Monday, July 15, 2013

Life is what we make of it, so make it a good one.

Do you ever feel powerless?

After spending 2 weeks away from home, I've returned--with dread in my gut. Worries plagued me all through the last night of our vacation--whether I'll admit it or not. I suddenly started to think about this ridiculous schedule I'd been keeping before leaving: early morning walking, a couple hours of cleaning, an hour or two of blogging, a couple hours teaching, a couple hours writing, then cooking, more cleaning, some calling work, a little critiquing, and finally the bed routine. Should it be any wonder I've been dreading it?

Then as I read an article about Islanders in the South Pacific, it hit me. Their priorities are very different from your average American. They LIVE A SLOWER PACE.

So why can't I?

My brain automatically sputtered back, "Well, because it's expected that I run until I burn myself out, and then pick myself up and keep going." LOL. Expected by whom? Silly me.

I had a mantra throughout high school: You make your own reality. Really, it's true. You are the one who defines what your life will be, what you'll tolerate, how far you'll let it go before working to change it. Now that doesn't mean things will change over night, but if it's a priority, you have the power to alter your current existence. Rather than complaining, our energy can be better spent, eh?

That said, will I be any less insane? No, but it will be a slightly altered insanity that fits more with my family and circumstances of life. It might even be a SLOWER PACE OF LIFE. *gasp* I think the older I get, the slower I move, and thus, it's wise to willingly adapt my pace accordingly. (That or I'm just getting bogged down with the needs of a middle-stage family.)

Regardless, what is it you find yourself complaining about lately? Do you know of someone who has dramatically altered their own world? (I think this might be why I write fiction--to create that alteration regularly.) Priority check, what is it you wish you were doing less/more?

P.S. I'll post one or two of our adventure stories in the next couple weeks. *rubbing hands* Boy, have I got some good ones!

42 comments:

  1. a very famous saying is that.. at the last moment of your life... whole life flashes before you..
    make sure it's worth watching :)

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    1. LOL. I think the ride will be worth watching, no matter whether good or bad. ;) Still, definitely a good thought--making it the very best.

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  2. Even when I'm on my summer break from teaching, I feel the urge to always be working on something. I may dawdle and delay a bit more, and life is not as rushed as when I'm trying to teach full time, run the household alone when my husband is on business trips, and further my writing career, too. (That includes writing, blogging, promoting, etc.)

    But I still push myself. To even stop and read a book by the pool I have to convince myself that it is a necessary mental break in order to further my productivity on the WIP.

    I wonder what I would do if I ever was able to live the dream of giving up the day job and writing full time. Would I drive myself nuts trying to find the right balance?

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    1. Yes, yes you would. ;) It's good to be busy. It lends to productivity, but I'm right there with you. I have to convince myself it's okay to kick back and regenerate. I think, as women, we tend to think our needs aren't as important as others.

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  3. I relate! When I get frantic in my schedule, more and more I force myself to slow down, do some creative visualization, breathe.

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    1. I know what you mean! You have to force yourself to breathe. ;)

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  4. I totally agree with you! Another one of my quotes is "you're writing your own story". Being a writer, when it's put like that, I always feel inspired to live a good story the way I want. :)

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  5. I admitted long ago that I can only do what I can do. I set priorities. R&R time is good for us. It makes me whole again.

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    1. So true--yet miraculously, I'm amazed at how often we can live without it, when absolutely necessary.

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  6. Gosh, I know how you feel. I tend to stress myself out about all I have to do, yet the reason I have so much to do is because of me. Make sense?

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    1. Yeah, totally. I sit back and go, "Well, I really could drop this, but I don't want to!"

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  7. Yay, you're back! Glad to see you again :).

    I always feel the need to "do something" too. It's bad, because then I get burnt out and that's no good for anyone. Frequent priority checks are necessary.

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    1. And support groups--to tell us, "Stop, you idiot, before you kill yourself."

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  8. girl, most people in the pacific islands are on major "island time". happy and relaxed!!

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  9. Ah yes, relaxing is so under-rated in today's modern world.

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  10. Yeah I've changed my reality about three years ago. It was hard work at first, but became much easier with every passing day.

    Best of luck with finding the right pace for you. :-)

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    1. You mean that thing that's constantly changing? (pace) I don't think there is a static one, but we'll get closer to a "normal" over time, eh?

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  11. what a thought provoking post, crystal--as all of yours seem to be---my brain is not working well enough to answer these great questions though :)

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    1. LOL. Lynn, neither is mine, but it was a day ago. Funny how that happens, eh?

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  12. My wife told me that I was getting crabbier and asked that I stop. Your post got me thinking, Your right! I'm getting older, life presses on me unconformably. I think I'll accept that my complaints are merely just getting started, and as I get older that it will become a right and a privilege to complain. Then at some point people will just pat me on the head when I complain, just Like I do to that crabby old guy who lives around the corner.

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    1. It's so easy to get caught in the trap, eh?

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  13. I am a panicky kind of doer. I can't help but stress and try to get everyone done a once. it's a problem.

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    1. So you're a sprinter, eh? I'm a distance runner. I tend to think those are the two approaches to life.

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  14. I don't like to be too idle. It's just the way I am.
    Added to that the fact that I believe solid, old-fashioned, hard work is good for the soul... well, that says it all!
    I feel that time is short and things need to be done. Pronto!
    But I'm learning to also chill out... R&R is also good for the soul...
    Writer In Transit
    (And I owe you an e-mail which you'll receive soon...)

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  15. I like being busy and crossing things off my to-do list. I do like the slower pace of summer vacation. I'm busy, but not as rushed.

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    1. I know what you mean! I don't feel as pressed to make sure the kids are crunching new educational material when their friends and banging on the door to play.

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  16. Whenever I slow my pace, I obsess over all the things I could have done in that time. Relaxing stresses me out! LOL

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    1. Eek! None of that! I guess this is the point at which we start into the "seasons of life" lecture, eh? ;)

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  17. Argh, that ridiculous, rigorous schedule sounds so familiar! I take time out to read all the time - and then I feel guilty because I'm not editing!
    We've got to stop - you're right, we've got to find a slower pace.

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    1. Yeah, don't feel bad. I sometimes thing reading is the thing that keeps me sane. =)

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  18. I complained that I was super busy and a good friend gave me a reality check that life IS busy. I had a good helping of humble pie that day. :)

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    1. But if you go back about 20 to 30 years in history, you'd be surprised the contrast.

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  19. Crystal, when you have a moment, please pop over to my place, I have something for you... mwah!
    Writer In Transit

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  20. "You drive like a mainlander" -- one of my favorite bumper stickers. We really do need to slow down and live in the moment.

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  21. I'm struggling with this too and I want life to slow down. But with a busy high school student, working full-time, a house to take care of, blogging and trying to write, it's not in the cards for me right now. I am slowing down on the writing for now because I know in about a year, parts of life will slow down. There's only so much I can do in a day.

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    1. It's true, and I've structured my life into a "week" routine to make it bearable, but man! What if you miss one day? Yikes! Or get sick. I want to call up life and say, "Life, you need to go on pause." Guess that's why I have the scientists in my basement working on their time-freezer.

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Hit me with your cheese!