Slow Time

Two major things happened to me in 2007 -- I got a promotion at work and a new couch at home. I spent the year going from work to couch, couch to work. This from a person who spent a major period of life going to school full time, had both a full time and part time job, read in open mics a few times a month, and spent every evening at a rock and roll show when not doing one of those things. Yes, in the past I have made the classic workaholic mistake of taking on too much, burning out, melting down, picking up the pieces, starting over.

2007 would be different. I would survive. So I worked and rested. I did not write, purposely. Outside of the cubicle and the couch, there wasn't much other than the occasional happy hour or dinner out, maybe a movie from time to time. I read The New Yorker every week. I watched a lot of E!. Books and magazines piled up around me, unread. Entire friendships have taken place through text messaging and Facebook. It felt kind of good in a slovenly sort of way. And I survived . . . better than survived, actually.

I completed a major project at work, I kept my marriage healthy, and I even managed to move to a new apartment and get a new job, an ideal job for me at the place in my career where I am right now. I survived 2007 and am in a good place to start 2008 . . . except I have this nagging feeling something is missing.

I haven't done any writing or crafting for a while, and I would like to do both. I'm totally out of shape from sitting on this couch all the time. I'd like to have friends I know in person, because LOL is not actually the same as laughing out loud. I feel I've swung in the wrong direction a little. I need to find a better balance.

So I decided to restart things, one at a time, see what sticks, one thing being this blog. I put out a call for books. Through the mail comes Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life by Waverly Fitzgerald. I'm not a self-help kind of girl, and my initial reaction to the title is kind of like, eh, sounds like a hippie thing. But I am familiar with Waverly's voice a little, just from a listserv we are both on, and she has never come across as too hippie to me, so I decide to give it a go.

It's a twelve week course designed for "anyone feeling starved for a more spacious and meaningful relationship with time," including "exercises [which] explore different dimensions of time, from the moment to the lifetime." Huh? My original intent is to give it a few hours on a Saturday morning then write it up book review style and move on with my day . . . but wait. I read the introduction, earnest, sincere, straightforward and down to earth. It hooks me. It's relevant to me right now.

And you know what, I'm in charge here in my little corner of the blogosphere; I have no deadlines other than my own. I started this blog so I could read what I want and not have to cater to the whims of some editor who REALLY REALLY wants me to (and will pay me $75 to!) like the new book from the latest greatest who's managed to squeak out a novel in between rehab and graduate school, where she will write a series of short stories about how alienated she feels while in graduate school in my home state, obligatory mentions of cornfields as the epitome of loneliness, no thanks (FYI, there is a lot going on in those cornfields, people, which you would know if you ever got off of I-80 before the campus exit). Go write an article about cigarette butt litter as the next great urban social crisis or something and leave me alone, dear editor.

So here's my first blog back, and you'll hear more about Slow Time in twelve weeks. I've got some other great books to review in the meantime; keep sending them in. I'm excited about the great self-published and small press stuff out there. And I am excited about 2008. It's good to be back.

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