It's been a month since I finished my manuscript. I've spent the last 30 days doing what I said I would do (and have looked forward to with great anticipation for more than a year) when I finally finished my book: nothing.
I've savored the freedom of the moments: instead of flipping open my laptop the second I sat down on the train, I opened my Bible to the book of Joshua. Instead of spending my Saturday morning tucked away in the home office shushing the clatter of my house, I baked banana chocolate chip muffins. Instead of heading to Starbucks during Sadie’s volleyball practice, I went shopping and bought a splendid little black dress.
I've read two books purely for fun, both of which my soul is still lingering over (to me the mark of a truly good book). The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (the latter I finished before bed last night; I'm still in a pocket of grief).
And every moment, I’ve fought the brooding lie that I was wasting time.
The full force of it barreled down over Memorial Day weekend, rushing to get out the door for Clay's baseball tournament another state away. I shooed everyone out the door while I took one last inventory of all of our stuff. Chairs. Cooler. Kindle. Sunglasses. Phone. My eyes swept over the chair where my neon green computer bag rested, and I felt a pulse of anxiety at leaving it behind. I never went anywhere without my computer. Being the passenger on a long car ride or a bystander waiting for the game to start were drops of golden (writing) time.
Before I could change my mind, I turned on my heel and walked out the door, leaving the bag decidedly in its place. Instead of being irritated by too much chatter in the car while I tried to muster creative energy, I caught up with Eric on the events of his week; I bantered with the kids and flipped through some pages of my book. I stared out the window. When we got to the game an hour early, instead of sitting in the car trying to gain progress on a new chapter, leaving Sadie to stare endlessly at her phone, we drove 4 exits to a candy factory where we bought 3 species of gummy bears and gorged ourselves silly.
Drops of golden time.
I suppose wasting time is all a matter of perspective. What we choose to do instead is often just as important.
As much as I've enjoyed the respite, I'm antsy about not having written much these last few weeks, much the way I feel when too much time has passed without talking to my sister or going to the gym. I'm taking that as a good sign -- just the right mix of rest and discipline for the next time I have to choose writing instead once again.