Just Thinkin’ About It

My stress comes not from the work that I’ve already done, nor from the work I’m doing now. It comes from the work not yet done. More specifically, my greatest stress is not the work at all, but the anticipation of it.

In other words, THINKING ABOUT what I have to do freaks me out!

I want to write. I try to protect my writing time–the early mornings when my mind is clear and creative. I don’t like anything or anybody horning in on it. But over the past year, the busy-ness of writing has horned in. Meetings, activities, workshops, and events piled up and threatened to stamp my writing time out altogether. These things were all lined up one after the other, linked together, like railroad boxcars steaming full speed ahead on a downhill track, and I was hanging on for dear life.

It’s inevitable that something or someone will horn in. This week it has been the installation of a new garbage disposal. Who would’ve thought it was a three-day job…and counting? I was hoping to have it over and done with before Thanksgiving and a house full of company.

Speaking of horning in, the mere mention of Thanksgiving sends me into a spin. How dare 10 people in search of a little family togetherness and fun and good food interfere with my writing time! Oh. I forgot. I did invite them. I do want them to come. It is longstanding tradition for me to bake the Butterball.

It’s just that I’m thinking about dust speckled on dark wood, black moldy rings around toilet bowls, and cobwebs hanging from ceiling corners like strings of cotton candy. And every morning I think I must soon remove that tiny dead spider on top of the picture frame in the upstairs bathroom–the watercolor of a pastoral scene, an old idyllic country home surrounded by hollyhocks, a little girl with a bonnet standing on a fence looking at sheep peacefully grazing. How in the world am I going to get it all done…and still have time to write! I’m beginning to figure out that if I just sit around dwelling on all the work ahead, my stress is going to mount. I’ll be a volcano waiting to happen.

I need to pile all my jobs in a little red wagon and pull it along, rather than hanging on to that runaway train. If I do a task each day, rather than think about doing it, I’ll be okay.


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