A Writer in Retreat

My Pen by Lusi
My Pen by Lusi

I go through periods of retreat, often linked to times when I am deep in my writing. In another post, I blogged about how a writer’s retreat can be both a place (a noun) and an action (a verb). The verb sense especially resonates with me.

Right now I am in an active work state with my manuscript: the fingers are active at typing when baby naps, and the mind is active at work most other times during the day. I notice I have let other things slide, such as housework, friends, and Facebook. But right now, those things don’t seem top priority.

Having a baby hit home this truth anew: I can’t have it all, all at the same time. When I notice I need to take care of something— for instance, when I have an idea I just have to write down, or like now, when I feel God telling me I need to work on my book proposal—the rest of life slides into the background. After awhile, the fact that I’m neglecting relationships will bother me, and those will again slide to the front. So my priorities shift all the time.

Life is less stressful when I admit that I can’t do everything all at once, and accept that all areas of life (except, hopefully, close family and God) must go through periods of neglect.

Another factor making it easier to put writing first (during naptimes, of course; Sam is still first most of the rest of the time) is that my husband and I haven’t seen each other much lately. For various reasons—he works late, he has meetings at church, I have meetings at church, I’m trying to exercise in the evenings to lose the baby weight—we keep missing each other. The one relationship I long for at the moment (besides my relationship with God) is with my hubby. But I can’t do anything about our lack of time together, so it’s best for me to keep busy with my own work. I’m waiting on this holiday weekend, when he will have Monday and Tuesday off, to reconnect with him. I’ve even asked him to read some of my manuscript, and he said he would! A little slice of heaven, to have the most important person in my life take interest in my passion. So maybe there are moments when we can have it all. Maybe. We’ll see how Sam’s naptimes go this weekend!

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4 thoughts on “A Writer in Retreat

  1. ccyager May 22, 2014 / 9:23 am

    You already have it all, Lindsey. None of us can have everything at once! There is a time for each thing and it has its own time. It may be more important simply to go with the flow, follow your intuition, rather than overthink it. I’m glad you’ll have time to reconnect with your husband this weekend. And that he’s agreed to read your manuscript. He clearly wants to be a part of your life and support you. Enjoy the holiday! Cinda

    • lindseygendke May 29, 2014 / 9:29 am

      Cinda, you are right. God has blessed me with about everything I could want in life, and more (this, only after lots of heartache, but now I appreciate my blessings so much more!). Sometimes it feels like TOO much (poor me, huh?), but it’s all about balancing, and, as you say, recognizing that there is a time for everything, and everything has its time. Thanks for that reminder! We had a really nice family weekend, and the hubby helped with my book proposal.

  2. candidkay May 22, 2014 / 9:30 am

    So much wisdom here. You’re so right. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When I’m busy at work, my kitchen tends to get cluttered. And when my kitchen is clean, I’m searching for blog topics:). Sounds like you have grasped something it took me years to understand . . .

    • lindseygendke May 29, 2014 / 9:32 am

      Great comment, and thanks for reading, Kay! I still struggle with stress over what’s “not getting done” in my life, but it’s getting easier to shrug those things off when I remember that what I’ve chosen to do for the moment is most important FOR THAT MOMENT. I bet most women struggle with this. We’re supposed to be able to do it all these days, sometimes all at the same time, and that’s just fair! Bless you in your endeavors!

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