Getting Away, or, The Business of Being a Grown-Up
I’m feeling so much excitement and energy as I prepare for the publication of Best Friend Next Door and The Infinite in Between. I’m thrilled for both of these books to hit the world. I can’t wait to get out and read, talk, film, tweet, smile, and spread the word.
But sometimes a girl just needs silence.
And so, this past weekend, I went on a writing retreat with my friend, Maxine. Max is a mom-friend, meaning she is a mom and she is a friend and our kids often play together. Max is also a talented writer, working on her first novel.
One day recently, in the crowded lobby of our children’s public school, she confessed to me, “I’m having such a hard time transitioning from writing to life.”
Story of my life.
I often feel like it’s way too much – parenting and writing and the business of books and the business of being a grown up. I just want to take a nap.
Miraculously, Max and I got from this conversation to a weekend writing getaway at a grand old resort in Westchester County. The husbands covered the kids. The room rates were reasonable. They had a heated pool. Sometimes life is awesome that way.
It was rainy and cold as we drove out of New York City. But away we went, up the Saw Mill, over to the Hutch. We holed up in our neighboring rooms and started writing. We’d meet every few hours to eat, talk, walk the grounds, drink cups of watery coffee, or do laps. Then we’d get back to writing again. Then another power walk around the golf course.
I’m not sure whether it was the time alone, the friendship time (when have we ever hung out for five minutes without kids?), the uninterrupted sleep, or giving myself permission to be a writer for two days and let all my other roles take a nap…but by the end of the weekend I felt like a different person. Literally. Now that I’m back home, I feel more able to balance life and writing, parenting and publication. I’ve been taking more deep breaths. I’ve been coming up with more ideas. I’ve been checking my phone less.
Note to self: Take a break now and then. Don’t wait until I’m beyond exhausted, eating jellybeans to stay awake, and doing nothing well.
Oh, as Max and I pulled back into New York City, the sun was shining. Spring had arrived. Yep, sometimes life is awesome that way.