I finished my “have-to”s around 7:30 tonight, and I came upstairs to sit at the computer, which is what I do most nights that I don’t have other things on my plate.
I had put off doing bills and finishing my brother’s March guardian expense report this weekend, so that’s what I did yesterday. Forced myself, that is, because I really didn’t feel like it, but it needed to be done.
I tried reading a few articles on productivity to inspire myself. I opened my 85% done chapter of Hart, which needs some reworking on a scene or two and the writing of another scene or two to be finished. I did one or two minor edits and then closed it up.
I thought about doing an outline (like I think about every day) for my yet-to-be-finished Jix auction story. My brain is so cloudy that I can’t think straight, let alone put the pen to the paper, so to speak.
Exhaustion everywhere. Exhaustion that hurts it’s so deep.
It isn’t Writer’s Block. It isn’t. I cannot tell you how many ideas I have. I send texts to people saying, “I just thought of doing X!” and my brain will run down the rabbit’s trail of how I could accomplish X and how fun it would be, and what kind of people I could pull into the project with me. If I have half a minute where my mind is wandering and I have nothing else to think about, I’ll have six story ideas in no time flat.
But I am so bone weary in my soul. An exhaustion that permeates every cell.
And I can tell myself, “Okay, yes. You have a job that keeps you very busy and mentally active all day. Yes, you take care of your mom and your brother and you have a lot of things on your plate. You’ve been through a great deal of emotional stress in your life recently.”
Yes, yes, all those things are true and more.
But I have been so convicted lately about how I am filling my life with the unimportant, the urgently unimportant, the busy to be busy work.
Neglecting the spiritual – not enough time for God, not praying enough, not spending enough time still and listening in His presence.
Neglecting the physical – eating things that aren’t good for me, drinking far too much soda, eating far too much candy, not exercising.
Neglecting the emotional – Ignoring my creative impulses, not spending enough time playing, not taking moments from my day to just be silly and to have fun, not enjoying the amazing world around me in all its beauty, not singing songs, not relaxing in the breathtaking, full of sunshine and perfect weather days we’ve had.
And there is the long guilt list. The friendships I neglect. The unanswered email. The unpacked boxes in the garage. The clothes shopping I need to do. The piles of paper I need to sort and put away. The calls I need to make. The website that needs updating.
I’ve always been a person who’s tried to do everything. Please everyone. Make everything work. Give, give and give some more.
And I’ve found, over the years, that there’s been a gradual unfolding of my hands. God has to peel away my tightly gripping hands from all that I hold onto in fear and stubbornness.
I should learn by now that every time He wants me to let go of something it’s so that He can give me something else ever so much better.
I was so comfortable in my fire and safety job back in the day. Comfortable because I could do it with my hands tied behind my back. It was safe and easy.
It made no money. It had no future. No benefits. Nothing to challenge me. But it was safe and easy.
But I lost the job. And I got shaken up. I had to do something different. Something way outside my comfort zone. And so I gave up my independence, moved back in with my mom, and went back to school. I tried something that scared me a bit. I worked harder for grades than I have ever worked in my life, learning things that actually were difficult for me to learn. And this comes from a girl who finds learning easy. That education was hard won.
And now I have a job that isn’t safe or easy. It challenges me every day. I have to think on my feet and always, always learn new things. And it’s AMAZING.
That job was an answer to I can’t tell you how many years of prayer. The delicious reward after years of sobbing in my bed at night, worrying all the time about money, putting up with things I shouldn’t have, being the kind of person I didn’t want to be. I have a freedom now that I didn’t have then. A job I love just about every aspect of. A true gift.
But God isn’t letting me rest on my laurels. I feel now like I’m where I was a couple of years ago. Safe and easy with my writing. Safe and easy in an environment where people couldn’t say anything negative about what I wrote, even if they wanted to. Very little challenges other than what I made for myself. Constantly craving direction and change and creativity.
But again, God has gently but firmly pulled my hands open and taken the safe easy thing away.
I want to learn from my experience before. I want to lean into what He’s got planned for me. I may not be making writing a career, but I firmly believe that it is a calling. A calling in my life that I have never truly been able to ignore. A calling in my life that God has not meant for me to ignore.
But what does that mean now that He’s pulled the safe and easy away? How do I reorganize my life and simplify it to allow the creativity and the writing a place in it?
How do I fight the exhaustion?
Maybe I just need to listen to the messages I’m getting. Pare down. Be still. Listen. Pull back. Do not try to be everything to everyone. Get rid of all the dead weight. Remove the toxic. Chase after the important.
Get the basics back inline. Spiritual. Physical. Emotional. What is really crucial to me?
Maybe if I start there, the rest will come.
It’s strange, you know. Writing. It’s so hard to get started. But I just sat down, got passionate about a topic, and it’s 1200 words later.
It’s a calling. It really is. And it’s one of my musts.
I need to carve out a place in my life for it.
Now to figure out how.