Last week was a long month.
In some ways, it was great. We were back in Idaho at the new house. I love the new house and the town, and if it were up to me, I would be there right now.
But last week was also spring break, so the two high schoolers were with us. They don’t know anyone in the town. There’s no furniture or entertainment in the new house yet. We didn’t even have a microwave, so even popping a bag of popcorn was out of the question. On top of that, it snowed off and on while we were there, and when it wasn’t snowing, it was pretty cold (except for one afternoon). And although The Man and I took a few days off work, we still had to do some work-related stuff and some things for the house, so we weren’t always in a position to entertain teenagers. Not that our new town has in the way of teen-oriented entertainment anyway… Most of the entertainment options are an hour or so away.
This is a recipe for teenage boredom.
Add to the teenage boredom a technical glitch/issue with my blog, client work that needed to get finished, lack of sleep (no bed means sleeping on a camping cot), no exercise for a few days (no time!), and a missing cat, and I threw up my hands on Wednesday and said, “screw it. I’ll start again Monday.”
When It’s Too Much
Sometimes It’s just too much.
When I say “It,” I mean all of It.
The lack of focus and sleep.
My own expectations.
I needed to just turn it off for a couple of days and reset my brain.
One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Lamott: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
Sometimes a few minutes is a few days. Or a few months. Or even, potentially, a few years.
I am reconsidering that time when I went dark for a few years. I have spent a lot of time regretting it, and yet…
That time was what I needed.
I had to reset my perspectives and priorities. It’s true that I lost traction with writing, but I think I needed to miss it for a while. I needed to understand how much I needed it, how much of a gift it is.
I think I need to not be afraid of the occasional reset, because honestly, sometimes It really is just all too much.
We drove back from Idaho on Thursday.
I unpacked and got a workout on Friday.
I caught up on work on Saturday.
And I ran errands and did a few chores on Sunday.
I mostly stayed off social media and out of e-mails (except work ones).
And my brain is a little more focused now.
I will most likely not return to Idaho until we are ready to make the final move, because honestly, my time is better spent here in Oregon. I need to focus on purging junk and packing, writing and marketing my fiction, finishing client projects, and managing the normal wife/mom/dog and cat owner stuff that I always have on my plate. Every time I go to Idaho, I have to build two days around the trip for travel, because it’s a full day of driving each way. That’s a lot of days to be gone from the Oregon house, and I really can’t afford those.
I am trying to figure out how to find some concentrated time to work on Unquickened. It’s tough to be trying to focus on promotion and writing/editing at the same time. I only have so many hours in the day, and client work continues to pick up. I can try to do a little editing every day, but it’s tough to get back into a rhythm or remember exactly what I wanted to do every day. So I’m mulling over options…
I have three main work-related buckets right now: client work, writing/editing my fiction, and fiction promotion (blogging, social media posts, etc.). I can do most of the fiction promotion during my creative slow points in the day/week, because I’m not really accessing the main creative part of my brain for those.
But client work and fiction writing and editing? For those I need my full creative energy and focus. And for editing a novel, I really need more than an hour or two a day.
So I’m trying to figure out how to concentrate some time for focused editing. I don’t know what that looks like–there’s a lot to manage right now, and I don’t know if I can afford to take entire days just to work on the novel. But I think that’s exactly what I need… It’s just a matter of finding those days when the client work is caught up, the family/house demands are low, and the creative energy is high.
I don’t know how to get those stars to align.
Once again, I’m rebooting.
But this is maybe less of a full shutdown reboot with 117 Windows updates and more of just a restart to refresh the system.
With the client queue getting under control now, I’m really hoping to find a day or two to spend a huge chunk of time on Unquickened this week/weekend. By next week, I hope to have a better update for everyone.
In the meantime, I’ll be back on social media (follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) this week, trying to get back to daily posts and gain some followers and fans.
Rebooting can be tough. It takes energy to power down and power back up, oddly enough. But sometimes, that’s exactly what’s necessary. When It’s all too much, the only way to get back to running properly is to shut down for a few minutes, days, weeks and restart by dealing with one task at a time.
So… now that the system is refreshed… On to the next task…