Take a Breath

Thanks to Jesse Harrell via WANA Commons

By Laura Drake

2012 has been a banner year for me. After 13 years of trying, I got lucky – selling four novels, three of which will be out in 2013. Though I retired in July, I’ve never worked so hard in my life – every day this week I’ve been fifteen hours at the computer.

At the same time, my husband and I are making decisions on the retirement home we’ll build in Texas next year.  To prepare, I’m shoveling out closets in the house we’ve lived in for 25 years.

And I’m loving every second of it.

But my husband and I haven’t taken a day off all year, and it feels like a watch spring has been winding tighter with each passing month. We didn’t mean not to take a vacation – it just kind of fell out that way.

But thanks to a retirement gift from my former boss, that’s about to change. By the time this posts, I will have just returned from HAWAII!  I’ve never been, so I’m really looking forward to seeing for myself the Island that everyone says with a sigh in their voice.

Almost more than the adventure, I’m going to take a break. No, not from writing . . . if I’m breathing, I’m writing.

But instead of being focused on what I can pull out of my brain, I’m going to focus on filling it. I’m going to turn off the cubicle-worker in my head — the one with the unending to-do list. I’m going to try to tap back into the kid I used to be, lying in the grass of an unending summer, staring up at the clouds,  just feeling.

That’s a talent I used to be so good at. My mother labeled me her ‘dreamer child,’ when she’d come in to hustle me to breakfast and find me, stock still in the process putting on a sock, staring off into space.

I guess what I’m referring to is wonder. A sense of wonder about the world around you. Wondering about things you hadn’t thought of before. Simply absorbing everything – taking it into your parched skin like the best kind of lotion, smelling of cucumbers and coolness.

Ahhhh. Yes, that’s what I hope to achieve.

Here we are, in the Holiday Season once more.

I wish for you all that you have a moment, just to take a breath, and rediscover the wonder.

What do you do to refresh when your well is dry?