Sunday, September 22, 2013

Navigating the Rapids of Change: Easy Does It

In my late twenties, after years of working a grinding schedule, I had the opportunity to switch to working part-time, on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.  The first Tuesday I was off, I wandered from room to room thinking about all the projects I could undertake around the house, and day-dreaming about various creative things I wanted to do.  At the end of the day, I had accomplished exactly nothing. I didn't even cook dinner.

For the first time since childhood, I had large blocks of time that I could fill any way I wanted. I didn't know what to do with all that free time, so I basically frittered it away, accomplishing nothing for a couple of weeks. When I became acclimated to the schedule, I filled up my time with housekeeping, volunteering and lots of reading. (To this day there is nothing I love better than to spend a day immersed in a book while the rest of the world is at work.)

These days, here in my little Empty Nest, I'm undergoing a similar experience. I am at a turning point in my life, and there are a lot of options before me.  Basically, what I've been doing is looking out my window and daydreaming about all the things I could be doing.

I haven't written any fiction in a couple of months. That isn't because I've run out of ideas. On the contrary, I have so many characters and stories swirling around inside my head, I can't focus on any one of them in particular.  In addition, I want to do something new, something different from anything I've done before. I may try writing a new genre. I may experiment with some other kind of creative outlet.  Something is clearly bubbling in my Soul, but it has not yet revealed itself.

In the past,  I would have felt frustrated or depressed to be at such loose ends.  This time, I'm going to be kind to myself.  I'm going to give myself the time that my mind and heart need to settle into a new stage of life. Other than my boss for 8-10 hours a day five days a week, I have no one to answer to, and I can do as I please. If I feel like doing nothing, that's what I'll do -- at least until some of those characters and stories come into better focus.  Then I'll get busy again. Maybe.

Then again, maybe I'll just continue to look out my window and savor the utter magnificence of my surroundings.

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