Monday, August 28, 2006

Normal Feels Blissful

It's the first day of school at the school where I taught last year. I hope my replacement is having a good day. I've met with her several times, and I think she's going to do a great job. I'm glad I'm not there, though. It's not where I need to be anymore.

My life has been pretty blissful lately, to tell the truth. It's taken all summer, but sleep and medication (and running) have transformed me into ... I don't know. A normal person? But in a good way.

For example, I have for years been working on personal writing projects but have never been able to finish any of them, so publication has never even been a consideration. I never worried about agents or query letters because I somehow knew I'd never get to the point of having anything ready to submit anyway. Now that I'm "normal," I've submitted two personal essays (one of which was accepted, so far!) and have finally been able to refine another personal essay that I started a couple of years ago. I've signed up for a novel-writing workshop. I've started making bigger strides on my piano pieces. I ran fifteen miles last week and am planning for twenty this week.

Other weird things have happened, too. I've become less self-centered and more thoughtful. Last week, for instance, I made quick breads for several people and have bought and shipped several baby gifts. And sent most of August's birthday cards on time (usually, if I send a birthday card at all, it's three to six months late).

Also, I no longer freak out when I have to go to social events. I actually look forward to some of them. I actually suggested to Hubster that we have people over one Saturday to watch football and started thinking (rather excitedly) about what food I was going to make. This is really weird behavior for me. I hate football. And I'm a friendly enough person, but at heart I'm very anti-social. I don't go to parties; on the rare occasions that I do go to parties, I spend them feeling very uncomfortable and run the risk of drinking too much to relieve the inner tension. And I certainly don't invite people over for parties.

That's changing. I don't know if this is a good thing (I'm becoming more functional) or a bad thing (am I turning into a Stepford Wife?). I think it's mostly good. The social stuff is a little weird, but I'm thrilled that I've actually written and sent off two personal essays and have a third one almost ready to go.

Today's tasks? Collect some writing samples and work on a list of ideas to pitch to a local outdoor magazine that's requested them. Edit Chapters 21 and 22 of the book I'm editing. Finish refining "Surface Tension" (the two-year-old essay) and prepare it for submission to literary magazines. Run. Practice Bach and Liszt. Pet the cats.

See, I told you. Life is pretty blissful these days.

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