My mannequin, Jane, wearing a Billy Travilla gown designed for Marylin Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Sold to a collector in Hong Kong, 2004.
TOUGH CHOICES, OR IT'S NOT THE TIME WE'RE LACKING
For several years I wrote stories, worked full time, worked on my house and garden, and ran a business online buying and selling vintage designer wear. My business, Studio 85, was quite successful, and I made lots of money and lots of friends while scouring for finds, researching obscure designers and matching up some rather fabulous items with the right owners.
I managed to do this evenings and weekends, while writing in the early mornings. I still did lots of other normal things: cooking, taking care of my pets, reading, watching TV and movies, going out to all kinds of gardens, events, parties, lunches and shopping – you name it.
But now I find a full time job and a bit of writing are about all I can manage these days.
What happened? When it came time to make the hard choices, I let the business go dormant. I chose a regular job with benefits over the excitement of my own business. I chose writing over gardening and have watched my garden become someone else's passion. I made these choices without giving them a lot of thought. I just cut back on things, thinking I had less time to pursue them.
But here's the really weird part: I have just as much time now as I always had.
It's not the time that has slipped away – it's the energy, the inclination, and to a certain sad degree, the physical ability.
So maybe it's time to think about how these kinds of choices can be thoughtless excursions or thoughtfully made decisions.
Don't let your writing become a casualty of your energy or a casualty of your interest. Make your writing choices with your eyes open and a deep breath. Take care of yourself. There's more to this trip than just today, and what you do today can be reflected by what you become tomorrow. Be a writer. Write.
THREE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
My desk at work after a 2-week absence. With all the familiarity of home, it sat there as I left it last year, the chair waiting for me, the email full and the message light on the phone blinking like crazy.
The strawberry fields on the way to work this morning, little plants already set out, anticipating the warm February and ripe berries by March.
That last package of my favorite instant soup in the cupboard – I can't wait to have it!