9Jan

Pea Soup

(#nofilter #really)

In some moments, merging back into everyday life after a vacation feels like cliff-diving into the Baltic Sea after a six-course dinner. Other moments, it feels like getting lost in a pea soup fog. Sometimes it’s more like venturing into the Himalayas on foot while other times I might as well be sleepwalking in a corn maze.

Maybe it’s just me, but when the energizing whirl of holidayness putters out—at approximately 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s when one of the grownups suggests another party game and the rest look desperately at their five-year-olds who have turned into tireless vampire Energizer bunnies and refuse to provide an easy excuse for their parents to head home to bed—I suddenly find that the previous year has left me about 3,000 hours short on sleep and go into a week-long coma. Once I wake up, my annual Simplify! Simplify! craze kicks in, and if there are not at least five full recycling or give-away bags when I’m done with a room, it isn’t done. I organize and dust and IKEA the hell out my workspace so that I can take on 2013 with no holds barred…

…and then I sit down at that freshly de-cluttered workspace and realize I have no idea what I’m doing there. The new year is just too big, its goals too daunting, its tempo too unfamiliar. I don’t know how I can possibly catch up from those few weeks away from my daily routine, much less make inroads into the here and now, and the Type A fun of tying the old year into the new with summaries and resolutions seems like a luxury reserved for people who don’t lose perspective two minutes into vacation.

Unfortunately, my perspective is 97% tied to how often I write (the other 3% is caffeine), and I have never in my life managed to keep up a steady flow of words when in vacation mode. There are so many other things to see and do, loved ones to spend time with, and comas to enjoy. Without really meaning to, I’ve neglected to tap into my own thought life for over two weeks now, so things have gotten pretty discombobulated up in here. Words have been coming to me by the pageful in dreams, but they always white out the instant my alarm clock vibrates to life, and I don’t quite know how to be myself without them.

Is it okay to be admitting this? I have visions of this blog as something beautiful and significant (as does every blogger, presumably) with each paragraph carrying its own weight in purpose, but this sentiment tends to cripple more than inspire. It’s why I’ve been circling this page for days, swooping in occasionally to peck at a stray sentence but never alighting on anything meaningful enough to settle into. It’s also why I’ve treated my husband to a Disparately-Eyebrowed Stare Of Incredulity every time he’s suggested I slip out for half an hour to blog. You don’t just create something brilliant and insightful from pea soup fog in half an hour, see, and sitting down to write when I’m short on words and time and a sense of self all at once is a fairly certain recipe for despair.

This is my best idea on how to reclaim my non-comatose writerly self though—digging back in for authenticity and legible sentences even if though they’re not going to win me a spot on HuffPo, even if though they’re not the deep and heavy and beautiful things I wanted to articulate, even if though I’m too busy for this and January feels like an ice-shocked Scandinavian sea and I’m more tempted than you know to adopt hibernation as a viable lifestyle. I’m here despite all that, and I’m declaring that, as imperfect a first-post-of-the-year as this may be, it totally counts as taking on 2013.

~~~

Does your back-to-work routine also include flailing and spluttering and ruing the day of your birth? How are you getting along with the new year?

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4 comments

  1. “…circling this page for days, swooping in occasionally to peck at a stray sentence but never alighting on anything meaningful enough to settle into..” …there you see! That’s why you are such a great blogger. I don’t seem to be able to even get to the first part of your sentence.

  2. Oh, this is beautiful, and meaningful. It is in my heart as well. A lot. Have you noticed that I posted a merry Christmas post when the last time I had written was the BEGINNING of September? It is hard to sit down and start again. But then somehow we all just do that very thing…MOST PEOPLE (like YOU) can paint beautiful posts anyway, others of us just sit down and write plain old words. Happy New Year (again)! You are totally taking on 2013!

  3. Until I read your post today I’d completely forgotten that this was the New Year. 🙂 That I really ought to be revamping and reorganizing and all those wonderful, daunting things. 🙂 I wonder if perhaps there have been so many Endings in my life the past couple of weeks, that Beginnings aren’t on my radar yet. Perhaps at the end of the month when Bear heads back to work, the holidays are over, and we get a little closer to Autumn. Then I will hunker down. Right now, I just need to rest, heal, and focus on building little beautiful things into my days. That’ll have to do for now. 🙂

  4. Liz – …comments she of the eloquent posts about not writing enough. (I loved reading those even before I started this blog!)

    Megsie – Never fear, there is no such thing as Plain Old Words, not even in a catch-up post. Happy New Year to you too, dear friend!

    Krista – Naw, save the revamping and reorganizing for spring cleaning. Beginnings can wait. <3

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