Why should I care? Why should you care? Why should anyone care?
Maybe no one does, but I absolutely know that I feel better when I write. I feel more me. I feel less stressed about life. My mind isn’t nearly as cluttered as it would be otherwise.
I am a writer, not necessarily because I’m good at it but because I WRITE. It’s what I do. I established this habit many years ago and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
Since my mom’s death I’ve been called even more to write consistently. Why? Because I literally have nothing left of her. I gave her a journal for Mother’s Day the year before her death. I wanted to know what was in her heart. She was going through so much during the last few years. As I was going through her things after she passed, I found that journal — empty. My heart sank. I don’t ever want my daughter to wonder what was in my heart. It will all be here, in my journals and the other place I write, in black and white.
“The trouble is, you think you have time,” a statement that rings in my head often. Sometimes it haunts me. My only child turns 18 later this week. How can I be the mother of an almost-adult? I’m only in my thirties; well that’s not entirely truthful but it is how I feel.
Wasting time. I lie in bed scrolling in the morning, not social media as much as I used to, but eliminating phone notifications, updating apps, checking my calendar, bank account. Hello OCD. Sometimes I make good use of the time by texting friends or reading a book. Still, I definitely waste time. And I get mad at myself for it. I should be up. I should be writing.
There are many things I want to achieve in this lifetime. Not being judicious with my time, I slip a little further behind.
The sincere drive of wanting to achieve also causes angst. It causes me to be short or ignore others. I’ve done it to my husband more than once. Working on personal projects this weekend, writing, J does a great job of entertaining himself. We are here, together, but in two separate places. He checks in with me. It’s kind, considerate. As he drove up on the golf cart yesterday, I was on the front deck tapping away at the keyboard. I barely looked up. If he’d behaved that way toward me, I’d be hurt. My strong internal drive to achieve and my relationship to time, namely the lack of it, cause rudeness.
If yoga has taught me to be in the now (and it has, I’m better than I used to be), why do I still fight with my relationship to time? How do I reconcile the two? This is my pondering today.
Deep breaths. Soft shoulders. Turning the corners of my lips upward, I feel thankful for this moment. THIS. This is all I can control right now. Maybe that’s the lesson. One breath. One moment. One day at a time.
I woke up planning to work on my manuscript again but I simply cannot. It’s been the hardest, most grueling process and I sat in a chair all day yesterday.
Where I started is not where I’ve ended up and now, after talking to an editor, I’m questioning everything. Yoga Prayers started as an ‘academic’ piece, or at least a more objective one. The goal was to provide the background of yoga and then take readers through the eight limbs. I started writing it for my students at OU. But a writing course last fall, followed by the study of memoir, changed the angle to include my story. The trouble is, I’m not sure I fully understand that story yet.
The original outline mirrors the type of writing I’ve always — educational and to the point. It also bores me a bit these days.
I’m drawn to memoir, reading and writing it. We learn through personal stories and see ourselves in them. What’s the angle of mine though? I’m a yoga teacher who doesn’t want to teach in a regular setting anymore. I spent a decade of my life teaching what I needed to learn. Those are two of the themes but where do I go from here?
I sent what I had to my editor, Maren. She works for a local publishing company and we were introduced by a mutual friend. It feels scary to let another person read my work, especially when I know it’s not complete but that’s the only way I’ll know how to move forward. I’m super excited for the feedback. Bring it on, Maren. I truly want to improve.
Meanwhile, I announced on social media that my manuscript was complete. Uh, yeahhhh, I’m gonna need you to hold the presses. Hello mouth, insert foot. Why do I do that?
On a lighter note, tonight’s sunset was gorgeous.
H I ! I ‘ M H E A T H E R S A G E .
Life changes all the time. It’s the only constant. Beautiful, mundane, joyful, awful, insightful, random, the way things move through.
My practice here is of ‘recording life’ so I can watch it move.
The name of this blog, on the 19, is where most of life takes place, where I muse about being human.
EMBODIED MEMOIR WRITING PRACTICE