Have you got those “in over your head, too much to do, not enough time to do it, hubby doesn’t help enough summertime blues”?
You’re not alone. By August, it’s prevalent. Most of us are growing tired of the lack of scheduling that summer permits, and ruing the speed with which weekends fly, caught up in weddings, showers, reunions, vacations, festivals, etc.
It’s a difficult time. The press of yard work weighs on everyone. Gardens, lawns. Home repair. When you live in a climate that only allows four to five months of usable outdoor time, that time disappears quickly.
“To Do” lists help, but who wants to spend their short summer days striving to complete a list that no one else gives a fig for, while your children run and play without you?
It’s okay to take some time off. Cut yourself some slack.
All right, I know, you’re glancing up at the byline, wondering who ghost-wrote this for me. Ruthy never allows time off, you’re thinking. She’s an evil taskmaster, a heartless workaholic who never lets us rest, lambasting us with story after story of successful people who nevah, nevah, nevah give up! Let’s get her! Aaaaaaarrrrggghhh!
Guilty, on so many levels, but I’m also a mom. A wife. Sister, friend, daughter-in-law. I used to be a daughter, but losing one’s parents makes you realize that time does run out, eventually. The regrets and wishes that are inherent to loss can offer guilt or maturity. I’m going with the latter.
September is coming. With it will be the return to scheduling, normal routines, and blocks of time where writing doesn’t have to take second fiddle to everything else you’re expected to do. In studying Bishop T. D. Jakes works, I’ve grown to appreciate the minister’s strong-minded empowerment of women. Sometimes that empowerment means cutting ourselves a little slack. Smelling those roses we’re so fond of.
If summer has gotten away from you, so be it. For September, plan your work then work your plan. Kids are only little once (this includes grandkids) and families need to gather for happy times as well as sad ones. Don’t begrudge yourself that opportunity or feel bad because your writing’s on hold for a bit. The norm always returns, and with it comes a new chance to strut your stuff. Just maybe the time off will re-spur your goals and increase your focus.
I’m Catholic. We’re real good at guilt. Second only to Jews (note my respectful nod to Jewish mothers everywhere) and Italian Catholic mothers. (A category all their own). Guilt can instigate good behavior when used in moderation, or it can create a whole new generation of Oprah guests, willing to spill their guts on national television.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time off to be the woman you were meant to be when summer craziness invades your home. It will all come together again. Flowers will fade, the leaves will turn and you can herald the return to normalcy by getting back to work with a whole new level of industry.
And then it’s Christmas, but that’s another column entirely.
Ruthy (obviously the meds worked wonders today)