Whatever It Takes

As I mentioned in the last post we are in the dog days of winter. It's not March yet, but it's sure not January either. Thank goodness for that. Maybe it's just me, but these long winter nights are causing me to shift things around a bit. I'm a man of routine, but sometimes I get sick of the sameness and shake things up with some change. I think I got all of the winter hate out of me last post, so here are a few things I've found that have helped me through this winter season.

  • I've gone back to writing in longhand and it's bringing forth good things. Thinking back to many of my first days of writing Dirty Shirt, I wrote most of my stories in a notebook and then transcribed them to the computer later. That fell away to where I was doing it all on my laptop. Well, in a fit of staring at a blank screen with nary a thought in my head for too long one night, I thought I needed a change. I picked up my pen and started scrawling words and before I knew it the inspiration had come back with full force. Sometimes all it takes is a change of place, medium, or way of thinking. 
  • My Sundays are more and more frequently treated as down time for me. Instead of being days where I finished what I didn't get to on Saturday, they are now almost exclusively rest. After church, I engage in things that recharge, relax and restore me. If at 4:30 I choose to take a 20 minute nap with a cat on my lap, that's okay. If I feel like writing, that's okay. Reading, fine. And believe it or not, I really enjoy that there's no football games that I feel obligated to watch. I enjoy them when I do, but enough is enough. 
  • Along those same Sunday lines, one of the things I've really come to look forward to is Church. We are currently part of Collective MKE, which is a church launch that is built around the idea of "house churches." Anywhere from 15 to 30 adults and kids gather every Sunday at a person's
    Collective MKE: Not your daddy's church.
    house and we do church. We follow a liturgy, have communion and always finish with a potluck brunch. It is not as weird as it sounds, believe me I was skeptical myself when I'd first heard of it. I've grown to appreciate all of the folks who come every week and the hope is to grow to several houses over time. Organic, fun and yes, you can wear jeans.
  • I confess, I'm a recovering Facebook junkie. One of the things I'm coming to terms with this winter is that I need to back off. I've learned that it's the same old slew stream day in and day out. So, I'm trying to take it for what it is and most importantly not contribute to the slew. It's really okay if I don't need to check into every place I visit. I have a feeling that the final plug puller for me will be the upcoming election. Seriously. Evidently we have Antichrists running on both sides of the political spectrum. Well, I knew that already and I'm going to vote for the lesser Antichrist and pray for our country whoever wins. Furthermore, Facebook will not change my decision, so why must people spew their rhetoric there?
  • Saturday Words. I've managed to carve out two hours every Saturday afternoon for writing at the library. It is what I call my "anchor time." Time when I can get out of the house and devote myself strictly to uninterrupted writing. It is invigorating and restorative to me. I treasure it.

  • Coffee with my best friend. Nearly every Saturday morning I have coffee with Donna at the Steaming Cup downtown. Coffee, a cinnamon roll and quiet conversation with the woman I love. It grounds me for the upcoming week and is my one really good chance to talk with her about our kids, friendships, work, goals and failures. It is precious to me and I miss it when we can't do it. People have said we're lucky to have this between us, but my point is, why would you not want something this nice? It is part of that routine I talked about earlier, but one that I wouldn't trade for anything. I'm a sap that way.

These are just some of the things that have helped me keep positive and productive this winter. Between these things and the fact that all of the snow is almost gone, I realize that I just might make it through.

Blogging off...


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