Photo: Holiday crafting is in full effect, ya’ll! Thanks to my sister’s supreme talent, I was able to get a few drawings of the boys in fun action poses. Graphite transfer paper is a blessing and a curse: it fades over time. I didn’t realize that when I transferred the full design to the fabric. *sigh* so I’ve had to reinforce a few times already! I’m rushing to get all the outlining work done so I can color without worry of fading!
The farmers of MetroWest are preparing their fields for winter. No matter which way we go, what errand the boys and I run to, there is a field along the way. We’ve marveled at the quick harvest, looked closely for the veggies left behind and, of course, the boys have really enjoyed the heavy machinery that has come out to turn over the soil. While some fields are sort of gray and depleted, others are rich and dark, seemingly ready for another planting right away. Geese passing through on their way to warmer destinations can be seen pecking away at the dregs, delighting in a free meal without worry. While I have enjoyed the intellectual exercise of carefully observing the process, discovering things that I have not before (and continually growing a healthy respect for the people who grow our food for a living), I have a sense of sadness–here we are, the cold season. The longest, most miserable time of the year. Gone are the long days and the sunshine and the warmth. I’m not ready. I’m never ready.
It’s been cold this week, too. I broke out my favorite peacoat, took out the boys’ puffy coats, mittens, and hats. Had to preheat the van one morning (and set it to 85 degrees with glee!), had to go digging for long-sleeved shirts. The marigolds survived the first hard freeze of the season (down to the twenties), while the rest of the garden was decimated. I broke out the rakes after school one afternoon and made four huge piles of leaves. There is plenty of yard left to cover.
I found myself relishing it, actually; the preparation for the change. I don’t want winter, but I’m delighted to be busy with it. The getting ready is fun, the logistics of change strangely bring me joy. Maybe because, while working with my hands and body to change the house over to things, my mind has been free to do it’s thinking, it’s concluding.
I decided I’m not going to do NaNo next month.
I decided I might not write at all this winter.
Like the fields all around me, I’m going to rest. I’m going to feed my brain with books, and a few webinars about blogging and writing, and I’m joining a Mastermind ground and I’m searching for a local writing group. But I’m not going to force myself to produce. Not for a season. I’m going to let my mind lay fallow.
Because I don’t have the bandwidth and I’ve hit a space where I need to do some learning before I can do any improving.
I contemplated stepping away from the blog, too.
“Are you getting a little depressed or are you honestly rerouting your energy and focus?” The Husband asked me when I spoke to him about this. He asks excellent questions.
The urge to stop blogging is the tug of depression. It would be so easy to turn this computer off, so easy to leave the words behind, to disrupt the routine, to have no obligations to myself at all. Lord, how lovely it would be to surrender to it. It paws at me every single morning and keeps me in bed 40 minutes longer than I should. I haven’t gotten up before 6:30 any day since Grandy passed. It takes an incredible effort to get my two feet on the floor. Once they’re there, I’m fine… but those moments between my waking and my moving are the most exhausting of my day.
Before you start to worry, I’m not giving up and I’m not walking away from the blog. Thanks to freelancing, I was able to purchase some really great resources to help me learn and grow, and I’m sure that there will be some experimenting happening in this space over the winter months. The Husband has taken on the responsibility of holding me to the promise: not to give up, to publish my two complete manuscripts, to learn and grow, to emerge in the Spring ready to produce.
But, in order to do that, I’ve got to prepare the way. I have to rediscover the purpose of the pursuit. I may even need to rediscover what I’m pursuing to begin with.
It’s good to let go, and a little scary. Doubt loves to tease: “Are you kidding yourself? This is what quitting looks like!”
I’m not listening. I know better.
There is nothing wrong with resting, breathing, replenishing. I have to do it. I have actually, finally, reached my capacity.
My dear, Dear Reader, it’s Friday. Another rainy one, actually, with a cold wind that cuts through the flimsy stuff made for the 60 degree days. Halloween (and all that must be done) looms large over my weekend but, tomorrow at least, I don’t have to think about it. Like so many Fridays that have come before, I have wishes for you. I wish you a first evening under your good blanket. You know the one: the one you break out for the real cold, to keep out the real chill of the long season. I wish you that pleasure of taking it out of the closet, shaking it out, giving it a good smell, wrapping it around you and feeling its loving warmth. I hope that you break open a new book to mark the occasion, wrapping yourself up and falling away. Far, far away. I wish you the joy of some good tomato basil soup, extra bonus points if you make it yourself, which you totally can. Bonus points if you have an excellent grilled cheese sandwich to dip in it. I wish you the crackle of a fire or the tapping of the rain on your window, any excuse to stop and listen, to enjoy and relax. I wish for you the permission you need to stop and breathe, Dear Reader. It’s a gift. Finally, as ever, I wish you a loving embrace and the wonderful feeling that comes when someone tells you they love you with full heart and sincerity. A lover, a relative, a friend… those words are powerful, they matter, and they should be said. Be sure to say the words out loud this weekend: to yourself (first) and to someone else.
I’m grateful for your presence, Dear Reader. Thank you for another great week.
Until Monday, take care.