Friday, December 26, 2008

After the Long Dark

I'm sitting in the rocking recliner in my in-laws living room. Sweetling and her new Squirmle is snuggled in beside me. We have been discussing the Squirmle's name. Which shall be Fuzzy, of course.

I've been struggling with how to squirm my way back into blogging after dropping out of the NaNo project. (Sweetling says, "I'm sure Fuzzy can help you with the squirming part.") I have somewhat to say about the NaNo, but haven't felt like hashing it out on the keyboard. Instead, I'll just drop in one cryptic sentence. No, I lied, I'm going to hash it all out.

The first weekend in November was our Women's Retreat at church. On Friday night, I was sitting at the campfire, debating whether or not I was going to return to my hotel room and get out my laptop to slap in a couple thousand words. And I sat staring at the fire sparks dancing upward into the night sky, I was contemplating why I was doing this, and whether it was worth the sacrifice of time away from the rest of my life to get the words out each day. Because it would be a sacrifice. Even when I wasn't sitting at the computer, that what my mind was focused on. And to meet quota each day, time from something was going to have to go. The way I was approaching it, a little here a little there, then a big push to finish up in the evening, it was family time or time with the Jedi that was going to be the sacrifice. So, why was this so important to me that I wanted to sacrifice a month of evenings with my husband and family?

Because I needed the self-affirmation? Maybe. And sitting at the campfire, I was also remembering the written words I had fed to the flames when I had sat near that exact same fire-ring two years ago. I sat and I thought about the past two years of my life. And I licked the chocolate and marshmallow goo from the s'more off my fingers. And I knew I wasn't going to go back inside to pull out my laptop to write. I was going to take the weekend as a retreat. And it was going to put me hopelessly behind on my NaNo. And I wasn't going to try to get caught up when I got back home. I was going to spend my evenings playing Wii with the kids and watching Ghosthunters and Mythbusters with the Jedi. NaNo just wasn't going to fit into my life.

But I didn't give it up gracefully. I must admit. I went through a serious pity-party pout fest. Because I wanted both. I wanted the NaNo label on my blog. In fact, I wanted a NaNo button I could wear on my person. Look at me, the button would say, see what I'm doing. But I wanted my evenings free. And I wanted to keep school on track. So, two new blog entries about where I was spending my time went up. Because I didn't want to take away from my life and family to do NaNo, but I also couldn't give up NaNo without feeling a little matyrdom festival going on.

I was hashing this all out in Sunday school a week or two after the retreat. One of the Dear Sisters said that she thought keeping track of my time was a good idea. She thought perhaps if I did that I would be able to find the time I wanted to do NaNo. I said, in a rare flash of insight, that I didn't think this was a time-management issue so much as a heart management issue. I still feel that this statement is the best single description of my short-lived NaNo journey.

And Nora said she'll make me a NaNo drop out button for my blog. A NaNo drop-out button will make it all better.

In the meantime, Nora tagged me. So I'll scoot over to her blog and see what the tag is. Sweetling can help me generate my list of miscellania. She'll, of course, try to get me to follow the rules and guidelines of the tag. Silly Sweetling.

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