Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | October 19, 2011

RoW80 Check-in 10/19 Still Thinking

RoW80 Check-in October 19, 2011

 

As I suspected there isn’t any writing of note to report.  We had arranged to pick up the car we were going to drive up to Northern Indiana and leave with our son on Sunday at the repair shop; what we didn’t realize was when they said we would need new tires on the back, they meant before we left the lot.

The original plan was to drive to Atlanta Sunday evening, stay the night, have breakfast with my parents, then get on the road to arrive at 10 or 11pm. We had planned on babying the tires on the 1000-mile trip, then replacing them when we got here.  One look convinced us that plan was a bust; things were adjusted further when we found that all the tire shops in town had closed 15 minutes earlier than we called.

Monday passed in a blur.  We left town at 10am with new tires, with an arrival time of 4am.  Why straight through, like crazy people?  Because my son had to go to work Tuesday morning.  Breakfast with my parents became a quick hour-long fly-by at their house before Atlanta traffic snarled our plans, and pushed back our now 5am arrival even more.

We let our son sleep rather than help with the driving, so my husband and I arrived at our younger daughter’s in full zombie mode. She and our son-in-law had to work Tuesday, so we crashed when they left for work.

But you know what, it’s okay. It was wonderful to have the time with our son (when he was awake), and we are looking forward to spending a couple of  evenings with the kids and grandkids. I told my son about my writing, and apart from some minor (and totally expected) kidding, he said, “And you were hesitant to tell me?”

All of this time with family, added with Kait’s post here about changing her five-year plan,  has encouraged me to continue thinking about my life goals. I need to get in better shape, both mentally and physically, and that means making the time to exercise,  to spend time with friends and family.  I am finding that writing and the writing community have more widespread effects in my life–I feel better about myself and care more about both my physical and mental health.  I’ve met some very good people whose support and encouragement of me has meant a lot to me.  I want to find the time to return that support, and as many of you have found by including it in your goals, it does take some time, even if immeasurably worth the effort.   Finally, I have a “stretch” goal–I want to spend more of my time writing instead of essentially shoving it into corners until I retire.  That one will take some investigation.

One of the best things about RoW80 is the community; go hop around when you have a chance to visit other participants here.

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Responses

  1. Sounds like while you had a pretty hectic time it was good! Have a good rest of the week 🙂

    • Thanks, Crystal. It was pretty crazy at times, but then my life seems to work that way a lot!

  2. “and that means making the time to exercise” … exercising is very important.
    I’ve been having some problems with my leg and can’t exercise at the moment, but I’m dying to go back to it.
    Like my aunt said a few days ago: “you don’t know how important your health is, till it goes bad.” and it’s true. I know that …
    Take care of yourself.
    Good luck on the rest of the week 😉

    • Juliana, I hope that your leg problems resolve quickly. I’ve been way too sedentary the last several years, but I definitely feel better (after the initial “why am I doing this??”) when I exercise. Thanks for coming by, and take care of yourself!

  3. Northern Indiana, eh? Them’s my stompin’ grounds as a chile. Valparaiso to be exact.

    Now I’ve migrated to the far, far south… Indianapolis.

    This is me, retroactively waving as you drive by. 🙂

    • Matt, I thought you might be nearby when we drove on I-465, then north on 431 and 31 to South Bend, where I lived from 1995 to 2007. I would have waved, but we were there about 3am! I have been in Valpo–I have a few friends who worked there for a while, although I went to graduate school in Bloomington, much farther south than Indianapolis. 😉 South Bend was cold and rainy, just like I remember October in northern Indiana!

  4. I’m with you. All this new found energy of mine is due to creating a four-year plan for myself. There’s a lot of upheaval happening in my life, but I know it’s for my good. I’m sure yours will be too.

    • Thanks for coming by to offer encouragement, Yolanda. There are times when I need the earthquake to throw me out of my chair, and I did a lot of thinking during this time away.

  5. Glad you had a good time with your family and I know what you mean about re-evaluating your life plans. One of my friends is doing a 40 things to do before she is 40 thing over the next year and it makes me realise how many things I want to do and put off.

    Have a great rest of your week!

    • Thanks, Em. Well, *cough*, I’m over 40, but I can still see that such a list would be very good to have, before it becomes an 80 things to do before I turn 80! I am finally doing some things I never would have dreamed of doing before. I spent 10 days in London to do research at the British Library last February, and met some friends in person I’d only met online. I travelled alone, and survived it!

