Sydney AveyDynamic Women — Changing Times
Making changes requires adjustments. Ten years ago, I radically altered my life to write a novel. By abandoning the domestic arts (gardening, cooking, sewing), curtailing volunteer activities, and reducing social life, I was able to create space in my head and time in my day for this demanding work. After publishing three novels, it’s time to prune activities that have grown like tree suckers to encourage growth in other areas.
Battling social media
It’s a constant battle to keep social media from invading more territory than I wish to cede. These days, Facebook appears to be suffering an identity crisis. I don’t want to spend time helping them figure out who they are. It seems the Trojans would have us segment ourselves into multiple interest groups to exchange information. For myself, long strings of dialogue sap my energy. I learn more and feel better when I show up at choir practice or engage with other writers face-to-face in my weekly critique group. On Facebook, I mostly want to keep track of what my family and friends are up to and follow the life adventures of people I’ve met in my travels.
So, less time on Facebook, more time with people.
I’ve taken a breather from blogging. When I started my blog, it was writing practice, first an online journal, then a way to share more intimately with readers. Looking back, the posts with the most readership were about life events that hit people hard–putting my mother-in-law in assisted living, surviving my daughter-in-law’s suicide, and a year-long chronicle of my downsizing efforts.
Update: Now 96, mom is well cared for in a nursing home but in danger of running out of funds. Joyfully, son remarried after three years of hard grieving. Along with the challenges of balancing education careers and parenting responsibilities, he and his new wife and stepdaughter are enjoying a state of domestic bliss. And, while the downsizing prepared us to put our California house on the market, we weren’t prepared for changes in the market that have stalled the sale of our beautiful mountain home. For the time being, we’ll continue to juggle our California and Arizona lives.
So, less blogging, more breathing.
Our Jubilee Year
Joel and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on a Viking River Cruise in Europe. We delighted in re-experiencing the adventure that characterized the first years of our marriage when we lived in Germany. Son’s wedding week followed, then a trip to Bainbridge Island to see our granddaughter play Elle in Legally Blonde.
Now we’re in Arizona. We’re in a new season. Joel is recovering from rotator cuff surgery we put off until after all the festivities.I’m in creative mode, working on my fourth novel, writing hymn lyrics that some very talented people are setting to original music, and feeling the call to engage more deeply with my community.
In my morning meditative reading, I sometimes switch to The Message–the Bible written in everyday language. The contemporary idiom helps me place the gospel in the context of today’s culture. In this translation, Paul refers to Jesus’ message: “I didn’t want to just talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” (1 Cor. 9:23) That’s how I feel! I don’t want to lament change; I want to help make life better. And because I believe that there’s a spiritual component to the world’s suffering, I want to be in on helping our churches be healthier and stronger.
So, less lamenting, more positive action.
What makes you smile? In a world with too many tales of woe, do you see some good you’d like to be in on?
© Sydney Avey