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May 18, 2020: Pick it Up

This is the refrain I heard repeatedly as a kid. Or, pick it up, it belongs to you. Or pick it up and put it away. For some reason this failed to register with me. It could have been that by nature I tend to move quickly from one project to the next and so forget to put things away. Or it could be that I was told to do this so often that I started to resist the idea.

The problem became that I ceased to take great joy in putting stuff away. It took time and energy and kept me from moving on to the next thing. Best to just leave it where it was and let others deal. Pete, he don’t deal. He does not follow behind me and put my things away. He does not even put his own things away. But that’s his problem. I am talking about my problem.

Alys has the dogs' attention
Alys has the dogs' attention

I tend to wait until it all piles up and then deal. For example, I just spent two days cleaning the horse trailer, front and back, and my tack room. An onerous task. I did try to take joy in the fact that as I cleaned up, things that were missing surfaced.

The same, I noticed, has held true with drafts of my writing. I have noticed that I work very hard on one particular thing, or things, and then set it aside. I have piles and piles of drafts. Today I went through old prose poems – my gosh, I found a nearly complete manuscript. I think I just kept cranking out poems in between doing other things and setting them aside. Then I lost interest in what I was working on.

The voice in my head roared today, “Things have got to change.” Okay. So I will pick it up, meaning, take the time to put things away. The horse gear – I’m going, after each ride, to clean my gear and put it in its now designated area. The writing projects – I’m going to have an organized file set up, one that will better enable me to market my work.

Oh yeah, hell is going to freeze over. Old habits are near impossible to break. The horse gear, I will do what I am now setting out to do for a few weeks, then again become slovenly and careless. The writing projects, well, I have gone back through writings spanning thirty years. I can’t imagine that I will have to reorganize in a year’s time. Maybe ten more years. Hard to say.

What might motivate me to pick it up is the fact that I am tending to horse gear and writing projects on beautiful sunny days. I keep thinking, I could be out riding. It is mentally quite painful to hear the birds, see the trees green up, smell the spring air, and be having to deal with a noisy shop vacuum. This was just not meant to be.

Next: 138. 5/18/20: Summertime and the Living is Easy

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