Monday, November 10, 2008

Midlife



Grey grifty November. The clouds push closer and closer--determined to crush our minds and spirits, determined to garner our souls. The house is dark, lights off for energy savings and to slow financial hemorrhage. The sink is full of dishes. Powdered sugar covers the counter like a winter snow, melted, then refrozen with litter from the streets. The cupcakes have disappeared. All that remains is the mess. It feels hopeless, desolate. I stand at the kitchen window and watch a single leaf dangling from a skeletal branch, holding, holding then snap--with a gust of wind it’s gone. I too am ready to snap, to disappear in a tempest as if I’d never been. There’s nothing left to do but clean.

The kitchen lights sputter, shocked at being called into action, then spark to life. I push up my sleeves and turn on the sink. Bright pink gloves protect my eczematous hands. The warmth creeps in; it ignores the latex barrier and begins to thaw my marrow. I smell last night’s dinner--grilled onions glazed in a balsamic reduction--love burnt into the pan. One by one the dishes disappear. The counter shimmers. The kitchen is transformed.

It’s the cycle of seasons, the cycle of housecleaning, the cycle of life. And I realize it’s time for my life to cycle. I ache for the upswing. Gloves off I stand ready.

+++++++++++

This weekend I had a epiphany. I was kneeling in the living room picking up toys and thinking about how I had to work over Thanksgiving. Thinking about how I had to work Tuesday night (and Wednesday night and Saturday day and Sunday day). And I realized that I really really don't want to do it anymore. I need to make a change before I end up in the loony bin.

At the same time I wrote the above post for a writing prompt. That solidified it. I'm now taking baby steps to change my life by the time I turn forty (this gives me 2 1/2 years to formulate and execute my plan). I don't yet have a solid plan but this weekend I started poking around the freelance writing market - we'll see what pans out.

My current fantasy--to find enough freelance writing and veterinary relief work to pay the bills. I'm not looking for fame or fortune. I'm looking for a reasonable income with reasonable flexible working hours.

Truth-be-told I'm scared, scared even to write this. It seems silly. A pipe dream. I may be an abysmal failure. And these are baby baby steps. I'm not quitting my job--yet. I'm simply wondering if I could quit my day (well actually night) job sooner than later. But I'm putting these thoughts out there for you to read, to know, so I don't chicken out.

And today a friend sent this quote from The Artist's Way ..."leap and the net will appear." I hope hope hope it's true. I'm not quite there yet. I'm on the precipice, peering over the edge into the canyon below, contemplating the consequences. I could fly. I could fall. I could hit the bottom and bounce; find myself bruised but in the air. I'll keep you posted.

9 comments:

Tammie said...

you can so do this!
im anxious to watch your plan unfold.

:)

Heather said...

Thanks for stopping by living-senses today. It was really fun to have a new visitor...and thank you for the name and table love. That is my newest scary adventure.

Oh boy. I am so with you on this. I quite my teaching job at the end of last year to stay home and craft....ehem...I mean take care of my family without the stress and pressure of many other spirits to tend. It's been a difficult adjustment, but I haven't regretted it for even one single second. You'll find your way. Enjoy the journey!

Bridge said...

We have now, right now! be kind to yourself and know that if you listen to your heart, your path will take you to good places.

Liss said...

Sometimes, just sometimes I give up on house work as I know it is a never ending circle I can not beat. It’s always there waiting for me tomorrow.

Good luck with your writing. It is nerve racking putting yourself out there and wondering if people will like your work. I think you make a good writer. It doesn’t matter how big or small your dreams are follow them and be happy.

Karen Maezen Miller said...

You write beautifully; you clean beautifully too. How you do anything is how you do everything. I have that quote on a tile above, get this, my oven. I'm not sure there is a net, truth be told. We certainly don't leap because there is a net, and I haven't found it yet. We just leap and leap and leap and in that way we fly.

Donna said...

I have to tell you I found it nervewracking to let go of my main stream job and make my way on my own.
Putting yourself out there can be daunting and intimidating but then you realize that is what most people feel when they take that leap of faith.
My life now is so much richer and more fulfilling for having thrown caution to the wind and taken a new direction. And an interesting side effect is that my kids have picked up on it...and I see them challenging themselves more and thinking outside of the box.
Go for it...you can do it

The WoodLand School said...

You *can* do it!
I believe, with every ounce of my being, that once someone decides what they want it *will* work out ... even when it feels absolutely terrifying to actually make the leap that turns a dream into reality.
With positive thoughts coming your way ...
: )

becky said...

I jumped. It was a small net that appeared. I still struggle with confidence and fear both, after leaving a full-time job. But my little boy is worth it.

Jumping into the unknown is scary. I only wish I hadn't waited so long, even as I worry about paying bills. (which is typical me - i'm a worry-wart)

Amy said...

Oh sister, by virtue of our spookily similar hours and jobs, allow me to say, you have declared a spookily similar desire. So you are not alone, not one iota.
Watching you. Rooting for you.