Is meandery a word? Well, meandering. That’s my mind lately. I’ve been on a no-holds-barred quest since about mid-December to figure out how to work. And, like Tolkien’s wanderers, I’m not lost.
Not all who wander are lost.
So, what do I mean by figuring out how to work? I know how to work, of course. My first paying job came at age ten when I went with my brother to the strawberry fields where my aunt Rayma was a field boss. (In truth, I ate more berries than I picked, but after a few summers, I could make $5 a day!) I started babysitting at age twelve, usually for my younger cousins. ($5 a night!)
And, unpaid work. I mucked barns and helped with hay. I weeded gardens and dusted furniture, folded clothes and made beds. Caring for a horse is work.
And of course adult life was (was?) all about work — restaurants for me, to start with, then other jobs — typing class notes for $1 a page, tutoring, working as a bank teller. Eventually, teaching, which I was involved with for twenty-five years, and still am involved with, to one extent or another.
Rearing children is work. Keeping laundry caught up and a house clean is work. (I admit to being rather inept in all of these.)
I have been fitting writing into the interstices for years, for decades! I’ve written in the very early morning, in spiral bound notebooks; I’ve written in my car (only when the car is stopped!); I’ve written during soccer practice and in between classes and beside hospital beds. I have written in many, many coffeeshops.
What I’m grappling with now, where my meandering is leading me now — is how to put writing on the front burner and really work at writing.
I think I can credit Author Magazine for introducing me to this quote:
“Have the courage to become who you are.”
That is what my meandering mind is working on now.