I hear the weather has been really nice the past couple of days. I wouldn’t know. I’ve been holed up in my basement office working feverishly on two writing projects with deadlines. These are projects that mean a lot to me, and though I worked to the point of making my arms ache and my eyes blur, I sort of loved every minute I spent hyper-focused on my writing.
And then I finished and, oddly, regret and doubt set in. What if, after all that effort, after missing out on a lovely summer walk or a great evening chat with my husband, I had just worked for two solid days for nothing? What if the one piece didn’t get picked up? What if the other (which was the summary for the back cover of my new book) missed the mark entirely?
And then I started to feel guilty about overworking. After all, I’ve been vowing to spend more time outside, and swearing I’ll take better care of my body, and promising myself that, once and for all, I’ll figure out this whole work/life balance thing. But all those lofty goals went out the window as soon as I got sucked into writing that excited me.
And now, I’m sitting at my desk trying to remember where I was before those two projects took over. I’m sure there are e-mails I need to answer and phone calls I need to make, but I’m feeling disoriented. A part of my brain is still going over the writing I did, still wondering about certain words or sentences, still thinking I could do better, even though I sent them off already. And part of me is still hoping all that effort wasn’t for naught.
Do the work you love, they tell us. But they don’t tell us, if you do the work you love, there will be times you won’t want to stop working. And they don’t tell us the opposite will also be true. There will be times when, even though you love your work, you’ll love other things just as much, and those things will call to you too.
But what’s done is done, right? It might be noble to strive for balance in life, but it's also noble to forgive yourself if you don't achieve it. Some weeks, maybe you'll just love one thing more than the others. I think it's okay to once in a while get lost in love.
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