(Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but I’m taking some poetic license here.)
Rainy days and Mondays (or Tuesdays) don’t necessarily get me down, no matter what the song says. We had crashing thunder and flashes of lightning during the night–the kind of spectacular God’s-the-Boss show that makes me open the blinds for a better view and the dogs cuddle closer with every roof-shaking boom–and this morning the sky is gray and there’s a drizzle coming down. We need the rain to Keep Washington Green, as the old slogan from my school days goes.
This kind of weather makes for a cozy feeling; I am filled with gratitude for light and pets and fresh-brewed coffee. It’s still too warm for the fireplace, or I’d switch that on, too. As I settle in to write Chapter 13, I’ll be heading off into another world anyhow. Maybe it’s rainy in Stillwater Springs, too–I don’t know yet. Just one more thing to find out by following my time-honored rule: Show up.
As long as I do that, the rest seems to take care of itself.
This summer has been especially stressful for me, mainly because there has been a lot of travel, and a lot of construction on the property. I fell behind–catching up now, though–and felt exhausted.
What turned me around? Prayer, certainly. I decided to stop writing scripts for God and let Him run the universe on His own terms. Let Him be God–I’ve got all I can handle just being Linda! I started saying ‘no’ more often–in the kindest possible way, although, truth to tell, tact is not my strong suit, so diplomacy is a more an aspiration than a reality. I’ve cut back on some things I’d convinced myself I was obligated to do, but really wasn’t. I keep track of my weight, so I won’t have to diet again–I think I’ve hit Lifetime Membership in Weight Watchers something like five times. Enough is enough. I make time every day for some kind of art project, and that fulfills me in ways that are difficult to describe, even for a writer. I’ve come to believe that art actually deepens and enriches my writing skills–as long as I don’t give in to the all-too-common temptation to put my page quota off for Just One Day so I can try out some new goody, like glitter or gel pens, my two newest passions. (There’s that Firefly Syndrome again!) To make sure that doesn’t happen, I have a to-do list, and I stick to it religiously.
Last night, before the storm got really dramatic and I was compelled to drop everything else I was doing and watch, I was thumbing through the new issue of “Somerset Studio”–my very favorite publication. I came across a column on the subject of choosing a Halloween costume for an all-day office party, of all things, but a phrase jumped out of that article and stuck to me as though it had been coated in Gorilla glue:
Embrace the challenge.
I’m a pretty gutsy old cowgirl, all things considered, but I do tend to run myself ragged and when that happens, and the fatigue sets in, I start avoiding stuff–the phone call I’d rather not make (I HATE the telephone), sorting those stocking stuffers I’ve been gathering for Christmas into baskets with the recipient’s name on the front, making or changing some appointment, going to the store for the fresh fruit and vegetables that are part of my overall health and weight-maintenance plan–the list goes on.
So I decided “Embrace the Challenge” will be my new motto, at least until it sinks in and I move on to another one, as will inevitably happen. (See firefly reference above.) With me, it’s all about the mind-set. If I can build the mind-set, I can do just about anything. (Knowing this about myself, I tend to resist building mind-sets, naturally.) So I’ll be starting an affirmation collage during today’s art break. When it’s finished, I’ll pin it up where I can see it, and when I feel myself wanting to dodge some task I’d rather put off, it will be there to remind me to—
Embrace the challenge.
I’ll let you know how it goes.