One of the questions I’m often asked is “How do you get so much done in a day?” My answer is always the same: You’re reading what I write. If you wrote down everything you do in a day, I think you would be surprised at your accomplishments too. I don’t write down that I am sewing, I sit down at the computer while waiting for the iron to heat up and half an hour later, the iron has heated up and turned itself off again and I’m still sitting at the computer . . my cycle continues! I don’t write that I come in from outside to get a load of laundry out of the washer, realize the washer has 5 minutes remaining, I sit down at the computer and one hour later, the clothes are still sitting in the washer and I’ve wasted an hour. Believe me . . I’m not the “busy, go-getter, accomplish-it-all-in-one-day” person that some of you think I am.
It is a blessing to have an extreme amount of energy. It is a curse to have an extreme amount of energy. I cannot sit still. Torture for me is going to the movies (which I haven’t done in years and years). Torture or me is sitting and visiting with nothing to do with my hands.
A turning point for me was about 12 years ago when Vince and I were driving through Montana and stopped at the Museum of the Plains Indian. As we were walking through that museum, I was struck by the following thought. Those people had to either grow or hunt their food. They had to clean their food, preserve by whatever means the food they wanted to save. They had absolutely no modern conveniences . . no microwave, no gas stove, no refrigeration as we know it. They had to learn skills for whatever they wanted or needed to do to get through life. They had no internet for reference. It’s a lifestyle most of us cannot even imagine . . and my guess is that none of us would want to live.
And yet, they had time to make the most intricate of beaded items – clothing, bags, decorative items. They didn’t have recliners or Ott lights. When and how did they find the time to do all that stuff?
After visiting that museum, there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t think of that lifestyle . . the things those people had to do to survive and yet they still had only 24 hours in a day, they lived under the harshest of conditions . . I can do more! That’s what keeps me going and striving to do more.
To a bit more modern (but not so much) time, when I was growing up, my grandparents lived two hours from us and they had no phone. We wrote letters. I would write them at least once a week and my grandma would write me back. I loved going to the mail box and finding a letter from her. I wish I had saved them. I don’t even remember what she wrote because like me today, she hardly ever left the house, she stayed home and “piddled” but she always had interesting news in her letters. I sometimes think we stayed more in touch, knew more meaningful information about what was going on in each other’s lives back then when we had to sit down and write a letter, stick it in an envelope, use a postage stamp and wait a week for it to get to its destination . . than we do now when all we have to do is pick up a phone and make a call. I talk to Chad or Nicole 3 or 4 times a week and while I love talking to them, it’s different from getting a “newsy” letter from my grandma.
My lifestyle is different from almost every one who reads this blog. We live in the middle of nowhere. For the most part, we have no friends here . . and by friends, in my mind there’s a difference in friends and acquaintances. We have no family nearby. I don’t work outside the home. I rarely leave home . . probably once every two weeks . . Vince drags me out of the house and I’m making a dozen excuses why I shouldn’t be leaving.
Your life is . . your life! Don’t compare what you do to what you read about me doing. At the end of the day, if you’re happy with what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished, that’s fantastic! If you’re not happy with your accomplishments, work on changing it . . work on changing it because YOU want to change it . . not because you feel you should do more or less, based on a comparison to what someone else is doing
All I ask is that you remember this . . every day, every hour, every minute that passes is gone forever. Make the best of each and every minute of your life. Do the things you love to do. Do the things that make a difference . . either in your own life or in the life of someone you care about.