Wow, what a summer! What began with some semblance of structure and is now closing with its usual muggy, moisture laden chaos that has me begging for school to begin again.
I had well envisioned plans for this summer. It was going to be the summer of enjoying nature and writing about it in my journal. I was going to relish my time with the boys swimming, biking, eating ice cream and all those activities that are exponentially better when the humidity hits 80%. Of course, I would be reading. I purposely subscribed to five different writing publications in the spring because I knew I would be submerging myself in every issue and swimming in the inspiration tucked between each and every page.
As my favorite phrase goes; If you want God to laugh, tell Him your plans.
May finished up and with the kids out of school and home all of the time they needed to be shuttled to and from sports camps, friend’s houses, driver education class and summer basketball league games. It took me three weeks to complete a short blog I normally would have woven into a couple of days. I opted to be kind to myself and figured this was just my way of trying to adapt to “summer life”. I told myself that once I got the hang of the hot weather hiatus, I’d be back in form. I’m good at convincing myself so on top of the 5 magazines I already subscribed to, I added a subscription to The New Yorker. What the heck,….it was a fantastic deal.
July came and we left for a family reunion mid-month. The first half of the month was spent prepping for the trip and the last half in the laundry room recovering from the aftermath.
When August arrived I was feeling so defeated that I hadn’t written one single word since June. I was determined to get control of my schedule, my family, my house and have them submit to MY time in order to get back on track with writing. One hot muggy day after a less than fruitful visit from the HVAC repairman, I dropped one of the boys off at a friend’s house. His mom is a very talented writer and I asked her how her book project was going. She let me know she just signed with an agent. I am genuinely happy for her and tell her she is inspiring me to get my act back together. I let it slip that I haven’t typed a word in not just weeks….but MONTHS. Then I hear the words every creative person dreads……
”Well, you have to be passionate about it so it becomes the priority.”
I thought I WAS passionate about writing!! What happened??? Why did my passion get up and sally the summer?
Definition: absence (noun) æb sns 1. Not being present; the fact of somebody’s not being in a specific place. 2. Time away; a period during which somebody is away. 3. Nonexistence; the lack or nonexistence of a quality or feature.
Was it as simple as not being present with my passion for writing? I let it take a backseat because I needed to present with other things and maybe that’s not all bad. I had huge family obligations this summer with relatives spanning from 86 needing to be shuttled back home from eye surgery down to a 12 yr old spraining his ankle twice. I needed to move a child living 400 miles away from dorm to apartment and back to dorm again. I took a leadership role in a group seeking to elect responsible citizens to my local school board. Our youth sports organization that we started 8 years ago with our friends was starting the biggest sport of the year and needed my attention. All of these things are very important to me. So, it wasn’t that my passion waned or drifted off into nonexistence but more an issue of being passionate about more than one thing and finding a balance between all of them.
Forgiving myself for not living up to my unrealistic vision of the “perfect summer” took some solid reflection and observation on how I really spent my time. While God chuckles at my vision of a blissful summer of observing nature, writing and reading, I can look back on the last couple of months and know that I was doing exactly what I was passionate about and then allow myself the luxury of being grateful for the experience.