I’ve been house and pet sitting for a couple of days. I didn’t really know what to
anticipate except that I was looking forward to spending a couple of days on my own
with little responsibilities and lots of time to devote to my writing.
As I did yesterday, I have spent most of my day doing things that make it difficult
to sit down and write. For example, I took out the garbage from the disposal shed
and brought it outside where the carting company has not yet shown up to remove it.
I am worried about that because in the urban area where I live, a fine is issued if
garbage is placed outside earlier than the regulations call for or if the area is not
properly cleaned after the garbage has been picked up. This lack of removal has made
a very good excuse for me to go to the window and check out the situation. While I’m
at the window, I might as well look and see what is going on in the world and thus use
up a few more precious minutes that I could have employed writing.
It is raining, so every time I let the dog out for a short run to relieve her bladder,
I need to devote a few minutes to open and close doors, make sure she is dry before
letting her into the house, making sure I pick up her “deposit”…you get the picture.
Then of course, there is the distraction of getting breakfast, lunch, making coffee, tea,
taking a shower, making the bed, sweeping the floors, setting up the food and snacks
for the cat and dog…
It is just after 1 p.m. I have had my lunch and my tea. I am now all set up to begin
to write but find that I am cold so I will have to get up and look for a sweater to wear.
That means spending (wasting?) a few minutes on that and pondering life afterwards. I am
feeling sleepy all of a sudden, the light rain on the window and the slight chill in the
air conduce and seduce me to take a place on the comfy couch like I used to when I was
in high school. There is something about cold, rainy days that invites introspection but
is not a good companion to actual writing. Well, at least I was able to complete this
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Signs of spring are everywhere in New York City, even the tiny gardens that have struggled
all winter long so they can flourish now!
Everyone who knows me knows that in my heart, I am a communicator…a networker…a go between.
So if I know this and accept it, I guess it doesn’t make any sense to get upset when people
“hint” that they need my diplomacy to get them from point A to point B with another person, but
I admit sometimes it does upset me.
Sometimes all I want to do is sit at my computer and expand my narrative on my protagonist and
his life so that I can end my novel but instead I look around my home or whatever area I happen
to be in and decide that de-cluttering or making curtains or painting the odd door is really
what I need to be doing. It feels an awful lot like procrastination, a word I rarely use when
talking about myself.
I need to jump in the shower right now, get ready for the day and the arrival of my family to
celebrate a wedding in the next several days. An exciting time to be sure but another way to
distract myself from what I say I want to do: write!
“Oh boy”, my colleague exclaimed after she heard my boss’ instructions to me, “you’ve got
your work cut out for you!”
I didn’t give it much thought at the time, I just began my day like always, prioritizing
the many tasks that would have required someone else many more hours to complete and
got to work. I have always been like that, efficient and a hard worker, rarely whining
and never knowing when too much is too much. As a child, in order to stop my mother from
complaining when she arrived home to a messy house and sink full of dishes, I would do my
chores and others that were left undone by my siblings. Peace at all costs was my motto
and something that has been part of my life for as long as I remember. I blame no one,
I have learned over the years that we are all responsible for the life we live.
The last couple of months have seen me drop projects that take up too much of my time.
Surprisingly, after the first few days of guilt, I find I am quite comfortable saying
no and meaning it. Unfortunately, I have not yet become comfortable with the “extra”
time and instead of filling it by sitting down and writing, I look for ways to distract
myself from that daily goal (read: laundry, clearing out closets, reading the paper,
going on FB, etc.) and at the end of the day, find that I still have not advanced very
much on my essays. One of my goals for this year is to write for AARP with a focus on
age-related issues but I need to really focus.
I am glad that at least for the last few days, I have taken 15 minutes to write some of
my musings into this blog. It is a step in the right direction.
Have a great day and keep doing good work!
My last post here was on February 19th! It seems like such a long time ago.
By this time, my friend has been cremated and brought back to his original
home in Spain. His brother came to our little town to partake in a simple
ceremony used to remember a friend who contributed so much to our community
in the time he lived here. I will miss him very much but I hope to be
inspired and energized by his passing without having achieved his dream of seeing
his film on the big screen to make sure the same does not happen to me.
I write in my head all day long, but then “real life” gets in the way. If I don’t
do the dishes, will anyone? I am at an age and space in my life when I no longer
have the tremendous physical demands on my body or on my time but I find that I
procrastinate more than ever…and yet I know the stories are in there, I just have
to FOCUS, SIT and WRITE…
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