Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rewind, Relax, Renew

April 21, 2011
A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 18 - R

When I signed up to do the A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’d just completed a very busy writing period. I’d lived through the holidays and completed a few manuscripts while doing so. One of the books had released, and the edits were finished on the other two. Two more stories are partially written at about 10K each. Not a bad six months.

Like every other super productive phase I’ve passed through, I felt the need to step back from writing. The Challenge seemed as though it would be just the ticket, and it has been. As I write this, some weeks before it will actually be posted at Between the Keys, I’ve been working on the daily articles for just a week, and I’m all the way to ‘R’.

I confess I’m almost ready to get back to the writing. A week might not sound like long enough to relax, but down time from writing can’t be measured in definable units like minutes. It’s almost as if I can feel some wheel or dial inside me turn. Or maybe it’s like the tumblers in a lock falling into place. I’ve got one last thing to do before I begin again – walk back to the pond.

When I was growing up, a walk to the pond was a family affair, and most of us came home with wet shoes and paws. You have to cross three different creeks to get there - and cross them again to get home. Being young and nimble, I usually managed to make the leaps. Dad never landed in the water, but being six- foot-two he had the advantage of longer legs than the rest of us.

The pond is a magical place for me, a place of renewal. You might look at the picture and shrug, but you can’t smell the spicy tang of the woods, or hear the smallest twig snap as a deer comes in to drink. The picture doesn’t let you see the flash of silver as one of the little sunnies swims into a too shallow spot and has to flap his way back to deeper water. The pond photographs best in autumn, when I generally go, but this year I want to see it poised on the edge spring, echoing what I feel inside.

Walks to the pond are almost solitary events these days. The dog goes with me, but the woods walkers in the family have been reduced to one – me. Mom can’t do the distance now, which is worrisome in that it reminds me she’s not so young anymore. My partner completed the walk once, by willpower alone, but while chemotherapy saved his life, it left him no longer strong enough to walk such a distance and we both know it. My grandparent’s are gone, and my cousins married girls that practice mall walking. It’s all part of a bigger wheel turning and it’s okay.

Take time for yourself in all your endeavors. Discover what it is that gives you space to breathe and learn to use is as the life tool it is. Don’t shortchange yourself by living with your nose unceasingly pressed to your personal grindstone. It will strip you away, layer-by-layer, and leave you wondering what the heck happened to the days of your life. Without downtime, it’s easy to forget why you love doing what you do.

Rewind, relax, renew. You really are worth it.

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