Back in November of 2009, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Texas Democrat (which has got to be a pretty sticky thing right there), echoed the point that it was funny to call health-care reform rushed, "America has been working on providing access to health care for all Americans since the nineteen-thirties."
I have often felt the same way about writing.
Not that I, for a minute, compare writing, mine or anyone's, to the crucial issue of health care. I'm just struck by how often there is this misconception of time, how long it takes to accomplish certain things, how slow and arduous hard work really is.
For instance, you might think all my thoughts come to me as I write this, and in one sense, they do.
In another, they've taken all my life to uncover.
All that comes to me now is an intensified need to meet my deadline.
I’ll say this though, when I first began to write for you, I was determined.
But some of my earlier columns, well, kind readers, thank you for not pointing out how naive I was.
Well, actually, a few of you did.
In my defense, I was writing from a younger perspective. A glorious deficit, yes.
Still, I had to learn to surrender (and "surrender" is the only word) to the other - the smarter, more sure-of-herself other - within. And come on, surrender takes time.
Every writer talks about this "otherness," this voice inside that just knows.
Then comes the moment when there might be another way of saying something and I agonize, because I should. . .I shouldn't. . .should. . .shouldn't submit this to my editor.
But it’s only when this “other” insists, that I know it’s over.
"It's time," she will say. "Press SEND!" So, first and foremost, in my annual post-holidaze, which always make me overly sentimental, I want thank her. Our relationship has evolved nicely through the years. Though, like most couples, we still bicker about a thousand little things.
For instance, right now she reminds me that I've written a lot over the years about this end of the year transition that always feels monumental. . .maybe because columnists are always writing about it with a much broader brush than it really deserves, I don't know.
Still, I know that you don't necessarily have to be a writer to want to try, at least, to pinpoint why December is such a mixed bag of emotions.
2013 finished? It's impossible!
Eventually, though, it sinks in.
Out of the corner of my eye, the morning sun creeps across my carpet and everything about the way the sunlight stirs me.
"Spring is next," my otherness will say, "that’'s what. We just have to get through the longest, bleakest months, that's all."
To which I will answer, "Not a problem. Piece of cake."
On the bright side, there are things that can help. My new favorite is the spa at downtown's Olive 8. Oh my God, for the price of a manicure you can use the steam room, Jacuzzi, heated saline pool, and sauna. Plus, cocktails are served to you while you lounge in a terry cloth robe!
I was waiting for something dramatically warm to pop up in my neighborhood. It fills me with hope I can hardly wait to air. And I have a sneaking suspicion this will always be so.
This month, well, it's going to be merry, sure, why not? But it's still going to be winter raining down.
So why not think about steamy warmth and a well-stocked bar by the pool? Because there is nothing wrong with having a little of both.
Mary Lou Sanelli
First published in
City Living Seattle. For more information, visit Mary Lou Sanelli's website at www.marylousanelli.com