It’s been June for seventeen days and this is only my fifth post of the month.
The kids are home now and I have missed writing the weekend blessings, the extended thinking time and the writing time and staring out the window time. I hesitate to even say that because I know many writers don’t even have the school year to count on. You work full time at another job and write at night or you homeschool your kids and write from under your bed.
I don’t know how you do it.
I love the flexibility of my job, but working from home during the school year looks different than working from home in the summer. I have missed the somewhat dependable daily routine.
I read this post the other day by Ellen Painter Dollar – I Have a Kid Hangover (But Manage to Write Anyway) – I laughed at the truth of it, glad she gave this fog a name.
She talked about Donald Miller, how he schedules his time so he can write until 5 pm every day. If I were him, I would probably do the same thing. Of course! Why not? But that kind of time isn’t always possible for everyone.
Her mention of him reminded me of another post he wrote once where he mentioned he was spending some time on Bainbridge Island to transition from his previous book to his next book. It was just a passing comment in a thoughtful post about productivity.
But that comment stuck with me. I thought about how I transition from one book to the next. Ready for it?
I go to bed at night and wake up the next morning.
Even though my writing time isn’t particularly spacious or romantic, with the ending of school, I have lost the time I had.
But I have gained something, too. I have gained the mid-day bingo, the fireflies at dusk, the snuggles on the couch with a movie again tonight. I have gained my nieces coming over to play at 8 in the morning and hours of listening to them create little worlds with their dolls.
It’s true, I have also gained more chaos in the house and a few more headaches, a shortened temper and a reminder of my graceless-ness when we’ve been cooped up in the house too long together on a rainy day.
But those reminders aren’t always bad. They re-introduce me to my smallness, my limits, my need for help and God and coffee.
I have remembered how much work can be done in the dark morning hours, how time can slow when you pause to savor it, and how productivity isn’t as important as I sometimes think.
It can be easy for me to live with a fractured soul – the kind that pulls in ten thousand directions, the kind that insists I compete, do more, and live up until finally I crash down.
It’s no way to live.
Then why does it feel so normal?
This week I want to throw myself into the lives of my children in ways I haven’t done in a long time. It feels wrong to say that, as if I’ve been neglecting them. I don’t think I have been, but while they’re in school during the year it’s different. They are gone during the day and when they come home, we have all these agendas.
June comes empty handed, her grin wide across her suntanned face.
As schedules shift, so must our souls. And as my soul takes a deep breath in, I remember how it could be like this all the time if I wanted it to be. Not the schedule part, but the centered part. There is a strong stillness deep within me, the place where God lives. He is not pulled in ten thousand directions and in him, neither am I.
And so we welcome June because we must, because to press on as we have been doing hurts too much.
Instead of fighting the change in schedule, I want to let summertime be my sacred companion.
Dear June, we’re so glad you’ve come.
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