Ack! I missed my favorite meeting of the week, the Amazing Women Writing Hour!
I was recently reminded that breaks are necessary. I mean a full break where you forget for a moment all of the responsibilities that you need to manage, deadlines you need to meet, and obligations that you have to juggle. I took such a break for just three days last week (spoiler alert - two of those days were the weekend)! As I apologized to Heather and Laure about missing our meeting and why, Heather suggested that I write her a letter to remind her to do the same. So, here goes.
Dear Heather (and Laure!),
The days this year have already grown to be too long. This time last year felt like a luxurious break from all of that travel, conferences, time zone jumping, and difficult to find restaurants that could accommodate our unique dietary needs. The world was trying to learn what we already knew how to manage - how to work effectively from our homes and navigate the huge array of conferencing tools. How to motivate ourselves in the midst of our exercise bikes, refrigerators, kids, and cats. How to define the line between work and not-work. It felt like everyone else was taking a break to figure this out, providing us refuge to work at a slightly slower pace and relish that we already had some of this figured out.
But that didn’t last, did it? Although it seemed to sneak up on us, each day became longer. Weekdays began to bleed into weekends as the work world seemed to forget about the distinction between the two. Personally, my March has been non-stop with three weeks of Zoom-based conferences and a full week teaching a class. All that on top of a very full month of projects, meetings, planning, and writing (although, not for my blog!) Alas, you too described your day off that started at 5 AM and continued with 6 hours of meetings. And this “day off” was only to be topped by meetings both days of a holiday weekend. (Admittedly a holiday for some, not all.) My friend, this is not a day off. But, of course, you know that already.
And yet, I wasn’t thinking of all of that the day that I missed our meeting. Instead, I was sitting in a hot tub with a good friend of many years. I was relishing sunsets and binging on silly shows. I was eating good food, drinking good wine, wearing ball gowns to breakfast, walking empty streets, visiting galleries. And yet, I still apologized for what I felt was a slight. I didn’t even let my writing buddies know that I wasn’t going to be there. Of course, you didn’t fault me. Instead, you validated that it was okay to take a break - a real one. I didn’t even notice that I was missing anything because I was too busy experiencing everything.
So, my accomplished friend, I implore you to do the same. I will miss you if I don’t see you at our writing session next week. But, I suspect that you will return with the same refreshed outlook and increased creativity. A clear mind to plan more effectively and efficiently and to see new solutions that are buried just below the surface. I look forward to hearing about your adventures when you return!