Tag Archives: Time

Writer’s block?

I’m in a sort of writing limbo these days. I feel this urge to write all the time, every day, like a craving for chocolate.  The difference is that writing requires too much effort on my part, whereas eating chocolate is just easy and divine.

I’m not sure why this has become such a struggle for me. I blame it partly on the fact that the magazine I usually try to submit devotions to every couple of months still has not released their theme questions, which makes it really hard to write pointedly about any of their scheduled topics.  Every time I check their website, I hope those questions will be there to spark some inspiration. But alas, only the theme titles are given, which are sometimes rather vague.  And so, when I have these good intentions of starting a draft, I let myself go back to Facebook and recipe browsing and don’t get any writing done at all.

Then there’s the obvious problem: time.  As a mom of a toddler, I don’t have an abundance of free time like I used to.  I can’t binge-watch Gilmore Girls for six hours anymore.  I can’t lounge in a recliner reading chick lit for long.  I can’t spend half the day shopping for nothing in particular.  The days I’m not working are dictated mainly by my son’s schedule and needs.  Yes, my husband is there too, but even with the two of us, there’s still no shortage of things to be done at any given moment.  The two hours or so when he naps each afternoon are a godsend, but they fly by too quickly.  Do I spend that time working out?  Do I make some healthy freezer meals ahead of time (something on my mind with a new baby on the way in just a few weeks)?  Do I take a nap? Do I run errands, clean house, do laundry, call my mom?

All of these are valid reasons not to do something, but not really excuses. Yes, I am pretty busy every day, but there is still time left over when I could be writing.  Even twenty minutes a day would be beneficial, and I would feel like I’m getting somewhere.  I tend to choose exercise, or cooking, or reading, or just watching zombie movies and Doctor Who with the hubs, rather than writing.

The other major reason for my laziness is that I can’t seem to narrow down what I want to write about.  My blog isn’t for income, it doesn’t have to follow any set format or quotas, it’s just for me.  Yet, I always wonder what would grab the most interest for readers.  Even though I only have a handful of followers, and a few Facebook friends who sometimes read what I share, I definitely care what they think.  I care what you think, if you’re kind enough to be reading this right now.

I want to write something that matters.  Maybe not to a lot of people.  I’m okay with that.  I’m okay with reaching a small audience, but I still want my words to matter to people in it.  I want to take the time necessary to home the right words for what I try to convey.

The thing that paralyzes me the most is this insecurity about what I have to say.  Daily, thoughts flit through my head, ideas for new blog posts, but then I second-guess myself.  Who really needs another article about gaining patience with toddlers?  Or another complaint about the state of public education today?  Or another commentary on the weather, or another devotion on perseverance through trials, or another recipe for zucchini-carrot-flaxseed muffins?  Who cares about my memories of my two brothers as we grew up?  Who needs to read about my son’s milestones, or how nervous I am getting about baby #2’s impending arrival?

Yep, I don’t quite have a handle on where I want to fit in the blogging world.  It shouldn’t matter to me this much; I should stick to writing what I know and if I feel led to share it, to do so.  But the little voice in my head keeps holding me back.

Who knows? Perhaps I will get up the nerve to publish this piece, despite its rambling nature.  I think I’m not alone in this struggle.  Regardless of how insignificant our work as creative people may be, we still yearn for meaning and purpose in what we create.

Wishing each of you a safe space in which to express whatever your creative little hearts desire…

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Time in a bottle

I love the way music can take an ordinary moment and make it magical.  A song can conjure up instant images from the movie in which it’s featured (I can’t hear “Thriller” without thinking of Jennifer Garner playing a thirteen-year-old in a thirty-year-old’s body). It can bring to mind people who have meant a lot to me in my life.  It can take me back in an instant to a particular moment from my past, good or bad (one of the best being Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road” as the song for our first dance at our wedding)..

So many songs touch me deeply when they teach me about the value of living in the moment and embracing life as it comes.

Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” always gets me.  Just that deep longing to hold onto a moment in time forever, yet knowing the impossibility of that wish.  Yes, Jim, I desperately sense that yearning too.  I’ve experienced joy so rich and wonderful, I haven’t wanted those moments to end.  Times with my husband and now my precious baby boy are ones I dearly wish I could somehow freeze and enjoy forever.

LeeAnn Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” has had a power over me since it was released.  The lyrics express so powerfully the importance of seizing opportunities when they come, as well as appreciating simple joys like the majesty of an ocean wave.

How about Madonna: “This Used to be My Playground”?  That song from A League of their Own makes me so sad for the exciting times of youth, vanishing so quickly.  That nostalgic tug on your heart, the memories that come flooding back when you visit a place, one that holds such meaning in your past as well as who you’ve become.

Along the same lines, I cannot forget the Five for Fighting piece, “A Hundred Years to Live”.  The singer’s falsetto and the piano refrain haunt me.  How fleeting is this life, and each of its phases.  It usually doesn’t seem to at the present time, but whenever you look back on life, it seems as if those stages just flew by before you could catch your breath.

How wisely King Solomon of the Old Testament taught on the subject of time’s passage!  He recognized how brief man’s days on earth were, and that we must cherish the present.  It may be a bit morose to say, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” but it is all too true.

Not one of us is promised tomorrow.  What else can we do but take hold of the moments as they’re given to us?  “Who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone?”  Let the beauty of music remind us to live our lives to the fullest.

Time flies

Why does it seem like days just fly by, and sometimes you can’t remember what you did to fill them?  I just finished a work week with two 13-hour days due to parent-teacher conferences.  At the high school level, most parents rarely bother coming to school to meet with teachers.  We can’t require it of parents, but we teachers do have to be available a couple of times a year just in case.

So here we were, basically stuck at work all day with no students.  Normally, those conference days seem to drag on endlessly, but this year, I felt like I was busy all day, both days, and still had plenty of ungraded homework to bring home at the end of it all.  I looked back at the days and wondered where the hours went.  I know I took longer figuring out which supplies I needed to order than expected, and I did get a bit of grading and lesson planning finished, but it still didn’t seem to add up.

Today is turning into more of the same.  If I try to quantify my day, all I’ve done is make breakfast, feed my son a couple of times, drive over to a friend’s house to pick up some baby toys she no longer needs, take the baby for a walk, and somehow that took up half our day.  There’s still laundry to finish, leaves to rake, groceries to buy, and I hope to make it to Bible study group tonight.

Does it ever feel like time just slips away from you?  Like you’ll never be able to keep up?

How do you prioritize to make sure that the everyday essential things get done without sacrificing the sweet moments of life?  I sense this conflict now that I have a child more than ever before.  The times when he sleeps aren’t enough to do all the chores, so at some point I have to leave him to play on his own in his crib or lay him next to a toy and hope he can entertain himself.  I still feel that guilt if I’m not devoting every single moment to interacting with my child.

How do you manage to strike a balance between what you must do and what you want to do?  These everyday things are what make up a life.  Even if time passes too quickly, as it always seems to do, make the most of what you’re given so you’ll have no regrets in the end.