Hello there, greetings from the land of panic-stricken nail-biters. From the island of post-its and stacks of paper everywhere. As of this moment, I have a little over two weeks to finish a manuscript for a book. And let’s just say I’m not where I want to be. Not even close. And instead of working on the book, I’m writing a post here. How’s that for procrastination? In a little while, I’m going to go to the kitchen and make some pie dough. On my marble counter. I don’t think a marble counter is christened until you make some pie dough on it, doesn’t that sound right?
I have slowly, cautiously, redipped my toes into cooking again. That stove/gas-leak/no-stove sitch managed to make me a little skittish. I can’t just up and start making souffles and think it’s smooth sailing from here on out. What if we get another lemon? What if?
Lack of stove and all those details aside, I feel like this move, the kitchen renovations (there’s a final post coming, I swear), this winter – they finally did me in. I’ve corresponded with a few of you, lovely writers, whose work has inspired me, kept me going, made me not lose perspective. But the flurry of that activity, the combination of everything at once – work, two books, kitchen, winter – well, it kind of did me in. And I’ve been trying to dig myself out of this space where my creativity feels like a thing of the past, never to return. I know this to be false, but man, it feels so damn true. I feel like I have so much to say and no words to say it. Everything feels a little grayer to me. A little more faded. Is there a word for this thing? Ennui sounds awfully aristocratic, and I simply don’t have the luxury to wallow.
My camera has felt too heavy for my hands. Too foreign. I picked it up a few times in the last couple of months, and then put it down again. It didn’t feel right. And just this morning, I felt that itch again – and it felt wonderful.
I keep reminding myself of little blessings. Remember, I say, you were able to buy a place. In Brooklyn. Thank god for savings you tucked away years ago, just for that purpose. Focus on that. Your kitchen works. Finally. This is a good thing. Take a breath.
I’ve been reading a lot about life advice. You know the kind of stuff that helps to sort things out. Learning to say no in order to say yes. Or better put: if you say yes to everything, you say no to everything, because no one can ever do everything, so you wind up just doing nothing.
Giving yourself a break. Trusting your gut. Asking for what you want and not being afraid. And something I need to practice in particular: turn off in order to turn on.
I’m looking forward to spring. It’s been nice to have a few days when it doesn’t take me ten minutes of layering just to get out the door. March, I know, is tricky that way. We’ll get some freezing days ahead and some nice ones. But the trend is upward and the days are longer.
And I’m grateful for that.