5 Things that distract you from blogging (other than work, family or housework)

I’ve been blogging for more than 11-years — closing on 12 — and for most of that time, I was so absorbed in blogging, everything else was left in the dust. I didn’t read much. Although I maintained the house, cooked and paid all the bills, things like maintaining contacts with friends, even making simple phone calls got lost. It wasn’t just the writing. It was answering comments and trying to read all the other blogs. I was also 12-years younger when I started.

Don’t let anyone tell you that “age is just a number.” It’s a lot more than that. Between 65 and 76, one tends to have a variety of medical issues. With each passing year, we take longer to recover, longer to “pop back” to where we had been. Recovery doesn’t, as it turns out, much us younger. If it takes you a year to recover from something, your recovery doesn’t include getting back the missing year.

In early 2015, I had heart surgery. Two valves replaced, an implanted pacemaker, the carving out of a blocked ventricle and a bypass. Heart surgery unglued me. I’d been through other major surgeries, but I was younger. This one knocked me down for months. No writing, no photography. Garry and Rich carried the blog. I couldn’t do anything. So, I listened to Audiobooks and waited until I felt human again.

It took close to year until I felt almost okay, but I’ve never entirely come back. Among other things — like pain in places I didn’t know you could hurt — I lost a big hunk of enthusiasm. Who knew you could surgically remove enthusiasm?

Just about when I was beginning to feel like maybe I was a real person again — along came COVID and the lockdown.

The thing about aging is that there’s always something going on that you wish wasn’t, My lingering mild anemia hiked up to become bad enough to be life-threatening. The pain in my spine got worse and my ability to walk was even more compromised.

Some of these problems have been fixed. Two infusions of iron later and a lot of things that were wrong with me were righted. Who knew all that wheezing was related to a mad excess of eosinophils? Or that our family doctor would finally find a medication that could make a most of the pain in my spine disappear. Yet that intensity and energy I had for blogging has not come back. The lost years spent healing and waiting for lockdown to end are gone.

So on to the questions: What distracts me? I can’t leave out cooking because cooking takes up a huge amount of my day most of the year.

  1. Shopping. Usually online and mostly for household stuff. We don’t have a lot of local shopping and never did. Moreover, I’m too tired to haul myself through malls when I can get it delivered to my door. I am not a fast shopper. I take my time, read reviews, check out multiple sources before buying.
  2. Cooking. On an average day when we aren’t barbecuing, I often spend half a day on my feet in the kitchen. Since we pretty much never go out to eat, I have delved into creative cooking to keep from finding food too boring to eat. I not only cook for four people, I also cook for the Duke. It keeps him healthy. Feeding him people-grade food with additional vitamins costs less than a dozen cans of crappy dog food loaded with soy and “meat by-products,” whatever that is (better not to think about it). I make a lot food at a time and freeze it in quart containers. Each quart lasts between three and four days.
  3. Games. I play bridge on the computer. I play solitaire. I play some other word games. Nothing complicated or involving 3-D equipment. It’s my “time off.” When I’m playing a game, I’m not writing, processing, editing, or cooking. I thoroughly enjoy doing nothing.
  4. Birds, the Duke, photography, flowers. I feed the birds and also watch them. I love watching them “court.” Many birds are monogamous and they have wonderful courtship rituals. I spend time with the Duke and he repays me by licking my glasses. You know how hard it is to get dog saliva off your lenses? I take pictures of everything and then process them so I can post them. It all takes time.
  5. TV and reading. A lot of the time I watch TV while I’m processing pictures. I can’t write and watch, but a lot of processing is just waiting for filters to do their job. But, sometimes I get hooked on a show and whatever I was planning to do doesn’t get done. I listen to audiobooks at night when I should be sleeping.

It takes time to read comments and other blogs. I can’t possibly read all the blogs I’m signed up for even though I want to read them. There isn’t enough time to even look at most of them. On top of that, I’m retired. I ought to have at least a few free hours every day. Instead, I lose half a night’s sleep so I can listen to a book.

I’ve posted 13,331 times, so it can be hard to come up with a fresh idea. I often have terrific ideas in the morning that fizzle before they get written. By the time I should be writing, I’m tired and the fizz has gone flat.

If only I could be healthy AND get back even five years. Just five teeny weeny years. Is that too much to ask?

Categories: #Blogging, #Flowers, #Photography, #Writing, Anecdote, Life, Word Prompt

Tags: , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. The pictures you take are simply beautiful. I can appreciate them much better on my laptop than on my phone.
    I find it difficult to stay on top of comments as well as reading posts of bloggers I follow. Just writing the two posts for my prompts can be a challenge sometimes.


    • I take longer to write than I used to but I’m also a better writer and a better editor when I have the time to really comb through what I’ve written and make sure all the sentences are complete and there’s punctuation where needed.

