What I thought, what I learned

In February, I’ve gotten up, fairly reliably, at 6 a.m. every morning. Sometimes I’ve gotten up earlier, sometimes I’ve gone back to bed, but most days, I’m up at 6. Usually I start by writing my morning pages, a habit I picked up years ago from The Artist’s Way. I also usually exercise, either meeting a friend at the YMCA or going for a run. I exercise in the mornings because my evenings get away from me. I end up working late, coming home tired, frustrated, and in no mood to run in the dark.

I thought if I was getting up consistently in the morning, I’d have time to write (real writing, I tell myself, is not my morning pages, but my poetry or even imagine, something in prose) but that hasn’t happened. In retrospect, I don’t know why I thought I could squeeze hours of writing and an hour of exercise into one extra hour in the morning (sometimes a very tired hour at that); it defies the laws of physics.

I’m fighting the urge to be disappointed (in physics?). It feels as though I should be able to do more with less. I thought that careful scheduling would let me fit it all into a week, but I forgot to schedule time for rest, for brain-dead time. The thought has crossed my mind that maybe I need to do less with less: less work, less commitments, less expectations, less agreements, but so far, I’ve only thought about it fleetingly before turning back to whatever task is at hand.

February is almost over. I have some pretty good poems to show for it, though I’m not sure when I wrote them. I have some pretty sore muscles and some longer runs under my belt. I have money in the bank, more than in January, though I spent more too.

In March, my goal is to write an essay. That should be doable, since my nonfiction class starts at the end of the month. The trick will be finding time to write, time that is not in the morning, not squeezed in somewhere it doesn’t seem to want to fit. There must be other times, other places. It’s a matter of letting something go.

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