From Where I Sit – Stealing Time

Though we seeded fewer acres this spring, May was still pretty tense. After 24 years of service, our IH seed drill was replaced by an air seeder. Buying a used unit only adds to the adventure. The usual pre-sale reconditioning didn’t happen at the dealership but rather over 2 or 3 days in our yard. It wasn’t pretty. Four trips in three days for parts would try anyone’s patience.

So when I had the opportunity to check in at my hotel room a few hours before the start of a two-day Credit Union planning session in St. Paul, I jumped at it.

I was staying at the nearly new Super 8 at the east-end of town, sandwiched between the mall and Smyl Motors. The hotel boasts a waterslide and complimentary continental breakfast.

I settled into my third floor room at 2 P.M. intent on doing one of two, okay three things–some writing or some work on my university course or grabbing a nap. Like a good girl I wrote in silence at the cherry wood desk. I sipped a decaf and silently applauded my focus. It would have been easy to watch TV or read the Journal and National Post I’d stuffed in my bag.

My room was as comfy as any hotel room can be. The TV, coffee maker and hair dryer are what we’ve come to expect. The microwave, bar fridge, iron and ironing board are nice perks I didn’t use but appreciated nonetheless.

I’m not sure if I love paisley fabric because of its richness of design and color or because it seems old-fashioned. At any rate, a navy, taupe, green, rust version covered the beds and window valance. A coordinating tapestry fabric covered the three stuffed arm chairs. The rich cherry wood of the furniture and mirror frames was another favorite of mine. Two not-so-bad art prints hung over the beds. The flecked navy carpet was still new enough and clean enough not to creep me out.

Though this certainly wasn’t the poshest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, it got me wondering about the appeal of hotel rooms.

Is it the notion–true or not–of being on a holiday? Is it the anonymity? The privacy? It certainly wasn’t the view, this time.

I think, for me, it’s the sense of escape and focus it affords. At home, the telephone or family or minutiae of daily living can grind you down. Distractions abound. Though my home is a comfortable refuge furnished and decorated to my taste and for my convenience, it’s easy to get sidetracked. I can see why some authors sequester themselves away at hotels or retreat sites to do the tough, focused hours serious writing requires.

I’m just grateful for the 3 1/2 hours of time, silence and focus I was able to steal during spring seeding. Try it next chance you get. It’s a good thing from where I sit.

*Reprinted with permission