Winning Battles So I Can Write

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

 Writing. Sometimes it has to take a backseat to life.

Sometimes the things that are competing with our writing are what I call everyday pulls: children (two-legged as well as four-legged ones), spouses, and daytime jobs (if we do something other than writing full-time).

Usually we can find ways to carve out pieces of our day, surrounded by spousing and housekeeping and cooking and child-raising and dog walking. It makes us occasionally frantic and often exhausted, but it can be done and is done all the time.

Other times, what throws writing into the backseat (or the trunk) is more serious.

Most of the time Sometimes Occasionally I battle with depression. It's genetic. My birth mother killed herself when I was nine. Fortunately, I was adopted as a newborn, and had an idyllic childhood and the best parents in the world. Unfortunately, I not only got a healthy dose of "nurture," I also got a generous dollop of "nature" and since both my birth mother and my birth maternal grandmother suffered from serious depression, that means debilitating sadness runs in my veins.

For those who are lucky enough to not ever have been depressed, imagine you are surrounded by a thick cocoon. What is wrapped around you, layers and layers, muffles the joy. The possibilities. The life around you. You know there are things you should do to engage more with friends, with your passions, but it's as if you're wrapped up in a bunch of thick quilts... and you can't escape.

                                                                     image by Pixabay

Currently I'm also battling mice. In the thirty-five years we've lived here, this is our first infestation. I've learned some things:

  • They're incredibly fast and when they fly across the floor, they're completely silent.
  • They can fit into amazingly tiny openings. I knew that, but seeing it in real-life was something altogether different.
  • I love animals, but right now, I love killing animals.

Oh, I've tried these plug-in things that supposedly put out some sound that only mice can hear, and the sound repels them. Apparently our mice love the beat, they adore the monotone melody, because I see them disco-dancing as they move around our house. They spin, they dip, they bump and grind and twerk. John Travolta has nothing on these rodents. I've also tried live traps, but I guess I have kamikaze mice. They're rather die trying to get to the cheese pack in our boxes of mac and cheese, rather than end up in a live trap so they can be released in a field (far, far away). I know some of the aggressive things I need to do to get rid of the mice... and yet I'm paralyzed.

To get back to real writing, I have to get my inner life back on track. Easier said than done, I know. To finish my screenplay, to use my vision board to work some magic, to make serious progress on my new writing project, I have to tear out of this cotton batting cocoon and battle my demons.

And mice. Don't forget the mice... 

Sioux Roslawski is a middle school teacher, an author (her book, the historical novel Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story can be ordered through Barnes and Noble or Amazon), and a dog-rescuer. You can read more of her musings by checking out her blog.


Marcia Peterson said...

Ah, mental health challenges. We know about it here too. I hope you get some relief soon.

The projects that you mention at the end all sound great, and I wish you luck on those. Keep writing as you can!

Joanne said...

Oh, Sue...yes. we have that in my family, too. I get it. I wish you ease and a gentle unwrapping of that cocoon so you can get back to writing.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I am so sorry to hear about the depression. Could it be seasonal? Have you tried one of the lights?

Also sorry to hear about the mice. We tend to get them when it turns cold but not this year. Sadly, they seem to be at your house.

Hopefully both will soon be under control so that you can write.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Our house in the mountains has heating ducts in the floor, and when we moved here, I kept hearing mice scurrying around and even cleaned mouse droppings out of the floor vents. Then we adopted two kittens! Since we got these beautiful babies, the mice disappeared, even during snow. So if you're looking for a quick and easy non-kill solution, get a cat or two. :)

I hear you about the depression, and it also runs in the family. You know about my mom as well. Big hugs and wishing you lots of self-care this month. One thing I'm trying to do more is schedule an artistic date with myself, whether it's going to a craft fair or nature hike and sketching or anything that will jumpstart my writing. You wrote this beautiful blog post, so that's writing and it counts! :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Marcia--Thanks. Yes, I think most families are familiar with mental health issues... at least the ones who are honest.

Joanne--To go back to that song from the 70s (or 60s), "It's a family affair, it's a family affair."

Sue--Unfortunately, it's not. And you gave me a wonderful idea. I'm going to live-trap all the mice and drop them off at your house. I think I heard them chattering about how they missed their former home. ;)

Angela--We used to have cats--and dogs that lived peacefully with the cats--but our current dog is king of the castle. He would not be tolerant of a cat. Cats, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons are NOT his friends. Apparently mice are.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

We may get mice, but we aren't revisited by the same ones. Ahem. Still, we non-mice inhabitants would love to see you.

Cathy C. Hall said...

And still you write, Sioux. AND you made me laugh out loud at those dancing mice.

But seriously, you cannot give an inch to a mouse in the house or they'll set up a high rise. It's war, friend, and sadly, there will be casualties. Though to the victor go the spoils (in this case, your mac 'n cheese).

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--You are sooo right. I'm thrilled every time I can mark another notch on my belt... another kill.

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