On Being a Writer

On Thanksgiving Day my new neighbor brought over a dish filled with their Thanksgiving feast to share. In the four years of living here, that has not happened, so I was touched by their thoughtfulness and generosity. They have surmised I live alone, but don’t know very much about me, so I typed them a letter.

The letter painted a picture of where my life has evolved to since they moved in. They’ve not met my daughter because she had already moved out, but told them if they noticed a black Jeep in the driveway, that would be her. This morning I took their dish back filled with home baked goodies. It’s proper to return the dish, but Mama always said, “Never return the dish empty.”

I rang the doorbell, dish in hand and the wife opened the door. She was surprised, but happy to see me standing there as I thanked her for sharing their meal and handed her the dish. We talked for a minute and then she exclaimed, “Are you a writer?!” I smiled and admitted, “Yes, I am, but have actual jobs for income.” She seemed disappointed, like her glamourous vision of me living here alone and writing all day long was crushed. Trying to understand, she asked, “So, writing is your side gig?”, and I replied, “Writing is simply my gig.”

You see, I’m always writing. Whether it a weekly newsletter for one of my jobs, leaving a comment on someone’s post in our Circle community, returning an email, or messaging with my Team, my fingers are constantly moving across the keys. There’s a whole realm of writing as a part of my work, but the magical part of writing occurs pen to paper. The most loved writer appears when writing the morning pages, or a note to mail to a friend, that’s my heart song and of course, pounding the keys of the typewriter is absolute heaven for any writer.

It’s difficult to explain ‘being a writer’, as I speculate it has different meaning for each of us, but I believe we all have a writer in us. My writer shows up in every aspect of my life and the writer brings an extra sparkle to my eyes, a spring in my step and a mischievous grin to my lips. You’ll know you’re standing in the company of a writer, because as you’re talking, they’re typing in their head.

Trust the Process

I purchased a vintage typewriter. I’ve longed for one all year, but this grew to be more in September. It was a process because I didn’t realize the multitudes of choices. After thorough research I surmised this criteria used to take the majority of them out of the running. They needed to be in working order and the ink cartridge’s/ribbon not by any means in dramatic decline.

I found one locally and it’s electric, which I’d been casting a keen eye over manual, but I genuinely favored the color of this one. The local woman was delightful to work with and purchase from. She was elated to sell it to someone who was going to use it and it’s used every day. The main reason for the purchase was to have a way to write that didn’t include a computer screen.

I wasn’t prepared for how loud it is between the humming of the motor and each key pounding the page, but with time it grew into a welcome sound that soothes my psyche. I’ve moved it at least 20 times to various locations in my home, trying to find the space that feels right. To my surprise it persists in finding the corner of my bedroom unparalleled. Reminiscent of Stephen King in On Writing, my corner for writing found me and that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

To sit down in front of this typewriter, insert a blank page, turn it on and type each day for 30 minutes. To have no foreknowledge of the outcome, but survey the stack of pages acquiring height. This is all I can gather as we simply trust the process.

A Life Worth Watching

This video was in my FB memories and I still love it! It exemplifies the relationship between parent and child, on into the child’s adulthood. I learned recently that even though our children may already be adults they are still watching how we live our life.

Over the weekend I rearranged the den furniture trying to make a space for the Christmas tree. I’ve been thinking about the Christmas tree since October! I have several options where the tree can stand, but I know better than to give myself too many options. Just because the kids are grown and have left the nest doesn’t mean our lives become any less beautiful. If anything it gives me free reign which is slightly terrifying! I can only imagine all the holiday glitter choices.

Live a life worth watching, not only for the people in your life, but live it for you.

The Wall of Kindness

Today’s reading is talking about Celestine Moments. “Carl Jung called it “Synchronicity”: two seemingly unrelated events that cannot be explained by cause and effect but are uniquely linked by personal meaning.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach-Simple Abundance

I walked into another Starbucks this week and this was maybe the second time I’ve stopped by this location. It’s at the end of a shopping center with no drive thru, so you have to walk in. It was quiet with one girl working behind the counter. I strolled around taking in my surroundings before placing an order and that’s when I saw it on display. The Wall of Kindness.

