Thursday, May 26, 2016

Random Reflections of a Passionate Neglector

This morning I announced that I'm a Neglector.

I said it aloud: "I am a Neglector," and instead of feeling bad or beaten up, I felt honest and authentic. I had admitted a truth about myself and apparently, that's okay to do.

I neglect so many things from the master bathroom to friends to projects to this blog. I think one of my problems is that I have great ambition but the follow-through is lacking.

Acknowledging that I start things and don't complete them actually frees me to focus on what I have started and have finished. And it brings me to what I want to do, what I would do if I had more hours in the day.

Life can be crowded with all the things you have to do----pay the water bill, buy groceries, earn money, sleep, take a shower-----and pretty soon you realize that you are going to have to make time for the passionate things, the things that call your name when you stand before a sunrise and take in its beauty.

I'm all about lists, especially To-Do ones, so I made a list.  This was not about want needed to be done, but the kind of list to boost my ego.  I jotted down the recent small tasks I had accomplished: cutting old clothes for rags in our workshop (our woodworking business), having family over for Mother's Day, crafting my own recipe for a summer iced drink, arranging for a lawn service to mow our weeds--- er----yard, washing the car (that was on my to-do list for three weeks) cleaning the downstairs bathroom (guests do have to use this one).

As I reflected on my list, I realized that often it's important to have only a few projects at a time.  What's the point in overdoing it?  And is it wise to put whimsical ideas down on a To-Do list?  Learn to play the saxophone, learn to paint like Monet.

As much as I love the feel and smell of the Lowe's and The Home Depot nurseries at spring, I know that I'm not going to be a gardener.  Yes, I love the idea of growing our own tomatoes and have enjoyed sun-ripened juicy Better Boys from a small garden we used to have.  But when I hear my gardener neighbors talk about how they find peace and serenity while working in their beds of lettuce and Swiss chard, I know that right now in my life, gardening is a whim; I am not willing to take the time to dig in dirt and remember to water. That does not bring me any tranquility. I do, however, appreciate the produce from their gardens that my neighbors share with me. I'd like to be passionate gardener, but I'm not going to throw myself into it because I have other things that are calling me in louder voices.

Our business calls me because it allows us to make money to pay things like the electric bill and buy wine and cheese. When a business is new, it takes all your time and then some.  You have to promote it, come up with new ideas, iron out the kinks, make it work. It's both exciting and exhausting (as is working with my husband).

Lately, I ask myself if my desire to accomplish something stands the test of time. This comes with knowing myself and doing some serious self-examining. Is this a goal I really want to accomplish? Is this goal feasible? Do I need another task to neglect?

It seems these days I have few hours in the week to read for pleasure and to write. I dream of spending a week at a cabin by a river and eating chocolate, reading for inspiration, and being creative. Writing my memoir has not just been softly calling me; it's been hounding me  After four years, I still want to do it. Over the years, I've written articles for publications about making time for writing. I made it all sound possible and I know it is, but that was when I was a full-time author.  Now we have a full business and between promoting it online, emailing customers, and helping my husband with crafting the orders, there leaves little time to be creative.

I steal moments here and there to work on my memoir.  I might be 60 when it's finished, but I won't neglect it because it is my passion.  I want to persevere. I just hope I get it completed before I die. 

How about you?  What do you neglect?  What have you given up in order to pursue your passion? How do you find the time/make the time to do what beckons you at sunrise?

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