Falling

Early Fall days are some of my favorites.

The change in light, the change in colors…..the change in me.

The vapid summer days here in So Cal drain me, both physically and energetically.  Yes, I love the sunshine and – occasionally – the longer days. But we’ve had a helluva hot, humid summer this year and I couldn’t be happier that darker cooler mornings are here with the promise of nights sleeping with open windows vs. A/C dronings.

Suddenly, I feel like cooking again. Hearty, earthy dishes like pot roasts and soups and fruit pies.  The gem-like ambers, oranges and browns of nature have inspired me to decorate for Halloween. I’ve been feng-shuing, decluttering and re-organizing and

I feel like writing again.

It’s been nearly 6 months since my last post and about that same length of time since I’ve written anything for my book (and thank you to those that reached out to make sure all was well in the midst of my silence. It is and I am. Thank you, Jesus, for curing the incurable).

I recognize several things contributed to my stall out.  Life happens and priorities shift. For example, I’ve been working two full days a week since the end of May, and I’m also responsible for making sure our grandson gets to school by 7:50 every morning.  My morning routine – and typically my most creative time – has altered.

But in all honesty, it’s been more about motivation. I mean, even with a printer that didn’t work and a computer that barely did, I could’ve been writing.  I still journal most days.  But the book or the blog?  Well…I just haven’t been feeling it.

Thankfully, lack of inspiration isn’t a permanent condition.  Ask any artist.  Everyone goes through dry spells or blocks.  Muses can be fickle companions.  Then again, I tend to enter new projects with all pistons firing and my foot to the floor – which might be why I seem to excel at short term commitments and struggle a little with those that take a loooonnnnggggg time to complete.   I like to finish stuff.  Check it off my To Do List.

Or maybe, I just like Instant Gratification.  Ha!

But I’ve learned the importance of giving myself the grace to put something down and to feel my way through my creative endeavors.  Sometimes the best thing I can do to reboot is to walk away.  Like, literally, take a walk.  Hike in nature.  Socialize with friends.

Live life!

In years past, unfinished projects use to mock me…. half finished piles creating feelings of guilt and (depending on how much money spent on supplies) shame. But if Cancer  taught me anything, it is this: Life is short so focus on who and what is really important – and let the rest go (temporarily or permanently, depending).

So.  Here I am. Yesterday I cleaned and reorganized the office and the computer is fixed.  A new printer is being delivered on Tuesday along with a new mouse pad to replace the one I LOVE but was looking as grimy as our grandson after a day at school.

And I’m writing…..

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The house and yards look festive.  It’s a nipply 70 degrees, the windows are opened wide and the sun is just peeking over the hill.   I’ll be doing breakfast and a little shopping with girlfriends this morning, and then enjoying the rest of the day doing “whatever” since all my chores are done.  Maybe I’ll plant a few seasonal flowers or make that wreath I’ve been thinking about.  Or, maybe I’ll just enjoy the peace and quiet of an early Fall afternoon with the house to myself.

Fall. My favorite time of year.

 

Dreaming For Escape

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….”The Crystal Ball”, by John Waterhouse

I want a new life.

Not a completely new one….just a majorily overhauled one.  I really really really want a physical existance that supports and inhances my inner life.  I want to own my own home in a lovely natural setting.  I want time.  Time to create.  Time to rest.  Time to do all of the things that have been in my heart for so long.  Painting.  Writing.  Volunteering at the arboretum.  Homemaking.  Crafting.  Cooking.  Tending gardens and relationships and my spiritual life in a slower pace lifestyle that allows me to breathe.

Can I get real for a moment? At 50 years old, and after 30 years of doing it, hitting the commuter traffic every morning for some 9 to 5 desk job is getting old.  Neither of my divorces were from wealthy guys – so I didn’t take away any booty in the breakups. My body is really beginning to complain from being locked up at a computer all day.  I need to move!  Bodies were made to move! And more than just flinching and strentching and coffee-gathering.  Add two more hours a day making the commute (a frustratingly ridiculous short distance, really – only 12 miles each way) and ugh!

Southern California is a tough place to live when you’re a single gal, on a single income, trying to keep your head above water.  Studio apartments go for $1000 a month.   I stole my 3 bedroom, in today’s market.  But it still takes well over 50% of my paycheck just to put the roof over our heads.  Gas it snuggling up close to $3.00 a gallon.  You practically need a second job just to pay for some a/c usage during the 100 degree plus weather (it was over 90 here day before yesterday). 

Want to know what “faith” is?  It’s thinking I’ll ever be able to afford a house on my own here.  Even in the worst part of town, prices are ridiculous.  Foreclosures are hitting the market faster than you can say Multiple Listing Service….and the only people I know who are buying houses are those taking down huge salaries, or those that are minorities and qualify for special funding programs.  They don’t even need to be legal, in some cases.

So what’s a middle aged gal in the shrinking middle class to do, who wants freedom and financial security and TIME?

She begins writing. 

She begins writing about her fantasy life….what it will look like, what it will feel like and smell like.  She places herself as the main character, and allows her imagination to create that perfect life, as a perfect escape.  Maybe that character will own the quaint, exclusive B&B she’s always dreamed of.  Or the restaurant that serves only homemade breakfasts and lunches from ingredients purchased at the Farmer’s Market.  It will be a place where the patrons will know each others names from visiting so often to enjoy fresh, hot scones and herbal teas while surrounded by the work of local artisans.  Perhaps she’ll have that studio overlooking the ocean, or a hillside of trees, where she’ll put to canvas what’s in her heart, or put to paper that novel that’s been inside of her since 4th grade.  She’ll bask in the spring sunshine as she prepares her garden, hands thrust in rich warm earth that brings her pleasure at the deepest core of her being.  And in the Fall, she’ll harvest what she’s sown – the vegetables and flowers, the relationships and the inspiration.  She will love and be loved, and will flow through the seasons of Life with peace, joy, creativity and a warm generousity born of a grateful heart. 

I think I’ll name her Grace.