I’m back in Florida now. This summer I didn’t experience much of the peace and solitude I usually get at our mountain cabin. Living amidst that wild beauty was restorative, but this was mostly counteracted by the 10 hours I spent at my computer every day unless Fred, the kids, or guests were there. I love the writing phase of a book, but promoting it is an entirely different matter! Neither my personality nor my brain finds anything fun or easy about that. It didn’t help that my computer skills are rudimentary and our internet service was wonky!
Another thing. After months of obsessing over final edits and revisions, double-checking citations for my sources, answering my publisher’s questions, and attending to numerous other mentally demanding details, by summer’s beginning I was thoroughly out of touch with many realities of daily physical life. Adjusting to the drastic changes in setting, home, and social responsibilities required skills I hadn’t used in a coon’s age, and sometimes this magnified my usual social and sensory spaciness to embarrassing extents!
Of course, the stress of having to employ my inferior functions day after day was an open invitation to my Shadow! She found these changes in my habitual lifestyle so difficult and frustrating that by mid-August I was resigning myself to the new and decidedly uncomfortable self-image of curmudgeon! Or as my friend Eleanor calls it, crumbdungeon! Naturally, my perfectionist Spiritual Bully was not amused to see this “flaw” in my Persona.
But I learned some very valuable lessons. My difficulties forced me to ask for help more often than usual. And I received it, especially from Fred and two of his office staff in Florida. And when the kids visited, my son cleaned out over 100 items on my computer that were causing unnecessary obstacles. HUGE help! Plus, my publisher’s marketing department knocked itself out on my behalf. These almost daily gifts warmed my heart and took a huge chunk out of my tendency take the blessings of my life for granted.
In short, my “vacation” was unusually challenging but surprisingly gratifying. For example, persisting despite my struggles reactivated some left-brained circuits my brain hasn’t used for far too long. It was eye-opening to see the limitations of my personality type—INFJ on the MBPI—and the perils of obsessing over it. Combine one-sided rigidity with the natural effects of aging and you have a recipe for diminishing mental functioning. You know the saying, “Use it or lose it.” I get that now and I’ll be more proactive about balancing my inner and outer lives from now on.
Launching my new book will offer additional challenges in the coming months. With many more obligations than usual, I’ll need to think farther ahead and plan more carefully if I want to keep doing everything that’s important to me. One of these is publishing two posts a week. Thursday I’ll be presenting for the Literary Sala in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and the following week’s schedule contains four more book-signings. Yikes! This leaves little time for writing.
But I think it’s going to be okay. This summer I also learned that while I can’t always be balanced, flexible, or free from my shadow’s influence, the energy and skills I need to pursue my passions will be there when I need them…as long as I remain healthy, self-aware, and open to redefining myself every day!
Here’s a link to the site of the San Miguel Literary Sala for whom I’ll be presenting Thursday evening: http://sanmiguelliterarysala.org/archives-2012/september-2012/
For a neat video of the San Miguel de Allende writer’s conference, click this link: U-TUBE VIDEO