I have a confession to make: since I declared my memoir finished last fall I’ve done very little new writing.
Instead, I’ve been practicing the art of inhabitation.
I’ve found fulfillment in my kitchen as I’ve tried new recipes. I even purchased a pressure canner and I’ve been busy canning a variety of beans from recipes I’ve come across on Pinterest. I’ve been knitting – in fact I’ve got a couple of projects on the needles that will be Christmas gifts this year. I’ve been planning my spring garden and caring for tender tomato plants I’m growing from seed. I’ve been tending to my new “worm hotel” and learning about the benefits of vermicomposting.
But I haven’t been writing.
I’m convinced that the idea of achieving balance in our lives is a myth. It’s impossible. I’m certain of it. Rather, I believe we have to choose those things that are important to us and worthy of our attention in a certain season.
For the past number of years writing has been near the top of my list and I came to accept there were some other things I had to set aside. Like quilting. I haven’t made a quilt in about five years and I love making quilts; I love giving quilts as gifts; I love having quilts throughout my house.
But there was this memoir I needed to write and so I packed my fabric away and put the cover on my sewing machine and turned my attention to my story.
Last fall, when I declared my memoir finished, I found myself out of sorts with no writing project on the go. Sure, I was busy with other pre-publication activities but I found I had more time on my hands. Then, around about the time the holiday season was beginning I started to settle in and enjoy my newly found down time. The timing, of course, couldn’t have been more perfect. The weather kept me indoors, the dark cold days of winter kept our fireplace on, and our traditional Christmas jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table kept me planted in one place for a time. Then the lure of Pinterest drew me in and I discovered all kinds of new ideas and things I was interested in.
Ah yes, it’s been an inspiring, quiet, inhabiting few months.
But I miss writing. I miss putting my thoughts down on paper and I miss playing with words. This morning I read a post on Linda Joy Myers blog, Memories and Memoirs, about priorities and tips for what the National Association of Memoirs is calling “The Year of the Memoir” that has stuck with me all day and I know it’s time to shift the scale of balance in my life and put my focus back on my writing.
As I don’t believe in balance I know some things will change. Perhaps that quilt I have been thinking about won’t get started, or perhaps some of my knitting projects will be put on hold for the time being. The thing is, we make a choice every day about how to spend the twenty-four hours that are allotted to us. I believe each of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, know the best way to use those hours to accomplish what we are meant to accomplish in this life.
So I’m shifting the balance again and turning my attention away from some things and toward some other things. There are some exciting things ahead in 2012 and I’m with the National Association of Memoir Writers in declaring this to be the Year of the Memoir! I hope you’ll stay with me…I’ll be sharing more about this very soon.
Meantime, I’m interested in what you think about the concept of balance. Is balance possible? Have you achieved it? Let’s chat in the comments.