Days of Each Life

I went for a regular doctor’s appointment this week, and before I scare you with the title or beginning by talking about a doctor’s visit, I’ll say upfront this isn’t a post saying I only have a few months to live or something. Fortunately, so far, knock on wood, I’m doing okay, so no worries there. 

I mention the visit to the doctor though because we had an interesting conversation. I am lucky to have a doctor who likes to chat a bit while doing the routine heart check. He has kids the same general age as mine so we talked awhile about my recent vacation and about my oldest son’s obsession with roller coasters. 

We also talked about aging (I turn the big 4-0 at the beginning of 2016, so it’s on my mind). He told me of a patient of his, who is on a weight loss & improved fitness journey, that told him he had calculated the number of days he had lived in his life so far compared with how many days he would have left if he lives to an average old age. We both agreed it seemed a bit morbid since the fellow had less days left than days he had already lived, but the guy used the breakdown of days as motivation to make each day count.

I do not want to count out the days lived so far or do the calculation of possible days left, but I liked the incentive to make the days count. We shouldn’t have to wait for a big health concern, for example, to crop up that reminds us our days won’t last forever. We could all do with a reminder to not take a day for granted.

If we stop to think of our days as not being unlimited and each day having such value, it can serve as a great motivator. What do I want to accomplish in my life? What is really important to me? I need to figure those things out, then find out how to make them happen. 

One of the most important things in my world is making sure my kids have the best opportunities and happiest lives possible. My days are filled with activities that I hope give them what they need and want. Tonight that meant going to Six Flags for a few hours, though it probably would have been way easier to stay home and chill. But I make myself go out there because my hope is that the kids will remember these good times. If I only have so many days left (nope, not counting!), I hope to each day make great memories with my guys. 

I have other goals as well, mostly having to do with my writing. If each day counts, then shouldn’t I be more dedicated to getting projects written and completed? Absolutely! It means a lot to look back and see the efforts I have put in and have something to show for it. 

What do you do to make your days count? What is important to you? What do you want to accomplish before you die? How can you make that happen? They are great questions to ask yourself. Feel free to tell me about it in the comments! 

Thanks for reading and have a great week! 

~CJS

5 Day Photo Challenge Day 3

I accepted a challenge to post a story/poem/etc inspired by a picture every day for 5 days. Today is Day 3. 🙂

For my selection today, I chose to do a poem. Since I have been trying to learn poetry, I like to play with different forms to try my hand at different patterns and rhyme. This form is a septuplet, which I found on the great poetry resource site, Shadow Poetry

I hope you enjoy, and I will see you tomorrow for Day 4. 🙂
  

Ticking
Clocks tick, 

consistently, 

in measured beats.


Time 

stops –

and starts again,

when lovers meet.

It’s About Time

IMG_3864.PNG

Someone asked me this week how I manage to find time for writing. It’s a good question.

Like many people, I have a lot going on, and my days are quite full. The person didn’t really want an answer I don’t think, but I immediately thought of this quote from Nora Roberts, though at the time I couldn’t remember how it went exactly or who said it.

Because of the challenge I set myself to write daily, I have made a conscious effort to make the time to write, even if it is just ten minutes before I go to sleep. I would wholeheartedly agree that has not been through time I found, but was always time I made to focus on writing and nothing else.

Well, at least I endeavor to focus on nothing else. 😉

I’ll confess this week has not been the best for my writing. While I have gotten writing done, I haven’t had very good direction to what I am writing. It got me to thinking that it isn’t just the amount of time I make to write but the quality of the time I spend writing.

I am working out a plan for how to maximize my time by prepping ahead of time for whatever I plan to write that night.

I have some open time at my son’s football practice where it isn’t practical to write, but I could use that time to develop characters a bit more or begin brainstorming new scenes.

I have a lot of time spent in the car going to and from work. I could use that time better to think about what I am going to write instead of zoning out, which does seem to happen sometime. 🙂

I have found myself thinking a lot about time lately. I’ve not just thought about how I spend my time but about the theme of time I’ve been attracted to in books and poems I have read. I find the poems that touch on time have really resonated with me. It’s not surprising, since my time is at such a premium it seems lately, but also because I am just at an age where I am beginning to grasp that I don’t have an unlimited amount of time ahead of me. How I spend my time, therefore, has added weight.

So every ten minutes I make to write is ten minutes I am investing in creating something which is important to me. It is ten minutes I might otherwise have let go towards worry or to something else intangible.

W.H. Auden’s poem As I Walked Out One Evening, (read by Tom Hiddleston on the really lovely iF Poems app) is a favorite of mine. Auden beautifully tackles the theme of Time. I have several lines I especially love, one being:

In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

I love this because of the reminder that I can let my time drift away with no purpose but to be wasted on little stresses that will pass, or, instead, I can make time for the things that are important to me, like getting words on a page. Even if those words aren’t Auden or Shakespeare or anything close , it is still important to me.

So I will make time.

Hopefully you are making time for the little things that are important to you, as well as those big ones that fill so much of our time, like family and friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 🙂

I hope everyone has a great week!

4 Things I’ve Learned Writing Every Day

I am on Day 35 of my DYSBWriting 365 Day  Challenge. It’s been great so far!

I have written every day, as I committed to do, even the night I went out for drinks with the girls. It was about 150 words and was VERY stream of conscious free writing, but hey, that counts. And it worked towards a short story I started that week.

Here are 4 Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Writing Every Day:

1) The time is there – you just have to find it!
I was wasting a lot of my time before this commitment and I never even realized it. I always feel busy, but I didn’t realize until I made this commitment that it was possible to carve out time here and there by eliminating some totally pointless time-sucking activities. Sorry, Candy Crush, but I will not longer be accepting invitations to play. I’ve also stopped pinning so many great tips on writing so that I can actually be writing instead. I can’t go cold turkey, of course, I am not a saint! Pinning pictures of Tom Hiddleston, for example, does not count as time wasted. Ehehe. But even with some time spent frivolously, the commitment to write every day has forced me to really be more aware of how I am spending my time so I can really make it count.

2) Your characters sure will thank you for it
Before this writing commitment I had gone several months without writing a word. When I started writing again I had to go back through and reacquaint myself with the story and the characters. As I began writing in that book again, it felt like the characters were taking their places in my head again. I could almost hear them saying, “What took you so long?” Writing so sporadically I often lost my vision for what that character was all about. Writing those characters every day, they won’t let me lose them again.

3) Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt
Sitting down to write every day sounded a lot more difficult when I first made myself this challenge. But as I started putting my butt in the chair every night and writing something down, not only was it not painful, it’s felt really good. I’m putting words on the page – for whatever they are worth – and I am finding the process itself to be almost necessary.  The act of writing feels calming. I have a dreadful commute to work and I’ve found that this writing commitment has helped me get through it.  I’ve begun working to develop ideas and explore possibilities of where to go next when I will sit down to write. Instead of just simply getting random ideas, which before I never did anything about capturing, I’m taking those stray thoughts and committing them to the page.

4) It’s about more than just the writing
Writing every day has made me feel more in touch with that part of me that needs to write. I’m feeling like I am a more authentic version of myself than I have been before this challenge. I’ve always felt a need to write. I’ve always had ideas for stories bouncing around in my head, but it has taken this challenge to help force me to get that stuff out of my head and into a story. Now, instead of saying, “I’d like to write someday.”, I can say, “I am writing.”

I am writing. Every day.  And it feels great.