A friend recently asked me that. We were talking about work, writing and finding your calling and, well, I got a little excited.
The answer is yes. I am. I am completely obsessed. Very few things matter to me. If I had to I could sum it up in: True connection with the ones I love. True connection with the divine. And true connection with the ones I serve, which means you. Simply.
As the years go by and I accept who and how I am more fully, I see myself becoming more and more specialised, more and more particular, more and more obsessed. And that’s a good thing.
I love my work. I love to write. I want to be a good mama, wife and friend.
That’s about it.
Sure, I also love horses and trees. I’m a sucker for good tea. (Ok, yes, pretty notebooks too.)
But I know what matters the most. And that makes my life very simple.
I have two small kids, a house to take care of, a man to love and a business to run. There is no “free” time. So if I go to that movie it means I don’t get to write. If I go for a coffee with that acquaintance, I don’t write. If I spend my time shopping, or reading blogs, or watching the news, or attend dinner parties, I don’t write.
(It was roundabout here my friend called me obsessed.)
Sounds dreary? It isn’t.
I love my work. I love writing, and I’m willing to do what it takes to write. And as I prioritize like that, my life simplifies around me.
Does something take me away from my kids or my work? Then it’s probably a no. I notice that this is how I truly want it to be. It’s not a sacrifice. Well, it is, but it is a dear one. A sacred one.
There may come times in my life when I don’t have small kids at home and I can do my work and still have time to spare, and maybe then I’ll choose differently. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll travel more. Or take up knitting.
But I’m not so sure.
I notice that this shedding process, this letting go of everything that isn’t necessary, seem to reveal more and more of who I actually am.
I think we are meant to be specialised. I think we are born with our particular obsessions planted in our hearts, with our minds and talents geared towards our true expression, but this society fails to nourish it.
Instead, we are asked to be well rounded, to be up to date, to be likeable, to stay busy, to have more than one string to our bow, to know a little about many things, rather than lose ourselves in one.
It’s a recipe for mediocrity, for one thing. But more importantly, it keeps us from knowing ourselves deeply. It keeps us from finding our heart’s work. We can only do that if we give ourselves permission to narrow down and go all in. We need to focus. And I mean FOCUS, like your life depended on it. (It does, you know.)
I’ve given up on well rounded, busy and likeable. I’ve come to understand that I can’t have that and pursue my passion at the same time. So I don’t try anymore.
I am the woman in the cottage on the hillside, whose social life is non-existent, who rarely ventures beyond the woods or the children’s school, who measures time in mugs of tea, who loves words and writing and reading, and who is willing to let go of just about anything in order to spend her time doing that.
She’s in danger of becoming a hermit, I know. She’s neglecting so many of the “duties” modern life assign us. I know, I know. But that’s ok. She has made her choice.
She’s a writer. She’s a mother. She’s a lover.
And that is more than enough to fill a lifetime.