Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

2 Weeks to 50!

I learned this week that I can sometimes forget the things that I have learned. As many of you who have followed my blog over the years already know, I have strived to get out of my own way and let myself write. It took decades for me to realize that I was often the biggest obstacle in my own path. This week that lesson came home to me again.

The day job has been supremely stressful the last few months. A huge time-consuming project has landed squarely on my desk and it is up to me to somehow carve out the time necessary to complete it. Of course, I still need to do everything else that typically fills my 40 hours each week… So I have been coming home exhausted from trying to cram 40 pounds of work into a 20 pound box. There is just no energy or imagination left to work on my writing when i get home.

Add to this that lately it seems every moment of the weekend is already spoken for. Chores and errands we can’t manage to cram into the week fill what little down time we can find.

Needless to say, my husband and I are both feeling a bit stale and un-artistic!

One morning last week I found myself complaining to him about not having any time to work on my book. I said this to him as I alternated between strolling down the virtual aisles of Amazon, checking the feed on Facebook, and trying to feed Simon’s hungry cats in a game I have grown addicted to.

It was like a light switched on when I realized what I was doing. I put away my iPad which has been connected to my fingertips as of late. (When I get stressed I drown myself in games and goofing off.) I think I actually heard that gadget sigh with relief as I closed it in the drawer!

I picked up my manuscript and squeaked in an hour of polishing before work. I did it again the next day and the next. And lo and behold, the forward momentum has started again!

I am not going to sit here and bash the electronic age and how mindlessly we all seem to connect to it and disconnect from real life. We need ways to decompress and sometimes you just don’t feel like talking! But when you find yourself lamenting your lost time, and complaining about how you can’t carve out a minute to do what really kicks your skirt up, it is time to reevaluate how you spend the few free minutes you get each day.

In my next fifty years, I plan on spending more time on the things that get me fired up (in a positive way!) and less trying to clear the boards on candy crush. I will still play the occasional game, don’t get me wrong, but it will be after I have put some time in with my work in progress, or goofed around with my ukulele or fiddle, or read a few chapters for fun, or sewed another quilt block. Mindless i-pad-ing will come after I have done things that actually feed my soul.

See… older dog, still learning new tricks! 🙂

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