Clearing My Mind, Filling My Page

Saturday, May 25, 2013
Have you ever said …?

• I haven’t done much with my novel

• It’s been hard to come up with blog topics

• There are deadlines approaching for writing projects and I have no ideas

• I feel like I have no time for writing

• Life has gotten so chaotic that my journal has even been neglected lately

• I need to come up with a solution so I have time to write

• My heart longs to write but my head is so full I can hardly concentrate on a grocery list or a short text message

I was saying all of these at the same time. Anne Shirley, one of my favorite characters from the 1908 bestselling novel Anne of Green Gables by Canadian author Lucy Maud said it best: “Can't you even imagine you're in the depths of despair?” After describing my frustrations to a few writer friends, I was quickly told how common this is. Talking it through helped me take a deep breath and focus on a solution.

I wish I could list all of the ideas and suggestion given to me, but as I tell my story you will get the gist of what might work for you. I purchased and download a new book to my Kindle (if you’re wondering, it was The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult) and then scheduled a pedicure. Before heading to my appointment, I printed out my project list and stuck it on the fridge. Then I did the unthinkable, I deleted the project list from my smart phone and turned off my phone. I ran a comb through my hair, put on flip-flops and the new lip gloss I had been saving for a special occasion, grabbed a classical CD, and ran for the door.

I left the house knowing my husband could handle anything with the children. I looked in the rearview mirror while backing from the garage. The girl staring back at me was up to no good; the sparkle in her eyes had been missing for a long time. Today she wasn’t looking haggard, exhausted, or on the brink of a meltdown. In fact, she looked pretty carefree with Bach streaming from the truck speakers.

I arrived a few minutes early for my pedicure to ensure a little extra foot- soak time. Lying back in the chair, I closed my eyes, and concentrated on the methodical massaging motions. I inhaled through my nose and exhaled through my mouth simply enjoying the moment. During the pedicure, I didn’t talk much and read my new book. In the end, my toes looked amazing and I left the salon feeling like that sassy, sexy woman who had looked at me in the rearview mirror an hour before. I didn’t only look different on the outside, but I felt renewed on the inside!

When I arrived home, the children were outside playing and I had the house to myself. I slipped off my flip flops, grabbed my favorite pen and notebook, curled up in the papazan chair that I’ve had since college and I wrote. I started with a journal entry and couldn’t stop. I wrote until my hand tingled and my wrist was sore and then I wrote some more! When I took a break, I looked at the flowers painted on my toes and smiled. The simple act of clearing my mind had allowed me to fill my pages. Something else happened beneath the service too. That time for myself reminded me I was important. I wasn’t just a person doing a job; I was a person who had reignited her own passion. Thank you to my amazing friends for the support, suggestions, and ideas … and for these adorable little piggy toes and full notebook pages!

Crystal J. Casavant-Otto is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, two young children (Carmen 6 and Andre 5), three dogs,two rabbits, and over 200 Holsteins. Crystal is expecting another child at the end of September.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--What a great post. Yes, as a writer, you are the keeper of your own passion.

I hope you get those pedicures on a regular basis...

Marcia Peterson said...

Love it! So glad you did this for yourself. (Cute pedi color too--wondering what polish that is).

And yes, I think most of us can relate to everything on your list of concerns. Thanks for an upbeat post to get us re-inspired!

Unknown said...

Ahhh inspiration to seek renewal and respite. Love it. Thanks for sharing (ooo and pretty toes!).

Margo Dill said...

I love that you turned off your phone and put trust in your husband. Need to do that more often. :)

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