Friday, February 3, 2012

How Goes Your Rose Garden?

By Sheilah

I spent a fortune on my MFA. Then I got a job unrelated to it, though it helped get the job. The job put quite a halt to my writing. I find that reading and editing for 8 hours a night stops me up in the off hours. That’s the story I’ve been telling myself anyway.

I like to make excuses.
I like to not take responsibility.
I am basically lazy.
I don’t know much about perseverance.
I like to blame others and “forces beyond my control,” etc. and so on.
I have a long list of “etc.”
My etceteras have etceteras, and some of them have miscellany and i.e., ad nauseums and ad infinitums.
My to-dos have other tenses.

Glad I got the truth out of the way.

The truth is also this: I am very responsible. I enjoy working; I go to work everyday, never lay out, give my best. I do the housework, too. I get things done. And I do that for so long, you know, just living right, that I get tired. Then I want to know, where’s mine? Didn’t you promise me a rose garden? I don’t know who I’m asking, probably God. I fail to see my garden variety human being-ness, that I already have mine and then some. I have the rewards of work, of a job well done, mothering, partnership, living life.

But at times, sometimes for extended periods of time, things shift inside and I get ungrateful, tired, wanting more. Discouraged. Disappointed. This-is-itness? strikes. At times like these I have to stop short and see what’s up—I don’t have a babysitter so we never go out. The schedule is a fresh hell every week between my works shifts and Dave’s travels. I haven’t taken a night out with friends in months. I’m not exercising, not praying enough, not getting artistic stimulation. I realize I’m not enjoying anything, just getting things done. 

Or I spend hours cleaning out a closet that's been stuffed full for 6 years instead of writing, which brings on about 6 more projects, which then .... Hmmm. 

A whine is a terrible thing to waste. Time for a getaway beginning with a two-hour forage for nothing today. I just let myself go out for no reason at all, turned over rocks, got a $5 coffee, bummed. It was quite enjoyable. Now I have to keep doing such at regular intervals. Duh. It might fill the well to keep the real writing flowing, the stuff that fills my cup to overflowing. Cheers to an artistic well kept full. My rose garden may flourish  again.

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