More Cowbell Monday: The Life List Club

Several days ago, I was reminded again of the fleeting kaleidoscope of time. Trips to the ER nearly always bring out the humble in a person, at least they do for me. That worry led me to reassess my goals to prioritize “Me” a little higher on the list.

The #LifeListClub hashtag came to my attention this week in Twitter, which I’m sure was no accident.

What is the Life List Club?

This is a group of authors who are putting their life and book goals out where everyone in their circle can see them. Plus they blog hop, which is always fun.

Pushed out into the blogosphere like inspirational offspring, these Life List Club goals are a constant reminder to not lose ourselves in the shuffle of all we must do to survive. I’m going to post a page with my goals, whether they let me in on the fun or not. I started a Bucket List but I’m going to expand.

#LifeListClub, to me, is a reminder that our goal is to thrive, rather than just survive. The whole concept of the Life List Club rings pretty high on my More Cowbell scale.

Current Life List Club members (alphabetical by first name):

Note: If I missed somebody, please let me know in the comments. I encourage everyone to visit these bloggers and help them celebrate their goals. For more information on “the Club,” click on this link to Jess Witkins’ inaugural post.

How did the Life List Club come on my radar this week?

My husband and I had dinner with some dear friends Friday night after a very stressful week, filled with a torrent of obligations. The #1 obligation for me was taking care of my health after a blood clot scare.

Being in our friends’ home on Friday equaled four hours of time where the mantle of responsibility was shrugged off. The experience was incandescent because I left my worries at the door.

I went home and spent 20 minutes checking Twitter and visiting some blogs I follow, and I came across the aforementioned hashtag. And I started thinking…

I don’t believe that we adults take those worry-free hours often enough. (At least I don’t.)  Most of us run around doing the next thing on our list in the hopes that we can relax someday. Meanwhile, work and responsibilities sometimes feel like they’re choking us with their daily phlegm.

Writing provides that worry free time for many of us, or it did when we began. If the deadlines of publication and edits and goals are getting you down, perhaps it’s time to schedule some worry-free writing time.

You might be scratching your head and asking what is worry-free writing time?  This is when you sit at your keyboard, or notebook page, and open your mind to the universe. When you lose yourself in the beauty of a page full of words that have no purpose except their own vitality.

That’s going on my #LifeListClub goals, that worry-free time. Whether it’s dinner with friends, twenty minutes with a destination-free writing session, or fifteen minutes taking a walk in the summer sun, these pockets of time are precious gifts to be treasured.

What about you? What do you do to empty your mind and have precious moments of peace? Read a book? Exercise? Spoil your pet? Watch your child learn? What flips the relaxation switch for you?

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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29 Responses to More Cowbell Monday: The Life List Club

  1. Sherry Isaac says:

    The timing of this post is uncanny, Jenny. I’m currently conducting a poll (for my shared blog, Romance & Beyond) on how writers keep the writing life from turning them into the crazy old cat lady (or man). Fear not, I will not help myself to your comments.

    Worry-free time is so important. For me, chat sessions with Gloria Richard and Jessica Aspen keep me sane, connected and focused through my writing day. The rest of the time, lunches with friends, time to read (not write!), walks, down-time with hubby and children, gardening, pampering and housework. Yes, housework. On my ugly writing days legs don’t get shaved and floors don’t get washed.

    I had a major non-writing, non-productive day yesterday and it felt amazing!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Sherry,

      I don’t care if you take inspiration for a post from the comments here. The more we all commune, the more people we’ll draw to commune WITH us. (I sound so Hippie Chick! :-)).

      I can’t imagine having worries while you’re chatting with Gloria! I’m sure it is the same with Jessica. Why haven’t I seen this wonderful person on More Cowbell?

      Like

  2. Gene Lempp says:

    I hope that you doing well now, Jen, health scares are the worst. We’d love to have you (and anyone else) in Life List Club. We all have things we want to achieve in order to improve our lives and advance our writing. By joining together we are able to support each other in our endeavors which improves the odds of success dramatically and is mutually beneficial to all involved.

