A Writing Life: Tapping Out

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tapping Out

I went to see a new doctor last week. I was kind of excited. Weird, I know. But I don't like anything to slow me down and between sinus issues due to allergies and some anxiety stuff going on, I wanted to feel better. Bring on the healing, doc! I was ready.

After spending over an hour with me (amazing on so many levels) this sweet, blessed woman looked at me and said, "You're exhausted." My first thought was, "tell me something I don't know." But then I began to sob right there in the exam room. A strange sense of relief flooded my system at the validation, by a medical professional no less, that I am tired. Exhausted. Yes.

I am a Type A personality. It's not that I don't like to sit still, I'm not even sure I know how. And if my body isn't moving, my brain is. Like say, while sitting at my desk writing. I'm still, yes. But my brain is churning like crazy. I am also a mother of three teenagers. Anyone who says these years are more mellow than when they are little is lying. Flat out. There are still three of them and one of me. And they're busy. Social events, sporting events, Senior year activities. Yes, Girly drives herself to many things, but it is still busy.

Not to mention this writing gig I have going on. Do I love it? Yep. I love my kids too. Doesn't mean there isn't stress or craziness involved. As the doctor said to me, I'm pulled in many different directions, consistently draining my tank while filling others, and I need to figure out how to fill up my own.

I read a blog recently that had me crying (I seem to be doing that a lot lately) and singing the praises of this beautiful writer who had to guts to say out loud, "Stop saying, writers write. Writers write whenever they can." God bless her.

I fear we writers pressure each other without meaning to in how we talk so much of word count, how often we are at our desk, or with catchy phrases like "Writers write." But writers also have lives. Busy ones. Ones that sometimes make us tired and we need to tap out for a bit.

I've spent the last week looking at what drains me emotionally and physically. Truly picking apart my days to see what can go and what can stay. And I've discovered a funny thing. In doing so, I'm tapping out of stuff that really should have been ousted a long time ago and I'm enjoying things again like reading and funny thing...writing. Journaling. Toying with words and scenes. Stuff I used to do before I had deadlines and writing became work. On my calendar now, instead of saying "Work" or even "Write" I say "Create."

I think on some level we all get tired and need a break. We need to tap out for a bit. We are a world inundated with information, images, expectations. It's okay to step away. Think. Wander. Wonder. Be. This is the pot calling the kettle black here because I am learning again to do these things. Re-program my mind, day, and habits. And it isn't easy, but so far, it's been absolutely worth it. I am embracing time with family and friends, noticing more of the world around me and crazy enough, getting story ideas right and left.

I needed a doctor to tell me to slow down and rest. So, being the obedient patient I am, I believe it's time for a nap.

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