Friday, July 18, 2008

What Do You Have To Do?

From Whistler looking north. Jasper is to the east.

Lately I haven’t had time to read the paper. Oh, I’m not so terribly busy. And it’s not like the Edmonton Journal is so thick that it takes forever to get through it.
No. It just seems like other things have gotten in the way.
Generally, the other things take precedence for a reason. They’re either way more interesting or time–sensitive, like taking a day trip to the mountains.
That has to be done when the opportunity arises, the weather and light are right, and specific to last week’s adventure, when Mr. Goat’s Lunch Pail is available to spend the day with me. Take the chance to do things together when you get it.

But when I’ve got plans and need some time it’s my time with the newspaper that gets sacrificed. This is my choice so in that respect I am not complaining.
My point is when I don’t read the paper I feel as though I haven’t gotten anything done. It sits there folded on the table taunting me with its promise of quiet information.

Somewhere back in the 80s a friend mentioned she’d learned that we have certain things we need to do each day in order to feel as though we’ve accomplished something. If memory serves it was three things we needed to do to get this feeling.
I have from time to time asked myself what I needed to do. I don’t know that I have three things, but I have one and it’s reading the daily paper.
I read it with breakfast. I eat. I read. I relax. It’s time dedicated to immersing myself in the outside world while remaining quiet. I need quiet. I get ruffled when surrounded by noise.
When I was working I’d read some at breakfast and finish the rest with lunch. I like to eat while I read. I find it satisfying.

Now, when I have all this time I find I don’t get the paper read every day. Last week I finally finished Wednesday’s newspaper on Sunday, along with Friday’s. I did it outside on the deck in the morning sunshine. It gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
What about you?
What do you need to do to feel as though you’ve done something?


Crabby McSlacker said...

My three mandatories are eat, exercise, and try to get caught up on my blog. But I too find that now that I'm not working, I don't have time to read the paper--something I managed to fit in every day when I had a full time job!

It's a mystery.

the Bag Lady said...

Hmmm. I had to go away and think about this. I guess (other than the obvious - blogging) I can only think of one thing that I do on a daily basis, and that's to watch the 6 o'clock news.

Leah J. Utas said...

It really is bizarre, isn't it Crabby?

df Bag Lady, it does take some thought to sort out what we feel we must do.

Missicat said... thing I like to do is have my desk neat and tidy when I leave on Friday. Not saying it happens too often, but I try! Also like to watch the news on channel 9 in the a.m. I am sure I will think of other things...

Leah J. Utas said...

Missicat, the neat desk must give you a good sense of accomplishment.

Mark Salinas said...

This sounds corny but...if somebody thanks me for helping in anyway. That feels good to me!

Lethological Gourmet said...

Well, it depends whether it's a weekday or weekend.

Weekday - eat (every three hours, can't do without my snacks!), read/comment on blogs, take the NY Time news quiz on Facebook (is it kinda sad that none of these have anything to do with work?)

Weekend (taking the weekend as a whole, rather than as two separate days) - spend time by myself (extra points for being able to relax and cross-stitch, doing crossword puzzles doesn't count because I feel like I'm wasting time, even if I'm not), cooking (on sunday, for my week), buying yummy foods at the farmer's market or grocery store.

Leah J. Utas said...

Mark, that you've helped someone is an accomplishment.

Lethe, (May I call you that? I finally looked up where Lethological is from)I totally get the magic of spending time by yourself. That's another thing that gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Reb said...

Oh my! About all I do with any consistency is feed the cat and catch up on blogs. Hmmmm, have to work on getting other things into a routine!

Leah J. Utas said...

Do what's important for you, Reb.

Thomma Lyn said...

I don't hike every day, but hiking is one of those things I must do regularly. I need the exercise, but more than that, even, I need the mountains.

And I need to do something writing-related every day. Right now, it's working on my novel. But if I don't do something in that regard, I feel as though I've wasted my day.

Most important is to shower my hubby and my kitties with love. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

I sure understand about needing the mountains, TL. I am with you on that.

I also understand about having to do something writing-related every day. I get rather jittery if I leave it go too long.

Polly Kahl said...

I love the paper. There's something solid and old-fashioned about it, as opposed to the Internet news. The world moves slower when I read the paper. I'm aware as I'm reading it that it was printed hours ago, sometimes up to 20 hours before depending on when I get to it, so the news is actually old by Internet standards by then. Yet the world has not stopped and there are no emergencies within that time that demanded I immediately know what's happening. I can sit back and relax as I learn the latest happenings, and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

Leah, what are you writing, and when can we see some of it?

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Leah J. Utas said...

Polly, that's exactly it. Reading the newspaper does slow the world and it lets you absorb information at your own pace.

Thanks for asking about my writing. I'm doing a bit of freelance now, mostly for the local newspaper, and I'm sorting out other stuff for submission to websites about the paranormal and new age in general.
As to the memoir, I'm taking a bit of a break, but I often think I should send you a bit for beta - ing. Feedback is always welcome.

Polly Kahl said...

Reading is an important part of my writing Leah, and I'd always be happy to read some of yours.