I may work from home, set my own schedule, and do I what I love, but Mondays are still Mondays. Especially after a fun weekend that included seeing a play (“The Underpants,” adapted by Steve Martin), dining at two excellent restaurants (Kobe beef: yum! Lobster risotto: yum! Girly drinks: giddy!), celebrating a good friend’s birthday, shopping, art-walking through the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, and hanging out at a friend’s house with hot-buttered rums.
In fact, last night I told R- of the hot-buttered rums — and later a brandy Alexander — that I needed to get home at a decent hour because Sundays are school nights. (Didn’t happen.) It’s not effortless, this writing gig. I don’t get up every day panting like a puppy dog to get to the computer. I’m just like anyone else at the start of a work week: a bit grumpy and longing for one more day of weekend. But, I know that once I get started, I’m content (most of the time; I have my moments; this is one of them). It’s the getting started that’s tough.
Or, like now, at 2:00 p.m., it’s the stick-to-it-iveness that’s tough. Sometimes the work goes so slowly, and I get antsy. Last week, I didn’t finish my regrouping work (Idea Basket post) so I feel like I’m behind. Behind what though?
It’s at times like these that I remember an essay that novelist Elizabeth George wrote called “The Halcyon Days” in which she described the pleasures of writing without publishing deadlines, scheduled appearances, and all the other time-consuming obligations that working novelists face. Right now, I can write as slowly and luxuriously as I want. I have to remind myself that this is a good thing. To quote Ms. George:
…I find myself frequently looking at my students and wanting to tell them to enjoy the halcyon days while they have them. Like everything else, they’ll come to an end.
I try to remember to enjoy where I’m at; sometimes it’s hard, especially on a crabby Monday.
Right now, it’s raining so hard the roof gutter is overflowing. There’s a waterfall outside my window. The quaking aspen are extra wispy and droopy. Last week a wind storm defrocked them of their leaves. One gust blew dozens of leaves into my living room when I opened the sliding glass door. The leaves are still there, sad to say.
I suppose I should vacuum them. Right now might be perfect. And then maybe the rest of my apartment while I’m at it. Then a shower, then populate the fridge with groceries, then write a couple of condolence cards, then hunt down that recipe I’ll need for Thanksgiving…