I can't say that this week has been a fruitful writing week. I was so far behind with chores that I couldn't focus on writing for very long. I hated it. After a couple of days of trying hard to push 'things' out of my head, ignore the mess around me and get stuck in my second novel, I just gave up. Housework won.
Ellie-loss. House-win. It happens, but I don't get bogged down and fall into a slump. I know things have to get taken care of and I write better when I'm focused and energized. I know the house will be here long after I'm gone and I tell myself that, but I've also run out of paper plates and plastic bowls and Solo cups! It was time to clean, wash and put away. I did manage to connect with friends and family this week and that was wonderful.
My cyber friend Linda (who I've never met in person) has always pulled my chain about all the stuff I do and get accomplished :) She jokes about my desire to have it all and get 'er done! Okay. I write, I paint and exhibit my work, I garden, I take road trips with friends, I host gatherings at the river, and I take photographs. Creatively, you won't find anyone happier to do what she loves than me. I'm grateful, blessed and I know it. BUT, I also created a world that would give me the opportunity to write and be creative. And, so can you. I felt an urgency to change my life nearly three years ago and finish my first book started many years ago.
I moved to an area that I could afford, bought a house that I could well afford, and I live frugally, but living frugally doesn't mean I'm lacking a thing. It just depends on what makes you happy. I wanted to write full time, so I had to learn to live with less monthly income. Sacrifices had to be made.
When I decided to change my life, I imagined myself like a balance with arms outstretched, palms up. On one hand, I put living in the DC area, paying through the nose for a large, beautiful townhouse and working my ass off for little pay. I lived ten minutes from each of my kids and I had friends nearby which I loved, but I was also stressed out, overweight, frustrated with my pay, and lacked of creative life.
On the other hand, I put a better life for myself. I envisioned myself doing what I love and am passionate about, living in a largish, small town, and owning my own small home. I put writing and painting, puttering around my perennial garden, and my Pug playing in the yard. I knew I'd have to leave my children in the DC area and it pained me, so I searched for a home one to two hours from them. I found that house. I am able to visit my kids one to two times a month which always makes me very happy.
The balance (and my soul) tilted so much toward the creative life that the DC townhouse, the job and the stress fell out of my hands and I liked how that felt. I began my search for a new life and a new home. I could feel the weight lifting off my shoulder as I searched and when I finally bought and moved, I remember the joy and peace I felt seeing the DC area in the rear view mirror of my car. My heart was happy as I drove through the countryside and around the mountains to my new home. I'm still happy here and I love the life I've created for myself.
Yeah, I don't have a dishwasher, the water pipes are original to this old house and water pressure sucks and I don't have central AC, but the house is mine. I downsized and every six months or so, I get rid of items that I no longer need and that don't serve me. I don't always have extra money for travel and dinners out and I do stress about money, but who doesn't? Every time that I bemoan the fact that I don't have extra money for travel or new plumbing, I remember that I'm blessed to own a home. And, I write for a living. Done.
When I get a good bit of writing done, I go outside and weed. I have a small yard, a courtyard patio and I live in a small three bedroom duplex. I water my plants and vegies, take photographs of them and I sweep the patio. I go back inside and write for a few more hours. I might go back outside and repot a plant or paint a wall of my outdoor shed and go back inside to vacuum the rugs which are always hairy with a dog and a cat at home. The breaks I take from writing help me decompress, think and clear my head. A beautiful garden feeds my soul and make me happy. Yes, they are distractions, but they also feed me emotionally and spiritually. They fill my well. The major distraction for me with writing I discovered isn't my garden or house--it's the Internet. Can't live with it and can't live without it!
So, Linda :) Watch out, girlfriend! I'm going to continue to be like the US Army and get more done before 8 am than anyone you know!
Happy weekend to you all!
Peace and love,