The first winter storm of the season has arrived to northern Minnesota with a welcoming sense of relief. The blazing fires just north of us subsided just yesterday, and the war zone-ish land along with charred buildings and trees can at least be hidden by snow, if only for a brief time, till some of the pain subsides.
School is cancelled. Inner joy day for me. This means I have a day to “catch up” at home. Laundry piled high, dirty bathrooms and a good day for baking. . . but deep down in my core, I’m mostly being called to write.
I have not written on my blog for almost a month. School started. Whether a teacher or a literacy coach, the profession is all-consuming. I vowed not to let this happen, yet I did.
But, today, I have to write. I’m being given this day.
I’m going to write, I tell myself.
The house quiet, the snow falling. My notebooks overflowing with some nuggets of gold in there, each screaming to be chosen by me to write about today.
Being given the perfect conditions for a writing day, I am still not writing.
Why, I wonder, aren’t I writing? What’s holding me back?
What really IS my problem???
As I ponder this, I’m recognizing the issues. Several blockades are getting in my way. The most prominent of these is being a highly sensitive person, not just in an emotional sense, but in all my senses.
First and foremost, a prerequisite to all of my happiness. . . is heat. This nosedive to 34 degrees (from 84, just 4 days ago) is a shock to my poptarts. I gather my belongings (notebooks, books, laptop, tea) and decide to climb into my warm bed. I’ll do my writing here. Getting snuggled in so that napping does not seem more pleasurable than writing is tricky here. However, I’ve spent many a day writing in bed before, I know it can be done. A nap later on will probably be necessary from all the hard writing I’m going to be doing.
Set up takes some time. Pillows need to be positioned appropriately. Is the flat pillow best under my laptop, or none? If my wrists get sore because they are up too high, I’ll get cranky and stop writing. I debate. I pull the pillow out.
I need a softer blanket. This one that covers myself, to keep warm, is stiff and kinda scratchy. I get up to search for the log cabin quilt that my mother and I made. The flannel strips, cut from work shirts of my dad’s and my husband’s bring me warmth, comfort and safeness as I cover my lap. I smile. K, I’m ready.
Type away, baby!
Let ‘er rip!
Tell that story!
Geez, what IS that smell?
My hyper sensitive nose is a gift, but also a curse. It can always sense what’s been going on while I’ve been away (gun cleaning on the dining room table, fish cleaning in the kitchen) or not been done (dirty dish rag buried under mountains of dirty dishes, a toilet that needs unplugging). But, usually, it distracts me from getting things done as when my nose knows there is an issue, it must be solved before I am able to move on to my task at hand.
I decide to get a candle from way upstairs above the garage in my studio. Citron Basil. I search for matches and once lit, I gently arrange a spot for it on my night stand. (First, I am distraught by the newly piled clutter on my nightstand, so I have to clean this off.) I grab the lavender linen spray and pump a couple of squirts over my bedding. Both of these, a band-aid approach to the smell, I know. But, I’m hoping it will detour my nose until my writing is done.
There, now let’s write. I’m thinking about topic choice today and had planned on writing about the transition from fall to a sudden winter. Let’s go with that.
It’s really blowing out there now. . . the wind is just a howlin. . .
My stomach growls. Geez, I just ate a couple of hours ago, and I’m already hungry. This is a problem with being at home. You can satisfy these callings quite easily with a kitchen at hand. I climb out of bed, hike off to scrounge up some food and settle on a couple of slices of toast with some sensuous farmer’s market orange rhubarb jam. Mmm. . . better get some more tea, too, while I’m here. Save time. I can’t be wasting time, you know.
I settle back into bed and am a little perturbed that this annoying scent is back. It smells of someone who hasn’t taken a bath for quite some time. It’s gotta be my sheets. I get up and strip the bed. Take all the pillow cases off the pillows (all 7 of them, yes, I sleep with 4, husband with 3, that’s another story). I dig for new sheets and cases and make the bed so all is fresh. Quilts back on. Perfect. Gotta love fresh bedding.
Now, where the heck was I? For Pete’s Sake. It’s already 9:30.
The front door slams out front. My 19-year-old daughter enters from her 5:30 shift as a waitress. She is giddy with glee because of the snow. She allows Sandy in and they are both gallivanting throughout the house like a houseful of children at a birthday party. After a small tornado in the kitchen, from her breakfast creations, she barrels into my bedroom to voice that she is NOT happy because the college has decided NOT to cancel classes and my school has.
“I can’t help that, hon,” I say.
“Well, it’s not fair!”
She packs up her backpack and hikes off to her politics class.
I shoo Sandy back outside.
All I can think is, “Thank the Universe for not canceling college today.”
Back to writing. Now, you’d think I’d be giving up by now, but no. I have all day. I carry on. I’m just not a quitter, you know.
It’s still quite chilly in my bedroom and my fingers begin that numbing whine of, “I can’t do this anymore until you get me some heat.” Ughh. I check the thermostat and notice it was turned down to 67. 67! Now, this can only be the work of my husband who is highly conservative when it comes to heat. I decide to crank it up. Just for a while.
Up in my studio above the garage is also a little space heater. I decide this is a necessary device for my bedroom this morning just to give it a little head start since the heat will take a little while to kick in. I also change my socks. I figured that it’s time to dig out my Smart wool. My ankles were a little frosty.
It’s toasty now. My fingers will be happy. I won’t be, though, if they don’t produce something here.
I carry on, but more of the same ensues.
The front door slams again and Gracie barges back into my bedroom.
“Class was cancelled!”
“Haha.” I chuckle.
“There was a sign on the classroom door. I don’t know why she couldn’t have emailed us! Oh well, I’m gonna clean my room today, and Sandy’s gonna help and then I’m gonna make Pumpkin Spice cookies and decorate them with orange cream cheese frosting!”
Off she skips.
Oh my. Expect kitchen clean up later.
And on it continues. . .
A large oak tree branch from a dead tree falls on the roof with a crash. I have to get up and seek out the damage. Squirrels outside my window are digging ferociously for acorns now buried under the new blanket of snow. I watch this for a while and wonder when they will have enough stored up. Music is now blaring from Gracie’s room.
I really need to get some decent writing done.
My fingers are just weeping at what is coming out.
Maybe it will quiet down around here later on.
Maybe I should do laundry.
Then. . . the power goes out.
I take a nap. It’s a good day for a nap.
Maybe I’m not supposed to write today.
Ann Cameron calls this procrastination. Steven Pressfield says it’s resistance. Nancy Slonim Aronic: lack of discipline. I say it’s all of the above, with a touch of ADD.
All I know is that I had most of my day to write, and I didn’t write much.
Well, I did write this post. I guess that’s something.
Again, my fingers weep at what comes out.