I Have Been/I Will Be

I seem to have disappeared.

I was developing a series of posts around the theme of “April Accountability”–being responsible to yourself for your writing and learning time, discovering your best writing practices, using reflection and tools to find out how you work best and to track your work, and so forth. And then I put them all on indefinite hold for a variety of reasons I won’t go into.

Or maybe I will. I went on a vacation to Hawaii with friends in March; it was a bit of a whirlwind, highlighted by some time on the water near Maui at the end of whale season, along with some outrigger canoeing, the road to Hana (and everything I ate on it), flights in small planes, drinking from real actual coconuts, and having a love affair with passionfruit, papaya, and lilikoi. I’m definitely forgetting some things! Unfortunately, the vacation also had the lowlight of getting really sick early in the trip, to the point of considering the hospital (and fearing using the airsick bag on a flight with only nine seats, because everybody would know–thanks for otherwise fantastic rides, Mokulele Airlines).

The sick stuck around, or I got sick again on the heels of that. I had four to six useful hours in each day for literally weeks, taking us up to the end of April. Then I was distracted by a family emergency, and following that, I ended up tagging along on a friend’s business trip. Other spare moments, I’ve been doing things like re-upping my apartment lease (and trying to figure out how two people can live in it comfortably with an avalanche of books and a lot of stuff that has accumulated when two people who usually move at least annually have stayed in one place for a while). This last week was the first that started to feel like it wasn’t painful!I even just found a few minutes to give exercise to my poor, sad, too-often-tied-to-a-desk body.

Some years, I’ve sort of side-eyed folks talking about how they couldn’t wait for a year to be over, but it’s been one thing after another. A trip to the store wherein every closure on my pants broke and I had to buy a new pair to avoid flashing people. A bookshelf that’s about to collapse. A dead battery when I needed one most. A scrape where I wanted things smooth.

I’ve given myself permission to check out when it’s not vital that I check in. No time for Twitter? Maybe I’ll read 100 tweets, and call it good. Do I have something to say? If not, it’s okay to be quiet and off social media for a bit. It means that I might not know someone’s news, or they might not know mine, but maybe, sometimes, that’s okay. I struggle a lot anyway with how to define my online experience.

But there are good things, too. Next week, I’ll be at Book Expo America (BEA); I have some tickets to the breakfasts, some plans to see if I can be of help in a booth, and some time when I’d like to be in line for signings or at educational sessions, but I hope to fit in a tiny bit of sightseeing. Maybe most importantly, I have enough frequent flyer miles that I have upgrades. I think that once we hit June–and once I finish a massive kitchen reorganization project designed to make part of my home feel more comfortable and more conducive to healthy eating–I’ll find some momentum to get through the rest of the year. I’ve even managed to pare down some of the zillions of emails that have piled up over the weeks, and to make important deadlines that I could never let slide (and it’s nice to have made them without too much pain on my end).

And I hope the same for you. I hope that you find a way when your clock stops to wind it up again. Getting momentum when you’re completely stopped is hard. The first swings are hardest. But it does get easier.

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