Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Essence of Us

by Hannah Roveto

I didn't know it was Wednesday this morning. Between the holiday weekend and the trips to Staples and Target and signing my name to a thousand papers, between a store grand opening and some national media outreach for my client, and between the pages of the revisions I have been doing between it all, I lost track of the days, as we all do.

Funny, but the post forming in my mind even over the weekend was about rushing, about looking ahead so often that you forget to look around at where you are and what you are doing. Living the moment.

The reason for this kernel of an idea was an article written by the wonderful Kathleen McKenna in a local magazine on some writers' group that has been churning out pages of material for quite a long time, the result of which are books like Tethered, Life Without Summer, and... yes, more to come, we are sure!

To Amy's post last week, many people have approached me to comment on the story, offered their support and best wishes, which has been lovely. Over the weekend we were at the beach, kids swimming to and from the float, when a neighbor with whom I have one of those nice wave-in-passing relationships made it a point to come over specifically to say she'd seen the story. So used to looking ahead am I that I said yes, the group is wonderful, and in a rush of words, explained that I am finishing my revisions (last inning!) and expect to send agent queries this month. (Didn't I once swear I would never make excuses?)

A slow smile came across her face as she said, "You're doing something that is all yours, something just for you all the time. I think that's wonderful."

All my forward-motion, rush-to-what's-next line of thinking came to an abrupt halt. The bustle of the beach, the shouts of the divers off the raft sharpened. I thanked her, and inside thought, hey, it IS cool! The smile didn't come off my face for hours.

Whether or not it's writing, it is important to do something that speaks to your soul, to follow that desire to do... something... to be someone beyond how you are defined in relation to other people. Every stolen minute or every stolen hour (or couple of hours!) with a story is a bit of Being Hannah, and that makes it all the more pleasurable. When I returned to my revisions the next day, I enjoyed them more than I had for weeks. And today is Wednesday, and I am writing now, working some, and writing some more before the door bangs open this afternoon. In the moment. Doing what we love, all for ourselves. What is better than that?


Anonymous said...

Well said, Hannah, thank you. I believe this completely. We all need something to fill us up, something that is ours alone, something that keeps us in touch with our soul.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Even once we have something like writing wrapped into our daily lives, it sometimes gets taken for granted. Shifting the ebb and flow of life so I can find time to write makes no sense if I don't appreciate it while I'm doing it. Thank goodness for moments and people like these who remind us!


Joanne said...

Hannah, Just the other day I told my daughters one of the most important lessons in life is "Don't rush." Everything gets done in its due time. Now didn't my blog sunset help you slow down, just for a moment at least? I like your last paragraph. Doing what we love, speaking to the soul, also makes us better people to those around us.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

I want to make that sunset my screen saver, except that if I take the kitten off, my family will complain. Not that she isn't darned cute, but still... slowing it down and enjoying, doing what we are meant to do makes all the other stuff more doable.


Shauna Roberts said...

Thought-provoking post. Making one's life meaningful is so important and yet it's so easy to put oneself last and the humdrum tasks of making a living and keeping up with ordinary life first.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. My husband often comes home from a day at the golf course threatening to put his clubs away forever. On days like these I have to sit him down with a cold beer and remind him that our relationship would never work without him also having a passion..."something that speaks to your soul". Before we had kids I used to do a lot of my writing practice at the golf range. We were so in synch back then it was amazing. I can't imagine how other writers have non-golf obsessed spouses, though I'm sure there are other great partnerships that work as long as that "something" that Hannah speaks of is there!

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

A childhood friend who is a mom and published author told me years ago the best thing Anyone can do is learn to say no, thank you and to downsize others' requests. Quit a subcommittee for a year or two and sign up with a smile as Sprinkle Mom at the Sundae Night Fundraiser. Pick and choose, but feel comfortable saying no to schools, neighbors, friends, town, spouse, parents, offspring. "Here is your time, here is my time." Little by little, you do find time for your soul.


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