“My days are full, yet I keep asking: how can I fill them just a little bit more …”
That’s my tagline, which you can read in full to the right of this post. In practice, it means integrating work with life. Work isn’t over here, and life over there; ideas are everywhere, experiences intermingle. It means conversations about deep things grabbed in passing. It means discussing story ideas over supper. It means writing about things that matter to me; or finding ways to make the things I’m writing about matter more.
I think it can be a confusing way to live. It’s next to impossible to keep things in balance. But maybe that’s coming at it from the wrong angle. Maybe balance is not so important; maybe what matters is throwing yourself in to whatever you’re doing, at any given moment, and being there.
It’s not about ticking boxes, or trying to fill the columns evenly.
Into what column would I file running? And how would I categorize photographing the kids on a sunny afternoon? Watching a soccer game? Baking bread? Cleaning the bathroom? Writing a new song? Doing an interview? Leading a workshop?
Today’s experiences include: spin class; preparing supper in the crockpot before breakfast; research; spending the afternoon with my four-year-old; conversations with friends; organizing my kids’ running club; taking my daughter to soccer practice and going for a run; and stopping in at a city meeting about a parking garage planned for our neighbourhood that will block a bike trail.
I’m leaving a few things out. Deliberately. I’d like to blog about my current writing plans and projects, but the truth is that freelancing is a tricky business, not just in its feast or famine nature, but also because not everything comes to pass; or happens when, or as, you think it’s going to happen.
But it’s a solid day, in a week that looks to be packed as full as ever.
A funny thing that happened on Saturday afternoon. I walked uptown to buy food, and stopped in at Words Worth Books. There at the front counter was The Juliet Stories. My first thought was, oh, that’s nice, it’s displayed right at the front. But then I realized it was stacked on a pile of unrelated books — not part of a display, but about to be purchased. It was a “Wow! You’re buying my book!” moment. When the customer discovered I was the author, a pen was found and I signed the book for her, right then and there. She was shopping with friends, and one of them ran to get a copy so I could sign it for her too. It was a little burst of excitement, all around.
And, see — it fits in no particular column. Household chores? Check. Being a writer? Check. Wandering into a new, unplanned, and unusual experience? Check, check, and check.