Like the last straw, the one that broke the camel’s back, I took on one responsibility after another until I got to the point of not being able to handle anything. I shut down.
So it’s time to recharge. I may continue to be offline for a little bit longer, but this time it’s for the positive reason of recharging my batteries to get ready for what’s ahead, instead of thrashing about feeling like a heart in fibrillation – too energized to beat effectively and instead threatening a complete and deadly shutdown.
I’m sitting in the sun on the rocking dock watching the ducks swimming around looking for a handout. I’ve noticed they start quacking in August. Before that, they just chatter, “weck, weck, weck”, but in August they start with the loud quacks that sound like they are laughing at a joke. I love hearing that.
This is why I’m here, and I don’t know why I can’t move it up on my todo list. I have a lot of things going on. A new job that interests and fulfills me, where I spend hours totally focused on doing something that may help to keep someone alive someday. Totally worth it. I row three days a week, which has me out on the water working my muscles, honing my skills to compete in several races each year, and socializing with my team mates. Totally worth it. I’m spending hours and hours cooking fresh foods so that I’m curing myself from my sugar addiction. Totally worth it. I have relationships with wonderful people that need attention. Totally worth it. I have my son’s wedding coming up. Totally worth it. I’m trying to get enough sleep. Totally worth it. I’m slacking on my blog, and the marketing for my book coming out soon. Also totally worth it, but I only have so much time. That’s where I’ve been putting the pressure on. My strategy of sending my blog entries to the NY Times Op Ed page first backfired, because I started to modify my voice. So that’s going to go for now, unless I feel like submitting it.
So here’s a quick update letting you know my status, and then I’ll be free to continue enjoying the “now” of watching the sun set with my glass of wine on the dock.
I received my first set of proofs back from the publisher about a month ago. That’s when I went into “overdrive and overwhelmed” mode. I felt I had to act quickly to return the proofs and keep the publication process moving. But I have to share how incredibly good I felt about it: the proofreader sent me a quite positive report stating that: the book was well written, it was obvious I took care with my work, and there were consequently very few edits. He said it was a “powerful book” that was absorbing and uplifting. Because I was super busy when I received the report, I just basked in that and didn’t open the document to review the edits until the following weekend. That’s when I realized he spoke the truth! Not only were there indeed very few edits, he left me some comments in the text that made it clear he was absorbed in the story! Imagine, a professional who reads and corrects books for a living, getting involved in my little old story! I was beyond thrilled. And, for some reason, I started feeling the pressure of perfectionism.
The next steps, since I returned the first set of proofs with my edits, are as follows: the publisher will incorporate my edits (I did suggest a formatting change that will probably take some time) and return the second and final set of proofs for my approval. I will need to accept the changes or respond with my own suggestions. Based on the last set, I expect no surprises. Then we will finalize the cover design. That is already in progress because we have a great picture to base it on – my eye with a tiger in the pupil. I need to make sure it’s okay to publish it (considering copyrights) before I can put it on the blog, but as soon as I get the go-ahead I will. Once the cover design is approved, we will set the release date, which will be about a month from the date of cover approval. Holy cow, this is really happening! And to think that a year ago I was struggling to set up a website and blog in anticipation of possibly getting a publication contract…
The ducks have this thing where they get into a squabble, then they separate, and both will paddle hard to raise up their breasts so that they can flap their wings. Then they will drop down and shake their tails. After that they swim around together like nothing ever happened. That’s how I want to handle my stress. Flap, shake, and move on.
So right, here, right now, I pledge that I will remember why I’m here: to enjoy the now; and what makes life great: to bask in the good things, like watching the sunset over the water while listening to the ducks chattering (or laughing), and anticipating the publication of my very own book, sooner rather than later!
I just realized another holy cow! My wireless reaches down to the dock. That makes the possibilities endless! I can rock the next blog entry. I also just realized I forgot to eat dinner. Oh well.