Give this woman more Starbucks and a dark, quiet room.
It feels a little strange, sitting here and writing again. I don’t think I’ve ever taken more than a week or two off from writing, and certainly not without giving you a little warning that I’m checking out for a bit. But I did, and it was wonderful and exactly what my tired mind and depleted reserves needed.
It wasn’t long ago that I learned that many of my moods and personality quirks are directly related to my introvert tendencies. I’d always assumed being an introvert just meant you were quieter than the rest. It’s new enough knowledge to me that I still have a hard time remembering that certain experiences and situations will drain me of my energy and creativity. I forget, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, to take time for me, to fill myself back up. Or, like many of you, I remember … but I am too proud to ask for help.
That’s exactly what happened to me around the beginning of August. While our trip to Spain was amazing, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world, it meant that for a month I was always “on.” I was rarely alone. I was taking in new situations, meeting new people, being a guest and using my best party manners. One of my favorite ways to recharge is to spend the last hour or so before bed lost in a book. Well, Spaniards aren’t really know for turning in early. Most evenings I’d fall in bed well past midnight, too tired to do the one thing I could do while traveling to charge myself back up.
We came back from Spain and lurched through the rest of summer break. I didn’t sign the kids up for a single camp or activity. We spent nearly every day together. Again – a wonderful experience, to have the choice to stay home with the kids for the entire summer. But to not schedule in opportunities for them to do something on their own, to not ask for help in order to give myself a few hours alone? Rookie introvert move.
The end result is that I moved through the days like molasses. I couldn’t focus on a task that took more thought and energy than folding socks. I had no urge to write. My camera sat gathering dust. Even an iPhone photo seemed like too much effort. Any ounce of creative desire I had was just gone.
We’re half way through the first full week of school, and I’m happy to report that I feel my old self coming back again. I hate to leave you in the dark, but I’m so glad that I walked away for a bit. It gave my muddled mind time to rest. I still don’t have anything close to laser focus. The perfectionist in me wants to wait until I have the perfect post ready to go. But if I did, I might never have the courage to sit down and write again.
Of course, life did go on while I was away. Eli turned 7 at the beginning of August. It still doesn’t sound right when I say it. Seven? That’s a big kid, not my baby boy! We had a very laid-back un-party on the cul-de-sac. We plopped a table at the end of our driveway, served cake and ice cream to whoever walked by, and kept the un-party going until close to midnight. Neighbors pulled their grills out to the street, kids ran around with sparklers and flashlights. He obviously had a terrible time.
The very next day we welcomed a new addition to our family. Meet Gus.
He’s a lab-husky mix that we adopted from ARPO. He’s 4 months old and ridiculously adorable. It’s a good thing, too, because I had forgotten how much having a puppy is like having a toddler. Yes, there are bodily fluids on the carpet, middle-of-the-night wakings, and some biting. But he’s also loads of goofy, clumsy puppy fun and lots of soft, warm snuggles. When I see Elena choose the puppy over the iPod or when I hear Eli’s belly laughs while playing with the puppy, it’s all worth it.
Finally, the kids started a new year of school. Elena is now an official middle-schooler. Hold me now. There are no first day of school photos of her because the bus comes at the ass crack of dawn and she’d sooner show up to school in a My Little Pony shirt before she’d pose with one of those Pinterest-y signs. Eli started 1st grade and was more than willing to pose. He had a brand new pair of shoes to wear to school, but instead he chose his smelliest, dirtiest shoes. And I let him, because God forbid we set the bar too high from the start.
I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer. Thanks for hanging around while I was gone. You guys are the peachiest, and I’m so glad to come back to each and every one of you.