This week I sent off a new manuscript to my editor. This one is non-fiction, which I haven't done before other than Ayse's biography, so I'm not as sure of myself as I usually feel. It's sort of like dressing up your child for her first day of school and sending her off on the bus not knowing if she'll thrive and be happy or be eaten by wolves at recess.
This book is about living according to our values. I think that we cannot live truly satisfying lives and will always feel some uneasiness if we don't align the way we live with what matters most to us. First we have to identify what is truly important to us (not just what we think should be important to us), so the book has some exercises around that. Then we look at how we are currently living and see what supports or promotes those values and what distracts us from them. We look for the things we want to increase and the burdens or "clutter" we want to discard, looking at the physical, mental, emotional, and social areas of our lives. This goes beyond simplification. The book gets the reader started on the process of setting down some of those burdens, though truthfully that's a lifelong exercise. And then at the end I discuss how to cope with the things that we want to discard or change but really can't. Some things just have to be gotten through and we have no control over them. But by applying the idea of taking something yicky and sanctifying it, we can gain a different perspective and change our attitudes toward it, which helps to lighten the burden.
This is a book I've worked on off and on for several years. Fingers crossed. I have no idea what the reception will be.