T is for How We Spend Our Time

Hello Friends,

I read a couple of interesting posts lately about time and the value of time and the waste of time. As I approach a milestone birthday this year I find myself questioning more and more what I am doing with my “remaining” time.

Do you ever ask yourself this question? I am betting that you, just like me, have questioned how you use your time. I know I want to use my time more efficiently. I want to do more with less. I want to make the most out of each moment I have.

But having said that, I don’t know that I need more hours in my days. Yes, we all want more time in a larger sense, but really we have little control over the number of days we have with which to squander or hoard our moments. We do have control over what we do with the hours we are given and I think this is where I find I must know what I really want.

What is of value to me?

What do I love?

Who do I love?

Where do I want to be?

Is this spot where my feet a firmly planted, where I really want to be?

Am I filling my days with minutia or am I filling my days with value?

Am I filling my days with purpose?

Am I filling them with fluff?

In knowing what and who and where I can then move to the how. For it is in the how that we find our place.

Time is not about using time to get someplace, to get to some end. As if it is truly all about the destination and not about the journey. We all know fundamentally that this is not the case. We know that it is really about loving and enjoying as many seconds out of every minute of our existence that we can.

I came across this amazing link the other day. If you are  remotely curious about others and how they live their lives this will be right up your alley.

Big-Thinkers-Time-Management-08-685x462From Mozart to Dickens

I am starting to build a better mousetrap with my time, by noticing more poignantly what is important to me and what I need to focus on. So, I look to those I love to make sure I am spending my time with them. I look to what I find myself drawn to doing, like writing for this blog, and I am making sure I have built in enough time to do this.

So, how do you fill your days? What is important to you?

Love,

S

 

Writer

Hello Friends,

So the word this week over at Lisa Jo Baker is WRITER. So here goes.

I think it is funny how much power the word writer had for me just a few short months ago. For years I have wanted to be a writer. I have stories floating around in my head that I need to write or they need to be written. I feel like a vehicle or a surrogate mother for these stories. But I struggle with labeling myself a writer. I fought these stories for years. Put them out of my head. Set them aside. Downplayed and dismissed them. For over thirty ears I have wanted to write and I have done everything I can to avoid it thinking that I am not a writer. How could I possibly write when I am not a writer.

Then a few months ago I came across a book I must have bought over two decades ago back when I was earning my bachelor’s degree. It was a book about being a writer. In this book the author explains the difference between a writer and an author. That was my aha! moment. I may not be an author yet, but I can certainly call myself a writer.

So, now I call myself a writer and in just the naming of the thing. Guess what? I write now. I write and write and write and I have never been so clear. The stories are there somehow and they are starting to take shape and form  paragraphs and moments and places and people and dialogue and action.

I am a writer.

Love,

S

Lisa Jo Baker has an interesting task every Friday. She calls it Five Minute Friday and it is a writing exercise posited around a particular prompt. You write to the prompt for a total of five minutes, uninterrupted, unedited, and then you link your writing to her site. As well, you go back and read two entries and comment on them.
She has, in effect, created a writer’s workshop. I love this and find it fun to participate in whether or not I had a blog. It is about the writing after all.

Insecure Writers’ Support Group

Hello Friends,

I am participating in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Okay, the name is a little misleading.  It is a support group in that it is a group of writers who post on the same day about their struggles with writing and how they handle said struggles. As a writer who has never really openly admitted that I want to write or be a writer, this felt like a good place to start accepting this about myself.

I am a writer.

I love to write.

I am my own worst critic.

I decided a few months ago to start writing again. I have a novel in the works and a screenplay. Gosh that sounds so weird to write (out loud) down, publicly. The novel is what I need to focus on, as in it eats at me every day. So my focus is on completing my collection of stories that make up the novel. This is harder work than I thought it would be.

I started my blog to help me become acquainted with the discipline of writing and to get used to having my writing available in a more public fashion. It has been so fun. I have tons of ideas about posts. I am always thinking about different ideas to explore. But, the writing is very different from the writing one does for a novel . Blog writing feels less, serious. The English major in me thinks I should focus on finishing my novel and the insecure side of me says, “Wait, you aren’t ready yet. Work on your blog some more…”

So, I admit I am a writer. I admit I am pulled in different directions writing-wise. I will also admit that I have never been happier than now, in this new writing world.

If you are an insecure writer, please consider joining the rest of us. You never know who you will meet or what you will discover along the way.

Love,

S

Insecure Writers Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Author
Quote

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

Hello Friends,
Yes, I am writing about another writing book. So sue me. But let me first tell you that I first read this book over ten years ago and I still love it. I am rereading it now because it is soulful and beautiful. If you don’t know about Anne Lamott, you need to know about her. She is gracious and full of grace. She is also full of spit and vinegar, but that is another story. Anne has a lovely way of inviting you into her head without you even realizing there was a door through which you needed to enter. I mean, she just gets it. She is spiritual. She is soulful. She is completely open. She shares the downfalls and the mistakes. She shares the heartbreak and the shame. But all along the telling of her story (meaning, any story she deigns to tell) you are there too, almost arm in arm.

