“It’s probably just winter”, I think, slogging through sleet and slush from the car to our back door. I’m suffering from malaise, and looking for something to blame. Lately, I find myself just going through the motions. I don’t feel like starting anything, and I really don’t want to finish anything, either. My brother Michael suggests I take a few days off. Celebrate my achievement; give myself time to re-balance after leaning into the gale for so long. “Eventually you’ll get bored and pick up another project,” he says.
Bob wants to know what I’ll do with all my free time, now that Honey Sandwiches is published. I tell him I don’t know, and he looks a little startled. I sense him thinking, “Who are you, and what have you done with my wife?”
We’ve been a little edgy with each other lately. I’ll add that to the blame list. Neither of us thrives in the short, cold days of waning daylight. Thank god Helen turned us on to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Coffee gives me a reason to get out of bed, and dinner with Midge, the will to limp through the day.
I don’t remember feeling this way after Steph and I published Two Brauds Abroad. We had a lot of help from her mother, Andrea, so the editing process wasn’t nearly as onerous as this time around. Two Brauds wasn’t Andrea’s first rodeo; she’d worked in publishing and published half a dozen books of her own. “I love helping birthing baby books!” she exclaimed. She didn’t mention the risk of addiction to birthing books, or post publication depression, and neither kicked in until this, my second child.
I should be making veggie burgers. Or backing up my files, or deep cleaning the kitchen cupboards. Instead, I spend twenty minutes crafting a witty response to someone’s Facebook post, and resume staring out the window at another short day.
At the height of my push to finish the book by mid-December, I confided to Shelley that I had jettisoned “shoulds” from my life. She’d been super busy, too, and was also operating in prime-objective-only mode. “It feels good,” we agree, vowing to avoid shoulds after my editing flurry and her holiday imperatives pass.
Honey Sandwiches – From Riches to Rags went live on Amazon.com yesterday morning. I placed more than a dozen orders for books to be shipped to family across the U.S. before driving in to work. I high-fived Hannah and Jenn, my writing buddies at Abundance NC. I ran errands, and mopped up a water leak, and hauled a load of wet towels to the laundromat. The flat sky began spitting ice. Eventually, I made my way home to Bob and Mrs. Maisel.
Today, my accomplishment seems anticlimactic. The project is done, the unrivaled call for my attention, gone. I’m adrift, and it isn’t even a nice day for a long walk. But, I’ll rally with a few imperatives; I’ll make tortilla roll-ups for the Janeri Merry Chilimas party, finish off the Christmas cards, and wash my hair. Maybe I’ll write a blog post. And, if I get desperate, I can dip into my “shoulds” and make a batch of veggie burgers.