Thursday, November 6, 2008


I think a lot. Probably not a surprise to anybody who knows me, but I for those of you who don't know me in person: I have a difficult time turning off my brain.

While walking around the canal area (see the previous post), I thought about the Thoreau's line from Walden (made famous to my generation through Dead Poets Society), that he wished to "live more deliberately." There are things that I truly enjoy, that I find I deny myself (and thus deny others the benefit of a happier version of myself). I love the experience of writing. Not typing, although that's the medium I usually use, but writing.

A fountain pen.
A clean table.

I used to give myself just ten minutes, although sometimes it stretched into a longer period, to write. Thank you notes, actual letters, my journals.

Why do I not give myself this time anymore? The messy house is my typical excuse; unfortunately, it's part of life with three young children, especially when there is no dishwasher or clothes dryer. But when did I choose to deny myself pleasure?

I can't pinpoint a moment. I can't pinpoint a reason I made this choice. But I can live deliberately. I won't go off into the woods. I won't build a house out of pieces of someone's old shanty. I won't limit myself to one table and chair.

But I choose to remember that the pleasures I give myself are what lead to a life beautifully, deliberately, lived.


The Windy City Duo said...

You are so right... you deserve time for you. Seize it.

Love any post that quotes Henry David... just got finished teaching him to my 100 level course.

joycie said...

Thanks Starr for reminding me how important I am. We seem to get so caught up in being moms, wives, friends, housekeepers, and cooks, and making sure others are happy we forget about taking time to make ourselves happy. With all we do each day to make others happy, stopping at the end of the day to ask if we gave ourselves 10 minutes isn't so selfish. Thanks for your post. Please tell Cami Bailey said he loves her! :)

Sacto Cat Woman said...

I hope that lots of young moms read your blog, Starr. Even as an older woman whose house has been empty for a long time, I find your writing very insightful. The reality of life as a young mother juxtaposed with the marvelous little gems about the children is marvelous. I still find myself doing things like eating standing at the kitchen counter. I find you as inspiring as a close friend who is 80, and caring for a beloved husband with Alzheimers. Thank you.