Writing Good. Shopping Bad.

Writing, for many people, is painful, arduous, slogging work to be avoided at all costs.

I’m not one of those people.

Writing is like breathing to me.  I relax when I write.  I clear my head when I write.  I get an immediate sense of gratification when I put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.  I think it’s incredibly cool watching the thoughts in my head move onto a medium I can then share with others.

Writing feels fluid to me, almost like auto-pilot.  If I labor over a thought or a word for even one second, I try to move on quickly so I don’t get “stuck.”  Sure, it happens, but the more I write, the less “stuck” I seem to get.

Don’t get me wrong:  There are millions of things I hate to do or that I’m horrible at.  Want to know some of them?  I’m not too proud to admit that I’m:

–terrible at housekeeping

–the slowest reader I know

–overwhelmed by loud noises

–dirty-dish aversive

–mathematically challenged

–a nightmare in the mornings

–a sucker for pop culture

–unable to refrain from pizza whenever it’s put in front of me

–a pleaser by nature…abnormally devastated when people don’t like me

–bossy, especially to the people I love the most (maybe that comes with being the first-born in my family)

–horrible with finances, especially when I’m “shopping”.  You’d think that, as a former advertising account executive, I’d have the ability to control my impulses when I see a good deal or a product that “just makes life better/easier/cleaner/more organized/happier/simpler/fun/ relaxing/manageable”.  Nope.  I fall for every gimmick out there.  I get sucked in to all the schtick, the colors, the call-outs, the why-didn’t-this-come-out-sooner mentality.  I buy into it, and I buy the stuff.

Like the “world’s greatest brownie maker” (which I’ve used once).  The brownies were perfect and pretty, but my God, they’re brownies, and really not worth going down to the basement storage room to find the special pan with the insert.

Or the compact steam cleaner for rugs and upholstery.  I  bought it specificially to clean the guest-room mattress my son peed on before my mother-in-law came for the weekend, then promptly stored it in the laundry room.  I could have used a lot of rags, soapy water and towels, but no:  The “compact”, “portable” and “perfect for so many of life’s little messes” phrases on the box just screamed at me.

Or the two hundred pound beanbag chair I saw at Affordable Portables in Evanston (while searching for a desk lamp!) that was such a steal and seemed perfect for my 3 kids.  It was a nightmare stuffing it into my van (sweat pouring down my body while jamming the thing into the cargo space) and getting it out (in the rain, rolling it out of the car and up our front porch steps, its plastic cover ripping open on every cement step) and lugging and tugging and dragging it up 3 flights to our kids’ hallway, shameful language spewing everywhere by…oh yes, me (my children remind me they learned several new inappropriate words that day).  But then, the best part:  NO ONE USED IT.  It was SO big and so impractical that it took up the entire 3rd floor hallway.  It was too big for anyone’s bedroom.  I believe the first night we had that damn beanbag was also the night my now seven-year-old went to the Emergency Room and received 3 stitches in his forehead after jumping off it and slamming into the corner of a wall which was, unfortunately, two inches away.  But back to why I love to write…

Ah, yes, the relaxing escape of putting it all down for posterity.  I have journals and notes and scraps and notebooks scattered throughout my house, documenting various stages of my life.  Occasionally I look back at some of what I’ve written, but just knowing the documentation’s there gives me such a sense of peace — and proof — that I’ve lived through it all.  Even (and especially) the hard times.  There’s no greater feeling to me than explaining how hard something was, IN WRITING, then adding a twist at the end about why it’s now funny or crazy or silly or absolutely ridiculous.  Writing is such a glorious way to gain perspective on situations.

At least, that’s how I look at writing.  What do you think?

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5 responses to “Writing Good. Shopping Bad.

  1. They were good brownies though…

  2. Writing is breathing, blinking, staring into nothing, forgetting to eat.
    You know what I mean. 🙂
    I totally laughed out loud at your epic bean bag chair tale, Christine. Something I would do. For sure.

    P.S. Are you going to Prairie Writer’s Day? 🙂

  3. I’m totally going, though I still have my application on my desk. I’m worried I’m too late!

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