Do you ever have one of those days where you bound out of bed in the morning with your work plan all tidy and shiny, well-formed and ready to be implemented? Then everything turns to ca-ca before you’ve finished putting on your shoes?
It’s Thursday. One of my two days off in the work week. I’m supposed to deliver the outline for my first novel to my mentor, Sam Hiyate today. I’m about half to two thirds of the way through and yesterday I was in a really productive groove. I thrive on deadlines – the closer the hour gets the faster my adrenaline sloshes through my veins and my fingers fly across the keyboard. On the other hand, I dislike being stressed by things not of my choosing, or out of my control. Stuff happens; I still don’t like it. My reasonable left brain says, this isn’t a storm; it doesn’t even register on a scale of 1 to 10. Get on with it. My right brain says, ‘I want to play’.
Boy, was I going to be productive today. Get some gardening done first thing – I haven’t trimmed the fringes of the lawn or the garden beds in weeks. Haven’t ventured to the distant back yard to see how my vegetable gardens are doing. The garlic planted amongst the flowering shrubs is almost as tall as me, which means that the bulbs have probably dried out and will only be useful for seeding. But it’s cold – only 12 degrees Celsius, which is more like October. And it’s raining. Again. Dammit. Just enough to be a nuisance. Not warm enough to make you want to dance in.
Next, whip in a load of laundry. Hub is having his posse of middle-aged Swedish men over tonight for their monthly get-together. I’m baking a lemon pound cake. Get going, woman! Making vinaigrette potato salad with red onion and a Swedish West Coast Salad – fresh mushrooms, crab and lobster, shrimps, mussels in a creamy dill sauce. Light and incredibly tasty. Clean the house. Set the tables. Cut some flowers (although why I’m not sure becasue guys generally don’t care).
Don’t get me wrong. I love entertaining. That I can do with my eyes closed. But the timing is off because I now have to do some speaker wrangling for the Writers’ Community because our scheduled September speaker can’t make it. The authors I’ve met over the years are incredibly talented and generous, but I still cringe since my request for assistance is so last minute. I know that whomever I ask will make it happen if they can. That is what makes writers so amazing.
Much as I might whine because my self-imposed deadlines will have to wait, I am mindful that the lady has far more serious problems. Life altering problems. She’s been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and must have surgery in the next few weeks. My issues are piddling compared to that – I didn’t crack my ribs when I crashed form the ladder to the kitchen chair. My health is generally not bad. My mind works. So I’m going to shut up, step away from my computer and go get some ‘regular’ work done.
Being productive doing mundane things can be satisfying if for no other reason that I’ll be burning up my frustrations on things that I can do mindlessly and fast. Perhaps I’ll get some inspiration for plot points as I contemplate changing the pad on the Swiffer and whether I should use vinegar and water or ammonia. Think about this – when it’s too cold to sit outside and revel in summer, there are always inside chores. When the sun isn’t blaring as it should be in the middle of August, the dust on the furniture doesn’t show up as much.
If I’m organized enough, I’ll even have some time for writing when the Old Swedes are here this evening.
You just have to roll with it. Count your many blessings. And be grateful.