So. 2017, eh? That shouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp. Coming year, fresh start, New Year’s resolutions, long-term plans. But for those of us who are having a hard enough time wrapping our minds around something more immediate…like…oh, I don’t know…tomorrow, maybe, or even a couple of hours from now…”next year” and its goals can be a big scary monster we’d prefer to pretend isn’t lurking in the bedroom closet. Long-term plans? I cannot even.
That state of mind is weird for me, because usually I can (even). However, every once in a while we all get into one of those strange life phases where either we’re spinning out of control, or we seem to be standing still and everything else is going haywire. Kind of like what it must look like if you stood on the central contraption of a Tilt-o-Whirl and watched the cars go by as tipping and spinning red and blue blurs. Betcha it’d make you kind of “pukey,” as my son would say.
I’m feeling a little “pukey” lately. (No, not for that reason. I’m so far out of that range it’d be laughable…or a literal miracle. Unless I’m Janet Jackson—really, woman? a baby at 50? by choice? bless…and better you than me. Spoiler: I’m not Janet Jackson.)
Even without the soap-opera-level plot, though, my life has turned into a top-speed Tilt-o-Whirl, and it doesn’t leave me any time for writing or, often, even thinking about writing. My current “wut r werds?” phase has been influenced by changing living situations (house hunting is nowhere near as fun as HGTV would lead you to believe), taking care of my 91-year-old mom with squiffy health, and keeping my son calm while he gets acclimated to a new school. That includes helping him tie a tie every day (o the horror!), making an hour-long round-trip to said new school twice a day (my poor little car!), and helping him out with hours’ worth of homework because this school actually (gasp!) makes him work for his grades.
With all of that going on, I could watch the Tilt-o-Whirl spin until I barfed. Instead, I repeat a sort of mantra to myself: One thing at a time. Don’t stress about hypotheticals. Stay organized—make lists and cross things off those lists—but stay loose enough to prepare for the unexpected. Just hold it together.
That’s my goal: Just hold it together. And…writing? Wazzat? Oh, but I miss it. Everyone has that one thing they like to do to keep themselves from flipping out, right? It could be stilt-walking, binge-watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, underwater basket weaving, parkour, painting landscapes, or doing calculus proofs for fun and profit. Writing happens to be mine. (And binge-watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Really, if you don’t watch that show, you should! It’s brilliant!)
Will writing be back on the agenda in 2017? It had better be. I’m tired of being pukey. In the meantime, I’ll take good life advice wherever I can get it—in this case, from a fish: I’ll just keep swimming.