My husband and I refinanced our house (reams of paperwork), had carpet replaced with wood and tile in much of our house, and built a raised vegetable garden in the backyard. I was the lead person on the first two projects and kept Mark company while he built the garden.
I’ve edited a colleague’s memoirs, a project that ballooned in March and April as our deadline loomed. In late April and early May, I provided three weeks of pastoral coverage for a colleague in Idaho who is on sabbatical. My time in Idaho was a fantastic experience about which I’ll write in future blogs.
This leads me back to a recurring discovery: Unlike the years when I multi-tasked even big projects without difficulty, life is different now. Health and energy dictate that as one project moves to the front of the line, I have to set my other projects aside. Dang. It’s another change in how I live–and not a change that I like, either. I want that seemingly endless supply of energy and stamina I used to have.
Regrettably, I let go of my writing while managing these other projects. While in Idaho, I realized again that since writing is a prominent part of my calling at this stage of my life I need to make it primary and figure out how to balance my other projects around it.
Regaining this insight feels like I’m a piece of warped plywood: every time I get one corner nailed down, a prior nail pops out and its corner has to be nailed down again. In other words, each time I think I’ve learned to balance my life, it shifts out of balance once more.
Don’t get me wrong. Every project I did was important. Much was enriching. And yes, some was deadly boring and frustrating. But no matter how important each project was, I’ve learned that my writing is equally or even more essential.
As I think about how to reach the right balance in life, I picture the Billingsley Creek where it wanders past the rustic Billingsley Lodge and Retreat in Hagerman, Idaho (www.billingsleycreeklodge.com). I stayed there overnight in April. Like the health of the creek’s ecosystem, my life depends on both the oxygen it receives as it rushes over rocks and the germination and feeding which occur in the quiet, still eddies along the shoreline.
While in Idaho, I recommitted to my writing. So, here I am once again. The other stuff will have to take second place. I’m making time to write.
Photo: Billingsley Creek in Hagerman, Idaho.