Well, back at the end of April I sure didn’t expect that I wouldn’t be posting for two weeks, but that’s what’s happened. In fact, I was all ready to continue on with more thoughts from Koontz’s book, and had even written a rough draft of a post, but somehow, when I went back to it again, it all fell apart. Suddenly it was no longer saying what I wanted, but wandering off on tangents that weren’t really illustrative of what I was trying to say… In fact, I’m not sure I knew what I was trying to say. All I know is I ended up cutting out three quarters of the words in the post, and found myself with pretty much nothing left.
Maybe that was appropriate and maybe not. My brain felt like mush and I knew I was tired. I’d seen the doctor that same Monday and he confirmed about the tiredness, even thought I was still trying to do more than I should and that it would be at least two more weeks and maybe four before I felt 100% again.
So for the last two weeks, in addition to letting myself do whatever (which included obsessively making cards), I’ve been paying more attention to what made me tired and when. Im also getting better at actually recognizing the tiredness, instead of misidentifying it as laziness, lack of self-discipline, feeling depressed or hopeless, feeling guilty and bad cause I wasn’t getting things done…. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed at my usual time, so I didn’t. I never stayed there longer than an hour more than usual, but it definitely helped. I tried to get chores done, but didn’t push it. If I got tired and didn’t feel like doing any more, I didn’t.
I stopped pushing the daily walking, too, but did finally walk three miles around the park with my hubby — he handled Quigley — on May 5. It felt fine at the time, but the next day was Communion at church, which meant a longer service and food preps for the pot luck that were a bit more involved than my normal. When on Monday I had a major crash, unable to do anything but lie around, I knew why. Tuesday was also pretty bad, but Wednesday I was mostly recovered went ahead and walked again, this time with Quigley and it went fine. I haven’t really had a huge crash since the 7th.
I also haven’t written much of anything. Not email, not blog posts, not the book, not even in my journals. I did watch a lot of TV– for me. I detest daytime TV, but in the evenings in addition to our regular shows, we’ve plowed through the first season of The Mentalist and are now almost halfway through the second. Still enjoying it a great deal.
Anyway, sometime in the last week a change began to occur. The messages in Bible class had already begun to change. Both the ones I’m listening to that are current and my fill-in’s from last summer: Pastor Farley talking about Spiritual Gifts in a way that made mine more clearly a “legitimate” spiritual gift than I’ve ever heard. He taught that each person’s gift is unique and even in similar categories of gifts, the way each manifests will be different and unique to the person having it. You can’t look at anyone else and copy them. It’s between you and God the Holy Spirit. That was strangely empowering for me. (I think mine’s exhortation/encouragement, carried out mostly through my writing.) (which may seem like a “Duh” to many people — certainly my close friends — but hey, nowhere in the Bible does it say “writing novels and blog posts” is a spiritual gift! And I can use anything to psyche myself out.)
He went on to say that whatever your gift is, you should jump into it with your full effort and focus, knowing God is going to empower you to do whatever it is HE has in mind. He’s already provided everything you need, so you have nothing to fear. Just go forward.
For a few weeks now I’ve begun to think that maybe God has been giving me a vacation for the last six months or so. At first I thought it was me being bad. Then I moved into “He’s just shutting me down” which was credible because of everything that was happening. But now… with this latest episode coming to an end, I’ve more and more had the nudge that it’s really been a vacation, a time He’s let me do quite a bit of playing…
And also the nudge that it’s time for that to come to end and for me to get back to being a novelist.
I told Him it better be Him doing it, because for months I haven’t been able to muster any interest, any words, or even any order with this project. I would go in and look at the work and there would be nothing. Just a sense of being utterly overwhelmed. No guidance, no direction, nothing. I really had little idea of where it was going. I’d stare at it, as I’ve recounted here, and then suddenly find myself doing something else. Reading the news, or blogs or watching card making videos, or making cards or… sitting in a chair watching the birds.
I have worked my way literally paragraph by paragraph (as in one or two a day) through Chapter 5 and every day I’d go in and it would be hard to remember what I’d done the day before, or I’d be so sick of reading the same words and dealing with the same scene that I’d want to leave. But it wasn’t coherent yet so I tried to stay, but more often wandered off.
Suddenly, that’s stopped. I don’t know if what happened today is going to continue, but for now… I worked on Sky almost all day. I have not done that in a long, long time. I didn’t feel the weird aversion… in fact, if anything I feel aversion for the card stuff. Suddenly the power the card projects had to pull me away was not in operation — at least for today.
So. Is it the sea change I’m thinking it is? Time to go back to being a writer? A change being worked in me more than me working in myself? I don’t know.
Did I work more than I should have today, so that tomorrow I’ll be tired again, and not wanting to get out of bed, or flitting around from thing to thing? I don’t know.
But today. My goodness. The book has come alive again. I feel like I made more progress today than I have in months. Which may or may not be true, but it feels good in any case.
So… we’ll see what tomorrow brings.