My Midlife Project

Remodeling a Middle-Aged Mom

Making Time for the Things I Love

Question #1: Name an activity you have always loved.
My answer: Writing.

Question #2: Name something other people say you do well.
My answer: Writing.

Question #3: Name an activity you never seem to fit into your schedule.
My answer: Writing.

pen and journal resting on sofa

Do you see a trend? I do.

During the past three weeks since my last “real” post, I have thought a lot about this blog. I thought about writing. I thought about what I should write. I thought about what I wanted to write. Eventually, I thought about why I DON’T write.

Ah. There’s the rub.

Why DON’T I write? What’s my answer to THAT question?

Staying on task and sticking with goals are especially difficult for me during the winter months. I struggle with the lack of sunshine and abundance of cold temperatures. I always have. My college roommate told me nearly 40 years ago that I must have bears or some other hibernating varmint in my ancestry. Every winter I gain about five pounds and would rather sleep than eat. [Please tell me I’m not the only one!]

Some winters seem worse than others. This winter is one of those. Worse, I mean.

Several weeks ago, I created a daily schedule of sorts with the hope it would add structure and purpose to my day. I blocked out some time for working on my blog. I also scheduled some time for journaling. That worked well for a few days. My house was clean. I felt some sense of order. My journal’s pages were filling with words.

Then it all stopped.

The “break” began when I needed time and emotional energy for something going on with one of our children. After we passed that issue off into capable hands (at least for now), some people from my circle of friends and acquaintances disappointed me. Then I learned that someone else I know was going through a difficult time because of a foolish mistake. My heart hurt. No doubt I could have found comfort in writing down my feelings — but I didn’t. Instead, I simply ruminated. The same thoughts and conversations over and over and over.

Yuck.

As I tried to dig myself out of the hole I was in, I pondered why I didn’t just journal or blog about my feelings and get it all out of my head. That’s when I realized I consider “writing” a luxury. A superfluous activity. it’s something I do for myself that doesn’t offer value or fill a need for anyone else. My life — and everyone else’s — still goes on. Even if I don’t write.

That’s a switch.

When I was working, it wasn’t like that. Writing was a major part of my job. I didn’t need to make excuses to write. I wrote something every day. At times, I neglected almost everything else because I HAD to write. Lives depended on my writing. I penned grant proposals. I composed compelling presentations. I developed dramatic (and effective!) donor newsletters. I typed emails to explain and encourage.

Then I decided to stay home, where words are spoken and writing is no longer in my job description…. And, overall, I’m much more at peace.

My daily priorities at home include several necessary activities. Exercise. Bible study. Eating. Sleeping. Spending time with my husband. Laundry. Housekeeping. Those are the things I must do every day to keep my life in sync and balanced and running smoothly.

None of them are luxuries.

What is a Luxury?

I’m aware that many people consider “exercise” a luxury. I  thought that way in the past. Especially when my children were young. Now that I’m almost 56 years old, exercise is a necessity. I treat it as such. No matter what happens. No matter how busy. No matter if it’s later than I planned. If working out is on my schedule for the day, I do it. Period. It makes the rest of my life better. I sleep better. I’m more focused. I’m happier.

Oh, yeah. One more thing — my jeans fit better.

The effects of exercise are both physiological and psychological. The effects of writing (or whatever YOUR luxury love is) are merely emotional. Writing isn’t as easy to defend. I just need to do it. I enjoy writing; I’m happier when I write.

Even if no one reads it.

Dark chocolate is a luxury. Red wine is a luxury. Television is a luxury. Facebook is a luxury.

Writing is no longer on my luxury list. At least for the next 60 days. I’ve written this blog post for accountability. 

At the end of each day, I usually look back on what I’ve accomplished. I also think about what I neglected to do — and why. If I don’t write something on a day I planned to write, it should only be because my laptop died or I’m sick with the flu! I’m adding “Writing” to my daily priority “to do” list — right under “Exercise”.

What is YOUR luxury love? Do you block out time in your schedule to pursue it? Why or why not?

photo by: matryosha

About Brenda

Morning person. Introvert. Longtime runner. Erratic sleeper. Fitness junkie. Lifelong learner. Coffee addict. Volunteer. Health/Wellness advocate. Coach. Blogger.

2 Replies

  1. I have found my groove with writing regularly, but it took me a while to figure it out. Now, unfortunately, my luxury is something I used to do every day – reading books. Being still and quiet enough to focus on reading has become more and more difficult as my life has gotten more and more busy.

    1. I can relate to reading books becoming a luxury. I don’t read as much as I used to — or as much as I’d like! If I could get away with it, I would choose to fill my time with reading books and writing stuff. For now, I’m still looking for my writing groove… Hopefully, like you, I will eventually find it!

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