May 31st marks one year.
Twelve months since I posted my last Quickbooks transaction. Gave my last employee review. Attended my last board meeting. Worried about fitting sick kid-patients onto the overbooked schedule and calming stressed out moms and overworked dads and how to get services for children with special health care needs and the exam room provider shuffle and the insurer denial appeals and who is happy and who is mad. And, how, in god’s name, I was ever ever going to leave, my resignation tendered.
More than a quarter of a century, nearly half my life. Every morning I woke with a list too long, running running running. Heart racing to the beat. My day shaped by the unrealistic expectation that items would be checked in two’s and three’s and be cleared by five pm. Or maybe 8 or 9. Even allowing for one fire.
But there was never just one fire. Of course. You know that.
365 days. Day by day, my very cellular structure shifts, adjusting to life without the adrenaline drive of the Office list. The perogative to be all, do all, fix all. Care for all. Answer the calling.
The thing is, it was my list, my drive, my agenda all along. The goals weren’t mine, of course, they belonged to the practice David and I founded, slowly succumbing to the direction of each new person we hired, until it became theirs, too. But I ran my day, I thought.
Today, the goals are entirely mine. I wake up flat out amazed. The day stretches out before me, ripe to bursting with possibility. On a good day (you know that’s not every one, right?) I could revise the novel for a few hours, take a break to marvel at that frigging-awesome view, maybe make some California-healthy-organic mid-day meal, read a writing-about-writing blog post whilst on the elliptical, research more literary agents, write some more on the new novel, take a walk to watch the seals. And all by mid-afternoon! (Just kidding.)
But those cloudy days, the ones where I get lost in the click throughs, the links starting on Writer’s Digest or Publisher’s Marketplace that end up, somehow, man oh man, at 11:30 already, three hours past the goal of butt-in-the-chair writing time. Or when the writing is hard, uninspired, stupidly awful, trite and bores even me. Or when life mechanics intrude: food shopping and laundry, doctor appointments and house renovation stuff.
Then, the day half gone (wasted), afternoon upon me, day winding down, nothing accomplished. The old perogatives flog me. The cellular structure rears up, unchanged. Am I such a creature of my perfectionist drive that I can’t just accept an unproductive moment? Or fifty? For crying out loud!
Day by day. Relearning. Soaring off the cliff in amazement.