Visitors use towels, dirty dishes, take up space, have the nerve to claim the TV clicker . . .basically wreak havoc on routine. And more...
. . . If were lucky that is!
After having a home in New York for more than 3 years, I could name the sights on my way to and from the grocery, post office, hardware store & the airport exits. . . I was especially familiar with the view from my desk chair. And since we're being truthful, with the view from the fridge to the TV. . . I had a drawer full of New York/Long Island "Sights to See" Guides but had never cracked the spines.
Then the visitor came!
The visitor was framly (friend-so-long-they're-family) John from Tulsa. John and I, almost 30 years ago, worked together. We were both restaurant cooks. Our working relationship spread from kitchen work, to raising kids, gardening, decorating, painting, unpacking, packing. We work well together and have fun while we work. Our motto is:
Crank up the music and get er done!
Without apologizing, I'll admit how, in anticipation of John's visit, I looked around at my house, at the columns of boxes needed to be unpacked, at the stacks of pictures waiting to be hung, and the cupboards waiting to be organized, at the wallpaper waiting to be hung, and practically salivating. Imagine what John and I could accomplish this week!
And even though John was using one of his two-only weeks of vacation to come and visit, he wouldn't have minded one bit. In fact, I know he would have loved it! (He's that kind . . . )
Still. . . as enticing as the thought of all we could accomplish was, instead we:
Before I knew it, I notices my mind drifting back to my stories. The "What ifs" and "I could trys" were popping, snapping, pinging and zinging in my noggin. At a level I hadn't experienced since first beginning on this writing journey, I found myself wanting to get to work. I even pulled out my cell phone to jot some story notes.
Julia Cameron, discusses the importance of taking ones' self on "artist dates" in her 12 Step Guide to Creative Recovery, The Artist's Way. She believes these dates to be so restorative, she prescribes them weekly as a vital component of the recovery process.
As prescribed, I've taken myself on Artist Dates. However, as with gym time, spa time, dentist visits, and other "good for you" scheduled events, regardless how enjoyable, I tend to rush through Artist Dates to art stores, playgrounds, museums and the like. After, I tick them off like just another chore on the list and more on.
At the same time I was bubbly, energized and excited to get back to writing. Why?
When we were kids and acting fussy. Not naughty, but that sort of irritating, pestery, whiney baby-ish, my folks would send us outside. "Let them play it out," they'd say. As though, by playing hard, we could use up, expel our peevishness.
Artist Dates can be inspirational, informative, restorative even. But let's face it, they aren't necessarily fun. On the otherhand, Play Dates are fun. What the heck? We are writing for children + We are trying to tap into our inner children + Play Dates are fun = Maybe you do need to stay focused, keep your butt in the chair, approach writing as seriously as every other career. But, but, every now and again, especially when we're feeling peevish, we need to get out there and play!
The truth about visitors is: Visitors visit to have fun. They want to play. And, unless they visit when we're away, they come looking for a playmate. Sure, we can do our best to stick to "business as usual" when we have visitors. But why?
Playmate! Come out and play with me/And bring your dollies, three/climb up my apple tree . . .
Click on SUBSCRIBE if you'd like to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.