This is my favorite time of day. The morning, after everyone is off to school and work and the house is quiet except, today, for the hum of the dishwasher and the washing machine. The tea is brewed and poured and honeyed. It is the time before phone calls need to be returned and emails responded to, before I start working. The time with just me in my newly redecorated office space – which is really the nook off the kitchen that is now cozy with an armchair, a new rug, my desk and two small tables, and two plants. I am surrounded by three windows in this space, bright and open even in the heart of winter.
It feels right to me that this space I call mine is not separate from the kitchen, which is probably where I spend most of my time as the mom of this place, our home. I love that my kids can sit of the armchair while I cook dinner. I love that my daughter plays pop music on Pandora on my computer. I love that it is Central Command of the Mothership, where we keep the stamps, where I sit to navigate our family life and also be creative or still.
I took Facebook off my phone a few days ago after a conversation with a friend in California. She asked me if I’d had a good weekend and my reply was, “I did, it was a good weekend, though I honestly can’t remember all I did. I’m not so good at remembering what happened just yesterday these days, I think there is too much in my brain… I think I need to reduce the amount of stimulus coming at me to make space.” “Good idea,” she said.
There is so much coming at me – at all of us – so much of the time. Not just the fullness of being a wife and a mom and a daughter and a sister and a friend and a colleague. But just so much information. So many articles to read – not articles anyone is making me read, or which I have to read in order for the world to keep spinning, but so much I could read. Some are inspiring, others feel like a waste of brain time, others make me think, I could have written that. Why didn’t I write that? This is the thing, though: Just because someone I care about, or some loose Facebook acquaintance shares something doesn’t mean I need to read it. Just because something is trending somewhere in Internetland doesn’t mean it matters to me, doesn’t mean I need to care. I don’t need to take it in just because it is there.
Lately I’ve done what I hear a lot of my friends are doing – getting off email lists to reduce the amount of information coming into my inbox. It’s not because I don’t find much of it interesting, but it can feel like too much, too often. There are zillions of blogs out there and I know many of them are amazing. I think part of the reason I haven’t kept a blog in a few years is because I’ve asked myself, Do I really have something to share that I need to add to what is already there? My answer is: “Right now, I’m writing this for me.”
I love to read. Books mostly, articles too. Blogs, websites. But mostly books. I get happily wide-eyed looking at bookshelves – in my house, in Little Free Libraries around town, in the library, in book stores, even on Amazon. Then I get overwhelmed – so many books to read, so little time – but in a good way. I recently read a very sci-fi article about a real life transgender pharmaceutical company CEO who created a robot of her wife as a prototype for one of her other companies’ plans for future life-prolonging technology (yeah, really). My first thought was, Forget eternal life as a robot version of myself (that, to be honest, sounds totally creepy). I want a robot of myself now to take care of all the busy work so that I can have more time to read.
For me right now it’s about clearing space in order to create space. I was recently considering signing up for an online writing course, one which sounds amazing and inspiring. One I thought would help to move me to write daily, to work on
that book those books that have been brewing for a long time. Then as I thought about it I started to feel tight. It started to feel like pressure, and I know that I don’t create freely out of pressure. So I put it aside for now – not the writing, but the course – and for now I am simply committing to writing daily for at least 30 minutes. Writing whatever wants to come: a blog post, a piece for Luscious Legacy, a piece of fiction, a part of my story.
That feels open.