Mistress of My Own Domain

Well…I didn’t mean to take a month-long hiatus from blogging, but sometimes, life happens. Thing is, writing is alot like exercise. What begins as, say, a week-long break turns into a month and then 6 months before you know it…because both writing and movement that demand this thing called momentum… and well, once you’ve lost it, it feels almost impossible to start again. There’s a part of your brain that sort of turns itself off, so that what once felt natural, rhythmic, almost compulsory, becomes a chore.

I say this having taken a month off of writing…and almost 2 years away from the gym! Did i mean to do that? Of course not. But well, life happens. I think I quit going to the gym around the time i found out i was pregnant with my second child, who is now 1 year + 3 months old, so do the math… I was worried about my blood pressure, having had a high-risk pregnancy the first time around. And yes, exercise is good for the bp and all that, but, i opted for walking and yoga rather than eliptical machines, aerobic classes and weights. Then the kid actually got born and was fine, and well… excuses excuses, but you try going to the gym with 2 kids and a full-time job. Also–i will freely admit–vanity plays a big part in my exercise routine. Yes it’s good for your energy level, your immune system, your heart health, etc, but my biggest motivator to work out is the scale. And when i was pregnant, the scales were kind to me. When i was breastfeeding, the scales were REALLY kind to me. So, that’s where almost 2 years of my life went. Happily, mind you. But that nursing diet can only last so long.

Let’s just say that I quit the breastfeeding thing about 4 months ago, and then Thanksgiving and Christmas happened, and well…back to the gym i go! Two years and ten pounds later, i am motivated!

My husband does not get why i need a gym to go to…why i can’t just go run around the block a few times in the morning, do some sit-ups and lift some hand-weights after work, run up and down the stairs a few extra trips while doing laundry. The only coherent response i’ve been able to come up with…”You’re a BOY! You could not possibly understand.”

Thing is, if i bothered to think about it for a minute, I could come up with a better answer, and it would have something to do with space. Home is my space to be a parent, my space to rest, my space to do things i enjoy like reading and cooking and watching my stories. It is my space to unwind, to play, to connect… And once i get there, after a day of errands, working, and/or being who i am in the rest of the world, it’s sort of hard to muster momentum. It feels like jumping in the deep end of a pool that’s very, very cold when in fact, you’re not sure if you even remember how to swim.

Things that require discipline take time, most certainly. But they also require space. Writing calls for a space that is comfortable, quiet, aesthetically pleasing, and filled with good light. [side note=something adorable my kid did, so you can skip this part if you hate hearing about adorable kids. When Silas was just barely walking, he collected a cup of juice, his stuffed dog, his sister's toy laptop, a piece of paper, and a Zane Grey novel, lined them all up on the bottom 2 steps, and then settled himself in like he was ready to write the great American novel. It made this English-major-mama's heart so happy, i cannot even tell you. All this to say: even a baby knows that your space matters to what needs doing...]

I often think that prayer requires the same kind of space that writing does:  comfortable, quiet, aesthetically pleasing, and filled with good light. We often say that we don’t have time for a daily discipline of prayer and discernment; but i think 9 times out of 10, it’s the space that eludes us. I don’t have a good answer about how to find or create this kind of space for oneself, as that very discipline is an ongoing struggle for me (and i get PAID to pray). Just hoping, in my writer’s heart, that the act of articulating the challenge will make it less of one, for me and for others.

Speaking of having a space in which to write–i am so grateful for the freedom to say and write what i wish (whether it’s good or garbage). And for all the evil it’s wrought on the world, I am ever thankful for the internet. Here’s hoping that it’s ill-usage might be addressed while maintaining our ability to use it as sacred space for writers everywhere, and for the sharing of knowledge that, when we are lucky, makes us all better citizens. Let this scare–and let us hope it is only a scare–make us all a little more mindful and accountable in our own usage of online resources. Ultimately, we can only be responsible for ourselves.

On that note, i bought my domain–literally!  www.irreverin.com. I mean, let’s face it, ‘irreverin’ is not exactly going to become a household name. I don’t expect that anyone is going to try to cash in on or steal my clever handle, nor do i anticipate that some young startup company is going to offer me a cool million for the address (though if they do, they can sure as *%&# have it!)  It’s just that…well, it is a clever name, and it’s mine. And there is something to be said, in the act of writing, for having a room of one’s own. (thank you, Virginia).

Hope you will continue to visit and read as i get back into the rhythms of movement, the written word, and life in general.  I am the boss of myself, internets or not, and if i get fat–or God forbid, inarticulate!–i have only myself to blame.

 

About Erin Wathen

Rev. Erin Wathen is the Senior Pastor of Saint Andrew Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Olathe, KS (www.sacchome.org). She's a Kentucky native, a long-time desert dweller, and she writes about the sacred thread that runs through pretty much everything. For more info, click the 'about' tab above...

  • http://neekswrite.wordpress.com Neeks

    Lovely post, having one’s own space is a definite must. Space to think, to pray, to just BE. Have fun at the gym!

  • Te

    It is great to have you back–your points are well-taken.

  • Terry T.

    Your point is well-taken—great to have you back!


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