Time and Energy


July 7, 2018 by Jean

time-clipart-fast-time-going-having-stress-deadlines-34340428I apologize for my long silence here. I’ve been struggling to find time and energy for blogging. I’m not the only person to have noticed that time seems to speed up as we get older, leaving us to wonder where those minutes/hours/days/weeks/years went! That sense of sped-up time is especially true for me during the busy spring-into-summer season, when spring finally arrives in Maine and almost immediately turns into summer.

Maine’s usual spring pattern of wait… wait… wait… wait… boom! was even more pronounced than usual this year. Winter seemed reluctant to leave, and spring was slow to arrive. The last of the snow in my garden melted at the end of April, a week later than last year. But that final snowmelt coincided with a string of unusually warm spring days that jump-started plant growth. (By June, plants were blooming a week earlier than they did last year.) I was soon running around, trying to complete my April garden clean-up chores so that I could begin the May garden chores and get to work on this year’s garden projects. At the same time, my choral singing group was rehearsing for our final concert of the season, my garden club had begun its seasonal round of garden visits, my Master Gardener Volunteer responsibilities geared up for the gardening season, and this year’s classes began at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Whew!

I’ve faced these same time pressures in other springs without abandoning blogging. What’s different this year? This is the first year that I have tried to combine blogging with writing an almost-daily journal. (See A New Creative Writing Project.) I am now in the ninth month of keeping this journal, and I have written more than 100,000 words. That hasn’t left much room in my life for other writing. It’s not just that I am now working on the journal during the part of my day I used to reserve for blog-writing. Even when I have time to write later in the day or evening, I find that the journal has sucked up all my writing energy. I have a large pile of ideas for blog posts, notes for blog posts, and partial drafts of blog posts that never got off the ground.

I’m not sure what the future holds for the journal manuscript. I’ve committed myself to keep this record of my daily experience of solo aging for one year. That year will be over at the end of October. After that, I’ll probably be writing an unusually large number of blog posts as I look for ways to avoid the painful work of revision! I’m grateful to one friend for the suggestion that I might use the journal project as the basis for presentations at the Senior Center or the Senior College. I can imagine this as a way to take sections of the journal and refine and hone the entries into a series of excerpts for a reading.

But I’m not willing to wait until November to recommit myself to my blogs. I’m doing that with this post. My difficulty in finding the time and energy for blog writing is not going to go away, but I think I can realistically pledge myself to writing one blog post a week (or two a month for each blog). That’s not much, but it’s a lot more than I’ve been doing in recent months.

I look forward to reconnecting with all of you.

9 thoughts on “Time and Energy

  1. Jean R. says:

    I’m happy to see you back in the blog community. I was sure your gardening was keeping you busy so I wasn’t worried about your health. For selfish reasons I hope you are able to blog more often. I’d forgotten about your year of journeying and am looking forward to hearing more about how it’s going. I just got Mary Sarton’s book, Journal of a Solitude—still unread—but whenever I think of here, I think of you because you introduced me to her.

    • Jean R. says:

      Oops, that’s May Sarton.

    • Jean says:

      Jean, I’ll be interested in hearing your responses to Journal of a Solitude. It was the first journal Sarton published and is probably the most famous. My own personal favorite is The House By the Sea, written after she moved to the coast of Maine and full of light and happiness.

  2. Ellie Leight says:

    Thanks for the post, Jean. I like reading your thoughts and ideas. And I love and envy that you have so many interests. But at our age, I do worry when I don’t hear from a friend to whom I am accustomed-even if it is a blog friend. I would like it so much if you would just post a note saying that you’ll be out of touch for awhile. But welcome back. You’re a great lady.

    • Jean says:

      Ellie, I think of you more as a Senior College friend and neighbor than a blog friend. I understand your concern when people suddenly drop out of sight, and I very much appreciated your email. Of course, for me to post a note saying that I’ll be out of touch for a while, I’d need to admit it to myself. That may require a personality transplant. Although I’m usually very good at time management and estimating how long things will take to do, I also tend toward enthusiastic, overly optimistic estimates of what I can accomplish.

  3. GARY says:

    It’s perfectly fine Jean whenever you post your blogs. I always find them interesting. Don’t fret over how many, take care of yourself first. We will be here.

  4. Diana Studer says:

    Don’t apologise – I haven’t a fraction of your commitments – and I can’t achieve a weekly blog post. As and when is also a good target to aim at.

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I am Jean Potuchek, a professional sociologist who has just stepped into the next phase of my life, retirement, after more than thirty years of college teaching. This blog is about my experience of that new phase of life.

Please join me as I step into my future.

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