It’s a book I’ve wandered through, a bit here, a bit there, an intentional not rushing. It is a memoir, after all, and I’ve liked it that way. Some room to roam, wide spaces in which her life story could slowly unfold.
Or so I thought until I came to this line.
Simple pleasures, more peace, fewer voices.
That’s how singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin describes the years of her life that fell between addiction and motherhood. For her, it was a quiet time of sobriety and self discovery.
It’s just how I feel in this not rushing interlude in my own life (the real reason, no doubt, I am moving slowly through Diamond in the Rough). For the first time in 30 years, there is space in most days, time to choose between options, options not dictated by responsibility or need.
I still go to work, of course, to a job I have loved for 30 years. It is as demanding today as it was back then—maybe more so, as the stakes are higher now. But I no longer attack it with the zeal of a 20-something determined to make a name for herself. Work today is sweeter, more meaningful. The work itself feels more confident, and I feel a little less exhausted getting it there.
And there’s the fact that my daughter is grown and (mostly) living a life of her own. I no longer spend evenings packing lunches or calling out spelling words or driving the 40 mile round trip to Nutcracker rehearsal. I come home from work, fix dinner, then have that glorious, relaxed, wonderful moment when I think: Hum. What do I want to do tonight?
It is the grandest of luxuries, I know. But here is the point. What surprises me is how often I go for the option that offers the greatest quiet. We walk through the neighborhood, my husband and I, with our sweet little dog. Or we take a glass of wine and sit by the pond. Sometimes I write, most often alone in the bedroom with the door closed. (I’ve never mastered the skill of writing with any commotion around me.) I wander around the internet, reading blogs I love, looking at paintings by artists I’ve never met, reading recipes too complicated to ever make their way into my repertoire. And still I linger.
It is a sacred space, this spot. Like Shawn, I’m finding the pause to be a wonderful time of introspection and self discovery. And I am grateful to her for her honesty and guts in writing Diamond in the Rough, in coming clean about a life not nearly as tidy or glamorous as it looks from the outside, as it looks from a distance beneath the bright stage lights.
We’ve all fought our battles, it’s true. How lovely it is to have a little time—a little peace and quiet—to refortify.
One of the greatest gifts of the empty nest.
Isn’t it? So true!
so beautifully put, friend. love that you’ve been inspired by Shawn’s book. xo
Thank you, Julie. I have loved it, too.