A break from writing.
A scale-back to homeschooling.
Even a bit of a decline in my social calendar.
What might not be quite as widely known is WHY I took a giant and unexpected (unexplained until now) break from things. It's worth noting that I did NOT hit pause permanently. As is the definition of a PAUSE, it was temporary. Thus it was not a full-stop to life. More on that in a minute so keep reading. However I did take a giant step OUT of my social/writing/homeschooling life to tend to some things and well, it just was necessary. I know some of you wondered where I went so for those inquiring minds, here goes.
WHY I HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON ON MY LIFE:
This was not a permanent or even a PLANNED derailment of my extracurriculars. You see, like got....hairy. 2017 was a BIG year for my writing career in both good and bad ways. I reclaimed and rebooted my brand after a publisher stole my creative and intellectual property. That was big....HUGE. But there was more. 2017 was also a big year for my family with cross country moves and job changes and more. We had a LOT of things hit our plate collectively and I was rocking along pretty good holding all the balls in the air right until the END of 2017 hit and even MORE big stuff hit.
ANOTHER family health scare.
A N O T H E R battle out of left field.
The net result of it all was that my ever-constant unwanted friend ANXIETY reared it's ugly head. Ya'll it just got me. Life went a little sideways and I sank under the weight of it all. Of course, I'm a mom and wife and I couldn't succumb to my urge to crawl under my sheets and hide in my room forever, though there was a fair amount of that done too. NO....I had to find my stiff upper lip and my super cape and soldier on! BOOT AND RALLY! To do this though, I needed to take a beat. Strip away a few things taking my physical time so I could focus what good energy I had on the things that mattered the very most. My marriage, my kids, my health.
I didn't plan to have so many life-altering-crisis at once, but I still had to figure out a way to juggle it all and keep my head above water. So, I made the conscious choice to strip things down. Shed away what I could let go of to help me hold on to what mattered and get my feet back under me. So that is what I did. No writing, no blogging, no vlogging, minimal social media efforts, no marketing, nada. Zip. ZILCH!.
I broke like eleventy-billion rules for managing your author platform but lemme tell you it was worth it. I also stripped our homeschooling efforts down to nuts and bolts. No field trips, no crazy art or science stuff. Heck, even the weather cooperated and gave me a nice BOMB CYCLONE event to give me valid cause to barely leave the house. There was not one area of my life unaltered by this hiatus of sorts. I was strictly in SURVIVAL MODE ya'll and was having serious thoughts about throwing in the towel on just about everything I loved.
But guess what.
And now I'm coming back around!
WHY I'M MAKING A COMEBACK!
As I said above, this was NOT planned but it was also NEVER a full-stop to my life. I needed a
minute. I needed to take a beat. Life got big and hairy and messy and I needed to just bring things in a bit....take a knee, as they say. But now, I'm back! (Or....I'm trying to be. Give a girl some credit for the effort ya'll.). I rejoined humanity as the spring broke thru the snow. I had a few new friends clawing me out of my house, and a husband who dearly loved (ie SHOVED) me to the doctor's office to conquer my anxiety. After some pharmaceutical assistance and steady sleep I was well on the road to returning to my old capable self.
That's when I realized I MISS some of the stuff I had temporarily let go. I MISSED writing....my desk was calling my name and my brain was churning out words and I NEEDED to type! I was once again EXCITED about homeschooling and reading up on new methodologies. I was even excited once again to learn about our new town and make new friends and really anchor in where we are now.
But make no mistake, I'm not tackling everything I had before. I'm writing again, to be sure, but I'm narrowing my focus, and giving myself some grace on scheduling -- and that's okay. I'm homeschooling still because my WHY has never changed on that....and we'll continue to go thru the summer as we've found a new year-round plan. And I'm winging it a little bit but allowing LOTS of grace...and that's OKAY. We still have a few legal/financial hurdles to overcome but my new bff attorney "Bull Dog" (i nicknamed him...isn't it cute) is handling that nonsense FOR ME so I can release that....and That's O K A Y! In fact that's the moral of my little mental walk-about. IT's Okay!
It's okay to take a break.
It's okay to shift priorities.
It's okay to find a little help.
It's okay to let some stuff go.
It's okay to need.
Life get's messy and big and loud and chaotic and sometimes it rushes over you so much you just can't catch your breathe. Take a knee, let some stuff go, take time to re-assess and then jump back into the dance and rock on with your bad self. And for all my writer friends remember....JUST KEEP WRITING...even if it sucks!