    I’m glad you found us! Thanks very much for doing a write-up on our group, Jen

    If anyone is looking for full details on the Life List Club, most of the writers have a page that introduces the club (Mine is under the #LifeListClub tag on my site header). Membership is open to all. Have a great day🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m doing great. I’m just keeping my feet up a lot. Consider me joined! I’m excited about it. I’ll have to explore how to be a fantastic member.🙂

      Like

  3. labanan says:

    Every day I start by sitting (meditating some call it). One of the chants I say daily reminds me that ‘life is like a bubble, this body will be a corpse some day’. That is helpful but even though I do it every darn day, it slips away from me. I forget what is important and waste my precious human birth. Arggh. Thanks for this – and I’m going to go check it out. I’ve myself the morning to ramble in blogland – to catch up. Is that wasting my time – heck no – I found your post didn’t I?
    Jan Morrison

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Jan! It’s great to see you here on More Cowbell.🙂

      Meditating in the mornings is much more my style. I don’t have chants, but the stretching and the quiet time do wonders when I get to do this.

      Like

  4. Laura Drake says:

    i get on my bicycle. Nature always relaxes that cramp in my brain that I didn’t even realize was there. My mind opens, and amazing things fall out! (no, not my brain. Not yet, anyway.)

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL, Laura! As your critique partner, I can attest to the fact that the bike hits that remote “I’m-sweating-my-ass-0ff genius portion” of your brain. It is downright impressive. When I’m sweating MY ass off (rarely) the thoughts run more along the lines of “Ow! Ow! OW!!”

      Like

  5. Piper Bayard says:

    I visit my friends’ houses and let them cook eggs for me. I’ve never learned to boil an egg properly because then my friends from Mexico and Spain might expect me to do it for myself. I feel so much more loved when they do it for me. They know that, too. So when I need a break from caring for myself and everyone around me, I get my friends to let me sit at their tables and get their dishes dirty while they cook for me. Lol. It works for me, and they don’t mind.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Now, Piper, I saw that tray of deviled eggs at the James Rollins Devil Colony Party. Are you telling me you had friends make that beautiful tray??

      I like to cook but I LOVE having other people cook for me too. I can outbake most anyone, but when it comes to cooking I’m just adequate. I have friends that relax me just by putting yummy food in front of me. Plus, I make sure to bring great wine to thank them.

      I keep thinking I need to do a post about wine…

      Like

  6. I don’t think the Life List Club has a size limit, the more the merrier!! I’m a member too, by the way, and just putting my goals on a page on my site for the world to see helped me solidify them, somehow. Kind of, this isn’t a pipe dream, this is something I’ve really got to work towards because in twelve months’ time, people are going to wonder why I didn’t achieve anything. As will I. So it makes you really consider what you want to get out of your life in the next twelve months.

    I have found that just sitting and chatting to like-minded people helps me decompress. I spend a lot of time home alone so going to Readercon last week was a really blast of fresh air. I really needed that and I hadn’t actually realised how much. Reading your post I think I probably need to put another goal on my Life List Club page – get a social life. It might already be there in some form or other. I really need to check…

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Hi Anne-Mhairi!

      I added you to the list. I agree with you that stating those goals for the whole world to see is some of the best incentive to achieve them. I’m finding I want to really spend time making great goals and knocking them off my list.

      LOL…getting a social life is not my problem. I like to socialize a bit too much!

      Like

  7. Marcia says:

    Jenny, I’m so sorry you had to make that trip to the ER, but thank goodness you’re okay.
    Thanks so much for the write up on our Life List Club. We’re having a lot of fun with it and are encouraging everyone to make a life list of their own. subscribe to one or more of the twelve writers’ blogs and be eligible for giveaways on Milestone Fridays. that’s where we’ll party all night to celebrate our progress. You, and anyone else interested, are free to share your comments on the writers’ lists, share your own lists, and hop around with us every other Friday to read our stories about achieving something important to us.
    One writer was forgotten – Anne Mhairi Simpson at annemhairisimpson.com and @amhairi_simpson.
    Thanks again, Jenny. Looking forward to seeing you at The Life List Club http://marcia-richards.com @MarciaARichards

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You are most welcome, Marcia! I’ve heard all these great things about you and I’m delighted to see you here ate More Cowbell!

