For some odd reason, I walk by my desk like I am a teenager trying to sneak into my parents' house at 3AM. Ever since I moved into this new house, and for some time before, I have been incapable of sitting down to work on my novel. I can count on one finger the number of times I sat down to write anything.
I don't think it is just the stress of the move or the ordinary family issues that come with middle age, marriage, and kids. It definitely is not depression, trust me, I have been there before, more than once. But what is it?
The past year, working on edits and rewriting has been such a challenge. Life, in general, is a challenge, but something else is wafting from this work in progress. Trying to work on it is like that time my mom tried to get me to eat fried okra. I cried and gagged and screamed and fought. It was so, so, so nasty. It tasted like it had spent a week molding in the kitchen sink and was growing the slime to prove it. Perhaps the worst part about this metaphor is that I now eat fried okra with very little trouble. One day, I will look back at this moment of writer's block and think how childish I was to be so resistant to the work that needed to be done.
All the positive reinforcement and the kind words of others seem to do very little to budge this stubborn toddler inside me that refuses to get any work done. Unpacking boxes and mopping the kitchen floor is so much more fun. (Seriously, this is where I am.)
Giving myself a one-hour timer doesn't work either. I just know I won't be able to accomplish anything in that short time, so why bother? (Sounds just like my 7-year-old son.)
I also know I do not want to put this aside and try again later. So I rewatch old movies, bake diabetes in the kitchen, organize the chaos in our terrible new house, and slowly peek around the corner at my desk to see if it has noticed my absence. Will it give me a sign when it is ready for me to return? Will I know when I am ready?
Gallons of tea, hundreds of sighs, and still nothing created. Time for something a little stronger. Maybe some margaritas and some yelling? Or, given the time of year, some homemade egg nog with Scotch Whiskey. (Miss you, Grandma!) Although I like it with bourbon, too. (Wish I could visit earlier, Gran!)
Let's do this! Big SIGH! Get that task list back out and take the next step forward. And if there are any steps back, I'll pretend I'm dancing. (I am one of those moms. I totally woke up my kids this morning by dancing outside their rooms with Elton John Christmas music playing on my phone. They love me.)
Today is the Winter Solstice. I hope we all see a little bit more light coming into our lives with each day. I will greet dark times as tunnels that must be traveled through. There is no reason to stay there for a vacation. Continue the journey. Find renewal.