Friday, December 2, 2011

Update on the Writing Life

This week, other than Tuesday, has not been a writing week. It has not been a revising week or a blog reading week. It has been a very full work week. I love my work. I love the rhythm of seeing a full complement of clients and how my mind works when I'm doing that. How I come home tired as if I were a labourer and want nothing more than to watch West Wing reruns with my sweet patootie and wait for the step-dot to come home from Rent rehearsal and tell us how she's doing.
And I love making hay while the sun shines. I know that come January I'm going to have a lot of writing time. That is normal for most of us therapists. People tighten their belt in January - oh sure some make resolutions that may involve going to see a therapist - but most join gyms with their extra money and wait a few months before heading back my way. I understand.
So...my writing life has to take a back burner. It hasn't gone away since I was about 14 so I don't imagine it will now. It has waited patiently while I had kids, and full-time exhausting jobs, and family crises and moving homes, heartbreaks and reversals of fortunes. It doesn't leave me and I trust that.
Most importantly I LOVE MY WORK. I get to talk in a most intimate way with the most wonderful people. When I'm doing that - I don't want to do anything else. I think I'm pretty helpful as a therapist - I'm told I am by those who see me and I believe them. It isn't as if I'm not writing because I'm killing trees (done that) or doing time-management research in a bank (yep - check that off) or organizing mega-conferences (yep). I've done other meaningful work - run a daycare, taught therapy at university, worked with deeply disenfranchised youth - but this practice - that I've had for nearly twenty-five years is the bed-rock of my life.  Like my writing self it has seen me through a lot and been fairly patient with it all.
I had someone mention to me lately that perhaps I wasn't giving my therapy practice my all since I was so engaged in other things. I've thought about that and although I won't have an opportunity to suggest to this person that they are wrong - I've at least had the opportunity to explore it for myself. They're wrong. My engagement with life is all about the same thing. I have one purpose and it is served by everything I do. My purpose is to wake up myself and others to the current reality of this moment. This glorious wondrous now. I do it in my therapy practice, when I'm teaching, when I'm blogging and when I'm writing. I do it when I'm clowning, playing the accordion and knitting a hat. I do it when I'm studying the dharma and sitting on my meditation cushion, when I'm walking the dog and attending my step-dot's wonderful performance in a musical. And I bring that all to my clients unabashedly. If they want to find therapists who do nothing but therapy, well, there are plenty of those.
As to my current writing project. I finished all the fiddly bits and a great many of the bigger bits. It will be ready to go out in the new year. huzzah!

7 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Like most of us who have "day jobs" besides writing, I have to do the same balancing act that you do. There are rhythms, I think, to our writing, our work lives and our home lives and we have to go with them.
Oh, and well-done on getting your project done!!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Loving what you do is the most important thing - how lucky you are!

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats on completing your project :)

I think it's wise to be involved in all of life, not one aspect, no matter what you do. It makes you a more well-rounded person.

Happy Weekend!

Liza said...

I love how you describe your ability to celebrate each moment. It's a practice I'm still working on.

RosieC said...

Yes, we all have the day job. I think that you have a great understanding of what's going on in your life, and can see the balancing act that needs to happen. You're ever mindful, and as such, I can't imagine one aspect of your life detracting from any other. And people who think that each of us only have one side (the therapist side, the writer side, the family side, the dog-walking side, etc.) either isn't looking hard enough, or needs to call you for an appt to reevaluate some things. :)

Talli Roland said...

Would you be a better therapist BECAUSE you're so engaged in other things? That would be my thought. Bah to negative people!

sue said...

Huzzah indeed!
I think for me it's kind of like an intricate dance - the blending of various parts of me that need attention. Each enhances and nurtures the other aspects - counselling, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, writing ... being. Each is less without the other, and I believe my clients benefit as they see that we are all complex beings and that diverse facets of our selves can find harmony and balance. Sue