Revisiting PIRDY a Year Later

During the last week of 2009, I devised a plan to help me give more time to activities I enjoy, but never seem to find enough time for. I called it The PIRDY Plan (P for Photography, I for Internet, R for Reading, D for Drawing, Y for Yoga. And I was in the plan in hopes of containing it, not finding more time for it.) So, how did it go?


First, some bad news.

I discovered very quickly that the time slot I thought would work for fitting in one of the five activities each work day was not remotely realistic. Having devoted the morning to my writing or a project I am editing, at 3:30 I am still working on other business: answering email, planning workshops or presentations, writing blog posts, updating my web site, reading for contests or juries, dealing with computer issues, and so on.


But there’s good news too.

I decided I don’t need to jump from my bed to my desk every single week-day morning. Surely it’s worth giving that pre-breakfast time slot at least <some> mornings to care for my body. At the moment it’s only one morning a week that I’m logging in for a free class at Yoga Today (for a while in the spring, it was two), but even one yoga session a week is a lot more yoga than I was doing a year ago, right?


More good news.

I decided that time to read deserves more priority in my life than a few minutes, or even 20, before going to sleep at night. Reading is what turned me into a writer, after all, and helps make me (I hope) a better writer all the time, right? Since reading on the couch in the evening too often proved soporific, and weekends were often busy with family, friends, or book-biz-related activity, I began allowing myself to read in bed with a cup of tea before breakfast, even on weekdays. As a happy result I am quite happily reading more books.

Person knitting

But, more bad news, too.

Besides the few pencil marks I made on one sheet of paper last January, I have done no drawing and have not played around with photography as much as I thought I would either. However…

More good: I can contentedly accept that at least for now, drawing is just not something that’s important enough to me to find time for. And I have continued throughout the year to take some pretty satisfying photos.


And how about the big I?

The Internet has simply permeated too many areas of life to limit its use to one time slot in the week. How do you limit time for finding information for a writing project, for example, or about a health concern (as I did recently during and after a nasty gall bladder attack)? The Internet has also helped me this year to decide what to make for supper, whether a company’s offer to give us a new hot water heater is a scam (yes), and it has given me a fun way to keep track of my reading life. And sure Facebook <can> be a time-waster, but only if you let it, and if you don’t, it’s a good way of keeping up with people you might otherwise lose touch with. And hey, how else would we have enjoyed the Hallelujah Chorus in Welland this season without the Internet?

Happy New Year!

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on January 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Was your PIRDY Plan a success? I say "Yes" because it helped you to identify what is most important to you. It also inspired me to take a similar look at my own activities, and for that, I thank you. xo

  2. Kathy on January 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks, Janet. I felt overall that the "good news" outweighed the bad, and I like your way of looking at it, too. And how nice to know I ended the year with an "inspiring" post! If you come up with a fun acronym for the activities you aim to make more time for, I'd love to hear it.

  3. Kathy on January 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    A couple of people have asked about the photos I included in this post. They are all photos I took last year.

    The dog is our golden doodle, Keisha. She loves winter. (Also summer, spring and fall.)

    The tree pic was taken one afternoon in the conservation area that we are lucky to be able to walk in almost every day.

    The hens & chicks and white flowers are a little detail in our spring garden.

    The knitter is Erin Thomas during a relaxing moment at our Seaside Writing Workshop last August.

    The spectacular sky over the red house was taken during a visit with writer-friend, Budge Wilson, during a visit at her Hubbards home last September.

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