Tonight is the longest night of the year. It is our tradition to keep vigil all night over an open fire or a candle if rain makes a fire impossible. It’s a night for looking back at the year behind us and forward to the one ahead. Yule is a time for divination.
Every year our friend who practices Norse paganism does rune readings; a 13 rune reading for the community and smaller individual reading for anyone who desires one. In my personal reading he pulled three runes; Uruz, Berkana and Yr.
My query or concern doesn’t fit easily into a single question. It was more of a general musing about my character. I use the needs or wants of others as an excuse to not expose myself to failure or leave my comfort zone. I keep detailed lists of all the tasks I should do every day. Some of the tasks are related to the cleaning and upkeep of my home, some are related to the care of my animals or the other people in my life, some are monetary, some deal with my own physical health, some with mental health, others with my creative pursuits, and some are even leisure. I have found that I choose which tasks based on a few criteria. I almost always do things that affect others before those that just affect me and I almost always choose physical tasks over artistic or intellectual ones. Once I get to tasks that are just for me, I choose the ones that don’t require the participation of others to be successful.
I do all the cleaning and animal care before anything else. I would dig in my garden before I would color if I had free time. I would choose to read before I would choose to write. I will do pretty much anything before trying to make money.
Let me clarify something, I am not some great and loving saint that puts the needs of everyone before myself. I’m not an abused, taken-advantage-of martyr. I’m not compelled to do for others. I do it because other people needing me feels good, taking care of people’s emotions is easy, and hanging out and working on projects is fun. It’s not that I don’t have time for myself, it’s that I don’t take the time that I have.
This system has assured that I almost never have to do the things that are hard or scary. I seldom get to either writing or doing telephone companion work. I almost never do what I call “writing business,” which is searching for markets, submitting my work, editing, networking, or blogging. When I am efficient enough in a day to get to the “writing business” part of my list, I drag my feet and I will abandon it if any other activity presents itself.
The runes my friend pulled tell me what I already know, but can’t seem to put into practice. I have to stop running away from things that are hard. Only through strength and focus can I achieve success and bring my dreams into reality. I want to be a successful writer, I want to make money, pay debts, and buy a big piece of land someplace. However, I want these things in a fuzzy future sort of way, whereas I want all the dishes to be washed now. The dishes are all washed and put away everyday. I know I will wash the dishes tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, because I “know” this, it is always true. I want to “know” that I will write everyday. I want to “know” that I will publish a few things a year, that I will network and keep up with my blog. I have to put these tasks on the top of my lists, and I have to make myself do them everyday for weeks, months. I have to remind myself that I can build the habit of writing into a thing I “know” will happen everyday, just like I did for all these other tasks.