Happy Monday! It’s the start of a brand-new week, and that means a new topic for #UpbeatAuthors. I’ve been staring at this week’s topic for a while now, wondering what one thing I would pick to fill in the blank here.
Over the years, I’ve met many writers who start volunteering in their local writer’s organizations and somehow end up too busy to write. This isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to writers, either. I’ve noticed it in other occupations People want to be involved. Being involved is a good thing. I hghly recommend it. But somehow people get so involved, they can no longer find time to do the thing that brought them to the organization in the first place.
I firmly believe you should never be to busy to do that thing–whatever it is. If you join an organization dedicated to serving other people, for example, don’t get so busy running the organization that you don’t have time to actually serve. If you’re a church-goer, don’t let yourself get so busy teaching, serving, leading Bible Study, etc., that you stop praying or reading your Bible. If you join a community service group, make sure you have time to actually serve your community.
But is that the one thing I’d choose to fill in the blank? Or would I say, “Don’t ever be too busy to read” Reading is such an important thing in my world, I can’t imagine anyone not liking to read…and yet, I know people who claim they don’t like it. (I think they’re wrong, of course. I’m convinced they gave up too soon and just haven’t found the kind of book they would enjoy reading, but…whatever.) I’ve allowed myself to get too busy to read at some points in my life, and it’s not a good place to be. Reading a good book is an amazing thing, and I would recommend it to everyone, but what one person considers a great book, another will think is less than great. The book I just read for my book club is a prime example. I’m glad I borrowed it from the library, because if I’d spent money for it, I would seriously want to demand a refund from the mega-bestselling superstar author who wrote it.
But I digress.
Reading is vitally important to me, but is it the one thing I would say to fill in the blank?
Important as reading is to me, there’s something even more vital to my well-being, and that’s connecting with the people i love. My kids My grandkids. My siblings. My mom. Other extended family members. My close friends. Family and friends are extremely important to me, and I would never want to think I was too busy to connect with them, either in person or by phone or (if all else fails) through social media. But what about those people who don’t have a big, loving family full of people who lift their spirits, so would I say to those people, oh, you’re screwed unless you have what I have? Of course not! How obnoxious wold that be?
What about exercise? Or getting out in nature? Or traveling? Eating great food? Spending time with pets? Nurturing your marriage? There are a gazillion ways to fill the well, and the truth is, every one of us probably has something different we’d urge people to include in their attempts to achieve balance and a peaceful life, but I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best I can do is to say: