Where are You Now?

Sometimes a few minutes of self-indulgence can awaken some wisdom in you.

Jen Duff


Sleeping cat inside a cozy bed.
Photo by Felice Wölke on Unsplash

The house is so quiet. It’s never this quiet. But now, at 3:12 a.m. the whole house is sound asleep. Everyone has succumbed to the dark and cold March night, even the very nocturnal cat. I’m awake but not upset about it. The benefit of having a dicey relationship with sleep is that sometimes I have a silent house all to myself.

I make tea, read a few chapters and settle down into the cozy couch for a few stolen hours of responsibility-free writing time. Tonight, I choose to write Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages.

I think I’ve always searched for this time kind of time. When my kids were little I would stay up way too late just to have time to write and enjoy the quiet. Do all parents do that? I think they must otherwise bedtime wouldn’t be such a ‘thing’ in parenting books. I’ve always wanted time to read and time to write. And somehow for as long as I can remember, I’ve always found a way.

This year, well into my 49th year, is no different. I have few demands on my time now. The kids are gone. Our pets are peaceful and easy. And my job of nutrition coaching doesn’t take much of my time. Could it be that all my demands are completely self-imposed.

I felt a shift as those words wrote themselves across the page. Does that mean I can design my own life?

Long pause.

Isn’t that what I’ve been working towards my whole adult life?

I’m so glad I’m only writing for myself. This entire exercise seems so self-indulgent. But keep writing, Julia Cameron says. Three pages. Is it too saccharine sweet to indulge myself for another two pages? Screw it. Nothing to lose, right?

In fact, if my life is a blank canvas to be designed — as we have already established like four sentences ago — let’s make it the ideal balance of focused and free-time, of motivation and meditation. Of big balls, small balls, and sand.

First, what’s the one thing that makes every better? (I’m channeling a wacky combination of Gary Keller and the Pareto principle.) Meditation, hiking and yoga always give me peace and clear focus. So much for one thing, I guess I’ll let all the ‘one things’…