There’s a pad of sticky notes and ink pens provided to leave a note of encouragement. You can also take a note from the board if needed, but what really got me were the notes that said things like, “I come here everyday and this gets me through”, or “This makes my day!” Of course I left a note, but it’s been rolling around my mind ever since.

What if I created something similar in my community? There has to be a bulletin board somewhere not being utilized…maybe at the library, Community Center, Fire Department, or even outside the Police Station? The list of possibilities are endless, but I feel the need to put action behind the ideas. What if each of us did something like this in our own community?

If we’re going to a build wall…let it be a wall of kindness.

Follow the One Who Knows

I’ve been consistent with my daily walks and noticed the sky was cloudy, but stepped outside anyway. Once I rounded the corner from my street to the next, it began to rain. Normally, it doesn’t bother me to walk in the rain, but I’d already done that this week. I was caught in a downpour while out running errands and my t-shirt became soaked. I’m a little bit past the wet t-shirt contest era, so I turned around and came back home.

I felt a twinge of disappointment for not completing what I’d set out to do, but knew to try again later. Within seconds of being home, the sun came out and that irritated me even more, but I smiled and acknowledged that God can change any circumstance in an instant and that includes the weather. I’m wrestling with a feeling of discontentment today and told God as much. I’m truly blessed in so many ways, but there’s always been this little piece inside of me striving for better. Things don’t happen fast enough, or they happen all at once. While whining to God, I heard the words, “Have you done the last thing He told you to do?”

Nope, but I’m working on it and making progress in decluttering and downsizing my belongings, but there’s still a ways to go. It’s a process going through a 4 year collection of items, but there’s no doubt in my mind it’ll happen. I’ve given myself to the end of the year to see a difference and then the wintertime it’ll become more serious, so by next Spring I’ll receive some clarity of whether to stay put, or go. Yesterday, there were eight kids screaming in the yard next-door, so that tipped the scale toward go. Not that I have anything against children, but feel past that stage of life as well.

This surmises what’s past, but uncertainty of what’s ahead. There’s a feeling of togetherness here, but we can always return to what’s known. For me, it’s to stay steady along this path and to follow the one who knows.

To Be Used

I’ve been doing some cleaning and organizing of the home. Still looking at each item and asking if it supports the life I’m trying to create, mentioned in this post here.

Yesterday I tackled the top of the Armoire. There was a large tray sitting up there along with a few other things that needed to find their place, or go. I knew this tray would stay, but it hasn’t been used since my daughter moved out to be on her own. It was purchased decades ago to be used atop an ottoman which in translation means, it was just for looks. It’s handmade and I’m sure since it came from my previous married life, it cost a small fortune.

My daughter and I made a deal while packing up to leave my marriage. Every item we take is to be used. I recall taking that ottoman with us because it was also handmade and the top opened for the inside to be used for storage. The tray came along with the ottoman, but we didn’t use the tray very much until we moved here. We would watch a show, or movie sitting in the middle of my bed and the tray became a picnic platform for holding our meal.

We had many picnics from that tray and it adds value to our life, but it needed to be used.

I sat it in the middle of the massive wood table and added some of my favorite things. Things that are eye pleasing, but also used throughout my day. If this tray could talk it would tell you it was bought because it’s pretty. It’s been moved around a lot but it’s favorite part of life was picnics. Sitting here this morning it looks happy once again to be used.

Not Quite Ready Yet

I have a friend who keeps me stocked up in a certain coffee flavor. After meeting with her in October, she gave me the coffee for my birthday alongwith a sweet travel mug. I told her, “You’re my Texas Pecan bean dealer”, and she loved the title.

