Tag Archives: writing

A Mind Comes Home

Who am I? Where am I? What day is this? Why is it so cold? Where are my pasta dishes?

The move from California to Maine is complete after six months of soul dragging work. Although, with advanced purging and prepping, the real labor covered almost a year’s time. I tell my friends that if I could have peered into a magic ball for a quick view of the future, I would not be retired, I’d still be shooing rattlesnakes away from the house, and generally kicking the can down the road for another year. It was disruptive, exhausting, and at times overwhelming but I’m glad I didn’t have that option.

When I see posts of friends making similar moves, I get flashbacks of sweating in 103 degrees, moving countless boxes multiple times to gain five more inches of working garage space. I’m always sure to let them know that I feel their pain, and I honestly do. I wish I could have chronicled my experience – the opportunity was right there and easy to share. But I apparently required all the RAM in my head for the the tasks at hand. I found two diary-type drafts when I sat down to write today, both of which seem to confirm that theory. Here is just a glimpse into my frenetic state:

July 4, 2021 – This is sort of an update, kind of a whine, to try to break a bad habit and get back to a balance. While my manual labor continues as we prepare to move an entire household across the country, I find that I have to actually force myself to stop to write. And it’s not just about the blog. I find through all this, I am reverting back to the tendency of keeping things in my head. This is not good. Article ideas are up there swimming around with to-do lists, cat transport needs, dates, and even the bullet journal I started with my daughter in January that lies open on the table staring at me, waiting for something, anything, to be updated or created or checked off. I mean, I have read five books since the last time I noted it in my reading tracker. I have tools – why am I not using them? I retired over two months ago. I wonder if there has been a vacuum created up there and I am unknowingly replacing all the labor laws, charts, and wage sheets that disappeared with whatever presents itself. Getting it out of my head is like a tug-of-war.

July 21, 2021 – The escrow proceeds. The contingent items – inspection, appraisal, scoping the sewer lines – are done. We now face a phase of quiet completely opposite the crazed two weeks prior. All those balls in the air can now be dropped and even left around the house along with dog toys and shoes, our daily life no longer mandated by clean lines and staged rooms. This hyper neatness suits me, although the packed garage seems to state otherwise. With the next couple of weeks moored in the doldrums, I feel like going back out to my already packed boxes and purge even more.

The garage of our new house is still full of boxes – the said pasta dishes are still MIA – but the rug is down, new furniture delivered, and the echoes are gone. A calm has settled in. The moment that happened, basic habits started to return, all mentally shelved with the disruption of clearing a house, driving cross-country with a pet, partial unpacking for apartment living, and managing a second move to a forever home. Most of those personal daily routines like morning rituals, meal prep, and yes, writing, seemed to go deep until my head was cleared of the urgent and immediate. I must truly be home.

After thirty years on the left coast, my brain still needs some re-wiring to be sure. Upon opening my eyes this morning, my first thought was that the 21 degree weather reading was a glitch. I also still automatically reach for a short sleeved t-shirt and then think again. But these are little misfires that will fade along with the SoCal heat. And now that I’ve opened that side door to my writing, I hope to be more prolific as garage boxes begin to decrease, my life fills the walls, my pasta dishes take their rightful place, and this home takes shape.

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To Desk or Not to Desk

I remarked to an acquaintance that as soon as I arrive at my new retiree landing pad, I want to troll the second hand and antique shops of New England for a great desk. She said “can’t you write anywhere?” Well, yes, I do actually, mostly on my iPad. When I accidentally discovered the split keyboard option, my happiness overflowed.

But her question made me stop and think. Has technology’s leaps and bounds also made my vision of hammering away at an old desk go the way of the dinosaur? I do need a place to hold my paper clips, laptop, little photo frames, and other sundry, especially now that I am no longer reporting to a job. But ever since I moved to laptops and iPads, I haven’t actually required a desk. However, there is a difference between requiring a desk and really needing one, at least in my mind.

The IKEA lifestyle has left me weary. As I move back to the east coast, I hope to leave slap together furniture behind. Don’t get me wrong – the affordable, flat box marvels definitely helped me keep up with E’s ever changing dreams and passions. And NO ONE can beat the Swedes when it comes to intricate builds with really cool screw locks. But I am looking for more substance and something with a style other than the smooth, minimal Scandinavian lines that come complete with directions and hardware.

There is just something about a nice desk that gives one an anchor, a center from which to view the world, both through the internet and a vivid imagination. And of course, I expect the search to be the best part.

 

 

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It’s About Time

My daughter regularly accuses me of cursing her with it. I think it’s one of the few really good things I passed on to her. What is this trait that I’ve forced on her psyche? It’s the need to be absolutely and always on time.

I don’t know why I have this deeply ingrained habit because Lord knows, our family was never on time for anything. Maybe that was because there were three boys in the mix and let’s face it, they were hopeless. And I can say that because I grew up with them. I don’t have exact memory clips of these times and have this stylized version of me sitting on the sofa in my pretty dress and Mary Janes, still and calm, while everyone races around in Quicksilver time grabbing jackets, ties, and looking for the errant shoe. But in all honesty, what snippets I did retain involve a lot of racing up and down stairs before throwing myself out the door.

So where and how did I cultivate this unique habit? I remember my mom standing at the door with a stern face, purse in hand, and can almost hear a foot tap, although I think that’s an embellishment. Maybe I inherited it but that doesn’t explain the elevated heartbeat or the flop sweat I experience while I tick down the minutes in my head.

I have always chalked it up to my Capricorn quirkiness because it fit so well into the narrative of my life, which included things like detail oriented, list keeping, and other good habits. My star sign has served me well.

Then I found the blog Personal Growth by Margie Peterson which has a wealth of information and handy tips. I zeroed in on the post titled 5 Secrets of People Who Are Always on Time like a battle drone. It was a revelation that gave deeper answers to the why, things like valuing my time and the time of others, and being on time helps with stress and confidence. All of these resonated and, while I appreciated the confirmation, I always had the feeling that I wasn’t just obsessed with time but actually planned the events of my life to be better for me and for those with whom I came in contact. I just couldn’t put it into words.

Now that the words exist, I’ve sent the post to my daughter, along with the note “See? It’s a good thing!” You never stop being a mom.

Credit: https://personal-growth.lifeideasinsider.com/5-secrets-of-people-who-are-always-on-time/

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