Two statements of fact:
- The earth does not, as much as it seems, stay still in one spot. It rotates on its axis, and it orbits the sun.
- I wrote a scene this morning.
There is, actually, a connection between those two facts. And that connection is in the post title: Changes.
July seems an odd time for me to be thinking about changes. The New Year? Sure. My birthday? Okay. The start of a new school year? Yeah. But July? I’m guessing it has something to do with the heat the last few days, and family visits, all of which added up to slow me down and give me time to muse on life. Which, as usual, is changing.
I think, when I was older, I knew about change. I saw it all laid out before me, in a pattern-school, work, marriage, children. And, of course, mixed in with it all: writing. I think I saw it as nice, neat chunks–I’d do one thing for a while, then there’d be a change, and I’d be doing something else. I’d do that for another while–in a nice, calm, settled manner, and then,yeah, another change would come along. And I’d always have time for consideration, preparation, and development.
What was I thinking?
That kind of change would imply that the world was, in fact, standing still, letting us control our movements, letting us be in charge of where our feet landed in space and time. That the spinning of the planet had no agenda or impetus of its own, that external events had no impact on us, personally. Or, to use Terry Pratchett’s imagery, that the disc is not resting on the back of four elephants riding on the shell of Great A’tuin, the Giant Star Turtle, all of whom are traveling along with no help from us.
Change happens. As I get older, it seems to happen faster–perhaps because I’m watching my son grow up, perhaps because I’m more deeply invested in friendships with people who’s lives also have their own ebbs and flows, perhaps because the increasing numbers of my age really do mean something. Overall, I try to look at change as a good thing, as an opportunity. I listen for the chafing in my psyche that says it’s time to do something different, to add another element to my day. When the irritation gets to great, I start to look around for that something–other people may be able to let it come happily and comfortably to them; I seem to need to chase it down.
All this is the long way of saying I have added something new to my life. It’s the first small step on returning to paying employment when my son moves out for college. It’s volunteer, so no money yet, but it feels like a good door into a dimension I need to be heading toward. At the first meeting, I felt my brain waking up to that attraction something new can bring, especially something that takes you a little further away from excess navel-gazing. Of course it’s hours out of my days and weeks. It’s hours that I could be writing. Which is a little bit scary.
But which also brings us to the second fact above. The scene I wrote this morning.
Change doesn’t just disturb a pattern, it can actually pull us out of a rut. I woke up today with the knowledge that I would have less time for writing. Guess what that knowledge did. It made me write. It got me to open the laptop, start Scrivener, turn off social networking, and write. It put me back into the awareness that, if I don’t get my writing done first, it isn’t going to happen. It reminded me how much I want to be able to work for income and work at my writing: If I can’t do both, I am not going to be happy.
So here’s to change–to watching out for when we need it, grabbing the good stuff as it comes along, and welcoming the sharpened focus it often brings.