May 24, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Click on the arrow above and listen to the words of the immortal Gene Autry (or perhaps the words of his slightly less immortal songwriting partner, Ray Whitely). I can relate to this song because "I'm back in the saddle again", too. Or at least I've got one foot in the stirrup. Haven't written a word in more than a month. Not one little word. I've been in a writing funk, a work funk, perhaps a bit of a life funk. But I'm climbing out of the funk, saddling up, and moving on.

The work funk has been resolved with a resignation. I stuck with it for a year but the new job simply wasn't a good fit for me. I will miss being at Brandon, but I recognize that it's time to move on. My first job there was in 2001 as the Library Lady. Two years later I left the library for the computer lab, and after four years in the lab I decided to become the School Office Manager. This was a real job, with real benefits, long days and a whole lot of stress. Within minutes of making my decision to leave I could feel a few of the knots that had been living in my shoulders for the past year start to ease. This was the right choice.

The negative side of leaving is that the people I know best in Santa Barbara are all somehow connected to the school. Lynette, the prinicpal, is certainly the best person I have ever worked for and I feel fortunate to count many of the staff and families at Brandon as friends. I will miss them all very much, but I'm making a vow right now to work hard at keeping in touch. I certainly hope my walking buddies will allow me rejoin our Friday outings once my knee gets back to normal. I promise I'll still wear the regulation Brandon Islander sweatshirt.

The writing funk is another matter. Don't want to resign from writing, but I need to figure out how to make it an easy habit and not view it as an overwhelming challenge. I've committed to a writing conference in July and I'm hoping that the prospect of having to produce material for that will be provide the impetus I need. During my writing "hiatus" I didn't totally avoid the written word. I just focused on reading them as opposed to writing them. In the past five weeks I have done lots and lots of reading. I treated myself to numerous books during my convalescence--once ordering what I call my box-o-books from Amazon. I had to wait for a few of the books to be published so the delivery was delayed and I had plenty of time to build up my anticipation. They were worth the wait. What a delight to know that when I finished one book I only had to walk into another room and select another from the small tower sitting on my desk. Books are definitely an addiction, but certainly not the worse one I could have.

Well, I did it. My first entry in weeks. I guess it's appropriate to conclude with a quote from Mr. Autry, too. It feels good to be "riding the range once more!"


Patty P said...

Oh, Margaret! Welcome back! I've missed you. It's sounds as though the stress you have carried for so long is slowly being release. I'm sure writing will work its way back into your routine. Once you get started, there will be no end!
Congratulations on the reading. Anything outstanding to report?

Maggie said...

Patty--Thanks for the encouragement. I liked Sarah Dessen's new book, Lock and Key, but Peeled, by Joan Bauer, wasn't as good as I had hoped. I even wonder if it would have been published if that was her first book?
I loved the original Penderwicks but the second in the series was a bit of a disappointment. In my opinion, itt lacks the energy of charm of the first one.

Well, enough book reviewing! See you soon. Maggie

Anonymous said...

GLAD you're back in the saddle amiga!! I've missed you:) Hope the knee is as good as new very soon. Congrats on your courageous decision to leave your Office Manager job and open up to new opportunities in your life. Sometimes letting go of something that has been holding you back makes room for all kinds of new and wonderful things to take its place. So happy you had some time to read. And what conference in July??? I'm interested to know:) Good luck with your writing. I heard someone at a conference say [I can't remember who right now] but she told herself that if she didn't feel like writing on a particular day she told herself all she needed to do was to write 10 words. Just 10 words. And, that usually lead to more writing. But 10 words wasn't difficult and made the whole thing a lot less stressful. THANKS for posting!!