Sunday, January 29, 2012

Normal - Overrated or A Life Line?

I’m trying to get back to normal, at least normal to me. It dawned on me recently that this past week was the first week in nearly two months that I had worked a full work week at the law firm – I’m talking a full 40 hours in the office. This loosey-goosey work schedule started with taking Thanksgiving week off, then I worked a couple of regular weeks in December. After that, it was a whirlwind of vacation days, holidays, and more vacation days, and even a sick day and a half day or two thrown in. Now it’s a couple of weeks, then we hit another long weekend in February.


I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I could get use to this schedule.
As much as I enjoy my job as a paralegal and working for the firm I’m at, I would really, really like to be home writing more. But sometimes I think I would get bored being alone all day, every day, at the keyboard. And maybe I would. I’d probably have to find something else to round out my day –exercising more might be a good start. I’d probably get out to see friends more often. My apartment would be tidier. But more truth be told, I would miss going into the office and interacting with the people at the firm and with our clients. I enjoy it and it keeps me grounded. And being grounded works best for me in the long run.

This weekend also signaled a return to normalcy. As a rule, I don’t write on Fridays. I don’t mean never, but I give myself permission to take that day off if I want. I go into the office earlier than usual, come home a bit earlier, then hang out watching TV, reading, watching movies, maybe meeting a friend for dinner, etc. Saturdays are usually spent balancing writing time with book signings and events. Sundays are a blend of writing and chores, followed by Sunday night TV. And that's exactly how this weekend is shaping up. It's on the normal track with stops at Usual and Routine.
I hate ruts, but love normalcy. Is that a contradiction or a sign of balance?

Then again, is it normal to want to spend most of my time with fictional characters that spring from my head and talk to me. That's what we writers do.  We don't talk to dead people like the kid in Sixth Sense, we talk to people who don't exist, except in our minds, until we put them on paper. And even then, it's not like they have birth certificates or social security numbers. They only exist on paper because we put them there. We talk to them, cajole them, even argue with them. They become as real as the flesh and blood people we meet every day. It doesn't matter that they are ghosts, vampires, shape shifters, nosey Nellies, or homicidal maniacs. We visit them daily, as if they're favorite aunties who bakes us cookies.

Psychosis is defined as a severe mental condition in which there is a loss of contact with reality, including  seeing or hearing things that aren't there.

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't take so much time off from the office...

6 comments:

Bibliomaniac said...

Normal is just a setting on your dryer!

gregkshipman said...

The low on Saturday was 49 below zero... I've spent the weekend at home talking to the television, my computer and my friends in B-More who always call on weather days to remind me I'm 'Abby Normal' (like I need them to tell me that!). I understand that my personality doesn't do 'rut' so I'm not happy with 50 below... BUT... I am where I am because I am who I am. Call me 'Abby Normal'... I don't mind... I've been called worse!

Avon Judi said...

Sue, you're not the first writer I know to write about talking to fictional characters. Mercedes Lackey wrote a short story about it on her website - it was about waking up in the middle of the night to find herself surrounded by her characters. Not sure if it's still there to read (but I hope so.) Your post reminded me of that story. So take heart, you're not alone!

Avon Judi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Avon Judi said...

Corroection to deleted comment: The story is still there, it's entitled "After Midnight." www.mercedeslackey.com if interested.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks for the comments. Bibliomaniac - I laughed out loud at yours.