Filling the Well

Jessie: Back in NH after a wonderful time at Bouchercon in MN!

As I believe I have mentioned on the blog recently, I have had a few deadlines stacking up over the last few months and as a result, there are any number of things in my life that have fallen by the wayside. For instance, I usually visit my hairdresser every 6-7 weeks. Instead, twice that long had elapsed. When my kids are home I make sit-down meals to keep everyone nourished and cheerful. Lately, I’ve suggested takeout or popcorn on the regular. I would be uncomfortable if you asked me about the state of my email inbox or even my physical post office box.

It isn’t just chores and daily maintenance that is neglected when deadlines loom though. The fun stuff, the fill-the-well stuff languishes too. My fountain pens all need filling. I have a pair of socks on the needles that simply haven’t come any closer to being ready to wear. The same partially completed painting has sat on my easel in the kitchen, staring at me with a disappointed look as I wash up the dishes since sometime in May. There are three partially read novels next to my reading chair and another two on my e-reader.

So, this week I plan to steep myself in fun. I wish to slip a new pair of wooly socks, fresh from my knitting needles, onto my feet by Sunday night. I want to finish reading at least one of the books. I plan to fill all of my pens with juicy, colorful inks and look forward to doodling with each of them. If all goes well, I may even add a layer or two to that recriminating oil painting! If I am really lucky, my well will be filled to the brim before long, and before long I will be itching to start in on my next novel!

Readers, do you find that things, fun and necessary fall to the wayside when obligations loom? Writers, do you need a bit of a break between writing projects or do you jump right on to the next one without pause?

26 Thoughts

  1. Ah, balance — a never-ending quest. The pendulum swings both ways, so I make sure the obligations center on what I love to do.

  2. All those things sound delightful, Jessie! For me, the trip to the convention WAS my refilling. Today I’m jumping right back into a revisions on a book that’s been resting for a month – and happy to do so.

  3. Grant hit the nail on the head, eh? All about balance and boy it’s tough. I’m retired, so I don’t have as many obligations, but still I find myself caught up in things to do that are not what I really want to do lol! This past week has been focused on house maintenance stuff, helping my husband dig a drainage ditch along a shed, refurbishing some older furniture he bought, raking up acorns…when I’d much rather be camping! Hoping you get to all your fun things soon!

  4. Looking at my to do list is a never-ending chore! Fun stuff and relaxing activities tend to take a back seat until I can clear the obligations. As far as meals, I have a short list of very fast meals that I can do very quickly. If only the dirty dishes would be that fast. Unfortunately, the household chores just sit there glaring! I need little things to fix me for short periods of time!

  5. It was so great to see you in Minnesota, Jessie! Even though you only live 20 minutes down the coast from me in the summer. That’s another thing I neglect when I’m on deadline–people! I have been off most of the summer, but will be jumping into the next Maine Clambake novella today. (At least that’s the plan.)

  6. Use to think that retirement meant my time would be my own. However, even though we do have more time, we are still at the beck and call of doctor’s schedules and medical tests. Seem we just traded the name of those with more control than we do. With that being said, I think life is a balance. We have to take control sometimes and restore the balance of our life – or go insane trying to “keep up”. Fun times or distractions from the every day life and give us the ok to be silly and carefree for a little bit of time, which we all NEED. As for keeping a perfect home, always everything clean and in it’s place is a myth we are all sucked into. I’ve learned to go with the flow more and stress less means a happier life and less ulcers.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  7. Sounds divine! Yes, I do need to refill with fun stuff, hiking, rolling yarn and crocheting, playing with the cats, visiting with friends. All very necessary events. Have a great time with down time.

  8. Yep, the fun falls by the wayside when there is too much work to do. I’ve been going through that myself the last couple of weeks, but I am finally feeling like I am going to catch up.

  9. Like Kathy, I’m retired, but by the time I do all the things necessary to keep a home going (both inside and out), I sometimes forget to relax and do something just for fun. My husband keeps telling me to things that make me happy. Nothing like cocooning on the sofa with a good cozy!

  10. Absolutely. I am finding that when there is something that either of my parents need or my husband. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  11. I completely ‘get’ the need to dial out and take time for yourself. Busy, busy, busy – even for good things – does take a toll if we forget to nurture ourselves and take a breath. Our mental self needs a vacation from the crazy pace.

    After a short project is completed, I take a day to catch up on the emails, scheduling the lunch dates, etc. But for the breaks during a longer project, I used to get out on the golf course when I needed to ‘escape.’ (No cellphones on the course) Now, I walk or play in the garden, with no guilt whatsoever. Have fun, Jessie!

  12. My email inbox has for the SEVENTH time crested 20k, so my trailer looks like a bachelor’s apartment. My apologies: I hope to eventually review all the ARCs, but some will just have to wait. I will head to town this morning (masked) for a younger author’s book signing (I may or may not have been his babysitter a couple decades ago) and stay in town for the unveiling of a plaque on a church building. My, the social obligations we rack up with the years! I count it a blessing if I can get six hours of uninterrupted sleep. (One telemarketer phoned at 2:44 AM!*#*&!)

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