GENREALITY


January 2nd, 2013 by Charlene Teglia
You can’t have everything

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” Stephen Wright

 

 

As we close up Genreality and begin a new year, it seems like a good time to discuss the myth of having it all. As comedian Stephen Wright points out, you really can’t have everything. But this doesn’t stop us from (self-defeatingly) trying.

 

Planning for a new year or for a successful project begins with resource management. How much time and energy do you have to work with? What outside resources can you rely on to free up more time and energy for the project at hand? Nobody has infinite resources, and while it’s easy for me to envy writers who have older kids and aren’t trying to juggle a career around diapers, they have plenty of demands on their time, too.

 

Ways to outsource tasks on your list can be as simple as deciding the yard really only needs to be mowed twice a month instead of four times, or hiring somebody to clean, or getting a family member to babysit on a regular basis. Whittle down to the things you really do have to do and can’t put off or offload.

 

Another approach is to look at ways to create more energy. It’s true that working out leads to feeling more energetic but to get there you have to fight the tired glued to the couch feeling and begin. Same for eating right; in the long run it’ll lead to more energy. In the short term it means investing in the time to make better nutrition choices and maybe cook more. It’s the same old boring advice, but the best way to get the most out of your time is to get enough rest, eat right, and exercise.

 

How do you do that? Add walking to your daily routine whenever possible. Park further away from the store when you shop, walk to the day job, or just take a walk a couple of times a week. Lift weights; I’ve been doing the 12 Second Sequence workout on and off for years, and it really does get great results in 2 20 minute workouts a week. In November and December I really was so busy I could only do it once a week, but I stuck to that 20 minute commitment and it paid off.

 

Which brings me to; it’s always better to do a little consistently than to do nothing or to try to do too much and set yourself back. Do a little exercise. Eat one apple instead of a second slice of pizza. Write one page while your toddler plays with an older sibling. Decide if raked leaves are really worth while, and if so, can somebody else rake them?

 

Your life is lived one day at a time so getting the life you want in 2013 comes down to planning your days and your weeks to make it happen. You can’t have everything. But you can choose the things that matter most.

My new year is starting off with a new book in stores, The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance. I’m glad I chose to write the story, I’m happy to have contributed here with my merry cohorts, and I hope we all enjoy more of what we want and value most in the new year to come. Happy New Year!

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13 comments to “You can’t have everything”

  1. Renee-Ann
    Comment
    1
     · January 3rd, 2013 at 7:59 am · Link

    Good morning Charlene,

    wow there’s a lot of truth in what you wrote. I made ‘small’ commitments because I knew if I went too big, I was setting myself to fail.

    First, for writing (my two children have left the nest), I will write one hour a day, regardless of how busy I am. The dishes or laundry can wait so I can put that hour in. I have a major advantage, I work in a very ‘slow’ call centre and I am allowed to write between calls. I read about a young writer who uses every ‘spare’ minute to write, whether it’s on her 20-minute bus commute, her half hour break at work, etc… put these together at the end of the day, they all add up.

    About exercise, Leslie Sansone said “a few minutes are better than no minutes.” I use my recumbent bike 30-40 minutes 3 times a week. I play a game on my cell phone or read, and wow, 30 minutes go by some fast. Before my treadmill breathed its last, I used to read or watched a movie while I walked.

    Personally, i love the ‘buddy system’. I sometimes go to the Y with a friend and find it more enjoyable than going alone.

    By the way, thanks for mentioning the 12 second sequence. That is one I’d never heard about but I like it, specially the part about toning stomach muscles in 2 weeks! Yay!

    Blessings and best wishes for the New Year.

    Renee-Ann



  2. Charlene Teglia
    Comment
    2
     · January 4th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    I do rec the 12 second sequence to writers and anybody who spends a lot of time at a desk. It’s pretty easy to fit 20 min. into any schedule, however insane, the equipment is minimal (2 hand weights, a swiss ball) and it magically rids you of all computer-desk-related pain while doing a nice job of preventing computer-desk-related injuries. If it hurts to put your butt in chair and type, you’ll do less of it, or do it distracted.



  3. Renee-Ann
    Comment
    3
     · January 4th, 2013 at 6:24 pm · Link

    This 12-second sequence can break the monotony of my recumbent bike which gets boring after a while. I can bike let’s say, Mon, Wed, and Fri, and do the sequence Tue and Thu.

    We did the “biggest loser” at work and I lost 10 lbs between Oct 19 and Dec 7. But I didn’t diet. I ate what I wanted, but in moderation, and started going to the gym. There seems to be less time in Dec to go to the gym yet we seem to eat twice as much, but my weight stayed about the same. That alone is very rewarding.

    I have a very sweet tooth and could eat everything in sight. Thank God I also love raw fruit/veggies. Celery (or even an apple) with peanut butter curbs my cravings. I like these with cheese too but it doesn’t ward off my hunger for sweets like the PB does.

    Thanks again. :)



  4. Renee-Ann
    Comment
    4
     · January 4th, 2013 at 6:24 pm · Link

    This 12-second sequence can break the monotony of my recumbent bike which gets boring after a while. I can bike let’s say, Mon, Wed, and Fri, and do the sequence Tue and Thu.

    We did the “biggest loser” at work and I lost 10 lbs between Oct 19 and Dec 7. But I didn’t diet. I ate what I wanted, but in moderation, and started going to the gym. There seems to be less time in Dec to go to the gym yet we seem to eat twice as much, but my weight stayed about the same. That alone is very rewarding.

    I have a very sweet tooth and could eat everything in sight. Thank God I also love raw fruit/veggies. Celery (or even an apple) with peanut butter curbs my cravings. I like these with cheese too but it doesn’t ward off my hunger for sweets like the PB does.

    Thanks again. :)



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