I make lists.
Yes, I’m one of those.
I guess it’s because I like 1) seeing tasks accomplished, and 2) having direction for my day, particularly toward specific goals. My daily To-Do list keeps me on track . . . well, most of the time.
I’ve always been a list maker since I can remember. I found out that when I wrote down my goals rather than just thinking about them, the goals eventually became a reality. I now believe that writing down my desires is a magical way for the Universe to know what I really want. It’s not enough for me to say what I want, to vocalize. Writing these goals, these desires down creates a strong commitment, a contract if you will, with the Universe. I want these things badly enough that I was willing to put them to paper.
I was heartened some time again when I found support in the book, Write Your Own Magic: The Hidden Power in Your Words by Richard Webster. He states that all “creativity is magic” and practiced by “Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, and Isaac Newton” and that even “William Shakespeare made countless references to magic in this plays, and was obviously familiar with the subject.”
Once upon a time in my twenties, I wanted to become a writer. I had no training whatsoever, other than high school English, being a voracious reader, and having an immense curiosity to learn. When I said I wanted to be a published author, people—family and friends—laughed. Over time, the laughter stopped. My goals were coming true.
I have a planner—the hard copy kind—where I list goals/desires for the month. Using that monthly goal list, I create my weekly list, and from that my daily list.
On July 14 of this year (2015), I was let go from my professor/admin position at a university where I’ve been employed for almost eleven years. I served as an adjunct for a year and a half, and then with my M.F.A. degree in hand, I hired into a full-time in a position I served for the remainder of that time. I understand completely why I was let go; it was a restructuring event due to enrollment decreases over the last few years, decreases that are affecting college campuses across the nation. Honestly, if I had been in my supervisors’ shoes, I would have done the same thing.
That said, over the last couple of years as more duties were assigned to me, I found myself become more tired. The joy I once had for the job was fading, assignment by new assignment. My career change to academics was the result of my love of teaching non-academic classes, connecting with students of all ages, helping them re-awaken an earlier joy of writing, and showing them how to become better writers. Plus, I enjoy teaching or coaching teachers how to teach writing.
I would come home so tired from work that I often needed a nap before bedtime. I was sleeping upwards of 12 hours a day. As a result, my creative writing was neglected. That depressed me further. During that time personal life events—family deaths and a major auto accident—were taking their toll on me. I hid this tiredness, this depression well, diving into my writing for relief, which has always served me well in the past.
But it wasn’t enough.
Back in the spring, I asked the Universe to find a way for me to be to write more, but without it jeopardizing my ability to live, to pay bills. Close to retirement, I was still obligated to my institution for another three years due to their generosity in helping me obtain my Ph.D.
In being let go, that obligation disappeared. I realized I was free to write and that I could retire from the daily 40-hour week grind.
I am now writing to my heart’s content. My future isn’t nailed down yet, but that’s okay for the moment.
Today, I looked at my planner and the list I created on July 1, my monthly To-Do list, which were mostly creative writing tasks. Sadly, I realized I’ve not accomplished one thing on that list so far this month . . . with one exception. I know I still have time to accomplish the rest of the list this month due to that one item.
The last entry read: Open a way for me to do more writing.
The Universe does answer.