I was supposed to write a new book. The topic was interesting and the publisher (not Storey) is a good one. I could certainly use the money. But, for some inexplicable reason, every time I sat down at the computer, my mind froze. Well, not froze exactly. I could still do on-line Sudoku and play free cell.I could look up recipes and catch up on all my favorite blogs. What I could not seem to do was get out a coherent sentence. The worst part was not the lack of focus when I should have been working. The worst part was how having this cloud hanging over me sapped a good deal of the joy from the rest of my life. I could be pressing cider or baking bread or just having tea with a friend and this nasty little tattle-tale of an angel was constantly whispering in my ear, “You should be working”. It was awful and the more I tried to work the less I accomplished.
I finally took my problem to Bruce as we went for our morning walk. I told him what I was up against and he looked at me like I was nuts, a common occurence I must add, then followed up by saying, “So don’t write it!” It was really that simple. I don’t have to write this book. I went home and shot an email off to the publisher and to a friend who has been encouraging me and that was that.
The phrase about the weight of the world is so accurate. Removing the weight made me feel light and free and energized. All of the projects I have been doing with guilt and shame have become a joy again. I have plans, real plans, and energy that I have not felt in months. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I had a couple of half done craft projects sitting in my work basket. I had liked them when I started but they fell out of favor and there they sat. I didn’t want to start something new without finishing what I had started but I didn’t want to finish. Then one day, I gave both projects to a friend who admired them and was happy to finish. She got two new wall hangings and I got space to fill with something that mattered to me.
I grew up with the lessons of finishing what one starts but I think it was a bad lesson in some respects. Life is so short and so precious. Where exactly is the virtue in plugging away at soul sucking jobs or relationships or projects when there is world of interesting out there. Now I am not suggesting that anyone should quit anything just because they have hit a rough patch but I am saying that one needs to prioritize. What are the things that truly matter and what is just flotsam? Your relationship with your spouse matters. Your monthly support group meeting when you no longer need the support nor have any to offer doesn’t. Getting your income tax forms in the mail matter but getting Christmas cards done is optional.
So much of my interest right now lies in my garden, my community and my personal preparations. I know I am on the right track when I look forward to a full day of hard work that feels like bliss.