Life gets in the way of living

Quote6I only just realized how long it had been since I added a blog entry here. There are lots of reasons, but that’s beside the point. There are always reasons why we don’t keep up with something we promise we’ll do on a regular basis. Remember that pledge to go to the gym three days a week? Yeah, how long did that last… the dog got sick, the car had trouble, the weather looked bad, and so on. Life really does get in the way of life sometimes. A LOT of times. But we have to keep on keeping on. We have to do our best to pick up the discarded plans and move forward again.

I will say that I at least have been writing. I’m about 15% into my new mystery novel. I’m not writing as fast as I could, but I’m also okay with that. I wrote my science fiction novel on an insane schedule because of NaNoWriMo, and now I have to decide whether to leave it at less than my best work or do a second edition release. I’m leaning toward second edition, because I know I can do better, and because I don’t like having something “out there” that doesn’t meet my personal standards.

The same goes for my blog. I’ve thought about writing an entry several times recently, but the topics I came up with seemed lame and uninformative. Is this one? Maybe, but it is also an apology and acknowledgement that it is very easy to let everyday trivia stop us from doing the things we love and the things that ultimately matter. They say “time flies when you’re having fun” but I think time just flies, especially as we get older. You don’t have to be having fun for time to slip away.

time-fliesI’ve been fighting a chronic and debilitating illness for nine months. What it made me realize, now that I’m finally diagnosed and on the mend, is that if I’m lucky I might have 25 more years on this planet. Nothing like your own mortality as a serious wake-up call. So besides getting back to writing regular blogs, I’m also getting back to living. I’d grown complacent over the years — I think we all do — and was spending too much time surfing social media and just generally wasting time. So we’ve started doing day trips to the many interesting small towns within a short drive of where we live. And we’re planning at least one “big” trip a year.

Later this year we’re going to Brno and Prague in the Czech Republic. We’ll spend 10 days at the Brno Music Festival, all classical, operatic, choral, etc. After that we’ll spend 7 days in Prague, sightseeing and exploring. Next year I’ve already booked a 15 day trip to China. The Travelzoo deal was just too good to pass up. Affording these trips is a challenge and requires some careful planning and saving, but the last thing I want to do is get old and sick and look back with regret that I didn’t live my life with more gusto and adventure.

The bottom line is that midway through a year that seems to be flying by I am making a resolution — life is too short to let it slip away. Life is too precious to not live it full out, full throttle, 220 volts, whatever metaphor works for you. I know so many people who are happy living in a small box — work, grocery store, home, repeat. But how will they feel when they’re 80 and that’s how they spent their whole life. I was falling into that same trap. Now I hope my new sense of living and adventure are an inspiration to others.

In looking back at this blog it seems I haven’t really said much. But I’ve also said a great deal, at least to me. Stop hesitating. Stop worrying. Stop fearing. Stop stopping. As Schlitz beer used to say in their ads, “Go for the gusto!” No matter your spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) this life matters!


  1. Gretchen Rix:

    Excited at your plans for a second edition of Born Rich. Based on how well written and interesting your “Airplane” mystery novel is (so far), I know you can make a better book out of Born Rich.

    Nice blog post.


  2. Mary Word:

    I so agree with your post, although I am not so good at implementing it for myself. The version I think of of Time Flies, is that time flies whether you’re having fun or not. And the older you are the faster it flies – gathering up speed downhill.
    But just for fun, here is another version: Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.


  3. Phil McBride:

    Well said, Janet. Your illness had us concerned, but I have to say that Nita and I are now envious of your new slender self. So, silver lining, and all that.

    Putting a maximum number on the years likely left to each of us is sobering, even if it’s a guess. Today is my dad’s 94th birthday and he’s going strong, but I’m not him, and if I have the 30 years in me to reach the point he did today, I’ll be real surprised.
    The one key to his longevity has been his life of cheerful service to others. Hell, he still delivers Meals on Wheels to shut-ins far younger than he is. He leads a Bible study every week and volunteers weekly at the hospital.

    Your decision to re-emphasize living with gusto with travel and writing strikes a chord with me, because I share those compulsions. I loved your announcement a few weeks back that you were going to New York for a Tiki con or whatever goofy deal it was. So, again, well said and I’ll enjoy hearing of your new adventures in Prague and China and where ever you go. Keep stomping on those box walls and don’t let them spring back up.

    Phil McBride
    Author: Whittled Away: A Civil War Novel of the Alamo Rifles


    • janet:

      Realizing the likely maximum of my remaining years was a sobering (and frightening) thought. I’ve no doubt that “losing” almost an entire year is what instigated the morbid thoughts in the first place. But better to have those thoughts and make appropriate changes in lifestyle than continue plodding along in a boring and do-nothing life until it’s too late. Since we have no kids we don’t have to worry about things like college tuition, housing assistance, and inheritance. As long as we have enough put away to ensure we won’t be eating tuna cat food in our old age we intend to have some fun while we still can.


  4. Tam Francis:

    Wonderful post, and it’s easy to get sidetracked. No matter what age we are, we don’t know how many years we have. You are so lucky to have the means to travel and live the life you want. Congratulations. I’ll be looking forward to new blog posts and new novels!

    Now, get the marketing and SELL your babies!!!! ( mean books)


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