Holding Space

Holding Space

As I write this, it’s the third of July. There are 181 days left in this year. By the time this goes live, that’ll drop to 176. (Yes, I used the calculator. No, I’m not ashamed.)

As I write this, I have a short story due in four days.

As I write this, I have a load of laundry that must be re-washed for the second time, five blinking reminders on my phone to do stuff that should’ve been done days ago, and six Convict Cichlid fish that are convinced I have forgotten to feed them. (Though I doubt that last one, given that my fingers smell like fish flakes. And they’re manipulative convicts who can’t be trusted—the fish, not my fingers.)

I’m not even four paragraphs into this post, and three cats, like the manipulative convicts, have tried to convince me no one has fed them for days. Days, they claim. (Though I doubt this, given the whiffs of Salmon Feast in Gravy floating through the kitchen.)

The only creature under my roof that is uninterested in my possession of thumbs and the ability to open a jar is Mr. Kaplan, the algae sucker.

He’s oblivious to the drama. (What must that feel like?)

Other things on my ever-growing to-do list pile up faster than the laundry and the dishes. (How do I even have this many dishes when I don’t cook?)

All of this to do, but I find myself… holding space.

It’s been a rough eighteen months—the last few weeks excruciating.

Space is necessary.

My whole purpose for this blog is to share my writing journey. From novice to not-so-novice. Dreams, goals, and oh-so-many resets. Kitchen disasters and imaginary friends that I may or may not talk to even when I’m not composing. (Let’s not mention this to Couch Lady; she’s got enough material to work with.)

It’s a way for me to hold space for levity and tongue-in-cheek rants. Maybe put a little light in someone else’s day, whether the one reading is a writer or not. To be a little goofy. Maybe a little relatable.

And part of this journey is the real and the raw of life that takes up emotional and mental room and the words, well…

There are no words.

There’s just the space with all the emotions and mind-numbing brain fog.

It’s the pause between inciting events and outcomes. Between realizations and resolutions. Between the rip current and the shoreline.

However long that pause may last…

Hold it. Feel it. Experience it. (This is a learned skill for me—and I still have training wheels. I prefer to go at the void head-on and get it over with already—which is as effective as putting roller skates on a drunk giraffe and hoping for a graceful landing.)

To ease my to-do list and mental load, I’d seriously considered a hiatus from the blog. A few months off for my tired brain and the office staff. Let Zeppo and Trudi and the Jiggle Dragons and Little Miss Muse have whatever sabbatical they desire.

Put a “Pardon my existential crisis dust—please check back next year” notice on the blog’s front door.

But then I realized last week was the blog’s birthday. I’ve not missed a Monday post in over six years. Six!

Add in a hefty dose of obstinance, and, well. Here we are.

This post keeps that six-year streak going.

This post allows my bull-headed brain to process. (I always feel a little better after seeing my thoughts in words—I often don’t know what I think until I write it. Why I so frequently push against this, I’ve no idea. That stubbornness, I suppose.)

Brevity this week will hopefully allow me to catch my breath, refocus, and possibly gain half a shot of putting one hard-won sentence after another onto the short story in progress with its loudly ticking clock.

As I write this, it’s the third of July. There are 181 days left in this year. By the time this goes live, that’ll drop to 176. (Yes, I used the calculator. Still not ashamed.)

  1. 176. And counting.

No need to panic.

No need to go all drunk-giraffe-on-roller-skates.

Switch the laundry.

Feed the critters. Again.

Be like Mr. Kaplan with his blinders to the drama.

Feel the feels.

Gather the slew of office staff—real and imagined.

And just hold the space…

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