Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Filling the Pages, Part 1

When I was working, I loved seeing blank pages on the calendar. They symbolized relaxation (though what actually filled those blank spaces often ended up being quite the opposite) and infinite possibility. Wide open spaces of time made it seem as though I could tackle any project on my to-do list and have sufficient time to finish it.
Now that many of my days begin as blank pages, I'm finding myself anxious to fill them. Not anxious in a nervous way, but more in the sense that I want to impose order and some sort of routine so that all of that time doesn't simply trickle away. After spending so much time seeking a break from routine, I find this turn of events amusing.
Thanks to the storm known as Sandy, today was the first routine day in this week. Not surprisingly, I got a lot accomplished after spending the last two days feeling as though I was spinning my wheels. I loved having my family home, but I couldn't seem to get anything accomplished. It wasn't their fault - I simply couldn't focus. I flitted from one thing to another, finishing small things here and there, but leaving larger things not only unfinished, but absolutely untouched.
Part of that was the storm - the underlying concern preceding it, during it and in its aftermath. We fared well, but still a black cloud hovered as others' sufferings were unveiled.

Part of it, though, is just what happens when my routine is altered. Apparently, I have a love-hate relationship with routines. I dread them, but I need them in order to get things done and though it seems that what I want is less routine, what I need is more. Huh.

So, while I still love those blank pages on the calendar, now I seek to fill them with useful things. I am most organized during weekdays when my house is empty. It's as though I know the world is working, and so I feel that I should be, too. Even time spent reading for pleasure feels a little decadent, especially when I know I have writing, revising and class planning to do....along with learning songs for the upcoming Christmas show....

How do you balance routine with blank space?

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