In the garden this past weekend. The last tulips were fading fast in the heat, but the poppies and spirea are coming on strong behind them and will be in bloom soon.
Every year it's the same dilemma. Spring arrives and all the gardening is waiting to happen. Plants need to be transplanted. Weeds need to be pulled. Wildflowers and woodlands beckon. House repairs need to be done. We decide what animals to raise this year and start that project. Inside the house, the need to clean is obvious.
Storytelling calls come in. I want to write and write and write, inspired by the beauty of the season. Family visits. We visit family. Workshops are offered. Festivals begin.
At the same time, work--my way-from-home job--takes more and more time. Last fall, some of you might remember, I quit. But I was persuaded to stay and then the economy sank into the toilet. So maybe it was a good thing to stay. Money for storytellers and the arts in general is drying up, as usual the first cost-cutting in a tight-money time.
Early morning in downtown Charleston, WV. So pretty before the morning traffic! I was in at 6:30am on this day for a special project.
Now it's Spring and going to work is more difficult than ever. I need to stay late every evening and I feel guilty when I take time off (although that doesn't stop me!). Weekends for the next month are booked solid; since I thought I was going to be free, I didn't mind booking weekends because I thought I was going to have weekdays off anyway. Now I'm facing May and not a single clear weekend ahead.
Having Larry at home full-time is great, and probably the only way I'm going to maintain my sanity. He takes care of gardens, cleans, takes care of animals, watches after my greenhouse. He makes my breakfast, packs my lunch, brews my coffee for the road and makes my morning tea. I try not to look around too much as I head out the door so that I don't see all the things I'd rather be doing.
For the next several years I will be going through this same Spring ritual, I suppose. Last year my problems with my knee gave me the unexpected luxury of a month off--a month! I. Loved. It. Even with a painful knee I got a lot done, and I also did a lot of just sitting and looking as anyone who read my blog last year can tell. It was bliss, punctuated with pain, but worth it.
I've contemplated "twisting" my knee again. Think anyone would notice the coincidence? But I know I could not do it--I'm just not that good a liar except when I'm telling stories. I'd feel guilty, knowing that back at work someone was carrying a lot of my load while I played hooky. So it's not an option.
Instead, I'll be juggling what I love to do with what I must do each day. I will continue to be thankful that so far we can still afford for Larry to stay home (even if he does occasionally weedwhack something he shouldn't!). And I will try to remember to be grateful that I have a good job with good people to work with. Complaining about a job these days is heresy, isn't it?
Now, if there were just some way to be in two places at once...surely with all the technological advances someone could manage to invent that.
Meantime, while I wait for that invention, I'll keep reminding myself that I am indeed a lucky woman. I have a healthy family, lots of love, laughter and friends in my life, can pay my bills and I live in the place I love. I should be satisfied with that. And I am. But I am counting down the days to when my time is my own to spend as I wish. What riches that would be!