This is the first time in my life that I’m focussed on doing what I love. Being my healthiest self, and focussed on focus.
I’ve never been a believer in having it all, at least not at the same time. Now more than ever I’m sure of that.
Life has stabilized after a handful of years getting settled as a nearly-empty nester, a coupled up singleton, and one of the more experienced of a great group of colleagues. Life has finally opened up into a chapter of more breathing room to focus on what brings me joy.
I’m not talking about my child or my lovely partner, or the beautiful friendships that I’ve nurtured throughout the years. I’m talking about what brings ME joy; nurturing a healthier, more active body, and carving out time and space (have you seen my awesome little writing space?!), to focus on writing.
I’m SO focussed. I spent an entire afternoon plotting 12 months of writing submissions. I dug out all of my old writing and put it in one of the drawers in the two desks I need to keep all of my scribbling organized. I consulted with a life coach. I became accountable to myself. I took a project on my winter beach vacation. I give a shit about letting my precious, wild, creative ideas get away from me without nurturing them.
“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
It’s spring, so I had to take a break away to plan and plant my garden, welcome my baby boy home from uni, and spend more time at the yoga studio. All this joyful living has made me jolly. Trying to focus on family, health and the garden has made my writing suffer. So frustrating!
How fortunate am I to be frustrated that I don’t have enough time between my good job, spoiling my adult son, being a loving partner, and keeping up with the people who have buoyed me up all of those tough years, to write all day, every day? Very. I’m very fortunate.
Focus is wonderful, but so is a blessed life. And I don’t want to forget that as I scroll through my insta-feed of minimalist works spaces and uber-achievers. My big, messy, patchwork life of love and vitality is more than a lot of people ever dream of having. And I intend to go with it. To flow. To savour every second. Nothing lasts forever.
Focus is something I can come back to again and again. So here I am, in a window seat at the coffee shop, keyboard and second draft of my novel ready for a serious workout.
If you haven’t quite made it to this place in life where you can see your blessing manifest and you feel like a suffocated artist, buy yourself Big Magic . It saved my creative spirit, and kept me plodding away when I had too many bills and not enough time or space to feel justified in spending the extra time to create. Just keep going. Just keep telling the universe what you need, and somehow you will pass from survival to thriving. I promise.