Not to be all "gratitude list" about it, because nothing is more annoying when you're wound up and in a funk at the same time to be told, "make a gratitude list," but. Okay, this is maybe a little gratitude-y.
September has brought, shall we say, challenges, and in learning to meet them, I have been deliberately looking for bright sides.
* The "active words on a page" part of writing my new novel had to take a back seat in September. In the rest of life, we had problems. They needed solutions. We also had situations--things that existed but over which we had no control and thus couldn't solve. Sorting it all out meant fractured sleep and focus and concentration. That meant few words.
Bright side: the novel was still there. Occasionally I'd stop at my open notebook and write down something, and when I went back to look recently, all of the notes made sense. (!!!) Apparently I was continuing to work on my novel all that time. I'm sitting down regularly again, with renewed focus and some answers I didn't know before. Also new questions, but hey, that's writing.
* We have a mostly new system for getting water into the house. It has cost money, nervousness (mine), time, and it caused the fractured sleep etc. mentioned above.
Bright side: Going into winter, we are ready to receive all the water the well can provide. That's the best possible place to be. Bonus: With low water in this region this year, I've considered many difficult possible future scenarios and have mapped out strategies. I feel as prepared as I can.
Bright side, part deux: Taking responsibility for something and learning about it--that whole demystifying thing--actually relieved my anxiety. It [waves hands around] just is. This is reality; I'm dealing with it. Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but I have a long history of being really good at denial and positively excellent at inertia, so it is to me.
Bright side, next generation: We are slowly assembling a team of workers who have been in this house and fixed things. I've had the chance to see them work. I love to see an expert figuring out what part of a system is on the blink. They're "just there to do a job" but when they enjoy what they do, they feel good about fixing the thing, and that's a nice vibe to have in this house. It raises a new question: how can I share that vibe "out there" in the rest of the world?
Bright side, a new hope: I have started writing things down, including who came, when, what they did, and how much water our well gives every day. These are not things I thought I'd care about, to say nothing of tracking them. (This is the type of tracking I used to laugh at my dear departed father, bless his heart, for: he kept daily logs about car mileage and fuel efficiency in different colours, after he was widowed and drove mostly to the post office, to the American Legion for steak dinners on Thursday, and to the church for meetings.) And these lists are so helpful.
I guess that's it for now. More bright sides are lurking out there, somewhere--something about the nature of relationships, and how they're not transactional except when they are--but I haven't sorted them out yet.
Meanwhile, thanks for your challenges, September. And hi there, October.