When is the time right for major change? My life as a writer is far less structured than any other role in my career. Lately I’ve been focusing on book activities and resurrecting a collection of short stories. There have been signings and book club gatherings and networking on the book’s behalf. The short story collection is a whole different set of activities centered on building a submission plan for individual stories and wading into revision with some works so old I no longer have working storage technology to access the files.
Beyond writing, the world has its way of influencing priorities. I have an elderly parent who can experience a crisis at any moment resulting in significant time demands. I haven’t experienced that kind of interruption since our kids were young. We have a great house that needs attention with a few bigger projects that were delayed until Harvesting Ashwood: Minnesota 2037 was launched. Doctors suggested no further pushing back of standard appointments. Only one of those resulted in change– adjusting to glasses which still limit the amount of time I am comfortable at the computer or reading. Bummer.
The question for the day is whether we can bring a new dog into our lives. Since we lost our joyful and rambunctious Wheaton Terrier in February the house has been so quiet. We’re dog people and are used to sharing a bit of a sandwich, a walk, the sofa with a four-footed friend. We don’t exactly agree on the ideal age for this prospective family member. A puppy sounds logical because we’ve always begun our canine relations with a small, biting, creature. We’ve been searching shelters and ads and found it almost impossible to find a young dog of the sort we really want. But can we spare the time to work through the first months of an animal baby? Is there ever a right time to leap into what could be a ten or twelve or fourteen year relationship?
The weatherman pointed out this morning that we have two and a half minutes less sun every day now than two weeks ago. That equates to twenty minutes of less sun every eight days. Back to school sales flyers are arriving every day. The old academic rhythm still marks September as the start of my new year. Is that right reason to adopt a dog now or should we wait until all of summer is gone and life slows? Beaner came to live with us while I was traveling for spring college recruiting. Kirby joined the family on Memorial Day weekend. I drove two hours each way to bring Rufus home two days before Thanksgiving.
What a shame there isn’t an algorithm to predict successful change. Maybe we can ask Amazon and Google to help us by designing a master algorithm that could be loaded with personal data and spit out relevant information. Wow, that would be worth some money.
Talk of changing direction, I think I just found a cool idea for a new short story that might be more invigorating than revising a riveting work from ten years ago. If we had a new puppy I’d be distracted from starting that story by house training. If we had a new puppy, I’d stop fretting about whether this is the time to add a dog to our family. Is there ever a best time for change?