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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The cons and cons of responsibility

At this moment in time I would like nothing better than to have no responsibility.

I’m tired of being responsible for the household budget and constantly attempting to make ends meet. I’ve had enough of finding budget friendly meals and scrimping and saving on a daily basis. I want to be irresponsible. I want to spend money no matter if I have it or not. I don’t want to pay bills any more. I don’t want to make car repayments or pay the rent.

I would like to stay in bed in the morning instead of going to work. I would like to lounge around all day and read or write or just do whatever I felt like at the time. I don’t want to be responsible for the housework or making sure there are enough toilet paper rolls in the bathroom or check that the milk hasn’t gone off.

I don’t want to be the one who is responsible for keeping the clothes clean, getting the housework done, calling the lawn man to do the lawns or doing the shopping. I don’t want to always be the one who remembers to take the garbage out. I want someone else to do the remembering.

I don’t want to be the person at work that constantly remembers to do things that others forget. I don’t want that responsibility.

I want to be more spontaneous. I want to be more fun. I want to be a teenager again. Those teenage years really were the best. I had no responsibility. I confess I didn’t always go to school. I spent many a summer day lazing on the beach. My only worries were what to wear, where to go and which friend to call next. It was a fabulous time of life, full of fun and absolutely no responsibility. The things we used to do! There were parties that happened on the spur of the moment and nights on the beach around hastily lit bonfires that went on and on. There were trips to the country and drives that took us aimlessly to no place in particular.

But the spontaneous life has gone. I can’t stay in bed or, eventually, I won’t get paid. Someone has to stock the fridge and the pantry or there won’t be any food in the house and if I didn’t clean the house I don’t think I could live in it! If I didn’t pay the bills we probably wouldn’t have a house to live in. I doubt I would be allowed to light a fire on the beach these days and I can’t drive aimlessly because fuel for the car costs too much. The friends I used to spend relaxing days and nights with now live far away and my friends here are also weighed down with responsibility.

The only option seems to be to become enormously wealthy so I can hire someone to be responsible for me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Focus

Setting a goal is often easy. Focussing on achieving that goal is sometimes difficult and frequently unexciting. No matter how many times one reminds oneself that the outcome will be worth it and reward in itself, the pathway can be steep and lonely with plenty of distractions along the way.

I am already a writer. My goal is to become a successful author and hopefully a financially successful author. It’s taken me a lifetime to realise what I want to be when I grow up but now the decision is made, its one I’m very comfortable with. However, the steps I must climb to reach my goal will neither be comfortable nor painless. I guess I could have chosen an easier career, however I’ve always enjoyed challenges.

I’m taking baby steps now, learning to walk before I fly. I’ve joined a local writer’s club and attended my first meeting last week. They are all really lovely people and I hope I didn’t put them off with my contribution to the weekly readings. I’d brought with me my first unfinished draft of a short story I plan to enter in a competition. I might be wrong but I think they were a little bit uncomfortable with the two “f” words and the delicately worded masturbation scene.

Our state’s Writers Centre runs various events including a once a month “Write Club” (the first rule of Write Club is, you don’t talk about Write Club…) and I went there last week. It was great. I met some like minded people, listened to an awesome poet and drank a couple of red wines. What more could a girl want? I plan on attending Write Club whenever I can, as well as some of the other events at the Writers Centre.

I’ve entered another short story competition and, as I mentioned above, I’m planning to enter yet another one. I find short stories incredibly challenging to write. I seem to either be able to write short posts or lengthy screeds, but not much in between. But it’s a challenge I’m enjoying taking up. I know I have stories to tell and I plan to tell them in the best way I can.

However, despite the positive moves I’ve made toward becoming a successful author, I still tend to lose focus now and again. Sometimes I will be sidetracked by other challenges or events or issues and I have to keep asking myself “if I do this will it lead to becoming a successful author?” It’s the only way I can keep on track. If the answer is no, I try hard to ignore the issue, turn down the challenge and disregard the event. There are times I become almost desperate with situations and I have to remind myself to stop, take a breath and refocus on my goal. It’s not easy and it’s not pretty but it has to be done.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breath

When I was school age I read many books – up to six a day. When I was very young I read Enid Blyton’s novels, the Narnia series, Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”, “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boy” and many other books with authors and titles I can’t remember. As I grew older I read John Le Carre, Harold Robbins, Daphne Du Maurier, Elizabeth Goudge and many many others. Sometimes I read books more than once, but that was pretty rare. With all the books I read the one criterion I had that, in my eyes, made the book a “good” one was whether or not I could put it down. My favorites were the books where I would miss meals in order to keep reading and where I would suddenly wonder why the pages were getting more difficult to read and realise the sun had gone down and it was time to turn the light on.

Breath by Tim Winton is one of those books that are difficult to put down, although I have to admit the responsibility of going to work and looking after a family did mean I had to force myself into the real world now and again. I found I could easily relate to Winton’s characters and, as I grew up in Western Australia, I could also visualise the scenery. Even though the main characters were male, I enjoyed their journeys despite some of the uncomfortable twists and turns. I can really recommend this book as one that is easy and pleasurable to read. I read somewhere recently that Breath is being made into a movie and I wonder how they will translate some of the scenes but I’m sure it will be a good one.

Having read Breath I thought I would read another of Winton’s books “Cloudstreet” which has been made into a mini series. I have to admit I didn’t enjoy this one half as much as Breath, in fact I didn’t enjoy it at all. Cloudstreet is set in the early 1900’s mostly in Perth, Western Australia around the suburbs where I lived from the age of 10. I guess I’m not a fan of historical novels and the characters simply annoyed me as I’m also not tolerant of people who sit around and moan about their lot in life or are extremely foolish in one way or another. I finally finished the book last night and I know for a fact I won’t be watching the mini series!

Strange isn’t it how one can have such different opinions of two books by the same author! I guess writers give birth to books as mothers give birth to children – a lot of hard work goes into the process but the outcome is not guaranteed to be the same as the first or the second, etc. And books really do have their own identities and personalities. Some of them demand attention and some are happy to sit quietly on the shelf, overlooked until needed.

I have one exam on 20 June to study for and then I will start my reading again. Looking forward to finishing the exam and reporting on the next book I read!

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