Why do I seem to go through periods of my life that are incredibly busy, only to come out the other side to an almost complete stillness? Why am I okay with having the answer to the "how have you been?" question be "BUSY!"? What makes me enjoy this intense process of having no free time, and then suddenly being met with an abundance of it?
I know the answer to all of these, but sometimes I will ask myself these questions anyway. I'll start to feel my sanity slowly slip away as my busy-ness consumes my life and reduces it to a schedule of "go to work, do the thing, sleep, repeat". Why do I love to torture myself?
It's actually a pretty simple response. Those intense, busy periods make for better writing. And when they're finally over, there's nothing like the week after, when free time exists again. The first day off is absolute bliss. The next thing I know, I'm out for hours-long walks and contemplating what project I'm going to work on next.
Sometimes I think I'd like to live a life that's wholly quiet, but I'd probably get bored. Instead, I'd rather enjoy the quiet moments that come while being otherwise occupied, and the ebb and flow of 3 months busy, 1 month not busy. Maybe I'll, eventually, get to take and appreciate more quiet time, but it certainly won't be anytime soon. Having a number of interests, hobbies and extracurricular activities makes for a hectic life, but it's a fulfilling one, at least.
Things are calming down a bit for me right now. I've been taking courses all through the past year and I have a full month away from them until I go back in September. Since May, I've been working on the annual Shakespeare in the Park with a group of wonderful people. We put on our final performance of the tragedy of Julius Caesar on Saturday night. That's now over, too, and while I feel satisfied, I'm also sad to be parting with these people. Every summer there seems to be this sense of camaraderie--we all become friends and go on outings together while the play is going. Then, at the end of the play, there's a dissolution. It's always bittersweet, because we rarely see each other all at once after closing night. But then, in plays to come, we'll have the inside jokes and the other little reminders. It's a brief flame, but it burns brightly.
My first day of vacation from work is today, too, and I've been spending it by finishing my final project for my class and getting ready for a small trip. What this means is that the three things really eating my time are, temporarily, done, and while they have all been utterly worth my while, I'll get to enjoy the fleeting quiet that comes from having no urgent projects or deadlines. Two of my best friends are getting married this weekend, and while I'll be busy--being in the wedding party--I plan on enjoying every minute of it, and finding any available quiet within. I've never been to Bathurst before, and my husband Brad and I plan on enjoying the trip over.
My life is about to get more hectic-- in a few ways, too, even though I'm entering a brief period of quiet. Brad and I found out back in May that we're expecting our first child, to arrive in January. I have a bit of a looming deadline: finish my degree before the baby comes. That means I'm hitting the books as hard as ever once again in September, but I'll only have two courses to complete because I worked so hard during the spring and summer. Between classes and work, I'll still be plenty busy, but there should be enough downtime in there to keep me happy. Though, auditions for the Mousetrap are in September...
What's keeping me calm lately? A few small, specific things. Slow, quiet mornings, car rides, sitting in the grass, this song, Mountain, and... cleaning. A messy house stresses me out, but when my life is filled with so many things, cleaning gets put on the backburner. There's nothing like taking the extra time to tidy and get rid of clutter. Though I'll only really be working in the next month, I have a lot planned for my free time. Writing is definitely one of those many things...