      I just added Anne-Mhairi. I thought the list was missing someone so I appreciate you telling me who it was! I will put my goals page up this week. Then y’all can just direct me as to how it all works and where to send guest blogs.

      My hat is off to you and Jess. I can already tell I’m going to love the Club. Thanks for letting me join!!

      Like

  8. I love the idea of worry-free-writing time!!! I definitely get stressed sometimes while looking at all the tasks on my list. Perhaps a goal for some worry-free time is exactly what I need!😀

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      It’s funny, after all the time I wasted in my teens and twenties (which were FILLED with worry-free time) that now I have to schedule it but it’s the truth.🙂

      Like

  9. A good book is always relaxing because it’s not about you but whatever is going on it that world. Spending time with the husband reading, watching a movie or a news show we like allows us to just enjoy being together and that is surprisingly relaxing because we allow our concerns to be put to the side. Also taking the extra time to pet doggies and cuddle with the cats is a zen experience that turns me into a puddle of relaxation because it’s all about that moment in time.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I miss my doggie beyong reason, but a big part of it is that “in the moment” time that is so much a part of their every day.

      This is a GREAT list!

      Like

  10. jessicaaspen says:

    How have I missed More Cowbell? The name alone should have drawn me here (so original!) Like most good things I have to stumble on it through a referral from a friend. (thanks Sherry!) and that is one of the things that helps me maintain balance. Friends like Sherry and Gloria keep me balanced and on track with my goals. And I’m with you Jenny, relaxing with friends is one way to keep my perfectionist self from too much stress. This blog karma is amazing. Last night I had a friend drop by, who always has health issues, and we were talking about the very same thing. How you can stress yourself out and get sick by being superwoman. One of the best things about goal setting is that by writing your goals down you can set realistic ones, then you have the opportunity to actually achieve them instead of just creating stress. (Oooh, I feel a blog coming on!) What a great idea Jenny to add achieving balance by having worry free writing time as one of your writing goals!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Hi Jessica *waving wildly!!!*

      Welcome!! We feel like we know you already over here at More Cowbell (from Sherry).

      I agree on the goals front. I’m a bit of a full-bore, go-go-go wild woman when it comes to goals. A bit of an over-achiever, maybe… It’s good that I have my peeps to help keep me in line.

      Like

  11. carrie m says:

    Hi Jenny!

    I really hope you’re doing ok – it sounds like you had a nasty scare. As a worrier, I love your idea of “worry-free writing time”! When I first started taking my writing more ‘seriously’, I worried about it a lot. Thankfully I’ve realized worrying doesn’t make for good writing, so my writing time is a bit of an escape now.

    Great post, and thanks so much for the mention!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Carrie! I’m looking forward to the Life List Club. I’ll tell you, I had such a moment late last Friday night, reading all your posts. I went from blog to blog and was so inspired!

      I’ll tell you, it was a scare, but we are practiced in the worry of blood clot. It’s an ongoing thing to manage at our place. I just ignore it (within reason) and move on. You’re exactly right, it aids the writing to not have it front burner.🙂

      Like

  12. Actually, I love to meditate and just lie down. Maybe listen to the music. Reading a book is always a good thing.🙂 That’s a necessity and not necessarily a down time activity.

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  13. lynmidnight says:

    I finally came round to reading this. I am so glad you joined us, Jenny! And I’m sorry you have to go to the ER this often… But you’re right, it does help the prioritizing.

    You know what, I can’t remember the last time I had this carefree writing time. Funny, it used to come so easy before I joined the social media. *cough* Oh well. Just another reminder that I must prioritize better… So this is a good goal to put on your Life List.

    Thanks for this refreshing post and I’ll see you around.😉

    Like

  14. jamila says:

    I love this idea! Totally joining up!

    Like

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