Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm back

Sorry I have been absent from my blog for so long. There really are no good excuses, but here are some: I joined the evil time sink that is facebook. I obsessively had to watch a lot of the FIFA World Cup Soccer matches (mostly late at night, from web archives). I have expanded my veggie garden this year and it has taken quite a lot of time to look after it, and now I am picking, freezing, and canning...). And I have been hiking, fly fishing, biking, canoeing, seeing friends, and seeing family.

But truly, the one really big reason that I have not been writing on my blog much is that work has been sucking my bone marrow out and leaving me with little energy or inclination to write, or even to think. The kind of work that I do is demanding and time consuming in every season. Most years, things slow down a little in the summer, but not this year. It has been an endless year. It's been a good year, but intense, with no breaks.

Work can wear a person down. Lately, I have been too tired at night to even want to read novels. That is rare for me; I am always reading something (except when I am in the flow of a big writing project myself. Then sometimes I purposely avoid reading other writers' novels so that my own writing is not unduly influenced by their work.). I have been too tired at night to even want to watch movies -- usually the activity I turn to when I am tired.

I have been trying for years to get the work-life balance thing figured out. But always the solution seems to be either to work less (something that I have not been able to do -- call me "type A"), or to try to cram more into my day. It seems that I have so much that I want to do, and no time to fit it all in.

My out-of-work time has very little down time; I am not at all good at being lazy. Here is an example of a day off for me: Sleep in until 9:30. Grab some coffee. Feed the cats. Work in the garden for 2 hours. Come in and eat. Sort the laundry and put in the first of five loads. Make a list of all the tasks I and other family members need to accomplish today (before leaving on a holiday tomorrow). Do some emails and phone calls relating to an important work issue that cannot wait until I am back from my holiday, and send a couple of emails related to planning a family event in August (2 1/2 hr). Have shower. Go down town and do some errands. Cook a big supper. Sit down for 30 minutes and have tea with partner. Watch son try out new long board. Work in garden for another hour until the mosquitoes get too voracious. Clean and package the veggies I have picked. Pit cherries. Make sour cherry jam. Freeze cherries. Sit down at computer and check facebook. Write on my blog. Oops, it's after midnight -- time for bed. This was my day today.

Now we are heading off on a two-week camping trip. Most of the time, I will be in places where I will not have internet or cell phone access. I will have some down time. I'm running away from the frenzy that is my life. I hope that when I come back, I will be ready to think and write again.