Friday, January 7, 2011


I'm struggling with something, my loyal readers.  (So, if you couldn't tell already, this might be a serious post.)  Over the past week I've realized something.  I can't do it all.  I just can't.  I like to think that I'm Wonder Woman and that I can do everything I want to do and succeed at everything I try, but....there just isn't enough Nain to spread around.  (Ha, that kind of sounds wrong, doesn't it?)  Plus, I don't have the invisible plane and all....

I'm speaking more specifically with respect to my personal life.  One of the great things about 2010 was that I went back to my passions, the things I love to do.  This included writing, as well as music.  For those of you who aren't aware, I played the viola for about seven years in junior high and high school.  I kept my instrument but didn't play it for about ten years until just last year.  T persuaded me to take lessons through a local music store, and I started those around June of last year.  I do thoroughly enjoy them, but now, I'm wondering if I have enough time to dedicate to both my writing and my playing the viola. 

I haven't had lessons due to the holidays for about two weeks, and I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't picked up the instrument once to practice during that time.  I've ran into this problem more than a few times during the end of last year, and I would go to lessons having not practiced at all for that particuar week.  And for those of you who play instruments, you know that if you want to improve and actually get somewhere with your music - you have to practice, practice, practice.  Quite frankly, I'm not doing that, so I have to wonder, what do I want to get out of taking lessons? 

The same goes with respect to writing.  If you want to succeed at writing you have to read, write, read, write, and write some more.  The wedding distracted me from that, and then just plain laziness distracted me for the rest of last year.  And one of my resolutions is to finish my  book and really get back into my writing.  If I want to really pursue this, I need to put my whole heart and mind into it, and I really want to do just that. 

This past week, I realized how far behind I had fallen in my critiques for my critique group, so I was sitting there at 8:30 at night feverishly trying to get through one of them, when it hit me:  what about my writing?  When was I supposed to do this? Here I am, trying to do all of these things in my spare time, and suddenly there isn't enough spare time to finish everything or at least dedicate myself to all of them.  I was totally half-assing everything or in a less crude way, spreading myself too thin.

So this brings me to my current dilemma.  Something has to go.  It just has to, and I don't want to have to make that decision...but I don't think I have a choice about it.  In listing the activities I have and the things I truly want to accomplish, I'm afraid the viola has to be put on hold for now.  If I had to compare my writing and music, the difference between the two is I don't want to make a living as a musician.  I do want to really go somewhere with writing.    So what do I do? 

I just don't want to completely give it up.  I hope that even if I do put my lessons on hold for now, I can still play the music I do have when I have the time.  My only concern is that it will fall by the wayside along with the other hobbies I have had...I haven't made a decision yet, but I am seriously leaning in this direction.

So I post this question to all of you readers out there - how do you prioritize?  Is it something with which you struggle?  Have you had to let something go in order to focus on something else more? 

AND....for some lighter reading...check out my new post at Skirt!


  1. Oh, I know what you mean. I used to play piano, but the lack of time made impossible for me to practice and improve. And I haven't played piano for at least 5 years. What a pity!
    Prioritize? That's something I've always struggled with.
    I'd like to keep studying Japanese, and start playing violin, and read lots of books... But I have no time. So right now, what I do is blogging, some crafts or taking pictures... That's all. I wish my days had 25 hours! (or 30 hours...)

  2. For me, it's hard to even remember back to when I had to give up on hobbies. Once I had kids, I lost of lot of my hobbies, and now my husband and I are both trying to get something back but having a hard time finding the time. For us, it's easy - kids and family come first, exercise second, work third. That's about all there is time for. For you, I would go with what makes you the happiest and what your personal goals are - which sounds like the writing. Get back to it so you can ENJOY it, not feel obligated to do it. Good luck!

  3. I'm not great at prioritizing-- I jump from fire ball to fire ball. But, I have been trying be better at it and I ask myself, "Which of these brings me closer to my ultimate goals?" and then go with it.

  4. Easy - I don't have kids or a social life. Poof! Time! Actually, that's a lie. I have an hour long commute (one way) which takes a big chunk out of my day and the pets and husband take time.

    My flute got put to the side. But, I always have it around so I can play through a few song books. It's nice to know it's there when I get the urge.

  5. I wish there was more time in the day. I have not scrapbooked for almost four years now, and I miss it. I'm hoping that now that Bruiser is older I can get back to it. I don't ever really think about priorities but just doing what must be done. Then I look at myself and realize I'm bored. Gotta work on doing just a bit for me.
    Hope you can figure out what you need to do for you to make yourself feel satisfied.

  6. I'm really on the fence about critiquing lately because I don't have enough time to critique everybody's stuff. On top of that, when I get my work critiqued, I struggle with editing and rewriting. Stephen King's advice is to just write, so I wonder is that what I should be doing more of instead of getting critiqued right now.

  7. That's kind of hard for me too. On one hand, I want to take care of my responsibilities, but on the other I have to do the things that I love in order to "stay alive". It helps take the pressure off when you spread things in a schedule. So the things that you love FIRST so it will give you the drive to make it through the rest of what you have to do.

  8. The world makes women feel like they should do so much more than they are really capable of and it always has. We are compared to other women who are doing {fill-in-the-blank} with the implication we should be doing that too.

    I don't have time to comment on every blog I follow, I read them all but only comment when I 1) can 2) it sparks something in me.

    If the viola makes you happy then stick with it. And drop something else. But above all don't drop the things that make you happy. Just remember we aren't made to do everything, even God only did a given amount of things each day, and rested on the seventh. He didn't make the earth and all its contents in one day.

  9. Prioritizing is always such an issue for me. I never feel as though I have all my plates spinning at once, something always suffers. Like right now, for instance, since I've taken blogging back up in the past couple of months I have to remind myself to spend some quality time with my husband at night whenever possible, instead of being glued to my netbook.

    I think we're all too hard on ourselves from time to time, and set impossible standards.

    Just remember that these are supposed to be things that make you feel more of a person, not less. So if you need to put something aside right now for the sake of your sanity, go for it. You can always pick it back up, as you said.

  10. I do understand, and it is really hard for me to prioritize too. One thing I'm trying right now is alternating what I do on different days of the week. So, in my planner I'll write that I have to do something for at least ten minutes, and then the next day it is something else.

    So far that seems to be working, there are a few days when I don't seem to have time but I can get at least ten minutes worth.

    I'm going to have to start writing in when I blog too :-P

    That's what I'm trying now, but I can't say that it's right for everyone else.

    It's hard to cut things out, I've had to do that. And if you do cut out lessons, I hope you schedule a day -a few months from now or something- when you take it up again :-)


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