Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Change of Pace

The weather has decided to give me a taste of autumn and I'm loving it. Yesterday and today we had nice, cool temps and rain showers on and off. Of course, the only thing I wanted to do was go home and write, but the day job calls.

I've really been enjoying Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write. There's something about her pace that is so easy-going and refreshing to read. I feel energized and inspired after I read only a few of her paragraphs. And for some reason, I really, really, would like to have that same kind of easy-going pace in my own life.

I'm not as busy as some parents. My daughter has not taken an interest in sports. She did say she might like to take dance, so I'm taking that into consideration. At this point, I'm not running all over the place taking her from one practice to the next. But those days are coming. In the meantime, I'm trying to make the best use of my time.

But the full-time job really makes it difficult to carve out enough hours in the day to do what you want. There's essentially six hours from the end of the work day until bedtime and there's a lot to be crammed into those six hours. Working out, picking up my daughter from daycare, fixing supper, tidying the house, reading a book, spending some quality time with her, writing...how do we fit it all in?

I've pretty much cut television from my schedule. On the weekends, I'll indulge in a movie or two, but more than that and I feel guilty. Tonight I did watch History Detectives, but it was while I was folding laundry. I couldn't justify sitting on the couch and just mindlessly watching it - I had to be working.

This is a far cry from where I used to be. I remember when we had cable and I didn't have a full-time job - I'd watch t.v. for hours at a time. Just think of all that time wasted! I didn't even like the majority of the stuff I watched - I watched it because it was there and I wasn't motivated enough to do anything else.

I think as Americans, it's been drummed into our heads that we have to work, work, WORK. But it's a double-edged sword. Yes, we are one of the most progressive nations on earth. But look at how we rush around. We go from school to practice to supper to Boy Scouts to home and to bed - or any variation thereof. Our vacations are limited to two weeks a year - a situation which most Europeans find incredulous.

I long for an easy-going pace in my life. But how to achieve it, short of winning the lottery? And to be honest, I can only sit around and relax for so long before I really start to get antsy and feel the need to do something.

Maybe I'm just really weird. I don't get involved with television shows like I used to and I couldn't even begin to tell you who got kicked off Survivor or what the newest sitcom is. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. But funny - I really don't miss it at all.

Do you long for a slower pace in your life? If so, how would you go about achieving it?


  1. I was contemplating last night how to add another day to the week--the weekEND, mind you. And I don't have the family demands that many writers have. My hat's off to you!

  2. I don't watch tv in the summer, and this year I went so far as to cancel my extended cable until January (I need to hook it back up to watch the documentary when it airs next year!). There are some tv shows that I really enjoy watching, and now that they are starting up again, I'm at a bit of a quandary. I've really gotten into the habit of having my evenings free of tv. And I've really enjoyed it. So I decided that I can tape the shows on the vcr and watch them on the weekend when I usually have more time.

    So I went downstairs to tape Prison Break last night and could not for the life of me remember how to work the vcr. It took me 15 minutes to clue in to what I was doing wrong. I used to be able to do that in my sleep.

    But I really look forward to the day when I'm writing full time. To the slower pace of doing what I want with my day rather than what I have to in order to pay the bills. I used to be a workaholic but getting laid off cured me of that real quick and changed the way I looked at things when I went back to work.

  3. Well, moving to the country has certainly slowed our life down a bit *g*. But that's fine with me. We don't watch much tv now either, though I WILL be tuned in for tonight's premiere of Rescue Me.

    Over the last couple of years I've tried to cut back on the amount of tv I watch and the number of shows I get really involved in. Heartbeat (British show set in Yorkshire in the 60s) is one I'll NEVER give up, though.

  4. I don't know if I need slower or just more organized...I'm leaning towards the organized. I don't watch hardly any TV any more yet I don't feel I'm getting much accomplished either.

  5. I don't watch very much television. What I do watch is usually late night or early morning.

  6. I'm jealous of your weather... :)

    I don't really watch a lot of tv, cos I'm usually too busy writing. But right now, while I blog hop, I'm watching some crazy show about fetishes. Eeeek, people are weird.

    Anyway, I live in the country so my life is pretty slow paced. I try to remind myself to stop and "smell the roses," so to speak. My small children help me do that, too. :)

  7. I hardly watch any TV. Seriously. And when I do watch, I feel just like you. I have to be doing something else to justify the "lazy time." So I'll answer emails while I watch, or edit during the commercials. And I'm a big fan of laundry-watching.

    Lost is the only show I watch on a regular basis, and I save up a bunch of laundry to fold while it's on. Every week while the episodes are new.

    When re-runs come on, we get a lot of unfolded clothes. ;-)

  8. I have a lot of free time, but that doesn't add up to writing time, can't write when mom calls me into her room every 5 minutes or so - anyway, I do watch a lot of TV because of it.

    Slower pace would be nice - win the lottery and then I can open that little bookstore I want and not have to worry about making a profit - just work when I want to.

    And we're having a bit of Autumn too - actually had the a/c off for approximately 5 hours this morning - wonderful! I have more energy in cooler temps which translates to more writing!!!!


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