Enjoying down time should not be that difficult.

Enjoying down time should not be that difficult.

I’ve heard it said over and over again by writers in every genre, “Write every day.” It’s so much easier said than done. Even after establishing the habit, it is so easy to get off track again. As well as being a writer, I own and manage a bar and grill that is open at least 360 days a year. There are seasons when it is much easier to develop writing time, and those when it is downright impossible.

When preparing for our annual July Fourth weekend motorcycle rally (an event that draws over 100,000 people to our sleepy little town in a three day period), I could no sooner write than have a positive conversation with President Obama. It takes months to prepare for. Imagine trying to squeeze two months of work into a one week period. When it’s over I spend another two or three weeks putting things back in order and catching up on bookwork, as well as some much needed rest. By August I need a crane to get my butt back in my office chair. I want to work in my yard, which can always use attention, attend to mail and bills, a chore much overdue, anything but write.

While the other activities calling my name are essentially important, they can be set aside for a couple hours of writing. My priorities become my excuses. It is so easy to convince myself that I just don’t have the time. Then I think about my mentor Joyce Meyer, who while traveling all over the world ministering to the likes of me, has written over a hundred books. She’s a great advisor for me because we are so much alike. We both have A-type, driven, controlling personalities. One of her favorite quotes is, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” It is so true for me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t be where I need to be until Jesus takes me home.

My mother was here visiting from Arizona, and though I spent quite a bit of time with her I continued to work real hard. I’d start my day at 6:00 a.m. while she was sleeping, and by the time I really settled in for a visit it was 4:00 p.m. When I told her that I didn’t understand why I was so tired she pointed out that I am always working at something. So last Wednesday I spent the entire day lounging, reading and watching television with my mother and my husband. Despite staying on the couch my brain kept telling me that I needed to be doing something constructive. That is what my brain tells me almost every waking hour of the day.

It is a bit of a curse for someone who has an office in her home for her second job. I pray fervently for it to become my first job but that will be in God’s timing. When I don’t have a famous biker bar to run I know I will have much more time to write and I so look forward to that day. I’m sure, however, that I will still have many days when the yard, bills and other distractions will keep me from putting my butt in the chair. When I don’t have Johnny’s for an excuse any more my self-torment will be unrelenting. Maybe that’s why God hasn’t sent a wonderful buyer my way yet. He may be waiting for me to find balance in my life and learn to enjoy the downtime for what it is, recovery time for the mind, spirit, and soul. I’m working towards that goal, and need all the help I can get to attain it. Pray for me folks.

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