Honoring the Snail

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This was a good week. I finally began to catch up with myself after months of constant motion. 

It started with sleep; successive nine and ten-hour marathons unblemished by wake-up alarms. Then there were two indulgent outings to the closest big bookstore (a 45-minute drive from our town now) and lots of reading, including a memoir, some poetry, and a book of support and inspiration for writers.

In between there was a fair amount of non-calorie-conscious cooking -- a spaghetti casserole, a home-grown-sprouts fried rice, a batch of brownies, a pan of cornbread, and a couple of green smoothies. All of which bolstered me to gently, methodically, clean the house. Accompanied by a Chieftains CD played over and over, I finally unburied my writing room from its accumulated clutter and slowly replaced each pile with writing tools and restful, open space.

Does this mean I neglected my stepkids, blew off my work, and ignored the necessities of life? Not exactly. More like, I relaxed on many of them. I got out of my jammies when I absolutely had to, showered when I needed to rather than daily, and dug around in the cupboards more often than I went to the store. In the end, I might have spent a little more quality time than usual with my husband and the kids because I was finally sitting still. 

I know I'm lucky with my work schedule. I'm a teacher, and I have the Summer off. But that doesn't mean I always take advantage of it. If you had asked me three weeks ago what my Daily Commitments list looked like, for example, it would have included strict, self-imposed rules regarding jogging, writing, meditating, strength training, and I can't even remember what all else. I do remember that when the list reached 16 items to be done each and every day, besides chipping away at the weekly and monthly to-do's, the unlisted family and personal necessitites, and my longer-term projects, I realized I was officially overwhelmed. I had to let go.

So, I think what has made this such a good week has been realizing - or remembering, rather - that I'm actually very productive when given ample time and space and a measure of flexibility. I don't need to hound or micromanage myself so savagely in order to make progress toward my goals, and also enjoy the view along the way.

If you can relate to feeling overcommitted and overwhelmed, then I hope that you, too, might find relief in relaxing your grip, even if just for a little while. Life has a wonderful way of delighting us when we're not driving at top speeds. 

Wishing you well and easy until next time,

Deanna

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