CELEBRATING GUILT by Debra H. Goldstein
Celebrate! Have you ever noticed that the Fourth of July celebration goes far beyond one day? On the Friday before this holiday weekend, airports and roads became packed as people ducked out of their offices early. Those who stayed behind actually got caught up because things were so quiet.
I had great plans for using the Friday to write my personal Stiletto Gang and It’s Not Always a Mystery blogs, set up and schedule the great guest July blogs for both (Judy Penz Sheluk is visiting The Stiletto Gang on July 22 and the amazing Bill Crider is my July 18 guest on It’s Not Always a Mystery), and working on a short story that is burning a hole in my brain.
Addressing anything burning a hole in my brain takes high priority as there only is so much space left in those hemispheres that resemble swiss cheese. So, I was ready, set, and started; but then, Joel announced he’d be home mid-day and was curious if I planned to be in my lab or wanted to do something. Guilt!
For the next three months, I am gone a significant part of each month doing book talks and signings Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery. Joel supports my endeavors, but rather than go on the road with me, he enjoys working, visiting children, grandchildren, or the grand-dog, going to the gym or hanging in front of our TV set. Now, he was specifically asking me to do something with him beyond our already scheduled holiday plans.
I’d already promised to dedicate Saturday to a “date” like activity (translate that to no writing as we’ll be on the road) and we had plans with other couples for Sunday and Monday. What did he want of me? Didn’t he understand I need to dedicate myself to my writing when I’m not frustrated and playing Spider Solitaire?
I started getting worked up and was about to explain to him why I needed my private time but something stopped me. I thought about how much my writing takes me away from interacting with others and remembered that if we are to be good writers, we need to be well-rounded human beings. That means prioritizing personal lives as well as word counts.
At least for me, all too often, I become so engaged in writing or PR that I sacrifice the time I could devote to interacting with those I love most. I’ve learned I can’t be superhuman so I’ve given up trying to keep a Martha Stewart house, but I need to remember those I care about need my attention, too. In the end, it works both ways. I am nurtured by those I nurture and my writing is the better for it.
How about you? Do you function in a vacuum or celebrate with those around you?
FYI: I have a new and improved website at www.DebraHGoldstein.com . In creating the website, the It's Not Always a Mystery Blog was moved to a new wordpress platform requiring those who want to receive email notification/copies twice a month to sign up again. Please do.