Saturday, January 28, 2017

What My Saturday Looks Like So Far

The attic work has begun--again.

Now, if the Man had his way, we'd just throw everything in big plastic trash bags and take it to the dump. Even the good stuff. The Man is a Shock & Awe kinda guy. But me, I want to make sure all the good stuff goes to a good home. I want to box up craft supplies and take it to the Scrap Exchange. I want put together boxes of similar things (play camping gear, play kitchen stuff) that I can advertise on FreeCycle.

Which means it's going to be messier before it gets neater. But I have a dream, and right now I have an almost free Saturday to make my dream happen. To get a good solid start.

Are my outer messes physical manifestations of my inner messes? Part of me thinks that if I finally get my attic put to order, my brain will be put to order in some way, too. It will help clear out my head. Give my soul a little room to move around. Maybe that's crazy. Might be, could be.

Have I mentioned that I'm taking a sabbatical? Not from writing, but from most social media, too much news, anyone who stokes the fires of doom and gloom on a daily basis. I am intent on taking the long view. Is the sky falling? Maybe. But maybe not.  It won't fall if people of good will listen to each other more, call fewer names, seek communion with one another across our differences. But when I propose this as a possibility, I don't get a lot of buy-in. Even in church, I fear, so I'm taking a sabbatical from church as well. I want to get re-centered in my faith and my thinking. I want to look for a way ahead.

Yes, I do believe I'm cleaning out the attic in my head. I need more light shining in. Please keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Me, Again


Usually I write in the morning and run errands, go to the gym, meet with friends, what have you, in the afternoon. I pick up Will at 3:05, and after that I'm typically home for the rest of the day.

But today I had to do something late in the morning that was going to cut out a chunk of my writing time. So I decided to switch things around. I'd run my errands and go to the gym before my morning appointment, and then I'd write in the afternoon.

As soon as I came up with that idea, I wondered if maybe I shouldn't try switching things around on a more regular basis. Maybe not on the days I have lunch with friends (which I'm trying to limit to once a week), but on other days? I could get stuff out of the way and then sit down to write without those nagging thoughts that I have so much to do, so many errands to run. Also, my gym holds most of its classes in the morning, and I've been wanting to do yoga and stretch these old bones out.

I've written for two hours this afternoon, and plan on sitting down tonight around 7:00 (another good time of day for me--I'm often energized in the early evening) and do my last hour of work. So far I feel like the day has worked out well, and it's been fun to think that my errands are done as well as my exercise.

The thing is, I've been thinking a lot about things I'd like to change in my life, but I've felt sort of stuck. That attic I'm always writing about? Still a mess. And now, as we've collected the contents from the old mountain house my mother-in-law passed onto us years ago (and which we sold a few years back) as well as things  that the boys have outgrown or have outlived their use, the garage is another huge problem area. Will we ever get either of these storage spaces cleared out?

And will we ever get new counters and back-splashes in the kitchen? A new carpet in the living room? Will I ever lose twenty pounds?

Maybe by changing my schedule around, I'll open up windows of opportunities I wasn't aware existed. Maybe I can get some of that cleaning and organizing done with my morning energy, and still feel I've got plenty of juice to write later. I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, how do you get things done? Have you ever made a serious change in the way you do things?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

I Don't Know if I'm Back, But I Thought I'd Say Hi

A baby quilt I made in December. I still need to give it to the baby, but the holidays got in the way, and then the weather got in the way ... Soon!

It is a gloomy Saturday morning. I just dropped Jack off at school, where he boarded a bus to a debate tournament in Raleigh. In a little bit I'll eat breakfast and then work on some quilts. At 2PM, I'll meet my writing workshop girls at a nearby Barnes & Noble. Our group is small, and sometimes I think my presence isn't necessary, these girls are such good writers, but it's true I do keep them on track.

I had not meant to stop writing here when I last wrote, but I did. It was a hard, hard summer. My mother-in-law had a stroke in early July and died in late August. I have often relied on theologian Sam Well's words, "If you can't make it happy, make it beautiful," but we could make that time neither happy or beautiful. To protect the Man's privacy, I can't go into details, but the actions of some of his relatives made his life--and our life together--miserable. To give you some idea of what it was like, I actually convinced the Man, a total non-self-helper, to read a book called How to Talk to Crazy. I highly recommend this book if you have to deal with difficult people on a regular basis.

It's not really over yet, as the Man is the executor of the estate, which is a huge job. He finally hired an estate attorney to help him with some of the paperwork, and we're hoping everything will be taken care of by the end of the month.

Some nice things happened this fall. I published my first book for adult readers (it's about quilts and quilters--you can check it out here), and it's gotten a great response. I entered three quilts into the Modern Quilt Guild's national show, QuiltCon, and two were accepted. The show is next month in Savannah, GA, and I'm going! Jack applied early decision to Davidson College and was accepted, which he's very excited about (as are we all).

I've been working really hard, maybe too hard. The good news is, as soon as I get my show quilts mailed off to QuiltCon on Monday, I'm going to have a nice long period of quiet time.  I plan to write and quilt and to maybe take a hike or two, maybe find a new house cleaner (the old one didn't work out in the long run) to come in every couple of weeks to clean the bathrooms and mop the floors. I plan to take a little time off to do nothing. Doing nothing sounds really nice.

I hope this finds you well. I hope I won't be a stranger.