Sunday, March 8, 2015

Writing sanctuary

Toward the light...

This was one of those weeks when I had something scheduled for every day of the week—Monday through Saturday, including some all-day classes—plus guests from out of town staying at our house.  This is one of those weeks when staying flexible and fluid is the only way to manage: shift one appointment to another time, skip one meeting, spend time with our friends, and just don’t sweat possible flub ups.

While staying flexible, I also kept to my 6 a.m. arise and write routine. This is one habit that never fails to make my day go so much better. It helps me focus, it lets me achieve at least one thing for the day, and it feels bad when I don’t do it. Even with company visiting and many things scheduled for the rest of the day, my morning writing time is an oasis that keeps me going.

I may not write anything worthwhile on a given day—I might even spend some time doing “research” or getting “inspiration” on some of my favorite minimalist blogs—but I try to write anyway. This single habit is helping me stay focused; it’s my #1 MIT (Most Important Task).

This particular MIT is relatively new for me. For the last nine years (from when I retired) I've been sleeping in later and later. Not having a job or early morning classes to attend, I didn't have a reason to rise and shine every day. Even though I had joined several fiber-related guilds, with meetings several times per week, I still didn't have to get up early: the meetings all started no earlier than 10 a.m., and most of them started after noon. This schedule seemed ideal, but I had really begun to feel slovenly and unproductive. I was getting up early enough to make it to meetings on time, but had no time to myself for introspection or creating anything. Besides, I really am a morning person at heart.

So now, no matter how busy I am, I've begun to honor myself again by carving out an early morning space for thinking and writing. This is my time; this is my Most Important Task; this is the one thing I do every day no matter what. This is home; this is sanctuary.  

“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ― Gautama Buddha


  1. I LOVE this quote of the Buddha. I do try to follow it -- but of course 'life' does tend to get in the way. While I try not to give myself deadlines, I do try to have goal/tasks that I want/need to complete and those go on my list of the night before. Many times I don't even follow the list - but having it focuses me somewhat. I'm so glad you're precious writing time is staying firm -- its a gift you're giving to yourself and so worthwhile.

    1. On some days "Life getting in the way" is what matters most. I think the quote is not just about defining "the most important thing" in some strict sense (as I have done), but in doing whatever you do in the most mindful way possible. I don't always follow that advice, though.