About My Zone: “A Conversation” and Doing the Laundry

“I’m really enjoying this writing class. Even though it’s totally stressing me out…”

My husband looked at me sideways, half watching the TV, half listening. “Well, that’s good.”

“And I’d really like to keep writing on my own. The assignments made me write every week–I need that,” I said. “But, how the hell am I supposed to write every day? Get up at 4 AM? And where would I do it?”

My husband laughed. “Yeah, you need a little gazebo in the yard out back, a typewriter, and maybe a fifth of something to sip on.”

“Exactly! Like, ‘a room of one’s own,’ you know?” I said.

I waited for a reaction.

“Is that something you made up?” His lips curled up a little in a smile. “Would the garage work? I mean, it’s not exacly one zone, since we do other stuff there, but at least you’re out of the house away from the kids…”

He sipped his beer seriously.

“What?” I stared at him. “Ohhhh. Not ONE ZONE, a room of ONE’S OWN! You know, Virginia Woolf….,” I trailed off.

“Is that a book? Haven’t heard of that one. But, whatever, you still need a place to write, right?”

So this is my place. I’m not a published author*, just a wannabe. But I’m a wannabe from way back. I’m deathly afraid of rejection and not being good enough. I figure this should qualify me to become a writer… That other thing–writing–is something I’m working on. I’m a mother, a home economist, and a wife. Somewhere in there I’m also someone with something to say. Just gotta figure out how to carve out that “one zone.”

*PS – Well, I’m a published author now and have a few bylines to prove it. But like Jack Kornfield says (in his popular book about the challenges of following a spiritual path), “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.” I did what I set out to do, then found that without outside approval, encouragement and pay, my motivation has waned. So I’m starting over and dealing with the day-to-day. The laundry. And in my case, that laundry is multiple loads several times a week, generated by one 5 year old, a semi-potty trained 2 year old, and a husband who is deathly afraid of the fumes from working with pressure treated wood. Don’t ask.

*PSS – Oh yeah, and then there is the OTHER laundry I have. You know, the mental Jedi-mind trick shit we all carry around. I use various methods, depending on the situation, to address these nefarious no-gooders — yoga, meditation, cooking, addictively reading food magazines, writing, walking outside, running, and/or sipping a really nice wine or Guinness on draught.

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