As mentioned in this post, I stopped by Starbucks on the way home and walked inside. I don’t use drive thru’s because parking gives me a chance to walk to the destination. This time of year Starbuck’s is so festive inside with Thanksgiving and Christmas adorning every shelf. Pretty soon it will become all Christmas, but I noticed they’re already using Christmas cups for their drinks. Looking up at the menu they were also offering Christmas flavors which arrived early this year. There’s one season of the year I’ll step into a Starbuck’s, and it’s the holiday season. They’ve nailed it.

I ordered my favorite holiday flavor, a white chocolate, peppermint mocha. Returning to my truck, I sent my daughter a photo of the cup revealing, “It’s Christmas!” The drink was as delectable as I remembered, but there was something not quite right. It was the first week of November and here I was drinking a Christmas flavor. I made a vow… the next time I step into a Starbucks to order a fall flavor instead. It would be a little weird drinking it out of a Christmas cup, but overall it would feel right.

In the meantime, I’m content sipping this coffee from my bean dealer. Peppermint Mocha will have to wait while I enjoy the season we’re in. From fall to winter goes quickly in Texas so I’m not willing to rush. After drinking the Christmas flavor in the holiday cup, there’s a peace in knowing… I’m not quite ready yet.

Like You Own It

I printed out and filled in the page needed to receive my birth certificate mentioned in the previous post. Afterwards, I ran a few errands and to congratulate myself for completing the paperwork and stopped to get a fall flavored coffee on the way back home.

Some of the most memorable conversations my daughter and I shared, occurred while we rode in the car together. Sometimes it was just miles of silence, while listening to her playlist, but that was special too. I’ve noticed, as we age things that used to come naturally take more of an effort. Being single, I have to devise a plan to move the heavy planter from one side of the yard to the other, or bringing it inside takes even more ingenuity if someone isn’t available to assist. At this stage of life, I’d rather ask for help than pull my back out.

My daughter rarely rides anywhere with me now, but before she left she had noticed I was having trouble parking in public parking spaces. I’d drive around and around the parking lot, looking for just the right space that would easily fit my truck. You know the drill…parking spaces aren’t very large anymore, so they can fit more spaces onto the lot. Some don’t care how they park and go over the line, making it impossible to park between two cars, while others really don’t bother and pull in sideways. Before my daughter moved out she gave me some solid gold advice on parking spaces and I used it every time I parked.

I practiced her advice so often, parking returned naturally to me now, but anytime I feel less than confident I recall her voice saying…”Mama. You have to pull into that parking space like you own it.”

Nailed it.

The Door of Possibilities

I slept in this morning and the large clock hanging on the bedroom wall said, 8:00, but daylight saving time kicked in and it was actually 7:00 am. That’s the only downside to having a real clock in every room. I’ll be turning them all back an hour.

Friends have been asking, “What are your plans now that you’re an empty nester?” In October I’d planned to get my passport, so if I decided to visit friends outside the US, I’d be free to do so. You are asked to turn in your birth certificate along with the passport application and I have no idea where that might be. Yesterday, a friend told me the easiest way to find it. He encountered the same obstacle while applying for his passport, so I was grateful to have seen him on my walk.

I came home and looked up the website he’d referred me to and it looked pretty straightforward. After filling in all the information, I had a choice to make. I could pay $49 plus another $10 fee to download the document and mail it in, or for those who don’t have a printer they charge $89 plus additional fees to mail me everything needed to be filled in and mail it back. From what I gather this company would be creating a birth certificate for me, but that’s not what I was looking for. I wanted the original.

Another online search took me to the Register of Deeds in the county where I was born. This website had a vintage search engine to look up vital records. Typing in my mother’s name and the date of my birth, nothing was found, so I replaced her name with my father’s and a record of my birth came up. It was funny that my father’s name was listed first, but back then it was the proper way. I printed out the document and will fill it in to mail to the Register of Deeds with a $10 check per copy wanted of the certificate.

I had laid the whole passport thing aside because of the hiccup with the birth certificate, but I believe in my heart God wants me to have one. Where He wants me to travel to, I don’t know yet, but a passport certainly does kick open the door of possibilities.

Feature Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash