Cake

reception_049Americans are busy people. One of the things I dislike saying is “I’m too busy” because I know my busy is relative to your busy. Sure, for me, I have more than usual going on right now. More tasks to complete on a daily basis. At first this worried me and upset me. I miss my friends on Twitter. I miss reading my favorite blogs. I miss WRITING my own blog. But I’ve had to cut corners, so I do what I need to do for now.

Except. This morning I got up at three a.m. to work on my novel. Five days a week, for the last week or so, I have been faithfully writing a chapter or scene every day I don’t have to get up and physically get myself to school. I move forward. I do this first; I do this for myself because I’m convinced that it is even more important to do things for yourself when other forces pull at your time. After a non-stop day yesterday, I fell asleep about 8 p.m. so even getting up really early,  I’m not losing sleep. I got 7 solid hours. Good enough. Especially when today is again a day full of activities, some fun, some not so much, but not horrible either. 

For busy people who think they have to give up all their pleasures and time with their loved ones, I gotta say, it’s just not true. What is true is we make ourselves as busy as we want to be. We choose what we want to do. Yes, sometimes things start to stack up a little faster and louder than we’d like, but maintaining a soft response and a slow flow is the best way to make it through, at least for me.

I have one more assignment to complete this week for my online class. It’s a blog post reflecting on the webinar I watched yesterday while outlining a speech I was giving in a few hours. As I gathered my notes for the assignment, something in my rebelled. I have not posted a blog to my own site in a week. I took a few breaths and settled it. I’d write my own post first, then the one for class. It made me happy to free up my ingrained habit of work, work, work, and just play a little bit. Play and work are interchangeable to me, because I enjoy my work, most of the time. If you can find things to love in your work and slowly start to turn your life and career toward those parts of the job, you’ll find play at work. And it will make you better at your profession.

Then there’s the play outside work. Relationships. I continue, even in the whirlwind, to nurture my most important friendships and family ties. Later this morning, I’ll be baking a cake for my dad. In my “busybusybusy” mode, autopilot says “buy one” and I almost did, but my dad loves yellow cake with chocolate frosting and they don’t have those in the bakeries anymore. It’s all carrots and ganache and red velvet. So … dad gets his homemade cake and I get to bake, something I love to do. 

My day job is important to me. I always do my best, never skimp on any part of my work. So I have lots of papers to check today before dinner with Dad. I’ll continue to check them into the night after I return from dinner with the family. As long as it takes.

And, as mentioned, just now I have another blog to write to complete my own class assignments for the first week of being a student again, but that will be a piece of cake.

10 Comments on “Cake

  1. It can be hard sometimes to realise that time is not really our enemy, but it sure challenges what we do, big time! I love everything that I do, just wish there were more time to do it in, for there is always something at the back of my mind that I know I wanted to get around to…

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  2. I’m glad you did this first. It’s always good to see you’ve posted, and your words today are especially timely for me. When I couldn’t get a job, I found ways to fill my days and keep busy. I did things I love to do, and I did chores and errands because I was the one home, and I took care of everything everyone else didn’t have time to do. Now I’m working and gone from the house nine hours a day, but I still want to do all the things I have been doing. Your advice is welcome:)

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    • I wrote all winter, that was my job, and the transition to teaching again was a bit of a challenge but yes, it’s those things we do for others who can very well do for themselves that I dropped first. Because I need to be first for myself right now. Different story with small children. Need to pop over to your blog to see how the new job is going — if you have time to write, that is:)

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  3. I like this: “maintaining a soft response and a slow flow is the best way to make it through.” Your choice of words can almost be heard round the world accompanied by a long exhale.

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  4. Such a thoughtful post! And right on point. We are as busy as we decide to be. Sometimes, life piles up and we forget that our choices led us here. And since they are choices, we can choose not to have a crazy-busy life. I love being busy, so I’m always grateful when work is overflowing and my kids are active. Definitely keeps me on my toes…which is right where I like to be. 🙂

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    • Hi Barb! When my kids were home and my years were less, I loved being busy all the time. I wanted to go out dancing every night! Now, I’m content to sit and watch the sunset from my deck, sipping a glass of Chardonnay. I hear it’s age-related:) But part of me still remembers how I used to be, and thinks I still am 30, 40, 50 … lol … and so once in awhile I feel up to more than I really like to do these days. I can do, just don’t want to. Times like these, when things get too hectic, remind me. I loved that time of life that you’re in the thick of right now, too:)

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  5. Sounds like you are a busy person! Sometimes, I agree, it is difficult to have so many to-dos that you can’t get to your own writing. I always take a deep breath and then decide which things can be postponed and then force myself not to feel too guilty. Always the balancing act! Best of luck with the online course! Jan

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  6. Thanks Jan! I don’t mind too much when I don’t have time to dust and vacuum but I mind very much when I can’t connect on social media. I’m only busy until December 17. After that, I will be back to my more normal pace. And I cannot wait!

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