The thing that made me realize this were changes in my own life. Over the past couple of years, my life has changed drastically. Oh, I used to have time for multiple hobbies. I wrote. I cross stitched. I did plant and veggie gardening. I read books. I watched television and movies. My life was my mid-level administrative job and after that, it was whatever I wanted.
Then we built a bigger house.
Then Rick was elected to a 3 year term on church council and I was asked to help with one committee and then, a few months later, a second committee.
The we bought a second parrot and a month later, adopted a budgie found at Rick's work - bringing us from a 1 bird house to a 3 bird house.
Then my job got transferred, and I was upgraded with more job duties.
Then my writing got published.
And it was at this point that my calendar was suddenly filling up and I found myself having to prioritize and make hard choices about what hobbies would stay and what would go. And sometimes, I find myself having to make those choices on a day to day basis.
It wasn't easy for me, but I came to realize that when you're in your 30's and 40's, your life is growing to maximum capacity. The seeds you sowed in your 20's are bearing fruit, and you have to decide what crops to maintain in order to have maximum growth of what you want most in life. Marriage, home, and family obviously come first. Your job has to come second - it's kind of mandatory, because that's supporting everything else. (And frankly, as much as I talk about a crammed schedule, I don't think I'd be a happy stay-at-home wife. I think the list of hobbies above show that I like to stay active.) After that is where you have to start making choices.
I recently discovered that I'm in a season of life where I'm going to have to pick the things I like best and dedicate what I can to them. My life will inevitably change someday and perhaps that will free me to experience more, but for now I know what I've got and I have to make active choices. Of course, I want my writing to continue to grow, so I'm going to spend most of my free time on that. And writers need to read to stay up on the craft - reading
and writing go hand in hand. I like volunteering at church and while Rick is in a leadership position we will be more actively engaged there. As for the rest, it's "at will." I cut back my gardening to just tending my 4 rose bushes, because I love roses and always want to have them around my home. I don't watch near as much TV as I used to - in fact, since I've been writing more novels, I've found that I typically watch 2 television shows a week, plus 1 or 2 movies with Rick. I think I recently figured that on a normal week when new episodes of my shows are on, I probably watch 4-6 hours of TV a week. That's right, a week. (Maybe more during football or baseball season, although I usually substitute the game for a movie.) And I haven't cross stitched in over a year. That was the toughest thing to set aside, because I enjoyed it - but the problem is that cross stitching is time consuming, and I'm more dedicated to growing as a writer than growing as a stitcher. I sincerely hope I'm able to resume this hobby one day. It's definitely one I put on hiatus temporarily, with the intention of taking it back up when that elusive "someday" rolls around that frees up more of my time for another hobby.
It wasn't easy for me to come to this realization, but I believe it was necessary. And really, I believe this full life is a sign of a life bearing good fruit. I am truly blessed and I hope I am passing the blessing on to others by serving through my work, my writing, and my volunteer work. I'm busier than ever, but I'm also happier and feel I have more life satisfaction than ever, and it's good to see the fruits of my labor finally starting to bloom.
And as for my parked cross stitch needle - well, until we meet again, my friend. I plan to be back when the timing is right. Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.
That's all today. I hope the rest of your week goes well.