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My Cave is Lined with To-Do Lists

Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in various school journals and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review and before that a BA in English Literature from Washington State University (go Cougs!). She can often be found at her desk alternating between reading, writing, and mimicking the sounds of Facebook games. Of the things she does well, knowing the day of the week is not one of them, but she always finds time for family and friends. Heather is most interested in hybrid writing and works spotlighting social justice issues as she believes them to be important for current and future generations.
My Cave is Lined with To-Do Lists Posted on December 12, 2019Leave a comment
Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in various school journals and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review and before that a BA in English Literature from Washington State University (go Cougs!). She can often be found at her desk alternating between reading, writing, and mimicking the sounds of Facebook games. Of the things she does well, knowing the day of the week is not one of them, but she always finds time for family and friends. Heather is most interested in hybrid writing and works spotlighting social justice issues as she believes them to be important for current and future generations.

 

Oh, winter. Why do you hate me?

Well, this is how I feel sometimes, obviously during the winter when I feel like hibernating, but I think even more so during the holiday season. My grandma used to make magic happen this time of year but when it is left up to me (as it has been for well over a decade now) it seems like every task, every to-do list is a monumental hardship.

No really, there are days I feel SO accomplished if I can manage to get dressed, and that’s just into my sweats. If I put jeans on, oh my word, the sky is the limit!

Everything feels bigger, louder, heavier to me during this time of year. I think of it as a combination of low vitamin D, which I have been taking FOR-EVER and hardships during the holidays. When I feel distant from extended family or feel like I’m not quite providing in the way I want to for my family, I just feel … anchored. Like my body weighs more (I mean, I do reference my winter weight sometimes – ha!), or my feet are glued to the floor or gravity is just having a really good hair day and is working extra hard.

The Point

I want to be here for all of you. My kindreds. And if I don’t leave my house then I will continue binging Gilmore Girls rather than writing. So here I am! I managed to leave my house today and I even got dressed! No make-up but that’s kind of asking a lot right now so I’m satisfied that I have pants on and a ponytail.

But the point is, I made a date with myself on the calendar, I told everyone I was unavailable that day because at some point I was going to leave and go work somewhere for some unspecified amount of time. Previously I had tried to cut out specific times and write those down so I’d be more available but you know what? My family can manage without me for one day. They did it when I went to grad school for a low-residency program. They had to manage for 8 days without me and no one died from starvation and the house didn’t burn down so maybe, just maybe, it is me that is creating these roadblocks for myself (that’s sarcasm, I’ve known this for a while now).

Knowing that and being able to do something about that are very different creatures. But as I am always trying to work on me, I know it is time to do something about it. I found a place to work at a local community services office. They let me use their adorable lounge to work with the understanding that if they need the space for a meeting that I scoot elsewhere. What is great about this is that sometimes, as much as I love coffee, I just can’t bring myself to be at a coffee shop. During the summer it seems fine but I really struggle with social anxiety and just noise overload in the winter so this provides an option when my main workspace is not working.

I encourage you to do this is you have these kinds of struggles. Shake it up, change something, do something different to get refocused and back to where you want to be.

Have you been able to pull yourself out of the winter blues or some other rut? Share your story or your ideas below.

Heather Sargent is a freelance writer and mother who believes in the motivating power of coffee and deadlines. Her work has been published in various school journals and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College where she was an Associate Editor for The Pitkin Review and before that a BA in English Literature from Washington State University (go Cougs!). She can often be found at her desk alternating between reading, writing, and mimicking the sounds of Facebook games. Of the things she does well, knowing the day of the week is not one of them, but she always finds time for family and friends. Heather is most interested in hybrid writing and works spotlighting social justice issues as she believes them to be important for current and future generations.

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