I spend lots of time trying to figure out a better way to keep doing what I am doing. I want  time off. Play a few video games. Hang loose. Part of the problem is the intensity of these past few months of politics. The nightmare of finding myself living in a world that goes against everything I imagined my world could be. But also, I’m tired. Mentally and physically. It’s not just my brain that needs time off. My body wants one, too.

I love writing and photography. I don’t have this site because someone shoved a gun in my back. Writing for me is more than fun. It’s how I express myself to a wider world. It’s healthier for me to write than brood and obsess. Healthier for me, healthier for the people around me.

Pictures — a whole other story — are wonderful — and they eat time. Taking the pictures, then spending hours editing graphics is all visual. Mental yoga. Colors. Textures. Not unlike a video game, it’s mind-fully mindless — and there’s a lot of it. Garry and I together often shoot three or four hundred pictures in a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon. Following a shoot, there are many hours of processing to come. It takes time.

How I can fit all this stuff into my life? I don’t want to give up anything, but I’m getting pounded by time. There are only so many hours in a day. Last night, for the first time in years, I had a “work anxiety” dream. I was supposed to be covering a story in (I think) Ireland. I had the address and a car. I remember saying “No problem, I’ve got this covered.”

Except I never got to the story. I found myself driving on the wrong side of the road with traffic coming towards me. I couldn’t see an exit and wasn’t sure how I got there. Ah, the perils of wrong-side-of-the-road driving for an American! Later, with the help of a friendly stranger, I made my way back to the hotel where I was staying, but couldn’t find stairs. Finally, I did, but everyone was furious with me with not covering the story — and apparently, failing to call home. Which, if I had a cell phone, I might have done. The dream omitted cell phones.

I have always said the fate of nations would be greatly changed if, in the past, everyone had a cell phone.

I woke up realizing I had to find a better way to do my life. What I really want is more time. At least 28 hours per day. That would fix everything. Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to slow time. If I did, I would also have a machine to save the world and make me a billionaire. Lacking the “Time-Slow-Craftmatic” device, I will have to stop trying to read everyone else’s posts daily.

This is the latest version of an old problem — trying to do everything. This always involves people YELLING AT ME to slow down. I get it. I do. I’m solid with the idea. It’s the implementation that is so baffling.

Meanwhile, If I’m not at your site everyday, forgive me. I’m not forgetting you, just trying to find my way to retirement. Because retirement is beginning to feel too much like work — without a check.

If you are building that machine? I’d like to Beta test it for you.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

20 thoughts on “THE BETTER WAY?”

  1. Yesterday between the disappointment and anger over the dirt, the child who cannot communicate about a book tour I’ve paid for, it being hot (I was shocked, but it might snow again), the persistence of that asshole in the Whitehouse and all that entails, and stuff I’ve been finding the the bowels of the garage, it finally hit me. I don’t matter to the universe and my dreams are not going to come true, and, if by some remote chance they are, they’d better hurry. I felt really terrible. Then I realized that becoming disillusioned at 65 is pretty cool. For many people it happens a LOT sooner. Some people never even try; they figure from the get-go the whole thing is hopeless. I still that’s the saddest thing. So what this all says to me is, “Do whatever you want” and I pass that on to you. 🙂

    A Man Said to the Universe
    A man said to the universe:
    “Sir, I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember that poem. It was a favorite of mine during my dour teenage years.

      When I discovered my heart was gone a mere three years after two rounds of cancer, it became clear life was what it was. My fondest dreams were just that — my fondest dreams. I am NOT going to be a world-famous author. To be fair, at this point, it doesn’t seem worth the effort anyway. Writing a world shaking book requires a LOT more work than I’m ready to do. Writing a book that went nowhere was a lot more work than I’d like to do again.

      So I blog. But right now, I really want to dig deep into the soul of Civilizaton VI. There has been far too much reality. Too much hate, too much ugliness. Too much of all the bad shit.

