tgroupI was on vacation last week. A true vacation, meaning no kids, no husband, no responsibilities.

I was blessed enough to get to go back to the midwest – the place where I grew up – and spend a few days with my sister, and visit my cousins, my aunt, and several awesome college friends. And I got to do all that sans any responsibilities.

Mind you, I dutifully took along my WIP and a friend’s WIP and worked on editing them while in the airport and on the plane. But once I was in Kansas and Iowa? I didn’t write/edit/revise a thing.

What I did do was relax. Really, truly relax. The first few days I was with my sister. People looking in through the windows might have found it odd to find two siblings who don’t see each other often sitting on opposite sides of the room, immersed in their technology. We were cool with it. We didn’t do it all the time – we had plenty of good conversation. But sometimes, sometimes – we zoned out. And it was AWESOME.

Each morning I woke up and got to do whatever I wanted to, because no kids were clamoring for breakfast, no housework was demanding my attention, and, well, my sister was still sleeping. What I did do was… not much. Stared at the walls. Checked email. Attempted to befriend the cat. Ate some Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. It was heavenly.

Driving from Kansas to Iowa also gave me plenty of time to reflect on where I am and where I want to be going – something it’s hard to really concentrate on when other daily demands command my attention. I realized I really do want to work on my health and achieve at least a slightly better height/weight ratio, because whatever else I want to do, I won’t be able to do it if I’m dead.

I also realized I really do want to keep writing. It doesn’t matter if I’m never “successful” in terms of landing a contract and publishing a book. I’m leaning toward self-publishing anyway. It doesn’t matter if I earn scathing reviews (although remind me of this post if and when that happens). It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to finish a novel – I just want to keep inching forward. I just want to practice, practice, practice.

The last thing vacation brought me? A sense of gratitude. Gratitude for all the gifts I have – both inner gifts, such as, well, the ability to string several words together in occasionally interesting sentences, the ability to carry a tune, the ability to draw recognizable objects, the ability to laugh and make others laugh, and outer gifts, such as the luxury of traveling to visit friends and family. Of having friends and family. Of having creature comforts enough and a supportive husband enough to write because I want to.

I am one lucky woman.  Thank you, Universe, God, and all who support me.

Take a vacation if you can, even if you don’t leave home. Take a vacation from the usual clutter and noise in your head. Let it all out, and see what you find. Then let me know.

Meanwhile, in 2 weeks – once the kids head back to school – I’ll be back down in my writing cave, editing Cat’s story and working on Eliza’s, and reminding myself with a smile and a hug for the husband of what a blessed life I truly have – no matter what happens with my writing.

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