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Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer

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finding balance

Back to Balance

That’s it! I’m out!  Being outraged is exhausting. Last week’s baseless wiretapping accusation just about did me in, but this week’s clean up – Kellyanne preaching the dangers of kitchen appliances and Sean Spicer explaining the use of quotation marks – is finishing the job. Politics is becoming less must see, addicting TV and more like an episode of Jerry Springer. Pure ridiculousness.

Now I watch with the same sensation I used to experience when getting sucked into a storyline of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, that feeling that I’m wasting the day and rotting my brain. I long for the days when politics were dull and politicians were as professional as they were stuffy.  Maybe then I could go back to worrying about the routine of my day instead of the fate of everyone and everything on the planet.

But there I go, another melodramatic liberal, running around with her hair on fire. So, I want to wash my hands of it. I’m trying desperately to return to my zen, to life as I knew it before my political awakening. I want eight hours of sleep again, not late night news and Saturday Night Live. I want to focus on marketing my book, not organizing a grassroots Resistance group. And I need to get back to the gym instead of waving around signs at marches.

But here’s the thing. You can’t unring a bell. I’m like Leonardo Decaprio in Titanic, unlacing my boots. It’s too late. I’m involved now. But instead of saving Kate Winslet, I’m out to save the world. (Just kidding. I don’t really consider my involvement that important. Sort of. At least I think.) But I’m not ready to stick my head back in the sand.

So, once again I’m striving for balance. I’m trying to incorporate my new politically active and outraged self into my existing peaceful and “positive input only” self. I gave up a leadership position in my Resistance group for a membership role. I’m still involved, but not bogged down. I’m keeping my “first 100 days” commitment to be a thorn in the sides of my members of congress, but after April I’ve got my eye on a yoga class at the local YMCA. And I’m hanging on to MSNBC’s Morning Joe, but at night I’m back to vegging with The Voice See? I can admit it. I’m a work in progress. I can grow. I can change. I’m an adult. (Insert Trump dig here.)

So for those of you out there feeling worried, angry or anxious: yes, be outraged. There’s energy there that can be put to action. But don’t forget to switch off the news, too. Revel in your grandbabies, walk your dog in the park. Take a walk and just breathe. If all else fails, pop some popcorn and watch an episode of Real Housewives. Just remember not to look directly into the microwave.

 

 

My Happy List

This blog post could alternately be titled: Why I Don’t Write Every Day. I know, I know. Writers are supposed to write every day. Most books on writing, writing teachers and even other writers will tell you to write every day. Write when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. Pick a time, preferably the same time every day (to train your muse as to when to show up), and just do it. Well, I’ve tried, and dammit, I give up. I’m tired of trying, and failing, to find enough time in the day. I’m embracing my inner lazy person and letting it go. I’m officially letting myself off the hook. No guilt.

What prompted this revamping of my schedule is a post on Facebook. (Facebook is a major time-waster that should probably be re-prioritized by many of you, myself included, though it did inspire this blog.) Anyway, here’s the post.

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1. Make a list of the things that make you happy.

2. Make a list of things you do every day.

3. Compare the lists.

4. Adjust accordingly.

Brilliant. And so simple. I’m sure my cousin, who originally shared this basic wisdom, will be pleased to know I’ve taken it to heart.

So, what makes me happy these days? Taking care of myself. Being and staying healthy. As a result, I’ve decided my time at the gym or time doing yoga is time well spent. I also really enjoy walking Frankie. Which is fortunate because he really needs to be walked once, sometimes twice daily. It’s usually an hour long affair with several stops in the shade where I can listen to the birds and think of nothing while he pees and then kicks, pees and kicks, pees and kicks in the grass to his heart’s content. See, it makes him happy too. So, it’s a win-win. And lastly, I love being involved in a good book. So, reading makes my list. Oh! And I almost forgot – Mom! (How could I forget with the coming Mother’s Day weekend?) We really do have fun together when she’s not driving me crazy. (Sorry, I know that’s kind of a back-handed compliment.) So, there’s my happy list. Taking care of my health. Walking Frankie. Reading. Spending time with Mom.

And I’ve been making adjustments, or re-prioritizing, based on my list. Like last week, I dropped everything to sit on my deck and enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having in Jacksonville while reading a book. Or before that, I left dirty dishes in the sink and, still  in my pajamas well after noon, went out back to sit by the pool with Mom. The choices are easier. Dirty dishes? Getting showered and dressed? Hey, not on the list.

You’ll notice writing didn’t make the list. Not that it doesn’t make me happy … Well, wait. Who am I kidding? Show me the writer who joyfully sits down to write every day and I’ll show you a writer with an open bottle of scotch on the ready and a drinking problem. For most of us, it’s torture. The idea of being a writer makes me happy. The idea of writing every day? Not so much. There’s a difference.

I’ve decided to look at it like author Patricia Cornwell, who advised, “Treat your writing like a relationship, and not a job.” I’ve been doing it all wrong. I’ve been punching a clock. And, hey, if that works for you and makes you happy – then punch away. There just aren’t enough hours in my day. If I view it as a relationship, it becomes less like work and more about maintaining that connection. I’ll always come back to it. I’d miss it.

I’ll even take it one step further. My writing is like a marriage. I’m ready to make that serious commitment. To vow that writing will always be a part of my life. Just not my daily life. It’s like my husband lives out of state. Or we have separate houses. But we talk often.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been writing all day and a certain somebody needs a walk.20150315_121425

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