Monday, June 16, 2014

It's a Jane Austen Day

The other day I was having a conversation with a new friend. We were talking movies and she said that she liked period pieces, but that she just didn’t think about them while selecting a film to watch.
I, on the other hand, crave these slower types of movies. I go through phases where I’ll watch every single period movie I can find, sometimes going as far as watching different versions of the same movie–one time even on the same day.
I’ve discovered that Jane Austen movies are the ones I most often turn to when times are hectic, upsetting, or overwhelming. Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudiceare the ones that affect me the most. They are the most calming–Elinor’s reserve; Elizabeth’s letters.
I believe that I have this quasi-obsessive appreciation for these period pieces because, in a way, I am celebrating a time period where–despite its entailment laws, injustice for women, and cruel societal expectations–women only had to write letters, read, walk or ride in the fresh air, and learn French and embroidery.
I could totally rock that lifestyle.
Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong century.
That’s all I ever want my vacations to be like. Writing, reading, exploring, and learning something knew.
C’est la perfection!

Today, for example: My car broke down, I had to walk in the rain to go and pick it up from the repair shop (my clothes are still wet an hour later), my dog has pink eye and I can only get him in to the vet tomorrow morning. I haven’t written anything in my novel for at least three weeks, I need to clear out blackberry brambles and weeds in order to put up a new fence in our backyard, and I need to keep on packing for a move in five weeks. I need to paint my kids’ bedrooms before we move in, my head hurts, my shins hurt, and I’m exhausted. I need to pick up my lawn mower at the saw shop and mow my lawns. I need to call to set up garbage service at the new house, and pay the new electric bill. I missed my Weight Watchers meeting this morning because of the car, and I’m ditching my writing critique group this afternoon because of…all of the above.
All this…and all I want to do is write a letter in a pretty blue dress.
So instead, I will change into dry clothes, make myself some hot chocolate, and watch Sense and Sensibility.
It’s the only way I know how to slow down my brain.

What do you do when life gets out of hand?