Sunday, May 8, 2016

From 60 to Zero

71º ~ bright sun, a few high lazy sheets of white, the cool/wet spring means all the trees are leafed and the privets blooming an allergy-inducing white, a mourning dove nest in the tree outside my window

At the beginning of the fall semester, things go from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye, in nothing flat, in the "name your cliche for speed." While there may be slight variations in intensity, things pretty much stay at 60 through spring graduation (with a slight lull at winter break just long enough to regain a bit of sleep). Now, I'm in that shifting period, trying to downgrade from 60 to zero. Zero is my creative sweet spot. Zero means long swathes of time uninterrupted when my mind can roam, when the words can tumble together, striking and sparking new images, new lines.

You would think that after a decade of not teaching in the summers, I'd have figured out how to make this transition smoothly. This is not the case. Every year, I am stunned by the amount of time it takes me to slow. Every year, I am faced again with finding the balance between "me" time and socializing with friends. Every year, I have to battle the desire to simply sit and stare at the TV for days and days.

Let me say that I am not against "down time." I'm all for taking a break and watching Law & Order reruns or the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory. I'm especially all for reading the latest J.D. Robb books in the In Death series. However, my personality  is one that will quickly turn watching one episode or reading for an hour into a binge that lasts four days. Even now, I'm resisting clicking on Season 2 of Frankie and Grace on Netflix because I can so quickly tumble down that rabbit hole. In other words, at 45, I still struggle to find my balance.

Side note: I didn't learn to ride a bike until first grade b/c physical balance eludes me as much as emotional balance seems to most days.

So, here is my goal: to practice balance.

Practical subgoals:

  • to write daily
  • to blog regularly...whether I've lost you all, dear readers, or not, you keep me balanced when I tell myself you are out there and reading me
  • to continue to meditate daily
  • to be kind to myself when I fail

Upcoming blog posts:

  • What I learned from my first year at UCA
  • The C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference
  • Reading full-length manuscripts for a contest
  • Self-Ekphrastic Poetry: or, my summer project
  • Reports on my progress

Until then.


Kristin said...

Welcome back--this reader is still here and looking forward to reading upcoming posts.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, K!