For the last few months, I’ve been scurrying along at a frenzied pace, wondering when or if things would ever calm down enough for me to carve out and practice at least some semblance of a routine for myself. And finally—oh, at long last—things have calmed down and I have been able to repeat virtually the same schedule every day for the last two weeks. And. It. Is. Heaven. I am a true creature of habit, with a few added neuroses, which means that I really enjoy being able to go to bed and wake at the same time every day. Hell, my mild OCD even dictates that I leave the house at precisely the same time (8:11) every morning.
Don’t get me wrong—I’ve loved all the recent activity: the friends visiting, the trips to Whidbey and Portland, the frequent date nights and literary events. But lord, am I tired. For the last week or so I’ve been able to make it home straight after work, get out for a run, cook myself an actual dinner, watch TV, putz around the house, and even—yes, it’s true—work on a little bit of writing here and there. What’s even more exciting is the (relative) improved amount of sleep I’ve been able to get. I’m up to almost five hours each night now! Huzzah!
Anyone who knows me well understands how important self-sufficiency is to me. I care more fiercely for my friends and my family than a rabid badger, but at the same time, I value my ability to get by on my own. Sometimes it’s easy to be self-sufficient, and sometimes it isn’t. But for the most part, I’m damn content with being alone, being the only one who is responsible for my health, security, happiness, and well-being. Not having anyone else to carry the load—whatever that load may be—is sometimes simultaneously both a burden and a relief. I’m proud to do it all myself; knowing that I have the confidence and tools I need to handle whatever comes my way is very comforting. I know how to ask for help when I need it, but I enjoy needing to ask with less and less frequency.
Right now, I can’t imagine life being much better. I love my job, am financially secure, have tons of amazing friends, and a satisfying creative life. Best of all, I have my house all to myself every night—except for Mona, of course—and I’ve spent my free time doing exactly what I want to, when I want to. I’ve have loved living alone for a long time, but these days it feels especially delicious. The truth is that I have a lot of fun on my own; I almost never get lonely and boredom is not a concept with which I am familiar—there’s always plenty to keep me busy.
What happens when I’ve had a few quiet, regular days under my belt is that I start to get antsy. And what comes next is usually some kind of monumental craft project, house-cleaning extravaganza or—best of all—a writing surge. Though I can control neither the force nor the direction of such surges, I have at least over the years learned to give in whole-heartedly to such outpourings of creative energy.
Maybe it’s the winter-like weather we’re experiencing here in Seattle, or maybe it’s my brain needing to expel some creative juice in a familiar landscape, but I’ve written a poem for each of the last eight nights—and not just garbage, either; these might actually turn out to be usable, publishable pieces of writing.
So, while I wish that this creative surge was aimed at the novel I am desperately trying to make headway on, I can’t say that I am entirely unhappy with the amount of new poems I’ve been cranking out of late. It always feels good to return to my poetry roots and remember how natural that process feels, like coming home for Thanksgiving to find that my room looks exactly as it did when I left.
I know that at some point, my life will get busy and chaotic again, but for now, I sure am enjoying the feeling of watching the pieces all settle into place around me.