Good Old Summertime: Or Why I Got Nothing Done and I’m Okay with It

I truly tried. I had a list. I had a schedule. I had good intentions. I was going to GET STUFF DONE.

Write some articles. Work with writing prompts. Submit. Start a more vigorous exercise program. Learn InDesign and Google Analytics. Write some letters.

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Instead, you know what I did? Not that.

I rested. I slept. I read books. I spent more time in God’s Word. My husband and I spent many hours deciding on paint colors for our three rebuilt rooms. I cheered him on as he painted all those rooms (I offered to help, but he knows my shoulder problems would only be made worse). We brought some furniture to replace what was destroyed in the fire. We bought a dining room set at a garage sale. We planted and maintained our gardens.

Painting, painting, painting.
Butterfly garden in its third year. Mostly perennials, a few annuals.

I freelanced on a manuscript style tagging job. I ran our Taylor University Professional Writers’ Conference again — only virtually this time, with great help from my Taylor University IT friend and fellow writer and editor T.R. Knight, who managed our Zoom conference with great skill and patience.

But, honestly, I feel like I accomplished nothing.

I frustrate myself so often. What is it that makes me create lists and check off the little tasks (buy coffee) but let the bigger ideas, the longer-term items (finish that creative nonfiction article) go from week to week in my schedule book, carried over as if I can do so indefinitely?

What makes those writing tasks so hard for me?

Some if it is rejection. Some of it is imposter-syndrome. Some of it is being just plain tired. I could blame the pandemic and all of the stress of online teaching this past spring. I could blame the pandemic for lack of personal contact with many of the people I love most. I could blame the worries over the many issues bombarding our world today and how my brain is tired trying to navigate them. I could blame our house rebuild that has dragged on because of scheduling issues with various contractors. I could blame my age.

OR I could just let it go and say it’s okay. I did what I did and it was all good. Time with books and in God’s Word and resting were probably what I most needed considering everything else going on in my life and in our world.

Yeah, I think I’ll go with that.

I’m a Type A personality who always feels the need to “be accomplishing something.” Everything I do needs to be something I can check off a list or post on Goodreads or have something to show for it. My writing so often doesn’t. It sits on my computer because no one else should ever see it. Or I took the chance to send it out and get rejected.

Maybe I need to add “take a nap” and “get a rejection letter” and “write X number of terrible pages” to my daily to-do list.

That’s actually not a bad idea. I could at least trick my brain into thinking I’m accomplishing something. I already know that rejections and terrible pages are the stuff of good writing (well, probably naps as well).

And I’m okay with that.

8 thoughts on “Good Old Summertime: Or Why I Got Nothing Done and I’m Okay with It

  1. I hear you, Linda. My goals for this summer were different than yours, but many have still not been accomplished. And that’s OK. “She did what she could.” You build into so many lives as an educator, writer, editor, wife, mom, grandmother, and conference organizer. We also need to hear you tell us it’s OK to rest, and that you’ve done. Thank you.

    1. It’s tough, isn’t it? Even enforced staying at home didn’t seem to make it any easier! How’s your wonderful book selling? So happy to see you writing!

  2. Glad to hear the TUPW went well. Would love to hear more details, maybe next WB? About your summer: I love Ephesians 2:10. That’s most likely what you did, you walked into the good works prepared for you!

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    1. I hope so, Rita! I have missed you guys. The conference was smaller, but I think folks appreciated that we did it and that we had the one-on-ones available for the attendees. In the future, we definitely need to do something that allows for people to see at least portions of the conference recorded. It’s difficulty for many to travel. We will for sure catch you next year!

  3. I have been there and done that too, Linda. And I don’t feel too guilty about it. Actually I survived a concussion and two cataract surgeries this summer, so I’ve caught up on rest. And that’s okay too. It looks like you have really accomplished more than you thought.

  4. My employment has continued with only a few hiccups as we moved back and forth between the office and home offices. I’m grateful for the work (and some extra freelance work), but I also know that COVID-19 and family health concerns and the spring tornadoes and–OK, I’ll stop there–have exceeded my bandwidth. I took a staycation last week and found such rest in sitting still with a cup of Earl Grey at the ready. In my world that is doing something. Ready to go again today.

    1. We need those days, don’t we? I just woke up from a 2-hour afternoon nap. Couldn’t shake the sleepies earlier. The older I get, the more I know I need to listen to my body! Glad your stay-cation brought you back to the energy level you need. It’s healthy!

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