No, I am not stalking her, I just want to grow up to be like her. She is a wonderful role model and a delightful writer.
Author Pic

I have read many of her books, but my all time favorite is her book about her life and the art of writing. She is so helpful, alive, real, insightful, and instructive in this book.

bird by bird:Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Book Cover

via

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth.  What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.  Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave.  They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
―     Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life    

I encourage you to read this book of hers if you only have a little time. Once you read this one, you will want to read her others.

Love,

S

Joy

Hello Friends,

I choose joy.
I choose laughter.
I choose happiness.
I choose guffaws.
I choose giggles.
I choose smiles on rainy days.
I choose joy.
I choose love that arrives in the middle of the night.
I choose the sunrise and the sunset and all the moments in between.
I choose kisses that leave me breathless and hugs that make me swoon.
I choose unbridled enthusiasm.
I choose positive energy and heartfelt prayers.
I choose joy.
I choose corny jokes, and raunchy jokes and funny jokes and jokes that aren’t really that funny.
I choose cheering for those we love.
I choose spreading love.
I choose non-judgment.
I choose joy.
I choose the half-full over the half-empty.
I choose the land of good intent and the Church of Everlasting Hope.
I choose flowers, strong coffee, champagne, and linen.
I choose springtime and planting flowers.
I choose visits to art galleries and museums.
I choose road trips.
I choose good books, big beds, and snuggles.
I choose joy.

Love,
S

Lisa Jo Baker has an interesting task every Friday. She calls it Five Minute Friday and it is a writing exercise posited around a particular prompt. You write to the prompt for a total of five minutes, uninterrupted, unedited, and then you link your writing to her site. As well, you go back and read two entries and comment on them.
She has, in effect, created a writer’s workshop. I love this and find it fun to participate in whether or not I had a blog. It is about the writing after all.

Book Cover

Favorite books of 2014:Book 1

Hello Friends,
I don’t know about you, but I have never been a fan of Stephen King. His books scared the bujeezus out of me. I read the short story, The Mangler, while living in the add on garage bedroom right off the kitchen in my grandmother’s home one summer. This would be the summer that her huge brown (yes brown) fridge died. But prior to it actually dying it made a lot of noise. Only at night. While I was in bed. Trying to sleep after watching Dynasty with my grandmother and dreaming of having hair like Krystle Carrington. Can we talk at some point about that spelling too? With a K and a Y? Really?

Krystle Carrington

This fridge was ginormous. It was dark brown. It was loud. I was convinced that it was possessed and that is when I started reading Stephen King. I began with his short story collection and in particular, The Mangler. If you are not familiar with the story here is a short summary: Women work in this horrific, reminiscent of The Jungle, laundry. There is a machine that maims and kills the female workers in all sorts of grotesque ways. End of story.

mangler

Needless to say, I became terrified of that fridge. I was convinced that somehow it would kill me just as the mangler did to so many innocent young women. I wasn’t really sure how. Maybe it would squash me as I poured my orange juice or let off some poisonous gas that would kill me in my sleep.

Brown Fridge

I decided that I was done with Stephen King. There was already so much to be scared of. I mean I had seen Night of the Living Dead a few years prior and that still completely haunts me. Remember it? How could anyone forget!?!  Who needed anything else to be afraid of? Not me.

Movie Poster

In later years (recently, as in, over the last six months) I decided that my desire to write (WRITE!) was becoming something a bit harder to squelch. So, on a lark, I bought King’s book On Writing.

Cover of the book

Wow.
Wow.
Wow.
People, this is worth reading.
So helpful.
So good.
Love his tone.
Love his attitude.
Love his candor.
If you are struggling with your writing. If you need a shot in the arm. Or if you would like to say you have read Stephen King’s work without scaring yourself too badly, please read this book.

Love,
S

Crowd

Hello Friends,

Don’t crowd me. Don’t push in on my edges. Don’t play loud music in your car next to me at the stoplight. Don’t stand so close in line. Don’t pick at your teeth around me. Don’t eat smelly food next to me on the plane. Don’t slurp your drink or soup. Don’t carry on personal conversations on your cell phone while I am shopping for shoes. Don’t clip your fingernails while waiting for your packages at the post office. Don’t meander slowly as if the rest of the world can just wait for you. Don’t spend ten minutes carrying on a conversation with your child in the school drop off line while the rest of us are waiting to drop off our kids.

Crowd.

Don’t crowd me. I need space and plenty of it. I am private and I believe in privacy. Some things should only happen behind the doors of your home. We all need a little more space, physical and psychological. Being raised in the country down a long dirt road, on land with no running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, or for that matter, glass windows, I learned to appreciate solitude and quiet. Crowds don’t freak me out. I am not agoraphobic. I can go to concerts, crowded bars, and the mall. I just prefer solitude. I prefer wide open spaces and the freedom to move.

Lisa Jo Baker has an interesting task every Friday. She calls it Five Minute Friday and it is a writing exercise posited around a particular prompt. You write to the prompt for a total of five minutes, uninterrupted, unedited, and then you link your writing to her site. As well, you go back and read two entries and comment on them.
She has, in effect, created a writer’s workshop. I love this and find it fun to participate in whether or not I had a blog. It is about the writing after all.

Love,

S