I‘m back from my summer blogging break, and if there’s anything I learned, it’s that I need to stop calling it a break. It so wasn’t a break. Don’t get me wrong; it was restful and served its purpose, but I worked a lot. That’s why it felt funny when some of you would write me, starting with, “I’m sorry to bother you on your break, but…”
It was simply a temporary hiatus from regular personal publishing here. I welcomed some of my friends to share their words on the Mondays and Fridays when I usually write, and Wednesdays were business as usual with the regular contributors. I am so thankful for the generosity of these friends—there were some seriously memorable posts.
I also started running a bit more regularly (thank you, beautiful days), I took my kids to the pool a lot, I’ve been watching the Olympics as I’m able, and—oh yes, we renovated the heck out of a house and then moved in last weekend. It’s been great.
It’s been a good, busy season. Here are a few things I’ve learned—again—this summer:
1. Taking a break isn’t that big a deal to other people.
I was scared to take a break from my blog in 2010, but when I returned five weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised to find that people didn’t really seem to mind. As a recovering people pleaser, I was nervous that I’d disappoint someone. Didn’t really seem to happen.
I now take breaks unapologetically; a shorter one around Christmas and a longer one during the summer. It’s a key ingredient in my salve to prevent burnout.
2. It’s really important to make room for your element.
I’ve written and spoken about “the element” a number of times—that sweet spot where your skills and passions collide, a term beautifully coined by Sir Ken Robinson. Most of this gig as a blogger fits the element bill for me, but there are some tasks that are more dead-on than others.
I’m so unashamedly thankful for Katie, my assistant, and I’m continually learning to share the workload with her—and others—so that I can truly focus on that which fuels me most. Writing.
3. Community. It’s so much about community.
You guys. The other writers and editors here. Blogging friends near and far, and the supremely talented people with whom I share space at the places where I write. The people encouraging me in my book, and of course, my family.
I don’t live in a vacuum, and neither do you. We all need each other, and while that makes life messy and challenging, it’s also the honey on my scone. It just makes everything sweeter.
You? I’m glad you’re here, reading these words. Thank you so much. I’m happy to be “back.”
What’s been the best part of your summer so far?