Madly off in all directions no more!
Yesterday, I forgot my phone at home when I biked to work. When I left work, I forgot my bike shorts and ended up flashing a large swath of the downtown population on my way to physio in my dress. When I left physio, I went to the grocery store and picked up a full cart before realizing I didn’t have a wallet. I had to leave the food behind and walk dejectedly back to my bike, the cashier chasing after me with my helmet, which I had also left.
Clearly, I’m very scattered these days. My problem is, I want to do everything. I’m excited about so many projects, ideas, stories, and directions. The world feels so full of so many exciting opportunities and I want 'em all.
I told my writers’ group, the Tuft’s Cove Writers’ Collective, about it last night during the boring business part of our meeting. We were trying to get the administration out of the way so we can get to the real meat: the writing. After all, the words we weave into sentences and paragraphs are the whole reason we meet.
“I haven’t written much this week because between working full-time and the funding applications I’m working on for dART speak, and a writers’ conference I’m helping organize, I’m feeling really overwhelmed.”
Older, wiser, recent retiree Linda took her usual no-bullshit approach. “Lindsey, you only have so much time. You can let other people help. You can choose to do less.”
While somewhere deep down I know that, it has never been my forte. I have always been an overachiever. I like to have my fingers in a lot of pies and still somehow do my best perfecting each one. I don’t like to say no.
Linda continued. “Not everything has to grow and be bigger. You can just let something be as it is and focus your time where you most need to.”
That might sound obvious, but it was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it. What I’m doing right now is not working for me. I need to pick my focus and stay true to it. When I try and go in all directions, I end up going nowhere.
When I try and go in all directions, I end up going nowhere.
So, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to finish the projects I’ve committed to, but then I’m going to start getting real familiar with the sound of the word no. I’m going to hoard my time and expertise like a miser and focus it on what’s most important: my writing. If I don’t answer an email, I’m sorry. But it’s not because I forgot—it’s because I’m busy writing.