Back when I was homeschooling my children and needing a supplemental income and involved in lay ministry with my church and doing too much and completely overwhelmed and tired and complaining and tearing my hair out and complaining and…. Well you get the idea. It was like my life existed in a dozen little compartments that seemed to have very little to do with each other. I desperately needed to simplify but there was no aspect that I could turn my back on.
I came up with what I thought was a unique solution. I would take all those compartments of my life and link them together with a theme. For that season of my life I chose the theme of homeschooling which was of primary importance to me. I chose to start a small mail order business selling educational supplies to homeschoolers. My children became my part-time employees, which in turn became part of their education. I rolled homeschooling into my lay ministry by leading a support group in my church for homeschoolers. The work didn’t decrease but the confusion and feelings of disconnectedness did.
I have been sensing that feeling of disconnectedness again. I complained about it in a recent blog post. There are so many things that want and need to be done and I feel pulled in multiple directions. What to do? What to do?
My mind rolled back to that time a decade or two ago. (And who said flashbacks aren’t beneficial?) Would that work now? As I thought over the various parts of my life I realized many of them involved communication. What is writing but a form of communication?
My ministry to my church is putting together the monthly newsletter. My ministry to my children is keeping in touch with them and offering advice (invited or not ;-0 ) mostly through texting and e-mails. The clutter and chaos in my house mostly involves dealing with books and paper – the written word. And then there is the writing I really want to do. It’s the art of creating by putting words on paper – or at least into the computer.
I realized that my life actually does have a theme right now. WORDS. Almost everything I’m involved in has something to do with words. The novel may progress slower than I’d like. Sometimes it has to take a back seat to cleaning floors and washing dishes, but those mindless tasks are perfect opportunities to brainstorm a writing session. Organizing the chaos and clutter means my mind, my time and the space I live in will be more efficient. If any of it ever provides supplemental income that’s gravy.
Knowing that my life is following a theme and that it all fits together seems less frustrating than what I was perceiving a week ago. It gives me hope that everything will come into balance.
Some of you who have read my blog posts have shared the frustration of other aspects of life crowding in on your desire to write. Do you have a life theme? Can you look for areas of commonality in the aspects of life you find yourself bound to? Has having a life theme helped you? Let me know.