I am edging back into the writing life, and I am raring to go.
These last few months have presented wonderful opportunities to me. I believe I have made the best use possible of these gifts. I found a job when looked for one. I was able to work and tend to sad family obligations as well. Flexibility is a treasure that few people on this Earth enjoy. We are more and more and more fully-scheduled and consumed by just making ends meet.
Last summer I thought I was just inquiring about a position to have a bit more ease in budgeting after a celebratory month-long trip across country with my husband. A month of travel depleted our coffers so that there was less wiggle room in budgets and covering unexpected expenses. I interviewed for a position just before the trip and soon after I returned, I was offered a six month position in a digitization project at a local university library. The offer was made even though I shared that I would probably have to take time off without much notice as a brother of mine I hadjust visited during part of the month travels was in hospice.
The wages were not high, but the work was easy and allowed me to spend the days listening to audio books as I compared print and digital copies of dissertations and theses. The other workers on the project were good company and smart women. In this case, the pink collar ghetto was not so bad other than pay and benefits. Yes, just those basic reasons for working.
An unexpected benefit of taking this job was being able to listen to audio versions of many of the books I had not been able to find time to actually read in the last few years.
Schedule and Discipline
Other reasons I decided to work full-time, for someone other than myself, included some disorganization and uncertainty that had started to erode at my productivity and focus.
It might seem backwards, but being unable to have the time to do everything I personally wanted to do allowed me to know what I most valued, what I most missed doing.
Sometimes taking a step back from a situation creates an opening that can be filled by inspiration and uncluttered thought. I am a big fan of allowing cream to rise.
I knew that establishing a firm schedule for a few months would help me keep a schedule after the job ended.
As a person with depression I benefitted from the focus work created. As a writer I draw ideas, words, everything I do or create, from inside myself and the parts of life that are closest to me. A summer visit back to my hometown made it quite apparent that my brother was dying. I lived 2000 miles away. I began to write about him. The sadness and memories of our how our dysfunctional family shaped our lives can consume me if I let it.
I am pleased that I could write cathartically and meaningfully about him. I cherish the gift of being able to write well. But there is a part of me that wants to allow deceased loved ones to transition in peace. I know the transition occurs in my mind. I do not want to encourage the spirit of my loved one to hang around because I cannot let go. I do not know if this is real. But I feel it. I had a tremendously hard time letting go of a dear high school friend who died shortly after her 21st birthday. It took years to be able to release her from being in constantly in my thoughts and dreams.
In the last few years I have learned to trust my instincts, so I limited myself during this stressful time shortly after the funeral and for several weeks into the new year. I did not force myself to do more than I could easily do. Easy is not something I do well. But I allowed myself to only do one job, to watch TV, play games on my laptop, and not try to do anything but go to work and do basic household tasks. I have heard that some people actually live their entire lives this way.
What came out of this self-enforced respite is a new direction and a surety of purpose that took me by surprise. I will write about what I discovered and am launching. All I can say today is that I am launching a new site and cannot wait until I can share more information about this logical next step in my writing and business life.
Did you and I take that trip together? I have also just come back from a difficult family ‘journey’ and took several months off to allow myself to forgive my birth family for being so dysfunctional and hurtful. I will concentrate on the gifts on-hand. It is renewing to be set-free. Thank you for this post. It has touched me.
Yes, coming from dysfunction is well… informative. Now if only I were not so brash in real life…
Thank you for sharing part of your very personal journey today. I have to admit the job sounds good to me, too.
Book-listening is a good thing.
I am so sorry about your brother, I lost one in a tragic way and will never be the same. Very intrigued by what you are up to and wish you the best with whatever your next step is.
Intrigue. That is good. 🙂
I love the way you write. I felt as though I were listening, not reading.
That is so sweet. Thank you.
I’m glad that you have found the focus you needed through your job. Congrats on that and on your continuing writing journey.
Thank you for opening yourself up to us this way, Nancy. It was so authentic and I felt like I was sitting next to you on a couch chatting like two old girlfriends. You are marvelous. Good luck with everything.
Thank you Cathy. The eventual publication of the memoir I am working on will require far more open share than this. I’m practicing.
Lisa at Grandma's Briefs
Clearly some tough circumstances (plus some good, as well) set you on a renewed path and a surge of creativity. I can’t wait to see the new site.
Oh, the lessons learned in a dysfunctional family. Your dealing with such inspires me.
Lastly, kudos to you for learning to trust yourself. This made me chuckle: ” I have heard that some people actually live their entire lives this way.”
Cheers and hugs to you!
I’m glad a little bit of laughter was had. That was the intention of that line. And trust… yes, it can be had.
Very well said. I can so relate to needing a job to give you structure and focus in your life…and having something to distract you and ease your depression. I’m so sorry about your brother, but glad that the heaviness of it all was balanced with an interesting job you could go to.
I have been a writer for so long that going back to an outside job was strange, but very much a blessing.
I’m glad you’re back into your writing life. Mine keeps me sane.
Yep. The real line between sanity and crazy is shaped and maintained by letters.