Monday, August 20, 2012

A Time to Work, A Time to Play

The four sports depicted in the photos on the left share something in common.  They all involve a goal of some kind.  Of course the obvious goal is to win, but a team must make more goals, scoring than the other team to win.

I've blogged a lot here, especially on Mondays, about setting and working toward goals.  I've even mention that we should reward ourselves in some way when we reach each goal, no matter how big or small.  But while reading the latest blog post, Scheduling Success, at Left-Brained Business for Write-Brained People, I started thinking about how much we use setting goals for work, but many of us don't tend to set goals for play.

I'm probably the worst person about making time for fun or to just relax.  There are some days that I work twelve to sixteen hours.  While that isn't always fast-paced work, it's still work and doesn't leave a lot of time for play.  I'm beginning to notice that more and more.  It isn't just because of writing or Facebook/Twitter.  Long ago, when my daughters were young, I discovered I couldn't spend each evening in front of the television, so I pretty much stopped watching.  Don't get me wrong.  I find television entertaining, but to get things done, I had to give up the majority of shows I watched.  Amazingly, it didn't kill me!  Only in the last few years have I decided I could allow myself television time, and I've begun watching again.  Not so much this summer, of course, although HBO is kind enough to offer programs the grab and hold my attention.

So I've added some TV to my life again.  I've also added walking.

I understand that there are some people who might look at me as if I'd lost my mind when I say that walking is relaxing.  They're partly right.  It isn't relaxing in the true sense of the word, but it does help start my day on the positive side.  I listen to music on my Mp3 player, get some exercise and fresh air, and clear my brain.  I've also found that if I don't force it, major breakthroughs in my stories have resulted by just getting out there for thirty minutes or more each day and putting one foot in front of the other.  I also discovered that I missed my walks when the temps were so high that even mornings were miserable, forcing me to take a break for a few weeks.  My only fear is that by the time I get home again and do whatever needs to be done to get the rest of the morning going, I may forget.  (Note to self:  Check again on getting a small voice recorder.)

I've discovered that time spent with friends makes life better.

It doesn't happen often.  Although my writing group gets together for a meeting once a month, it's work related and doesn't count as a simple get-together with friends.  Yesterday, I met friends Patricia Davids, Penny Rader, and Deborah Eades, at the movie theater to see Hope Springs. We had a great time, just kicking back in a cool theater with popcorn and drinks, while watching the movie unfold.  (A super movie, especially for anyone over 40.)  Seeing a movie is something I do maybe twice a year.  This really should change.

I'm learning again that life isn't just doing the day to day things that must be done.  It's more than paying the bills and keeping the car running. It's more than writing and creating websites and getting grandkids to school.  And even though I've had to re-adjust my writing goals and am running on a tight schedule toward deadline, I'm definitely going to find a little more time to enjoy television, a few movies, walking, and friends.

Next time you start making goals, be sure to build in some play time.  It doesn't have to be a lot, it doesn't even have to be every day, but it should be often.
Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold.  But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~ Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

1 comment:

Joanie said...

Excellent post, and no truer words were ever spoken. I'm in awe of the long hours you can put in--just in awe. However, my favorite "all for me" fun thing is to wait until I'm completely alone in the house (except the cat, but I swear her to secrecy) then put on my HAPPY 1 mix CD and dance and dance. Amazing what it can do to relieve stress. Your idea for walking is another of my favorites.

Oh, and thanks for mentioning my blog, too! You're the best!