Terri Kaiser

Regarding household chores of late, I’ve been a slug. All that has thankfully changed now that our son is coming for a visit from North Carolina. Holy buckets, you should see what all I’ve accomplished. It’s truly impressive. Why, I’ve cleaned out shelves and drawers, washed floors, dusted all the nooks and crannies, and even bought new sheets for the guest bed. All that’s left is a quick spruce-up of the bathrooms and a tidy-up of the living room. Thank heavens we get visitors every now and then. I can’t imagine the state of this place if we didn’t.

And why does it take this motivation to get it all done? Because the older I get, the less I care. I think that at this stage of the game, experiences matter more—and that’s a good thing.

It makes me ponder on the motivation provided by the changing of the seasons. When fall arrives, which isn’t nearly long enough in my opinion, we are already setting our sights on winter and what needs to be done to ready ourselves for those long, cold months. Cutting and stacking of the firewood or filling the propane tank, harvesting of the garden, taking the screens down, putting the snowblower within easy reach along with the shovels, and shoving the lawn furniture back into the shed. While I clean up the flower beds, my husband is doing a tune-up on the plow truck. And it’s this nesting that is so necessary and yet, energizing. I guess we just need a reason to do it all.

Come spring, that motivation will kick in again to reverse all of the above, to get ready for summer and all it entails.

Of course, those basic needs are perhaps the greatest motivator of all. We all need to survive; therefore, we plant and harvest, hunt and gather, find ways to clothe our bodies and maintain our shelters. For most of us, that comes naturally and we must be thankful for what we have and for the motivation that drives us to earn and provide. For the most part, the greatest of motivators is family. We want to thrive for them as much as for ourselves.

As I said earlier, experiences matter more. Now, I am more likely to drop everything to go canoeing or kayaking, visit with friends and relatives, go to a movie, putz with a recipe or grab a seat on the porch and watch the flowers turn their colorful faces to the sun. And explore this thing called writing.

I’ve been working on a novel for a while now. From time to time I’ve submitted it out to publishers and agents, with no luck, but am finally getting positive feedback and guidance. Some days I wonder where was the motivation to keep going? After all, spending hours holed up in a room by myself to stare at a keyboard and screen does not lend to the most exciting of times. The fact is, I believe it’s a good story, and I’ll keep at it until I can tell it the way it deserves to be told, gleaning knowledge of the process and craft every step of the way. The story, in my opinion, is there, it’s a good tale; but the person trying to write it down, needs a little work yet. And that, being able to someday say I did it well, is my self-motivation.

Anyway, company coming or not, we all have those things that motivate us. Thank heavens for that, or nothing would ever get done.

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