A week of rest

Our trip started with a flurry of activity. First there was an incredibly busy Thursday of packing and a trip to town for Tae Kwon Do and farm pick up and "don't forget the cat food".

This was followed by a six am departure Friday morning with an afternoon arrival into Halifax, where we shopped for outdoor gear, clothing, and craft supplies and then finally picked up some food for our weekend jaunt into the woods the next day.

The next morning was a bustle of activity again at my parents, as we all packed our bags for two days of hiking.

We had been invited, by Damien's cousin (and my parents' close friends) to share Thanksgiving supper at their home Sunday night, 10 minutes from the trailhead. This was a real treat after 30 km of hiking (approximately 18 1/2 miles) in two days.

Monday was a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner, this time at my parents' home, with some Alberta cousins (who are visiting the east coast right now) as the guests.

Family, food, physical activity - a great combination for holidays.

After those first five days of intense activity, things have settled down a little... allowing us to prepare for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary celebration this coming weekend.

I hadn't thought or planned for this time to be a vacation for me, but the middle of this week feels like a vacation. A time out of time for rest and rejuvenation.

Outside of my usual home routine, I am finding I don't have the same drive to write. Which makes me think that maybe writing is my work now, fully, instead of the hobby it once was. Work I love yes, but work I am happy to take a break from now and then, just like any other job.

With the break from writing comes a break also from all the writing angst. Stepping back allows me to see my concerns, my fears, my insecurities (about my ideas, my writing, and myself) - in perspective. And oh, I needed some perspective.

Stepping back helps me see that I am way too absorbed in myself.

My self absorption seems to be wrapped up in my writing. In as much as writing helps me get ideas out of my head it also keeps me in a head space where I chew ideas, roll them around on my tongue, and feel them travel along my synapses.

It's not that I think my ideas are better (ok, sometimes I think they are), or more worthy of expression than other people's ideas. It is simply that they are mine. And as mine it is my default to nurture them, and figure out ways to skillfully express them.

And when I see how much energy goes into ruminating and expressing, and then how draining that can sometimes be for me, I can't help but think that writing is a type of self absorption. Not an unhealthy self absorption, necessarily, unless of course it is.

I do not feel unkind in this evaluation of myself, "you're so self-absorbed", spoken with condescending criticism. It's not that. I feel like a compassionate observer to my own reality. The reality I have created for myself, quite unexpectedly, as a writer.


For years I have cultivated a daily discipline of writing. I have worked hard to improve at my craft, steadily becoming better at the mechanics. And I have struggled with the self doubt all writers feel, all people feel. And now this, the self absorption of a writerly life.

Not all the realities of a craft, or a creative expression, are pretty to look at or experience. And this last one, this self absorption seems to have snuck up on me when I wasn't looking.

When did this sneak in the door?

Everyone deals with self absorption. It's simply expressed differently in each of us.

We are all absorbed in our own work, our own ideas, our own mission, our own craft, our own lives. Perhaps mine is simply the writer's expression of self absorption.

Bah. Let it rest. In pondering the self absorption that I seemed to step out of during this week of rest, I stepped right back in!

So now I'm letting myself melt back into that space of rest. The space where thoughts come in and are let back out, where books are read without constantly thinking, "how can I share the nugget of truth I've gleaned from this other writer", and where observations are made but not recorded, just appreciated.

(Comments closed because I do actually want to rest from ideas right now, and not respond and replay words in my head. And feel misunderstood and then feel compelled to defend and discuss, pulling me back into the cycle of "did I express myself accurately, truthfully, tactfully..?" I'm letting it all rest.)

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What I don't know »

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