I still haven't really gotten the hang of this "the caregiver has to take
care of himself, too" thing. Nor have I really gotten the hang of doing
things I "enjoy". But there are a few things I really have to find time
for, not so much because I "enjoy" them -- though I suppose I do -- but
because I go crazy if I go without them for too long.
Walking is one. I have to have my walk; preferably every day and
preferably for an hour. I can cut that back to half an hour every other
day, but not for long. It's the only exercise I get, but it's more than
Livejournal is another; possibly at an even higher priority than walking.
If I'm at a con, or on some other kind of tight schedule, I will
squeeze in time to read my friends list if I have any time for the
computer at all. Email to a lesser extent. Other kinds of reading, on
the net and off, if there's time -- reading is something I can do even
with a lot of distraction, so it's useful for those times. But time spent
on the computer interacting with people is crucial -- LJ, IM,
email... I rarely see anyone outside of my family, a few local friends,
and coworkers; the computer is usually my only way to feel connected with
my closest friends.
Music is a little further down on the list; I'm not quite sure why.
Especially music where I'm interacting with people: performing, or
practicing with friends, or singing in a small, friendly circle. Just
practicing by myself, or even songwriting, are less essential. I guess
music is further down on the list because I can't do it whenever I want
with the people I want to make music with. Too many of my friends are far
And then there's time with friends (including people like Colleen, and my
family-of-choice, who are much more than friends). There's a reason why
I'll usually drop everything else to go for a drive with Colleen (as I did
tonight, in fact). But, as with music, most of the people I would like to
spend time with are far away. I can't spend as much time as I'd like with
most of my friends, and in some ways that's just as well, or I wouldn't
have time for anything else. It'd be worth the trade, though.
Time for creativity -- songwriting, software, writing -- is important, but
a lot of the secondary activities around that feel like work, and they're
not as important to me as things that put me in touch with people.
(added 0713 7:53) Hot baths. Not so much for getting clean as for
relaxation -- a hot bath helps me get to sleep. It's getting increasingly
difficult to find the time. I really miss the days when Colleen was spry
enough to get in and out of our 6-foot tub, and we could take a bath together.