I have no excuse. There is absolutely no exciting reason why I haven’t posted in seven days unless, of course, you count the following:
1. Post-residency exhaustion. That’s right, I was tired. Let’s see you go back and sleep in a college dorm for 10 days at this stage in your life! The beds are lumpy, the hallways are filled with slamming doors and the showers require protective footwear. Don’t make me spill the gory details (because I’m saving them for another day.) It should suffice to tell you that by day six, I made two of my new friends stop at a grocery store with me so I could buy a six-pack of beer. I then proceeded to knock back three of them in 30 minutes in the lounge area of the dorm. Yes. I got drunk at 4:00 in the afternoon. On three beers. I think I might have cried a little.
2. Post-residency letdown. I spent 10 days surrounded by talented new friends and faculty and I miss them. On my second day at Stonecoast, I wrote that I had “found my tribe” on my Facebook status. I can’t tell you how many times I heard my classmates say the same thing over the course of ten days. Returning to the real world, the one that requires hiney wiping and laundry folding, wasn’t easy. Not at all.
3. I can’t write. My children won’t let me. In fact, as soon as I sat down and typed the very first sentence of this post, Kate came into the room and demanded to sit on my lap. She came armed with Pinkerella which, in case you were wondering, is “based on the classic game of BINGO” and it’s just as
unexciting. I think that they actually missed me while I was gone.
4. The pool turned green. Evidently, while I was away some sort of algae monster invaded the pool while no one was looking. The best part? I came home two Sundays ago and watched my children enjoying the cool refreshing water from my seat on the patio. However, sheer exhaustion caused me to miss the noxious green slime hovering on the bottom. It wasn’t until Joe asked for a jar to put his “new swimming bugs” in that I grew suspicious. Those swimming bugs were like no insect I’ve seen before. Ever. My children were swimming with them and I have no idea for how long.
5. I drained the pool and threw it away when I realized that saving the Target glamour pool just wasn’t worth it.
6. A heat wave struck the very next day. The day after I drained the pool… and it’s swimming bugs. I may or may not have cried. We drove to the beach where, despite record high temperatures 8 miles away, we all froze our asses off. Yay, Maine!
7. It became clear that stopping anti-depressants when I have three small children, a house to run and two years of graduate school looming before me was a terrible idea. Very bad.
Maybe it’s because I know that I am about to embark on some heavy-duty writing, but I think I just needed a week to do absolutely nothing but take the kids to the beach, to the movies, to the doctor and to the local barnyard. I’ve fed them a steady diet of ice cream with sprinkles, macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. Basically, all those things that I wouldn’t normally feed them. We’ve watched cartoons and taken walks. We’ve been riding our bikes, we swam in the neighbor’s new pool, we ran through the sprinkler and celebrated Joe’s 7th birthday with yet more ice cream in cake form.
Yesterday afternoon I napped on the couch.
Last night I watched a movie with my husband.
I haven’t planned the birthday parties. I haven’t returned telephone calls. I’ve wrestled with the fact that I’m going to need to dig deeper and write about the things that I’ve barely touched upon.
I haven’t stepped away from writing for this long in a year. Today I started to get nervous. What if I’ve been rendered speechless? Is this performance anxiety? Is it because I am overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do to move forward as a writer? Is it because I miss the connections I made at Stonecoast? Or maybe I was simply taking some time to enjoy these people.