It's a question I imagine my laptop asking if it had a voice. Astrid and Derrick, my beloved characters, are likely asking the same question. They are alive and well in my imagination. They are showing up to do the work of telling their story.
My answer is that I've needed a break. It has become abundantly clear that the activity of 2015 in celebration of my 40th birthday, while healthy, invigorating, and constructive, also delayed the inevitable: grieving and adjusting to the life change that also occurred in 2015.
Much of what has swirled through my mind in the past few months has not been for public consumption. Not because it was too private or too horrible. Only that it was a little tedious, a little repetitive, a little boring, and mostly just for me to wade through. My journal shows the proof of my current writing production.
Here's a taste test of what's filled those pages:
- It struck me in the car a few blocks away from Cadence's school that this back and forth between her dad's house and mine is a forever thing. Not that I didn't KNOW that already, but the heart truth of it pierced me. In some ways, I'm getting very accustomed to it and in others, it feels fresh and raw all the time. It's a hard truth to bear understanding that a decision you made that was ultimately best for everyone still comes with the consequences of less time with the single most important person in your life.
- “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu's words have resonated deeply in the past few days. I used to be depressed and anxious. I'm making progress because the depression has lifted, but the anxiety remains. I cannot shake the feeling that I NEED TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT. It's a damning feeling. A coworker patiently reminds me that no one knows what's coming next no matter the stage of life they're in. So why am I so determined that I need to know?
This morning I was entrenched in the present. I unburied my desk from the mess of life. I spent hours (yes, hours!) blissfully unearthing the paper mess that has weighed down my desk space for the past few months. How can a minimalist possibly accumulate so much stuff?
Incrementally, I have decided what to keep and what to let go to help me feel like my house is my own. It's been a therapeutic exercise, and it's almost complete. What remains are the artifacts of my life that vibrate with life and happy memories and help mark the places I've been geographically and emotionally in life. The less I have, the happier I am.
Now as I type, I hear Chris Martin serenade me. I hear the tinkle of water in a small water fountain I finally pulled out of its box. I hear an airplane overhead and the hum of a neighbor's lawn mower beckoning me to my next chore.
There's a jungle of high grass waiting for me in my backyard. It feels like a privilege to have this plot of ground that's mine alone to maintain, this healthy body that can do the work, and the sunshine to warm me. This Saturday, I am at peace.
|In the midst of the mess|
|Post-Mess: Items dusted and moved, fountain operating, desk clear|
|Everything that had been leaning against the wall is now nailed down. A great view for my writing pursuits.|
|Lest I mislead you: what's left to organize. I am a "mood-based' housekeeper. The mood will strike again. Later.|