      I don’t know how anyone can really visit all their “signed up for” other blogs and actually read and comment on them. Unless it’s just looking at a picture or two, I actually think about what I’m reading. It takes more time than there is in a normal day. I think we are all a bit over-extended.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am similarly distracted. Sometimes I just fall down the rabbit hole while looking for things to write. The top ten video articles may seem like a piece of cake, but searching for the right videos or looking for a few facts about each can take a long time. Next Sunday’s article took a long time as I rewatched 12-hour-long series episodes and took notes. Sometimes I had to go back and check the accuracy of my comments as the Bad Buddy followers would be all over me for any error.
    Shopping can be a project. It is not grocery shopping, but other things. Christian (formerly John) declared he needs socks this morning so I know it means all afternoon at a mall. Besides groceries, there are very few things I go out for now.
    Cooking takes time, both mine and John’s (now known as Christian’s). Last night he was making soup at midnight. He forgot I do not go to work on Wednesday. He was making this giant pot so I would have some for lunch. Usually, the dishes get washed when he is done. I did say usually.
    John (or Christian) sometimes forgets I am not 30. I can not always do things at his pace.
    A variety of other life events also intervene. We do what we can.


    • Garry and I did groceries this morning and now he’s doing his podcast. I’m already tired and it’s just a quarter after three. I get tired pretty fast these days and once I am tired, it take a lot of mental energy to get me up and moving again. Normally, I’d be down for the count now, but I bought swordfish for dinner and cooking fish is my thing. Owen is clueless about preparing fish so I’m going to have to get my act together and make dinner. I got a little spoiled with all the barbecuing, but I do love fresh swordfish. AND I bought mint ice-cream Klondike bars for dessert. Mmm. If I’m still awake for dessert, that is!


  3. I enjoy reading your blog, Marilyn. I’m distracted by similar things! Health, though, is the biggest at this juncture. There are no other writers in my family. My sons and families live away. I might show my twin how to access the account in case she might NEED to inform readers. Like you, I don’t have the time (or the eye sight) to read all of the blogs I follow. I rented an RV for the next 4 nights (shocked my family, lol) and will be distracted by nature. The gal who owns the travel trailer is delivering and setting it up for me at the campground I enjoy about 40 miles from here. I’m packed. I have a fractured sacrum, other bone pains, and “the” cancer,…it’s my one-year celebration of still being here so I want to be distracted. I think this distraction will make for great words to share. I’m glad you’re here, Marilyn!


    • I think that’s a BRILLIANT idea. I wasn’t able to do much of anything after surgery except wait until my body felt sort of normal — and that took a lot longer than I expected. I figured a few months — which it would have been were I younger and not afflicted by all the other stuff. But I wasn’t younger and I had other things going on and my body was not interested in recovering quickly. I wasn’t sure for a while if it was interested in recovering, period. It did, but it sure did take a while.

      Meanwhile, you’re -fighting to stay alive as long as you are able and are well enough to want to be alive. It must be hard and I’m impressed at how you’ve managed to deal with stuff that’s impossible to deal with and yet keep your spirits up. I know that after that last big surgery, I was in a very dark place for months. Fortunately, I had been warned by the hospital that heart surgery causes depression for most people, so I was not surprised. I just hid with my audiobooks. I felt so low I figured if I hung around other people, all I’d do is bring them down with me. Sometimes, sharing isn’t the best thing for the others in your life.

      Getting out into the world and the trees and nature is never a bad thing — and considering your entire life is medical, the break will be great for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. 💕Marilyn, thank you for your kind words about how I’m managing my health. You stated something that hit home to me: “I felt so low I figure if I hung around other people, all I’d do is bring them down with me” I understand this well! I’ve enjoyed my little trip alone with my pup. I get melancholy and start to become sad wishing kids and grandkids were closer. I make myself snap out of it and just enjoy the present moment. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by God’s beautiful creation and away from all the “noise” and “chaos”. I’ve met others here who have (or are battling) cancer; no coincidence our paths crossed. Today is has rained and I’ve read and written short paragraphs and thoughts. It’s healing. There’s no TV or radio, although I did use my smartphone for a show and music a bit. My pup is fantastic. She’s great at traveling. We adapt well. Cancer pain and fractured sacrum have caused some extra layers in routine. It’s not stopping me, but I do everything more cautiously and carefully. It’s going to hurt despite; so I can’t further the damage being too risky. I can manage an injury in doing little. Ha.
        Finley and I will head home Sunday. This 5 day getaway was the best medicine I’ve had. I hope you are both doing well! Have a wonderful weekend!


  4. With age a lot of health issues crop up. But having a blog where we can share our joys and worries also helps.

    Liked by 1 person

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