Since the first of the year, I’ve been running like crazy. Seems like there’s never a spare moment to just kick back and relax. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I sure don’t have the kind of downtime I had just a few years ago.
Four years ago, we didn’t have any dogs. It’s not that our little chihuahuas are terribly demanding. About all they require this time of year is a few trips a day outside. They really need daily walks, but it’s dark by the time we have the chance, and Toodles is afraid of the dark. In truth, even in bright daylight, she’s afraid of practically everything. So during the short days of winter, Tico and Toodles get walked on the weekends and that’s about it. All this to say that the dogs aren’t what’s sucking up my time.
Three years ago, I hadn’t yet started writing. Yeah, I had my Crotchety Old Man blog. But I didn’t post on it any more frequently than I post on this blog. We can safely rule out blogging as the reason I feel so much busier than before.
Two years ago, I was working on Glass Houses, my first as yet unpublished book. Being more than a little OCD, I spent as much time as possible working on it. These days, I’m lucky to find in a month the kind of time I routinely devoted back then to writing most weeks.
One year ago, I didn’t belong to a writer’s group. Reading the other members’ submissions can be time consuming–especially lately, thanks to an influx of new writers. Going to our meetings takes several hours every-other Saturday evening. I love the writers in our group, reading what they’re working on, and learning from them. So yeah, the writer’s group takes a lot of time, but the return is well worth my investment.
Six months ago, the idea of joining a gym was the farthest thing from my mind. Now I spend an hour or two at the gym four or five times a week–more if I can squeeze it in. I’m also running three times a week and participate in 5K races about once a month. Sure it takes a lot of time, but without it, my life expectancy would be significantly reduced. Yeah, I could get hit by a truck tomorrow, but I’m planning to be here for a while, and that means taking care of myself. Besides, I’m worth it.
What on earth did I do with my time?
Work is a constant. Yeah, in the last six months I’ve had to travel more than I have for several years. But otherwise, work eats up about the same amount of time as it has since I quit moonlighting more than twenty years ago. So that ain’t it.
My house used to stay a little cleaner–maybe even a lot cleaner. That it’s a bit less tidy today doesn’t hurt a thing.
I used to spend more time working in the yard, but only during certain months of the year when it was neither too hot nor too cold outside. On occasion, I’d go for long bike rides, but again, only if the weather was just right. Even then, I doubt the time involved comes close to the time I now spend at the gym and running.
Looking back, it seems about the only thing I did outside of work and sleep with any regularity was to sit on my ass on the sofa watching television and eating junk food. For a decade or so, I had enough downtime to do me for the rest of my life. Yes, I’m much busier now, but I’m also happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
Busy as I am, I have to admit I’m glad that living in front of the television is no longer par for the course here in…
My Glass House