Taking a Necessary “Time Out”

Today’s the day I’m aware that the author of Why Not Do What You Love! (who happens to be me), is not doing enough of what she loves.  This is a big WHOOPS!   And I’m choosing to rant!

And yet I have to tell the truth.  Life has gotten tedious and dreary.  I’ve been in a phase of getting things done; the insulation in the basement, locks on the doors, the dirt cellar dug out, and the roof repaired. Tasks which require dealing with contractors, getting estimates, making sure things are done in the way they were promised.  I’ve done really well and am proud of the progress, but tending to the details of tasks like these gives me no joy. (Actually there was a little. I have loved meeting the contractors who are so passionate about their work they actually remind me of what I love.)

Even the writing life, usually quite fun, has soured a bit of late as I finish my newest project. Any book once joyfully written, must be edited, designed, proofed, submitted in final. If it’s a self-published work, as mine are, I do the tasks, or hire them out, or a little of both, but still have to keep track of the process.  All for the ultimate joy of seeing my “art” in print and sharing it with others.

And then, stuff happens out of the blue…

A local developer has made an application to build 31 condos in a residential and rural neighborhood.  That permit application needs to be denied. The decision is to be rendered soon. The neighborhood is not too far from me and the issue does affect the rural charm of the whole town which our newly minted Master Plan is trying to protect. So I feel compelled to get involved. I served on that Master Plan committee, which was a task I enjoyed. I’m committed. Although I am actively supporting the effort, I don’t enjoy the detail of framing arguments, doing research, gathering data, playing political games.  Fortunately, others do.

The “should” list continues.  I’m having to (even while I’m aware that I’m choosing to) do specific daily, tedious, physical exercises in an attempt to deal with an exacerbated scoliosis that has befallen this 71 year old.  None of this is fun. I don’t like it. And, if that weren’t enough, I keep adding new things to master on my computer–each one, easy for the youngsters– always extremely challenging for me.

Right now everything on this list seems necessary to my well being and my comfort for days to come, in my body, in my home, and in my town.   However, “details”  have always caused me a bit of a struggle.

As I review my list, I note and admit I have chosen all my tasks and would do so again.  I’m doing new things and learning lots of new stuff.  But it’s only really fun, once mastery has been accomplished. (Yes, finally… my three websites are fun!)

All things that are “good” have some elements that are “not so good.” I just didn’t realize how the “not so good” parts had all piled up and that I temporarily stopped devoting time to what’s easy for me and what really lights my fire.

Interesting that what I do love to do is help  folks, confused and overwhelmed about their lives and uncertain what to do next, to sort themselves out and get back on track. I do it easily.  It’s my gift.  And so here I am, needing to take care of myself first.  Part of taking care of myself is carving out this meager little “time out” to vent on paper.  And, that’s actually been nourishing to my spirit!

Writing helps me sort. This piece is helping me make peace with choices I’ve made, to acknowledge their consequences, and to resolve to make some new choices soon.  Maybe this particular writing will also invite you, the reader, to take time to assess your current levels of joy and tedium and to sort out your own new resolves.

For me, relief started with a necessary “time out.”  May we all take the time to see what’s up with us and an equal amount of time to “right the balance in our lives.”