The phone rang at 8:30 in the morning. Just another sales solicitor, I thought. I’ll let it go. Today is mine.
I had been up since before 6:00, reading, ocassionally jotting notes into my Franklin’s day pages. And sipping coffee from my favorite mug – coffee kept hot on the little candle-warmer I keep beside my cozy morning chair.
The cold air outside my window wall stood still. Soft snow fell upon itself, flakes tumbling over each other before resting on tree limbs, pine needles, the hills and valleys of white earth.
My world was quiet and bright, and I embraced it as the first day of that week I could call my own. No commitments to take me away from my purpose. I planned to write some, and then sketch out my ideas for a book jacket design I’d been asked to do.
I knew the author – my sister – and the subject of her forthcoming book – our dad. I wanted this jacket design to capture who he was, what he’d stood for, and the legacy he left. The book’s cover needed to say visually what was written inside.
And I needed this day to stay free of the clutter of sound and activity so I could think. See. Sketch.
“Yes, she’s right here,” I heard my husband say into the phone’s handset.
An hour later – my workspace now abandoned – I sat waiting to have my teeth cleaned. “You’re past due,” I’d been told earlier on the phone. “And we have a cancellation. Will you fill it?”
Noooooooo! I’d wanted to scream. Leave me alone!
But of course, I didn’t scream. I showered. I drove to the dentist’s office. And I gave my day, with teeth just polished, to running the errands I’d planned for tomorrow. Might as well. My precious time was cut into sloppy chunks. My concentration was shot.
Why had I not protected my own priorities? Why had I not said No, that doesn’t work for me today? Without defending it! Hunters go hunting. Fishermen go fishing. People go to work everyday without excuse. Why not me? Thinking, writing, painting – these are my work.
It’s now tomorrow. I finished today’s errands yesterday, so today is mine. Will I answer the phone? Say yes to someone else’s convenience?
Nope. Today I’m designing a sign to put by the phone. It will only be seen by me, but it will bolster my resolve to consider my purpose valuable enough to pursue it: Gone fishin’…
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