And yes, I know I live in Phoenix and haven't been deluged with snow and horrible weather. But my winter has been more of a metaphorical one.
For some reason, I have had a rough few months. All I've wanted to do is curl up and watch television. And escape. Endlessly. And yet, it's never been enough to satisfy me (go figure!). There's never enough rest to be had.
I knew I should be working on my writing or my teaching or heck, cleaning my house! But I couldn't make myself do it.
Perhaps it really is because it's darker and chillier (for me!) than usual, and I've felt slightly depressed. My energy levels have been low, and I haven't felt motivated or inspired in the ways I'd hoped I would. Perhaps it's for other personal reasons that have me all emotional.
But this last week, I was given a gift.
I attended my second Deep Thinkers writing retreat in Florida with My Book Therapy. Basically, it's five days of immersion into my craft. Five days of being encouraged by incredible mentors and teachers. Five days of searching and praying for just the right story.
Five days that were oh-so needed in helping me come out of my proverbial winter.
See, it had nothing to do with the beach or even the warm weather (since we're starting to get that here now). I think it had to do with taking time away to focus on my passion. I realize that the last few months have felt so bogged down and busy. So full to bursting with things on my to do list -- and then my own failure to complete them weighed me down more.
And I think that's the thing. We can't all get away for a week -- believe me, I know what a blessing that is.
But we can stop beating ourselves up for what we consider failures in our life.
Sure, maybe we can only get in 30 minutes a day of writing time -- or time to focus on something else you're passionate about. Or maybe that's not even possible with this time of life. But let's remember who determines our time and where we should be looking for help.
I tried taking it all on myself -- I didn't lean on God like I should have.
I told myself I was failing and I didn't know how to stop. But really, what if I was doing exactly what God had for me to do (well, not the TV, but you get my point)? What if I was only failing by my own standards?
I think that a lot of times, I need to reconsider what the true meaning of success really is.
Your Turn: Do you need to break free of winter (metaphorically speaking)? How has it happened for you in the past?
PS - Here are several more photos from my retreat!
|Ashley Clark, a dear writer friend who lives a few hours away, stopped by for dinner!|
|Me and my roomie, Jeanne Takenaka. Love this lady!|
|The ever-adorable Kimberly Buckner and me. So glad I got to know her better!|
|Incredible mentors and teachers Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck!|
|So blessed by all the hugs and prayers of my dear friend, Beth Vogt.|
|Who says writers can't be goofy?|
|And again I say...|