It has been a long time since I posted; a long time since I have written. I wish I could say that I was working diligently on my book manuscript. That would be an impressive excuse, right? The truth is, structure is what keeps me moving forward in life, like the tracks keep a train headed in the right direction. When events interfere with my normal, daily structure my productivity and the manageability of my life suffers.
My husband is a teacher and we have a high-schooler still at home. My last blog post was May 20th, the last week of the 2014/2015 school year. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my family around and spending time with them, but it is easy for me to get caught up in the things they are excited to do after they are FINALLY done with school, and to put my “own” life on hold. That would have been fine, for a couple of weeks. But a couple of weeks stretched into a month, and then I went to Boston to see my mother. And the stuff on my desk started piling up.
Mom was in a nursing home. I had planned to go see her in June. It turned out that my eight year-old granddaughter was going to summer camp for the first time and needed someone to pick her up from western Massachusetts in mid-July and get her home to Utah, so I arranged my trip so that I could do both. Then Mom got pneumonia the week before I was to go see her. We decided to give her antibiotics at the nursing home and prayed I would get there in time. I did. We had a peaceful and calming visit for five days as I mostly sat by her bedside while she slept. She died peacefully in her sleep a few days after I returned home. My desk was a mess.
I thought I might write about losing my mom at the time. I had written about my Dad’s death 10 months earlier. But it just didn’t come.
Then school started again, and I thought; “Now I will get back on the horse, back to writing regularly.” But I didn’t. I didn’t clean my desk, either. There was always something I needed to take care of – something urgent. Maybe not very important, but always urgent.
As the mess on my desk became deeper and deeper, it became more and more difficult to think about writing.
In late September, I went to Utah to help my daughter settle in after she and her husband bought a new home. Over Columbus Day weekend, my family and friends gathered for a memorial service in New York City, where my parents had lived until the last few years of their lives. It was lovely. I felt both uplifted and enlightened by the things people shared about my mom and even received insight into several of my own character traits that I had not previously thought of as being like hers.
When I got back the desk was not visible under the paper. I felt overwhelmed. Then someone, a reader, finally noticed that I hadn’t written in awhile.
So I have had a season of not writing; and not keeping my desk clear. And now it is the season to start doing those things again. My good friend Joan came over and worked quietly on her own writing while I worked on my desk. She was like an anchor, keeping me from getting sidetracked and from meandering off into the woods of all the other things I would rather be doing. I even did a little more after she left. Now I can see the desk. There is still a lot of filing to do, but it feels more manageable now. I will continue to work on clearing the desk and filing the paper because I like it that way – not because it is anyone else’s expectation of me. And I will try once more to implement the structure that helps me keep it that way.
I have started writing again. It feels good. I hope it helps you. It makes me happy to help other people in their journey of recovery. I know it helps me.
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