10/29/2012

I'm back.

Back from my blogging break. And I needed one, as my last post indicated. Thank you all for your lovely, supportive comments and offers of help and even for sending flowers. The day I outlined in the post wasn’t even unusual – there were several like it and many that weren’t quite that busy, but pretty close.

I ended up a very tired kitten.

I should probably knock on wood, but I daresay that things have calmed down in the busy-ness realm and also in the way I’m approaching the busy-ness. That’s all we really can do, isn’t it? Change our approach and our perception?

So I’ve decided to take a sabbatical. A sabbatical from constant worry. A sabbatical from feeling like I have to constantly produce new writing, new music, new ideas, new art to be worthy. A sabbatical from always-full to-do lists. I’ve decided to really prioritize what NEEDS-needs to be done right now vs. everything that just needs to be done. There’s a big difference, I realized. Try it sometime and see what happens in the space of a day.

It’s working already. Now, when Ethel’s microwave goes on the fritz and she’s very upset and worried, going out to get her a new one at 9:00 p.m. doesn’t put me over the edge because I haven’t filled up my day with a thousand things not on the priority list.

Now, when I feel all guilty for not posting to my blog, I know that I'm not abandoning all you wonderful ones in my social network because I'm still reading your posts and putting in my comments and encouragement. But producing a post three times a week is not on the priority list.

Now, when I look out my kitchen window and see the dried up, overgrown garden, I don’t desperately try to find two days to get it cleaned off before winter because it’s not going anywhere and it can wait until spring and it’s just not on the priority list.

And now, when I’m deep in the dreaming and rehearsing and promoting for my 10th Annual Holiday Concert (November 24…stay tuned for details), I’m not worrying about not writing and constantly producing in that area of my life for a while because it’s not on the priority list.

On the priority list:
...family
...Ethel (who’s like family, really)
...good friends
...rest

...and preparing in all ways for my 10th Annual Holiday Concert. 
I really hope you’ll mark your calendars and join me!

And should another day come like the one in the previous post (as it very well could because this is life, after all), I’m planning to be better able to breeze through, protecting my neighborhood and helping my friends without ending up an exhausted, crying, beer-drinking girl on the couch covered in cats. ’Cuz that’s a sight neither you nor I really ever want to see again, I’m sure.

Thanks for sticking with me. And please let me know what’s on your priority list these days. Let’s support each other!

20 comments:

  1. I am inspired by this post! That is a great approach to take and think I'm going to start reminding myself to worry about the important things I can change.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gwen. Don't let yourself get as crazy as I did before you start that NEED-need to get done list!

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  2. Amy, you know we've got your back. Sometimes it takes a crisis to see clearly. My sabbatical idea: The academic study of Irish pubs. OK, this can't be a new idea, but my loose interpretation of "academic" would make it far more fun than any previous attempt.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gully. You've always been so supportive, and I appreciate it more than you know!

      And your sabbatical plan is genius. I'll come along to document the process for you...

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  3. I've struggled with this very same thing over the years. But I think I've come to the same conclusions you've come to. It is all a matter of priorities. And if you saw my cluttered house, you would see priorities in action! (Hint: a spotless house is not one of them). My priorities are exercise, being a good employee, and my family (not necessarily in that order). Yes, I'm a writer, but at this point it just cannot be a priority. At different points in the past it was, and God willing it will be a priority again in the future. But if it's not a priority right now, so be it. Those other things make me happy, too.

    Good for you for making these realizations! I'm happy for you and excited to see how the "lightness" will play out in your life!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachael. And good point about the priorities changing, too.

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    2. And you know what (going back to our conversations about work ethic) - I didn't even put "work" on the priority list because that's just always a given priority for me. All my WORK-work got done (the day job and the harp gigging kind) and done well despite this craziness!

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  4. Carol from WA State10/31/2012

    We are all helped by your willingness to share how you've been grappling with life's sometimes incredible demands. Thirty years ago I went through a period of total burnout and once I had my footing again, discovered (as you wonderfully pointed out) that the only thing we can really do is change our approach or our perception or both. I found I needed a whole new cadence. A quote by Lao Tzu helped, "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished" and from another faith tradition, "The Devil is a driver; God is in no hurry." My priority today is trying to be true to that unhurried cadence. I find that I can deal with almost any dissonance if I do.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing that, Carol. My blog is usually my "happy place" where I share the good things, the accomplishments, the things that make me smile. Stepping into that honesty in this space was hard, but I'm so glad that you (and perhaps even others) benefited from it.

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  5. As one of your newest fans this will be my first holiday concert. I can't wait. You are my inspiration. Thanks for all your support.

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  6. It helps if you don't make lists.
    Just scribble a note on a scrap of paper
    Then misplace it immediately or toss it.
    I have never been good at prioratizing but expert at procrastinating.
    Maybe that's not such a bad thing?

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