A few days ago, I was reading Sara Torbett's wonderful blog, The Rosy Life, and something she wrote has stayed with me. In face, I'd been thinking about it for the last week or so, as I pondered why not much seemed to be getting done. Sara wrote about the light-stealers vs. the light givers.
Light stealers are those things that we find ourselves doing over and over again, things that are not bad in and of themselves, but that leave us feeling discontented somehow. It might be mindlessly surfing the net or playing endless games of solitare. When we're (I'm) done, I wonder where in God's name, the time has gone...and now I don't have time to do x, y, or z. And, that x, y, or z would have left me feeling a lot better, maybe even somewhat accomplished. Those things are the light givers, and they might be as simple as sitting down with a glass of wine and chatting with my husband, working in my journal, taking the time to write a hand written note to someone, not just shoot off an email. Light givers are different for each of us, I think.
Now, retirement is a funny thing. Seemingly, all the time in the world stretches before you, an never ending opportunity to get things done. But, for me, that very seemingly unending amount of time can, and sometimes does, work against me. I mean, there's always this afternoon, or tomorrow, or the next day, right? But, pretty soon, days and days have flown by, and I've created a ton of art, but only in my head. I've written lovely notes to all sorts of people, but again, in my head. And, I'm left discontented, out of sorts, even cranky. Quite honestly, I'm left feeling disappointed with myself.
Someone this past summer pointed out to me that for most of my life I've been tied to a routine, a schedule, and that retirement might find me floundering a bit and that my getting to figuring it all out could be quite amusing to those who know me. There are days when I crank out the art, declutter a bit of the house, make a wonderful dinner, etc. And, then there are days where I simply don't do much of anything. Honestly, we all need the days of doing nothing, where we might scroll through Facebook or play Solitare for hours on end, but some balance is needed. At least, I need it. Key words? Self discipline. I need to put the goals lazily residing in my head onto paper. I need some sort of plan as to what I really want to get done. Yeah, I need some self discipline.
And, I need to do away, or at least lessen, some of the light stealers and build in some more light givers. It's going to be a slow process with many baby steps, I'm thinking. That's okay because I'm fooling myself if I think otherwise, but I also think, that just maybe I'm on my way finally. Here's hoping!
P.S. The journal page above evolved slowly over several days. It started with scraps of paper to use up some left over paint from another project. Different bits and pieces found their way to the page...and well, it just went from there.