Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cleaning Up

“Sim­plify your life so that you do not try to fill your time with more than you can do. Start by list­ing your activ­i­ties. Then prune the list, strik­ing out any­thing that is not truly nec­es­sary and any­thing that is not beneficial.”- Eknath Easwaran

A few months ago one of the elderly members of my family went from being able to get around pretty easily to sitting slumped in her chair every day in a fog. After a consult with her doctor, he took her off all her meds and started adding them back one at a time. Now for the most part she is chatty and mobile.

That's sort of what I'm doing with my life right now. I felt burdened with some of my obligations and obligated about some things that were feeling unproductive. Basically I have stopped everything and am adding things back one by one.

What I've added is working out at the gym, setting up a web site (link to come soon), concentrating on my photography rather than my writing for now. What I've deducted is most of the things I do at night. I've found that I'm not as energetic late in the day as I used to be, staying up until all hours of the night. Now I want to do things mid-morning through the afternoon.

I'm also taking a break from all the outside things I did with my writing. I quit both my writing groups and have put more workshops on hold. This is the one thing I'm feeling a little uneasy about. I have quite a few stories that are one revision from being finished and I have a stack of places to submit. Until I get those out of the way (in my brain) I'm going to have a hard time concentrating on the book I have in mind. I know that I can add a group or put together a workshop if I need it though.

I'm increasingly aware of this "last gift of time" that I'm being given. I want to make the most of it, and figuring out what making the most of it looks like is hard. Almost weekly I hear of someone with weeks or months or a year to live and I find myself contemplating what those words would mean to me. Not morbidly, but just thinking about what would be important and what wouldn't matter. And trying to put those conclusions into practice now.

The adding and subtracting I've done so far feels right. I've got challenges but not too many, creative endeavors that don't feel like work, and time. I'm content and that's enough for now.


Greta said...

I'm walking in your shoes.

mamie said...

Greta, Come along!

Ally said...

Good for you, Mamie!!

I need to do some adding. A lot more adding.