      I am much more shocked, horrified, appalled at this world than I thought possible. I didn’t think I could feel like this about anything that wasn’t personal. Somehow, this FEELS personal. Very personal. I feel like my sense of what the world means has been shot down.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It feels personal to me, too. It feels as if I have been attacked and the virtues of honesty, kindness, generosity, patience, compassion have been attacked. Every day there is something I find absolutely unbelievable. But I just dug a hole so I can put in a raised bed for tomatoes. Tending the garden, sometimes with tears in my eyes. ❤


        1. I’m in pretty much the same place. it really IS like falling into a different — and very ugly — world. I can’t fix It offends me on every level I can think of. I’m just looking for some time and space that is not on this world. Even if it’s an UNworld.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. You wrote a decent book Marilyn. I read it and I’d have to say it was a lot better than a lot of stuff that is out there. We are living in a time where everything is changing and in a state of flux. That in itself is tiring.


  2. Time! The enemy! It keeps speeding up. I thought it went by quickly when I had children and we were so involved with school activities going places doing things. Then I thought time would surely slow down as I aged, but then came the grandchildren, time has continued to speed up not slow down. Time is marching forever onward, faster than the speed of light. I’m with you, and I’d like to encapsulate a few moments in which to do so many things. There’s so much to accomplish, do, learn, play with! Life is good!


    1. Time has been whirling along, but these days, each whirl is one less whirl for my future. Getting older, especially when you are also not a healthy “older,” tends to make you feel like that big clock is ticking for YOU. So I’m going to have to go hang on one of the clock hands and hold it steady. This whole getting old thing totally SUCKS.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lose yourself in Civ VI. Life is too short at this point (for you and I both) to waste it on anger, on mourning over stupid pet trick presidents. The closest I get to reality these days is when the Air National Guard (at least I hope thats who it is) flies much too close over the house, or when Worlds of Warcraft is down for maintenance.
    As the tag on my blog says, “Life is too short. Eat dessert instead.”


    1. I just put a few hours into CivVI. I still need to work out which menu does what. i remember doing this first time I played until finally, I knew where to go to do whatever. Meanwhile I’m breathing.


  4. Time is something more elusive as you get older. I can see your problems with blogging, I have them too and also have fun and wouldn’t want to miss the fun, but the day only has so many hours. Since I have installed my new system with help of my iPad, I really have more time – just a system I have worked out. But should it be like that, working out how to save time to have more time. Probably not, but on the other hand I cannot just sit around a do nothing. Now one more posting today and then to read a book – see I cannot leave it.


    1. I just want to do some OTHER things. i don’t want to stop writing or taking pictures. But i want to do some other stuff too and I need to leave some time for it. It may be all I really need to to stop pushing myself to try to do everything. That is usually my problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My problem always used to be: I could do ANYTHING i wanted to do – anything at all. The problem was trying to narrow it down to the few things i really wanted to do that were important. There were still too many of them and mostly when i tried it ended the same way – i found it wasn’t really giving me what i felt i wanted – and i was not sure why that was. Photography, writing and growing plants are about the only things ( oh and watching TV) i have found that have never let me down (although modern TV is definitely losing it’s long-held appeal) or I have felt like leaving for something better in my life.

        Don’t worry about the not visiting blogs so often – it’s a problem all bloggers understand sooner or later 😉



  5. Blogging can be fun or it can be work. I blog when I have a specific something to say which is one to three times a week max. You are pumping it out numerous times a day. I’m not sure how you have time for a shower. 🙂 Do what makes you happy and remember getting upset about what happens is DC is never going to change because the players and parties are a moving target.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. I’m actually not writing nearly as much as I did. My co authors are putting out a lot of material these days, especially Ellin.

      I really do need to stop paying attention to the real world. I’m NOT getting on with the real world at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just finished another four day weekend and got very little accomplished… even missing a post on Friday. Where did the time go? Oh yeah, I got lost in other distractions on the internet… and all of a sudden, it’s time to go back to work.


    1. I just want some time to play some games and read a book. Maybe it sounds stupid, but I need to not feel so squashed for time. I think i need to get busy enough to forget a post or two also. Except I think I’m incapable of forgetting. I’ve sometimes been too sick to care, but I NEVER forget. I’m not sure whether it’s my fatal weakness or my superpower. Maybe both.


  7. Yes, mental yoga consumes time, but it is worth it 🙂 There are photos from three or four years back of travels that I haven’t seen yet, and much less edited. This coming Thursday will have a perfect photo theme for you 🙂 xx


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