22 January 2010

Accountability

Before he left for work today, Dave told me he's going to drop in at his besties' place for drinks tonight. His plan was to grab dinner near work, and if I know Dave and his besties, they'll probably imbibe and revel until quite late in the evening.

Since I didn't make plans for tonight, I am left unaccountable to anyone for my time.

Woo. And hoo!

I have back-to-back classes to teach on Friday afternoons. Once they were done today, and I was home, the evening opened up to me like a gorgeous vista. The first order of business was to do a little checking of various email accounts to make sure I have no brush fires that need extinguishing before the weekend. Then it was off to the woods with the dog for a little treacherous trail walking. The sunset was incredibly gorgeous tonight - I was grateful to be outside and looking at it, despite the ice that is all over the trails right now.

Now I'm sitting at the computer facing the rest of my evening. I'm nursing a small glass of Chianti and a small bowl of nibbles. I've got a roasted garlic pizza in the oven. Once I've had some awesome, effort-free dinner, I plan to down a dose of caffeine - probably some coffee with a lot of warm milk in it. And then I will spend a few hours getting some raw word count down.

It's been a busy week. I've been doing a lot of editing and too much rush work for other people. More than anything right now, an evening to myself, and time to commune with the page, sounds just about right. Time to create. Time when no one will be looking for me, no one expects me to be anywhere, and no one is waiting on me.

When I think back to my time in D.C., I think that the low expectations I had of my social life there was among the best things about it. I was in a city where I knew almost no one, and I let myself off the hook for feeling bad about not having something to do on a Friday or Saturday evening. Time did amazing things in those two winters away: it stretched like a lazy cat, and I could finally see that it was my choice to do whatever I wanted with it.

Not that you shouldn't have a social life: don't get me wrong. Just that occasionally, it's good to hide out. Good to be alone with your thoughts and plots. Good to set aside a vast expanse of time - however you define that - for playing with your muse.

If you're going to get your oar in the water, you've got to have a lake.

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