I swiped the title of this piece from George Costanza’s father, Frank, of TV’s “Seinfeld,” who’d end his ridiculous shouting matches with wife Estelle by throwing his hands in the air and shouting, “Serenity now!” Maybe the “serenity” part had started as a soothing mantra, but these were the hilariously batty and antagonistic Costanzas, so no serenity for them.
I mention this because for the past several days I’ve been trying to work in some “creativity time,” by which I mean writing something. It’s not like I commute 90 minuets to work each way to support us (that would be my husband) or have yoga class to teach and take (both canceled this week) or housework to do (squint and the place looks fine). This was going to be my Week to Write.
But I’m a procrastinator. Always have been.
Now, as a traumatic brain injury patient, I have to work around all my comforting habits, the routines that keep my brain humming. (A neurologist correctly predicted years ago that I’d need to “keep all my ducks in a row.”)
What are these routines? I’ve gotten better in the decade since our lives turned upside down, but after my customary 10 hours of sleep (don’t judge—used to be 12, plus naps), there is my very specific breakfast: big cereal bowl (not Jethro of the “Beverly Hillbillies” big, but big) layered with banana slices, two unalterable brands of cereal, walnut pieces and blueberries or similar. Oh, and 1 percent milk. Why 1 percent? I forget. As I eat on the sitting room couch, sometimes with the cat on her perch, I watch late-night TV segments on my phone.
Then, and only then, do I get to enjoy my two cups of coffee and read my newspaper, also on the phone and also on the couch.
There are exercise-related routines—walking/hiking outdoors or huffing it to the gym for yoga, depending on the day, and sometimes weightlifting.
Are you bored yet? I am. Anyway, you get the idea.
So yesterday I kept “write” in my mind as I went about my day. Other stuff kept getting in the way, though.
First, tickets to see this comedian I’m obsessed with * were to become available online at exactly 10 a.m. CT. Mind you, this is his only Midwest appearance for, I think, ever. My wonderful husband came through with the tickets, thanks to my sending an unnecessary reminder text and having brought the subject up numerous times the night before. Why didn’t I just get the tickets myself? I forget.
* Not Jerry Seinfeld.
Then, filled with gratitude that he had gotten us those tickets, I was inspired to give the house a good cleaning, using cleaning products and everything. Okay, so I didn’t get to the whole house, but who knows? I could get inspired again.
My feet were tired after that. (I’m still getting over the broken pinky toe and ligament from my fall down the basement stairs in February. For details of the Laundry Incident, see “Brain Injury Is Just Ducky,” by clicking on the Menu option of this blog.) So I sat on the “piano bench,” which is what I call the stool for my electronic keyboard, played and sang a bit, and—yada, yada, yada—it was time to start dinner.
So there were distractions.
Turns out I didn’t get to my writing goal at all yesterday. I’ve got a bunch of notes on my phone‘s Notes app for a piece I’m planning to write—spoiler alert: It’s about music. It’s just that every time I look at those notes, I just … meh.
Today I decided to give writing another try. I don’t know why that “Creativity Now!” phrase popped into my head, but when it did, I had to laugh, thinking of the Costanzas.