By Connie S. Hall
A few weeks ago, I received an email with the following quote, “Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming, or are too rigid to depart from their routine.”
I’m not sure who wrote this, but with all my heart, I believe every word. I know people who fit into every category, and I used to be at the top of the list.
There are some women I know who set up the first Tuesday (or maybe a different day) of every month to do their visiting teaching. No matter what, they do not stray from that day, month after month, and year after year, it is always the same. They expect you to adhere to their schedule, and they will not change. I’m sure if someone wanted them to go somewhere else on that special day their answer would be no.
Years ago, I heard about a famous writer that would not give up her writing time for anything. She was too rigid to depart from her daily routine. In the past I remember a time when I was a little like this. Since then I’ve given in on occasion to do something else, and I’m not as strict about following it. No, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a schedule, because you do need to have a certain time set aside for writing. However, you should be able to change it once in awhile.
I’m still working, but my boss is very lenient, and I can have the time off I want. The past few years I have taken the opportunity to be spontaneous and leave when my mother calls and says, “Your sister is in town, let’s go to breakfast (or lunch).” I know my mom won’t be here forever, so I take the time to do what she wants. When I can get away from work, I take an opportunity to go to lunch each month with distant cousins. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought of taking an afternoon off unless it was an emergency. I never took a moment to be impulsive. If it wasn’t on my schedule then I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. Another quote I received was, “Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.”
In the past, I have been so busy that I’m sure people thought I was in a race. Now I can honestly say that I have slowed down. I’m always busy, but I take time to do the things that are important. I take my grandchildren to do something special every year on their birthday. To some of you that may not sound like much. During July, my 18th grandchild will be born. I have 12 of them living close enough that I see them more than once or twice a year. So far this year I’ve attended plays, movies, dinner, slept under a dinosaur, and during an extremely hot day this summer I went to the Dinosaur Park in Ogden. I ran from one spot of shade to the next, but I survived, and my grandson had the time of his life.
Do something you WANT to do even if it is not on your to do list. I hope that some of you writers might also take this advice and do something you want to do, not just the things you have to do. Stop and hear the music before it’s too late.