. Tell everyone I said hello!

      1. Thanks Elise for sharing. I envy your freedom and look forward to having that one day as well. Enjoy every moment. I will keep checking in when I can.

        1. You do know you can get notifications to your mailbox whenever I post something new, right? There’s a link on the home page for that. It’s on the bottom right. Subscribe to the blog. 🙂 That way you won’t miss a thing.