Time Is On My Side

It really isn’t, you know. Each and every day I become more and more aware of how precious time is, how quickly it can pass, and how finite it actually is. That makes the time I am forced to spend recharging my batteries or simply resting–something I need to do more and more of the more that goes by–into something I resent automatically and always have to remind myself that I am no longer not only forty but not even fifty and sixty is in the rearview mirror now, and don’t have the energy or stamina that I used to take for granted.

I’ve taken a lot for granted my entire life, in truth.

Yesterday was one of those work-at-home with tasks that are relatively mindless while doing chores that are also relatively mindless. This was a very tiring, up and down week (I always marvel at how whenever I should be having a good time and enjoying something, I inevitably end up having to deal with something unexpected and irritating. It does keep me grounded, I suppose, and my ego in check–those great reviews won’t pay for a new tire or change this one or heal your arm, will they? As though I actually need anything else to keep my ego in check. I am trying to actually develop more of an ego, and more of a selfish nature. Perhaps ego isn’t the right word? I don’t like it–for me the word has negative connotations–and I think confidence is a better fit and more accurate. I am working to increase my self-confidence, and my belief in my own value and the value of the work that I do.

I was talking to a friend recently about my future–what’s left of it, at any rate–and what I should be doing and focusing on. I’ve not made plans in years, or thought very far ahead much with my career; I think the lack of cogent plan with my writing career is fairly apparent from a quick glance at its history. I think after Katrina I made up my mind that making plans was a waste of energy and/or time, as one has no control over one’s future. Life is always going to be throwing spitballs and curveballs at you, no matter how good your stance or your grip on the bat and the technique of your swing, you’re going to miss more often than you hit one out of the park. It is very easy for me to get distracted and side-tracked–thank you, brain chemistry–anyway, and oft times I will be thinking quite enthusiastically about one idea when I get another and the first one is forgotten, lost in the mists and cobwebs of the farthest reaches of my imagination, only to be stumbled across years later with an oh yeah lightbulb going on over my head. But I am going to carve some time out this weekend to try to plan ahead a bit, or at least try to plan my writing year for 2023. I have so many things in progress already that need to be finished that it’s not even funny–which I should also make a list of; not the short stories (far too many of those unfinished to make a list–it was somewhere over eighty the last time I counted them) but the books and novellas and other things that I’ve made a start on that need finishing at some point.

I allowed myself to sleep in this morning until eight, and then over my coffee I finished reading Wanda M. Morris’ superlative Anywhere You Run, which was simply marvelous and superb and fantastic–it’s hard to believe she is only two books into her career; it will be interesting to see how she continues to grow and develop as a writer as she gets further into her career–and yes, there will be more about this book later. I feel marvelously rested this morning, and the coffee is doing a lovely job of waking me. I am going to do some futzing this morning–dishes, filing, cleaning a bit–before getting cleaned up and diving into my manuscript for the rest of the day. I really need to stop being so goddamned lazy and get on with it, you know? It simply isn’t going to write itself, and I am very hopeful that I can make some terrific progress on the book today. There’s not any college football today–the season is over except for bowl games and play-offs–and so there are no distractions to be had; no “Oh I’ll just turn on the television to check some scores” only to transition to “oh, it won’t hurt to watch the rest of this half” to “oh, well, tomorrow I can work on my writing.”

And the hilarious part of it is that I will always, always, feel enormously satisfied, pleased, and happy when I stop writing for the day. Every single time.

Oh! I also taped Susan Larson’s The Reading Life, which you can click here to listen to if you are so inclined.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely Saturday. Constant Reader!

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