Monday, April 13, 2009


I finally have things arranged so that I don’t have to tote a computer back and forth to work. The old faithful (and slowly dying) HP laptop has been installed permanently at the café, so there’s one less giant briefcase I have to pack with me every morning.

The main goal of that accomplishment was to allow me to walk or ride my bike to work. We only live 1.2 miles away from the café, and it seemed silly to keep revving up Great White every morning to get to work. Now, all I need is my keys, and maybe some junk that is in my purse. Thus unencumbered, I am free to walk to work.

And so I did this morning, a chilly morning with the rising sun sending blinding rays between the morning clouds. Walking gives me time to think, time to get centered.

Time to think. I got to thinking this morning. Got to thinking about why, even though I’m busy, even though I’m "successful," even though I have many of the things I thought I needed a few years ago, I am still not happy. I know part of the reason is that I am so chronically exhausted. Still. Though I no longer struggle with that constant feeling of trying to move underwater, or of my brain always being two steps behind my body, I’m still over-tired. I can function at that high-energy level I was used to in the old days, but I can’t do it for hours on end. A couple of hours of intense running my ass off, and I’ve had it. I have not yet built my reserves back up from the huge energy drain of the first two years of running the restaurant. Maybe I never will?

Clearly, I need to pull in my horns some. I don’t have time or energy to do all the things I need to the business, keep the house, tend the marriage, keep up with the yard work…and write. Up until now, I’ve let myself believe that the writing is my hobby. My relaxation. My way to remain sane. But the truth of the matter is—and I realized this yesterday as I was trying to create the second half of a post at "Women On…"—that writing is work.

If 5 ½ years of blogging have done nothing else for me, they have spoiled me for shitty writing. I can’t just slap down any old thing and call it good enough. And I don’t seem to have enough energy left to feed my creative muse. I don’t have the hours and hours it used to take me to put together a decent essay. And even when I DO invest the time, my brain is so dull that what comes out isn’t really very good. Good writing is work. Work that I love, yes. But work, just the same. And I don’t need another job right now. So, I’m afraid that it wasn’t simply that "Coming to Terms" needed to be shut down. I think I need to stop writing. Because if I can’t do it well, it just becomes another source of stress and worry for me. Which is something I truly do not need right now.

So I think I will post that last essay at "Women On," and just…quit.

For awhile, anyway. And see how it goes.


  1. Hey, don't quit on us. I'd love to hear about the cafe. I know you spend so much time there you'd hate to write about it too But, the food's great and I'd like to hear about the things I haven't tried. And good pictures of food are almost as good as eating it. Almost.

  2. One can not hide from what they are, no more than a seagull can just become an eagle.

    Writers have different seasons and sometimes those winters are where the best writing emerges from. Good writing, the transferring of emotions, thoughts and being takes blood and sweat; were it not true all who dabble would be writers.

    Sometimes seagulls rest too. Sometimes eagles breathe.

  3. I can so relate to chronic fatigue. I am pushing 60 and still teaching 6th and 7th graders. I'm not physically running like you are at the cafe, but the loooong hours and stacks of tasks on the desk take their toll. Factor in the noise, the constant me me me me demands and, as you say, marriage/house/yard, too--it's so draining. I only comment, not blog, because of everything you say. I hear you loud and clear.
    But you have to be true to yourself. Writing is what you LOVE. Your soul's manifestation. I know you can't give up the duties you list. Yards, marriages, houses and livelihoods must be tended. Grown up responsibilities and all that. Can anything be pruned a bit? Anything Husband can help more with? Christina has a point, but I feel that there's got to be a compromise here. Talents, passions, creativity must be tended, too. When I discovered Womenon after a hiatus of reading/commenting on blogs (but I was still checking in you now and then), I thought what a great idea. (I've been toying with answering your call for contributions, but as you are saying--the work involved....) Can't you limit yourself to Womenon for awhile? Contribute intermittently? You don't have to be the main author. I see hope in that last line, but want to add my voice to Jackie's--please don't go! Reading you has helped me recover from middle schoolers more often than you know. And honestly that's not just being selfish and laying a guilt trip.

  4. Hell yes, writing is work, whether or not we do it for pay, if we try to do it well. It's also an undeniable part of who you are, and as exhausting as it can be, if you deny it and let it lie untended, it will back up on you. Let part of your life nurture you, and if you have to write less, that's the way it goes, but just don't stop.