I’ve mentioned so many times in this space about how I fit it all in. The full-time job, the two kids, my ultrarunning habit, freelance writing and editing, and, of course, my love of loves, my fiction writing.
I work my butt off to get it all in. I write on my phone at the gym and over my lunch break, edit clients’ manuscripts after the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet.
It is rare for me to stop doing so much.
But this week it happened.
I had planned on doing a little pre-revision to a rough draft I finished last week. I had a few items I wanted to fix before reading through the manuscript as a whole for the first time, and I decided I would use my vacation in Colorado to do just that.
Whether by chance or the luck of the draw with kids’ naps and downtime, I happened to finish everything on my pre-revision list by Monday evening. Meaning, I still had four days in the mountains and no work on the horizon. Sure, I could’ve just started reading/editing my first draft right then and there. It was ready to go, after all.
But instead, I took one look at the mountains and said, “Nope.”
I decided to let the manuscript breathe for a week, and, therefore, gave myself a chance to air out as well.
So, for four days I took a real vacation. From everything. I didn’t edit. I didn’t revise. I didn’t open my document a single time.
Instead, I went for multiple runs, hiked with the kids, read a book for FUN—the excellent AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir…a book that I told myself I wouldn’t read until I finished my first draft—ate cookies, hung out with my parents and niece, and did yoga on our cabin’s front porch (see the above pic and excuse my sweat because I went for a run pre-yoga).
It was glorious.
It was also a lesson in something I’m typically terrible at: taking a rest. Yes, I know it’s good for the soul. I know it’s good for my creativity. I know it’s good for work-life balance. I know all this, yet I find it impossible to look a window of work time in the mouth and say, “Nah, not today.” No, if I have that window, I hop through it, MacBook Air in hand.
But this time? I’m so glad I let that window fill up without “work.”
When was your last “real” vacation?
P.S.: E.B., as you can see, I pick the mountains over the beach any day.