Saturday, September 19, 2015

Feeding the inner life through delaying tactics

"Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours." - Jane Kenyon in her piece entitled "Everything I Know About Writing Poetry"

The thing with working from home is you tend to work unconventional hours. Either you go overboard with overtime or you take frequent breaks, including midday snooze and snacks every two hours, which are nothing more than exercises in procrastination.

Not sold on a haircut. Photo by Kimi Fernandez

That was how I one day found myself accompanying the visiting grandchild to the mall for a haircut. Afraid to lose her natural curls that has earned her all sorts of endearing names from the family, she whined all throughout the haircut and was only appeased by a lollipop. When you're in a mall, you get caught up with other activities, not just duties like bringing a child with unruly hair to a tot salon. There's a devil of a phone bill to settle and unable to cough up enough cash, I buy a new SIM and transfer all contacts to a new number and get on a prepaid phone mode. Hay naku!

Next exercise in procrastination was rationalized this way--I need books for professional and personal growth. Besides, I'm not buying them (I don't even have enough to sustain a cell phone without "donations" from family members). The husband is treating me without saying so. One of the things I'm most grateful for is a husband who loves books with a passion and who doesn't mind crossing several provinces and cities for book buys. He's returning to Baguio several kilos heavier from the weight of his purchases.

I'm happy about my exercise in self-control. My tote bag carried only seven new books. I have a magic seven, all wisely selected, to go through. The seventh one is actually a repeat reading after I first read it back in high school (To Kill a Mockingbird before breaking open the pages of Harper Lee's now controversial, recently discovered and published novel Go Set a Watchman). Rolly did a very Camelot-ish thing: he took me to the (Manila International Book) Fair. Thank you.

And now for quiet time again while the grandchild is out enjoying a swim with her mother, grandaunts and cousins, and husband is en route to another city, choosing Fast Food Fiction Delivery (edited by Noelle Q. de Jesus and Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta) as his bus reading fare.

I am by myself, Ms. Kenyon, and will return to working on another person's manuscript in a bit. A just as blessed weekend to all!
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