First, I want to thank everyone who left suggestions for how to find balance in my check-in from Wednesday, Your support to dive head first into my novel is very helpful as well.
Following the quest for balance that I set as my main goal for the rest of this round, I realized that while balance is needed for many of my priorities, those same priorities such as family, friends, health and creativity are necessary to my balance.
Family: My sons are at the age where conversations are deep and thoughtful, but don’t happen all that often. I want to be available as much as possible, not only for what I can give them, but what they can give me. In th past two days, we have had conversations about primitive societies; the Aurora, Colorado massacre; the NCAA sanctions against Penn State and the child abuse that led to them; in other words, conversations that wake deep emotions in me and tap into the creativity that inhabits those deep crevasses.
Friends: Although some of my contact with dear friends, old and new, is through Facebook and Twitter, I need to add some real life contact as well. I am lucky enough to have some friends nearby, but I have dear friends spread from the UK to New Zealand. I want to find some way, whether Skype or the luddite standby of handwritten letters to stay in better touch.
Health: I have expanded my health umbrella to cover subjects from having housework and files under control to getting more fit and feeling better. Having to search for hours to find my son’ s immunization records really brought to the fore how much I hate being disorganized. It affects all areas of my life; I still have not found the writing craft books I packed and labelled so carefully. Worse, my edits for several of my academic articles and my short stories are in the same box, grr.
Creativity: Finally, I’ve mentioned before my aunt’s belief that idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. She taught me how to do many different kinds of needlework, from knitting to tatting. I had forgotten how satisfying it is for me to express my creativity in these ways. While knitting wool socks for the upcoming winter, I was reminded how this sort of work calms me, at the same time allowing me the instant gratification of getting something tangible done. I have to fight the remnants of criticism I received in graduate school for doing needlework, where I was told it was not something intellectuals did. (Balderdash, but I still hear that inner voice).
The day job consists of sitting writing at a computer all day long. I am busy enough I rarely take any breaks. I am planning to take more breaks; I’m even setting an alarm to get up and walk around. Once a week, a group gets together for an hour to knit or needlepoint and just talk. I have set aside that time to sit, relax and work with my hands.
That said, I do sped too much time playing computer games or staring out the window, so I want to address that soon.
And please go give an encouraging word to all those in the ROW here.