Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Making Schedules

Spring has finally arrived here in our Pennsylvania valley. After a series of mild, rainy days the sun finally came out, and all nature sprang to life. The forsythia bushes are a blaze of sunny yellow, the daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, and onion grass is sprouting in the yard. I’ve been cleaning off flower beds to see what’s coming up—always fun!

Spring is time for mud sales, auctions, and yard sales here in rural Pennsylvania, along with chicken and waffle suppers at little country churches. Everyone has come out of hibernation, it seems. Our neighbor stopped by with a gift of blackberry bushes, so my husband is finding a place for them in the garden. Every year he says there’s no point in planting so much for the two of us, but when Spring comes, he can’t resist!

So how does this relate to writing? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing schedule lately, especially since I’ve been running on tight deadlines. I’m always saying things like, “Once Easter is past, I’ll find more time to write,” or, “After the grandkids come for a visit, then I’ll get back on my regular schedule,” or even, “I have to spring clean, but then I’ll find time.” I’m always looking forward to some interruption-free time when I’ll be able to write as much and as long as I want.

The truth is that we can never have time or find time, as if it were something we’d lost on the way home. All we can do is make time for the things that are important in our lives. And too often I find myself frittering away precious moments on things like a television show that I don’t really want to watch anyway!

I’m a writer, so writing is my job. It’s important to carve out the needed hours in my schedule to do what’s necessary to meet my deadlines. But Spring reminds me that other things are important, too. Like my grandkids, who won’t be willing to sit on my lap for too many more years. And my husband, who has been a pillar of strength throughout my writing career and deserves a bit of attention now and then. And my church, which enriches my spirit in so many ways.

I suppose I’m saying that, heretical as it would sound to anyone who knows me, the schedule isn’t everything! Sometimes I need to wander through the garden, see if the phlox and sedum I planted last fall is coming up, and appreciate God’s creation. When I do, I find my own creativity renewed, just as the earth is renewed at this time of the year.

Go find a flower to smell, won’t you?



Jphillips1107 said...

Beautiful post but what is a mud sale?

Marta Perry said...

A mud sale is like a big yard sale or auction, often held by fire companies to raise money. And because it's in the spring, when the field around the firehouse turns easily to mud, it's a mud sale!


Merrillee said...

I love your post, and I learned something new. I'd never heard of a mud sale. I know what you mean about schedules. They can be hard to keep, and if you tie yourself to one, I think you miss out on other opportunities.