Tuesday, July 3, 2012

With Joy

at Two Writing Teachers!
I'm a perfectionist.  I'll admit it wholeheartedly.  In fact, I embrace it... it's who I am!  Hard work, hyper-focus*, and a determination to settle for nothing less than my best are essential elements of my personality.

Admittedly, this can cause problems, particularly when I have too much on my plate... which is pretty much always!  I love striving for excellence and taking pride in everything I do, so it's sometimes hard for me to step back and make myself take a break.  However, I need and want to take deep breaths and enjoy all the other parts of life that I also love.

Plus, I know that tearing myself away from time to time is a good thing.   When I give myself real breaks, I work harder and better, I come up with fresh new ideas, and I become energized and excited again. Soooo... I'm going to take a couple of weeks off.  No schoolwork.  No blogging.  No professional books.  Reduced electronic screentime.  No stress!

What will I do?  Well, I hope to:
  • Enjoy.  Sunshine and birdsongs and breezes.  Husband's smiling eyes.
  • Watch. Winding streets and wide-open views.  Tiny flowers and big blue skies.  Flitting butterflies and  scampering squirrels.  
  • Laugh and giggle.  Eat ice cream in the middle of the afternoon.  Go barefoot for no reason.
  • Have adventures.  Try something totally new.  Eat something crazy.  Use a map.
  • Explore and learn.  Capture the past seeping out of old buildings and the future shining through new ones.  Fall into the pages of stories and come out of the back cover as a slightly new person.
See you in a few weeks!  I will miss you all... but I'll have some amazing stories to tell!  I'll leave you with a favorite quotation from Walden that I dug out of my Evernote:

"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal – that is your success." 
(Henry David Thoreau)

(* In grad school I read an article that listed "hyper-focus" as a typical trait of gifted kids and thought: My mom was searching for that word all those years she had to call me ten times for dinner even though I was in the same room!)