That Simple

The last month and a half I wrote seven days a week. I finished one chapter and began another. That simple. The parts of me that were screaming for Haagen Dazs ice cream, for friends, for daydreaming, I did not listen to.
— Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Parts of me do not scream for Haagen Dazs, but for sunshine, quiet time, red grapes, and the chance to copy quotes. With an hour unhindered, I would sit in the sun and read or sit at my desk and write down lines from Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before.

I do not have the experience of being on a book deadline but from what I hear, it’s a daunting, relentless task. I am on hiatus from my primary daunting, relentless task, that of schooling my children at home half the time. When September arrives, we will be back at it, and hopefully better than before.

I want to be better by having a strategy for the inevitable moments of muddle that come when all three school-age children need my help at once, the toddler needs to be wiped, my stomach is growling because it’s lunchtime, dinner prep ought to be underway, and all I really want is to go plop down in a chair outside and enjoy peace and quiet and hot sunshine.  

Is the answer that simple? To just keep going, as Goldberg did when she was writing her book that last month and a half? Just do well at one task, and the next, and the next. Calmly, courteously, cheerfully, courageously carry on. Help one kid with fact cards, then check another’s copy work. Make us lunch. Read aloud for fifteen minutes. Shuck the corn for dinner. Listen to music if needed, but do not listen to the part of me that wants out of the hard work or that thinks the solution is elsewhere.

The solution is at hand, in the simple doing of the work, the purposeful proceeding which will be pitiful on some days and promising on others. Pray often, and just do it.