  6. I’m still working on my 5 year plan but ROW80 has helped me so much. Congrats on deciding to spend more time writing. It’s so easy to let it get shunted aside. Sometimes we have to push ourselves to claim ourselves as writers.

    • Sonia, I find it hard to look five years into the future, so I try to put something in my sights and start the baby steps in that direction. I used to make concrete long-range plans (I will have my PhD and be teaching Medieval Studies by age 30) to find that I often had to re-adjust several times and sometimes abandon them entirely.

      Why is it so easy to shove writing in the closet? I thought a lot about this while I was gone, and tweaked my goals even more.

  7. Ugh, I hate it when car problems get in the way of traveling. Sorry you had the delays, but glad it meant you drove safely! Continue to enjoy your time with family. Sounds like it is good for both you and them. Glad we at least get these little updates to know how you’re doing on your travels. I enjoy reading them 🙂

    • Susan, I’m glad you enjoy the updates. Yeah, I think my kids like me as much as I like them. We stayed with my youngest daughter and her family; it was nice once we recovered from the drive, to have some time with them, too.

  8. Travel time is not writing time, that’s all there is to it. But I’m glad you don’t seem to be kicking yourself too much about it! And it’s good to put the little stuff into perspective considering life goals.

    Good luck on working it all out and have a great rest of the week!

    • Ruth, travel time not being writing time certainly is true, even if I didn’t have the grandeur of the fjords for an excuse! I did a lot of thinking and I think the time with the family put a lot of things into perspective.

  9. ROWsista, I am thrilled that you are having a good time visiting the family, but I know all too well how utterly fatiguing traveling (especially by car) can be. I’m definitely on the same page about the widespread effects that writing and the writing community has had in your life. I was talking to my mom the other day, going on about my plans for NaNoWriMo, and she said, “I think this is the happiest you’ve been in months.” Coming from the person who probably knows me the best in the world, that meant a lot.

    Rest up, and when we get the chance, we should talk about this 5-year plan business! Getting in shape and liberating my writing from the scrunched-up corners of my life is on my to-do list as well. 😀

    • Thanks, my ROWsista! Your mother’s comment is a lot like my husband’s to me. He suggested that I think about the times I was the happiest–and they are when I’m writing, researching or at conferences, yakking with like minds. I am thinking about going to a writing workshop, although I also like the idea of a ROW80 conference (but the planning would be hell on wheels!)

      Yes, ma’am, we should talk. I did post a list of life goals, and I’d be interested on your thoughts.

  10. Family time is important, and it helps me grow as a person and thus a writer. Glad you got time with your son (and I so understood the comment of when he was awake… in my tween girl life, it’s when she’s speaking to me!).

    I, too, need to commit to getting in better health through diet, exercise, and stress management. You’ve encouraged me to purse these.

    I need three-month plans, because five-year plans tend to terrify me and I wither away from them. ROW80 style pacing… one quarter at a time! 😉

    • Ah, I remember those days when the door would slam behind a tween! My daughters (who are step-daughters, although I never think of them that way) were very different from one another; the younger daughter and I butted heads constantly. We are too much alike (even though we share no genes!), so it was very nice to have the time to talk as adults. I forget how nice it is and how much I miss it.

      I can’t really do five-year plans, either. I’ve said in another comment that I had my whole life planned by the time I was 13, and it looks nothing like I thought. And that is not a bad thing, but I prefer to aim in the direction and only plot out a little bit. I like the idea of quarters–that fits well!

  11. I love this post! Glad to hear the visit still went well even if it was rushed. Sounds like you have a very sweet family. And I’m so happy they have continued to embrace your writer side. That is always such a big help. My biggest surprise was my Grandfather. I never mentioned it to him. He got a copy from my parents, read it in one weekend, then passed it on to coworkers to later brag on me. I couldn’t believe it. Totally blew me away. Now I feel horrible for not sharing with him. But I’m still hesitant to claim the trade. I need to get it tattooed on my forehead or something.

    Keep up the good work!

    • I’m glad you liked it, Wendy. Your story about your grandfather is wonderful; it sounds like you have a great family, too. I think with my kids that I’ve not been able to hide my passion for writing as much as I thought. They also noticed, like my husband, how much happier I am when I’m writing.

      Don’t be hesitant to claim the trade. Maybe we should both go to the tattoo parlor! 😀


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