raising 3I’m getting ready to do several blog tours over the next few months, hoping to gain readers for my two most recent books z2 and c3. Part of the process is a series of interview questions, and part of answering those questions is having to reflect on personal choices like “why do you spend so much of your free time writing?” Good question.

I think often about the power and joy of realizing that writing is what I am meant to do. This is usually followed by a litany of complaints. I don’t have enough time to write. I can’t possibly concentrate with that damn leaf blower going next door. Why is my shoulder so sore. You get the idea.

Today, I’ve decided to focus on the things that make it easier for me to write.
1. I’m grateful I have a job that pays the bills well, and even more grateful that these people let me work just four days a week.
2. I’m thankful that my husband thinks it is incredibly cool that I write, as opposed to tolerating or even resenting it.
3. I’m grateful I’ve got the reasonable good health that I need to do this, and I appreciate the things in my life that keep me healthy. (a shout out here to qigong and my husband’s relentless efforts to feed me a healthy low carb diet)
4. I appreciate that all three of my children, my only sibling, and a fine smattering of other friends and relatives, have encouraged my writing, proofread for me, offered ideas and provided whatever publicity they could for my efforts.

Whew. That is a lot to be thankful for. Time to stop complaining and get back to writing. It is amazing what gratitude can do.

(speaking of gratitude, please drop by the Facebook page Raising Ecstasy and drop off a like for the cool image shown above.)

Holding on to the joy

The first step is feeling joy … a smile, a laugh, a sense of exuberance that that life itself can feel so very good. It is easier to experience this kind of delight, of course, when one is somewhere beautiful, or surrounded by caring people, or doing things one likes. All of the above is really good. …… and highly recommended.

food3I was lucky enough to have a vacation last week during which incredibly nice people set plates in front of me  that looked like this. It was delicious food that was healthy, and it was always followed by desserts that were the same. In fact, I got served five meals a day — so it was sort of like a cruise ship but without all the rocking motion and annoying announcements over the PA system.

Better yet, I got to eat the food while visiting with two old friends whom I seldom see, while looking at a gorgeous view of the mountains. Yeah, it was pretty hard to beat.

The best part of the food was that everything was fresh and locally grown. Maybe you don’t think that tastes all that different or matters that much, but trust me that after a week of it your palate gets pretty critical of the stuff you have setting around in your freezer.

So, I’m home now by myself, with all my family temporarily scattered. I headed off to the grocery store today to get something more in synch with the feeling of bliss that I brought home with me.

And faced this. food

Sigh …………. The second step is holding on to the joy. Clearly I’m not going to be able to do it easily with food, or for that matter with a mountain view or even cool crisp air. My front porch is too sweltering hot for even a seasoned Texan like me to enjoy.

But fortunately there are other options.  The two old friends who were with me were also on Facebook tonight, posting their photos and happy to chat about the good times that we had. We even exchanged recipes for some of the great food that we shared, and after about 20 messages back and forth I was feeling better.

food4Let’s face it.  You’re lucky if every once in awhile you get to do something that is very joyful.  You’re even luckier if you can find way to hang onto that feeling for a while longer.

For more thoughts about coming back to reality, check out my x0 blog here and my z2 blog here.