Drifting Clouds

I’m trying to lead a well-rounded life. It’s difficult. There are a lot of things I want to do, plus all those things I need to do. It bugs me just as much as it bugs you to come to this site and see a three day-old story as the first post, family or not.

How on earth do we find the time to do all the things we want to do? Here’s a tip: don’t quit your job. You lose your inertia. You walk around half the time feeling guilty for not doing something productive. Sometimes, I sit in a chair with a stack of cookbooks in front of me as I try to decide what to make for dinner. An hour will pass before I get so frustrated that I just get up and buy some potatoes and salad.

Don’t ever stop moving. There are marathoners who race across America. The man who has won the most trans-American races says that the worst thing you can do is take a day off. You have to run three marathons a day everyday if you are going to finish. And people do it. How infuriating is it that something like that is even possible and I find it difficult to spend an hour each day writing?

Where do we find the time? I suppose we accomplish a lot in our eighty years. Never enough, though. Here is what I am trying to fit into a day: story-writing plus journal posting; view one movie; read one hundred pages of a current book; cook dinner; easy workout plus a short run; spend quality time with my sweetheart.

It sounds like a lot, right? But I could do it if it were my job. As it is, I’ve cut out the movie. Instead, I listen to a podcast on my iPod as I cook. I’ve only recently taken on so much reading. I figured if I’m not writing as much as I should, I could be reading. I spend an average of three hours on shopping for, cooking, and eating dinner. I like to cook.

I’ve been good about the workout. As I say, I like to cook, and as I’m mostly sedentary now, I’ve been putting on weight. So I started running.

I’m mostly feeling guilt about the writing. Even now, I feel this post is completely unnecessary and probably not interesting. But, as it’s mostly only family reading it now, why not indulge myself? It’s practice anyway.

I’ve always admired Percy Shelley’s life: he went into the woods everyday to read. And he wrote poetry. He lived in Italy with his wife and his friend Lord Byron. He worked, but it was such a lovely line of work. He died well, too, at twenty-nine, in a storm at sea.

I find myself now in France and I have the opportunity Shelley had. If I choose to spend all day reading and writing, I may do it. But I like to cook. And I like my sweetheart. And I need to exercise. And I really would miss movies. And I’ve just discovered Gordon Ramsay, so I’ve been working my way through his television shows. And what about the internet? There’s so much information out there—I would have never discovered Gordon Ramsay without it. And I like to stay up late, because it’s quiet; even though I’m too sleepy to do any work so late, and I wake up too late to have a proper day.

But I think I may know what’s really preventing me from really getting down to it and producing some work: it’s winter, of course, and I’m a frozen bee, still dormant. But spring is coming and flowers are blooming in Provençe. Why, just this week I was actually able to spend a few hours on a park bench and read a hundred pages of a novel. There, we’ll be all right soon.

So long as I don’t take up cricket or some other wonderful time-waster life keeps tossing at me.


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