I used to keep journals before I became a word processor. I used to process my words with a pencil or pen and a beautiful little book on my bedside table. I’d write long, self-reflective entries on my dreams or my boyfriends or my kids. And I put them on a shelf for posterity.
Now I write a blog and enjoy the way it seeps out into the world and then comes back to me. It’s not as private, true. There are topics I won’t go into here that could be written in a personal journal, tucked away in my nightstand. But, there’s a beauty in writing for an audience that motivates me. That even makes me think of myself as a writer. I mean, A Writer. Maybe it’s my exhibitionist side (you didn’t know that about me, did you?). Or maybe it’s leftover from girlhood when I hated keeping secrets. I know that at this point in my life writing is one of my true loves and a craft I intend to hone and delve into and savor.
[I heard today that every day 81,000 new blogs appear on the internet. Sheesh. I’m trying not to feel like a needle in a haystack. I’m trying not to feel like I’m in junior high again, hoping to be in the “in crowd.”]
Regardless, now I journal on my blog and you, Dear Reader, may choose to read or move on.
Finding time to write, in fact, finding time to do anything on my “me” list is a challenge. But part of the challenge these days is a general lack of schedule or the willpower to abide by such. Other than things I need to get the kids to (the JC, 4H meetings, Park Day, Science class, Hebrew school, etc.) there aren't a lot of things I need to get myself to. And few, if any, of these things are in the early hours of the day. So I awake with Mark (who has to be at work somewhere around 8 or 8:30) and mosey on over to the computer to check email or read one of the 30 trillion blogs I love to follow. And eventually, far too late in the morning, I get downstairs and down to the pasture to feed my equines. When I get back up to the house a half hour later I wake the boys up. It's usually about 9:30 but sometimes it's 10 and then we really have to hustle to do our 15 minute tidy of one room of the house, have breakfast, other chores, pack a lunch (as if), and get going for the day. Or, on the days when they have no specific plans away from the house...then we fritter the time away. We do? Oh yes. We Fritter.
Would that I had the self-discipline to arise in the wee hours of the morn to write. Would that I had the self-discipline to walk right by the door to the office and go down the stairs in the half-light to feed the animals out in the muddy (right now) or dusty (last week) pasture. Just this one bit of self-control (don’t touch the keyboard, don’t check to see what emails came in overnight, don't sit down to read other people's blogs) would give me hours to write, to contemplate, to meditate before the boys got up. So, the truth is that if I prioritized my daily chores, and reminded myself that throwing down hay in the cold morning air is a task I do for myself, not drudgery, if I convinced myself that I have a job that actually starts every morning at 6 am rather than 9, I might actually have more peace, more me for me and more words to share with you.
I like this idea immensely. But then when the alarm goes off (we haven’t used an alarm except sporadically since all three boys started homeschooling five years ago) at 6 o'clock try to motivate me to jump out of bed. Sure, the first time, ok. But daily? I just don’t know. That is a challenge. A sacrifice. With my perimenopause insomnia, my nightowlishness, my late hour time wasting, 7 am is a tough hour at which to arise let alone 6.
Excuses aside though, I’m willing to give it a go.
Tomorrow I will rise in the dark, don my muddy jeans, wool socks, thermal tee, navy blue watch cap I knitted for my dad last year (and inherited on August 26th, the day after he died), flannel barn jacket, rainboots, and nitrile gloves. I'll stumble right by the warm office and trudge downstairs to collect from the fridge the ground flax seed and iodized salt and vitamin E supplements already measured out for the critters. I will step carefully down the sodden hill to the hay barn and be greeted by the squeaks and wuffles of my donkeys and horses. And when I'm done I'll get to come back inside to a warm cup of tea, a piece of toast, and my words waiting for crafting.