By Regina Marcazzo-Skarka
Sometimes, I need to pause. I tend to take on too many activities and plan many great things to do, whether they have to do with work or pleasure. The result is that I get stressed. The ridiculous part of it all is that I am retired.
The problem is that I love to volunteer, need to work for extra income, and seem to overbook. I’ve always been this way. I cannot seem to shorten my list of things I have to and want to do. That’s okay if I remain realistic and know I cannot do everything. It’s also important to enjoy what I am doing and have a purpose.
What’s the solution? Keep it all in perspective and be more organized. I have always been a list maker, but I need to get better at it to figure out what I have to do and when. If it seems too much, I need to pause, realize that it is not as bad as I think, and remember that I do not have to do any of it.
Some days when I feel like I have too much to do and get into my mini frenzy, I must pause and regroup. So what on the list of 15 things to do today have to get done? When I look at it, I realize that few things are must-dos. Then I calm down, take a deep breath, and continue, annoyed that I was stressed. Another problem is that I give myself all kinds of things to do when there is supposedly only one thing I want to focus on: reading and writing.
My goals are to read a lot and write prolifically, period. But I spend most of my time doing other things and making excuses for not carrying out my dream. So I need to pause and refresh, ensuring that the reading and writing goals are at the forefront. But, unfortunately, I don’t have a good excuse. In fact, I will do all kinds of stuff in my reading and writing procrastination mode. For example, I will wash clothes and dishes, organize papers, clean the bathroom, etc. – all things I do not enjoy doing.
In his book, On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King writes, “If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else.” One thousand words a day is cited as a good number and something that needs to be done as a priority. According to King, if you do not know what to write, just write anyway.
So, when will I stop talking about writing and start doing it? Two decades ago, I used to write for a living. As a journalist, I had some great, regular writing gigs and loved every minute of it. Sometimes, I wish I had never stopped so I would not be in this slump trying to get back into it. Instead, I need to hit the pause button for everything else and refresh, starting back into the career I love dearly.
Pause: How to Take an Adult Time Out by Amy Cobb
Pause in His Presence by Sharla Hallett
Power of the Pause by Ashley Olivine
When Hitting Pause is What We Need by Dianne Vielhuber
The Pause that Creates by MelAnn