Thursday, June 17, 2010


I like cycles. As I get older, I see that much of life is cyclic, and somehow that makes me feel better. When I'm in a low I know I'll come out of it again, and when I'm in a high I ride it for as long as possible.

One of my more mundane but obvious cycles--and probably yours too--is groceries.

It starts out like this:

Hmm, I think. I need to go grocery shopping.

*Note: this image is a LIE. Even when my refrigerator is empty of useful food, it is still crammed full of sauces and jars of jam you'd have to scrape to get anything from and forgotten jars of purple cabbage stuffed in the back.

I love grocery shopping. It makes me feel all hunter-gathery.

Or Tartar-Warrior-ish. Like that.

Have I mentioned that I want to take archery lessons?

Anyway. I like to make lists based on weekly menus and go attack the store. I load up, always optimistically thinking OH and we can eat that!, sometimes buying too much for the week.

Generally I buy so much fresh stuff--fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, juice, milk--that I have to cram it all in.


I feel happy and satisfied. I can make ANYTHING I WANT! LOOK! LOOK AT THE CHOICES!

This lasts for a day.

Then I start worrying about the food. How are we going to eat all this before it goes bad? It doesn't help that my husband, every time he opens the fridge, says "How are we going to eat all this before it goes bad?" :)

So we start in with the meals, eating our way through all that good fresh stuff. And about 5 days later, I am relieved. We've done it. The meals have been good, we've eaten it all. Success! But there's a little problem...


Writing's like that too: new idea! Play play play! Hate. Love. Edit edit edit! Send to people. Accept crushing feedback, rejoice in fabulous feedback. Regroup. Edit edit edit! Send to more people. Repeat of above. Edit edit edit! Let go. New idea!

Everything's a cycle. Right now in food I'm at the last image. In writing, I'm at the brain-break-before-editing phase.

It's all good. You've got to relish each part of the cycle--or get through it, if it's a bad bit. Or make do with the food you have on hand.

I think that's enough mangled metaphors for today, don't you?


Linda G. said...

Good analogy. Unfortunately, it holds up only too well for me. I'm a pantser as writer (no outline) and a pantser as a grocery shopper (no preplanned menus). I use lists for necessities, but wait to see what inspires me (or is on sale *grin*) before I decide what to buy for meals.

pseudosu said...

Thank you for the fridge disclaimer. I had already begun to feel inadequate about my condiment laden fridge, with spills on some of the shelves.

I guess writing is cyclical. For the first time in years I'm actually not writing, just stewing, and reading, and listening to books on tape all day as I work. Idea germinating??

Elisabeth Black said...

I always feel a glow of fulfillment when I have an empty fridge. Like I haven't wasted anything. Unless, you know, it's only halfway through the week, then the empty fridge is not so good.

I'm in a writing phase now too. I can't talk about it. :) But you're right, it does go cyclically.

P.S. Nice mountains.

Anonymous said...

I love it when blog posts take real life and turn it into something about writing. Yay!

PS Did I tell you I want archery pictures? Would be uber cool!