Last April, I started this blog. To be honest, I was utterly ignorant about this world, about its residents, about the conversations that go on here. All I knew was that I loved to write. I knew that I had written a book of which I was maternally proud. I knew that writing every day would be both a treat and wonderful literary discipline.
What I didn't know is how much I would come to love this world. And how quickly. What I didn't know is that my mind would start brewing post ideas at all hours and in my dreams. What I didn't know is how much time, and energy, and soul I'd throw into this place. What I didn't know is that I would make friends, actual friends. That I would find a community, an actual community.
To be honest (and this is really honest), if I had known these things, I am not sure I would have started this blog in the first place. I kind of assumed this would be a good little platform to make book announcements from time to time. I didn't know it would eat hours of my days and occupy such a footprint of my mind. And of my heart.
But there is no turning back now. I love this place and I am here to stay. I need to figure out what that means for me. How to create balance. How to make sure to keep writing my fiction. How to make sure to give my family the love and attention and focus they deserve.
But. Today is the Saturday before Christmas. My entire family is here, within reach. There are presents to buy and cookies to bake and memories to carve. There are stories to live. And this, right here, right now, is the perfect time for me to press pause. To stop. To immerse myself in my moments and my days and my little creatures. You know what? I will never again have another Christmas season when my daughters are three and one. I want to soak it up. And so I will.
This isn't easy though. What I am realizing as I type these words is that pressing pause is not just an act. It's an art. Truth be told, taking time off makes me a bit anxious. I hear those proverbial voices. They are clear and compelling. My book is coming out in May. Now is not the time to ease up.
(Yes, shameless self-promotion. This gives me the willies, but apparently it's time to start doing this.)
The voices echo. Things are just beginning to really grow; This is not the time to relax. What if people forget me and my words? What if a little time off undoes all the hard work put forth for several months?
As we were climbing into bed the other night, Husband said something to me. Something that pierced me. He said, "If you had stayed at the law firm or had left to go to another desk job and your boss made you work seven days a week, you'd be miserable. You are now your own boss. Why are you making yourself do this every day?"
I am boss. Even if it doesn't always feel this way (and believe me it doesn't), Husband is right. These are my decisions - and my mistakes - to make. Maybe it is a mistake to take a bit of time off now. Maybe it is. But my hunch, my hope, is that you who read these words now won't see it this way. My hunch, my hope, is that you will see me for who I am - a parent and a person who needs to press pause. Who wants to.
Maybe you will take my lead and shut down for a day. Or two. Or several. Maybe you too will force yourself to spend a few days without screens.
Mark Twain said, The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
And I think he had it right. Before you know it, this pause will be history and my words and I will be back. With a vengeance.
Are you able to press pause and give yourself a break? Are there any topics you would like me to write about in the New Year? Please feel free to drop your URL below and I will visit your blog sometime soon. I will be checking and moderating your comments, so please go ahead and leave one. See you soon!