From the Sun Porch…
I hope you’ve enjoyed a beautiful summer here in the Inland Northwest. I certainly have. My specific goal this summer was to get a revision off to my editor before the end of August without letting it take over my life. Writing is very near the top of my priorities, but I know I will do my best writing if I find a balance of writing, quiet solitude, exercise, and attention to my closest relationships.
This is challenging when facing a deadline, family life gets busy, summer activities abound, relatives come to visit, I get up in the morning….yeah, it’s always a challenge.
It’s also a choice. It’s choosing to say “yes” and “no”–two little words that have the power to shape a life.
I start small. Small steps are easier than big ones, and more likely to be taken. It’s surprising how often small steps lead painlessly to bigger ones.
Whipped into a frenzy, trying to meet a deadline, at the computer early in the morning and late into the evening, I took the small step of stopping for lunch and paying attention. Washing lettuce for my salad, slicing vegetables, choosing a comfortable place to sit and eat away from my desk, taking bites deliberately, tasting the food…these small steps in the midst of really crazy stress helped me to remember the fullness of life. Life is much larger than a manuscript and a deadline.
That small step last winter, grew into a bigger step this summer. Again facing a critical deadline, I committed myself to staying home in July and August and sitting on my porch, quietly doing nothing for at least fifteen minutes every morning. Summer mornings in the Inland Northwest are priceless. The beauty of nature on a summer morning is the type of thing that fills my inner well, the well where my best writing is born.
Choosing to say “no” to constant busyness this summer and “yes” to quiet, solitude each morning made the days and weeks of summer feel more spacious. I finished my revision a week later than my deadline, but the process was enjoyable, rather than stressful. That’s a real priority for me–enjoying writing. Otherwise, why not go get a job that pays?
What small step can you say “yes” to today that will benefit your writing or art?