Pieces of Me

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Taking the day off yesterday was just what the doctor ordered.   I had put my faith in Mother Nature to provide some sun for my entertainment, but she must have been busy shining elsewhere.  Left to my own devices, I decided to delve into the creative aspects of my life that I have shelved for too many years.  Writing is a cathartic and brilliant way to release the thoughts in my head, but getting back into a tactile artistic passion that seems to have been forgotten was a great way to spend the afternoon.

I used to love calligraphy when I was in high school and I was always doing one form of craft or another, so a cloudy afternoon was spent indoors with some paint, some brushes and a piece of wood.  I had been trying for a while to set aside some time to create a new sign for the end of my driveway and yesterday inspiration struck and creativity flowed.  This is the beginning of the sign that I hope to finish today.

new sign

In getting back into the crafty aspect of myself, I found a piece of me that had been missing.  I began to realize how many of those small enjoyments I have been ignoring over the years because I was letting work and the needs of others take priority.  I vowed to myself that I will start to put my needs first and make time to do the things that I enjoy.  I only get to live this life once and I don’t want to look back with regret wondering why I let my life pass me by and I didn’t participate as much as I could.  I don’t want to be on the sidelines doing things for other people and not be in the game.

Today is a beautiful, sunny day and I will be on my deck wrapped in a warm sweater with a paint brush in my hand.  Today I’m back in the game.

Setting aside the time

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Finding time to set aside precious hours, or even minutes, for those things we truly love to do seems to be more difficult as we get older.  Responsibilities pressure us into doing the right thing and prioritizing family, work and chores leaving little time to do the things we yearn to do.  Hobby items collect dust and ideas for great stories become trapped in the vault of our mind waiting for that large iron door to swing open and let the ideas tumble into the forefront of our thoughts.

vault

(image courtesy of Google)

I am learning to make more time for myself.  In the winter months it is much easier to make that time since I work the normal Monday to Friday hours that an office job dictates.  However, when the resort opens for the season, I am back to six days a week and generally my work days start at 7:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm, if I’m lucky.  The summer affords me one day off a week which is spent catching up on the aforementioned priorities, leaving little time for recreation or writing.  I am an avid golfer and at the end of last summer had not even played one full round of golf.  My gazebo waved at me from my front lawn as I passed it on my way to work and simply sighed as I dragged my weary body into the house on my way back from work.

This summer will be different.  Life is far to short to spend all of my time making someone else happy and forgetting about my own happiness.  Changing patterns and routines is difficult, but I have already begun the process to alter my patterns.  With the help and advice of friends I am slowly learning to make myself my first priority.  My alarm encourages me to rise an hour earlier than normal and my laptop is eagerly awaiting the gentle touch of my fingers on its keyboard.  My golf bag smiles knowingly at me every time I pass it on my way to work, somehow sensing that this golf season will be the pendulum swing our relationship needs to get back on track.  And my gazebo seems more inviting than ever.

I have finally come to realize that the change can only begin with me.  If I don’t make time to do the things I love to do, nobody else is going to make that time for me.  I am going to print this post and put it on the wall in my office to remind me that life is not all about work.  Although I enjoy my job, work is a means to an income.  Nothing will ever be as satisfying as writing a paragraph rich in imagery or hitting that perfect drive down the middle of the fairway.

Do you make a point to set aside time for the things you love?