Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Why I've Made No Plans for the Winter

I've had to cover up the finally fruiting green beans up two nights in a row. Last night it dipped down to 22 degrees and steam rises off the lake each morning. But despite the chilly temps, I've spent very little time thinking about the winter months to come.
It's a summer Emily over at the Happy Home and her fiance have labeled "bummer summer." Here at Of Woods and Words? Maybe not a bummer summer, but certainly a static one.

Projects that sat unfinished at the start of the summer remain half done. Gigs I enjoy doing have fallen by the wayside until I finish with the 40 hour work weeks in a month's time. It feels like in this push to make ends meet, by balancing writing and a full-time, seasonal job, everything suffers. My performance at work would be much improved if it was my sole focus. My freelance writing career might not feel so prone to fits and starts if I contributed a consistent amount of attention to it year-round.

The truth is, I've been distracted. By pumpkins, among other things.
To really make summer work and to make the extra money and procure the work necessary to get me through the lean winter months, I really should put in a 10-20 hour work week from my home office each week on top of my 40 hours outside the house. You can probably guess by the dwindling blog posts this summer that that's not be how things are going. Instead, I've spent the summer berrypicking, having cookouts, paddling, hiking, gardening. When given the choice to write some query letters or bake up some pumpkins to mash and freeze, I've inevitably chosen pumpkins.

The other week, my brother asked me what my short-term goals were; where I wanted to be in three years or so. I wasn't really sure how to answer. Lately, I've spent very little time thinking about goals, although I know goals are the stepping stones to get where you want to go. I have a general idea of what I want: more financial security, more independent work, more travel opportunities, maybe some chickens.

And in a slow shuffling way, I feel like I am moving in that direction and I don't want to have a life so career focused that I don't get moments to watch Netflix with Andy, or knit up a pair of socks or can some applesauce. If these sound like excuses, they're really not meant to be. Really, they're realizations; that there are more important things to me than putting my foot on the gas of my career and going full steam ahead. There's a certain level of contentedness I'm not willing to forgo, even if making myself a little more uncomfortable would mean more money and opportunity.

Of course they say, it's about the little things. It's the big picture that's evading me, and maybe that's okay. So no, I haven't made much in the way of winter plans. Instead, I guess I'll "open my heart and come what may."

14 comments:

  1. Very beautifully written. It's nice to see someone choose the little things over the rush to find career success. Such a rare attitude. I love it.

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  2. static. that's the word alright for my corner of the world... summer, goals, life... often seems quite static. time to change things up. I know my fall is slam-packed and I can't decide if I am happy about this or not. Perhaps that is why we have our slow moments? to help us gain momentum for the busier times?

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  3. An important career has never been my goal...I want time to enjoy things too. Now it's time with my boys and my gardens. And chickens someday too...just gotta do my research and approach our city council. Hopefully chickens, that would be a fun experience for the boys. (and me)

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  4. Sounds like you had a perfectly wonderful summer this year. Sometimes taking things slow is the best option. Like they say, you need to stop and smell the roses along the way! That's hard to do if you are always running!

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  5. I like your appreciation for the details! And the chickens...you simply must do :)

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  6. I don't know what it is exactly about your blog, but I always feel so calm here. Like the minute I click and see your photos and read your words, I start to relax and feel more peaceful. You seem to have a sense of balance, which is exactly what you are talking about here. Knowing your priorities. I wish you the best!

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  7. What a fantastically written poem, I had much identification.:)

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  8. Hi again Ada. I wanted to let you know that I like your blog so much, I have given you an award! Come visit me to get the details :-)
    Michael Ann
    http://thinkinginmyheadma.blogspot.com

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  9. I'm intrigued by what the winter might bring for you. and for me!

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  10. So nicely written. Ada, isnt it great to choose life over hectic? Cant believe that by now we are in contact for a year. More happening for me tough!

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  11. hope you're doing ok with the blazes-- so worried for you! are the cooler temps helping at all?

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  12. Ahhh Goals, sometimes I feel like I do better when I don't have a set goal in mind and just let things happen as they may. I'm excited to see what Winter brings you...hopefully some chickens :)

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  13. I would say you definitely, currently, have the right attitude. Too many folks are overly career-oriented at the expense of missing out on the simple joys of life.

    I agree with Michael Ann that your writing exudes a certain sense of calm.

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  14. You should go for the chickens. I would recommend arucanas. Very sociable and pretty plus they wear green eggs!

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