Thursday, June 22, 2017

I've Created A Monster......


That word brings such joy to my heart. To me it has always meant a time out, time off, time for my brain to truly rest. Hubby and I recently returned from a week in Florida. Nothing strenuous. We visited family, hung out at the pool and beach, and ate some fabulous food. One of my main goals was to read in the sun and for lack of a better word, veg. This is how I’ve always viewed vacations. I certainly would not be writing – my brain needed a break, a real break. This plan has always worked perfectly in the past. 

In the past….

There was just a slight problem with this plan. My brain. After months of my new routine of writing once, sometimes twice a day, going cold turkey was not going to go as easily as I had hoped. It started on the plane on the way there. My brain started nagging me to get out the notebook I’d thrown in at the last minute and start jotting notes. But since our flight was at 5am I told my brain to hush and took a nap. The first day we were on the go all the time so it wasn’t too bad. The next day was our first full pool day and I settled in with my book, excited to just disappear for a couple of hours. Then it started.

Brain: Hey, um mm we're not at work.
Me: Yup, that’s right.
Brain: Hmm, we um normally would be writing in our free time.
Me: I know, but we’re on vacation and need a break. And I don’t have my laptop
Brain: You put a notebook in your bag – I saw you.
Me: Siggh…I know that, but no. We need a break and we’re just going to read.
Brain: But…
Me: its one week. We’ll come back refreshed and more focused.
Brain: …

This worked for a couple of hours. I floated in the pool, read, and actually interacted with people. I thought my brain and I were on the same page. I thought we understood each other. I thought wrong.

Brain: OK, so we’re not actually going to do any physical writing?
Me: Right, no actual writing. Now, if you don’t mind I’m –
Brain: OK, no problem. You go back to reading and I’ll just sit here and wait.
Me: Okay….
Brain: Hey, remember that new MG/YA story idea you had? I have some fabulous ideas. I’m just going to mull them over. I’ll be over here. Perfectly quiet. I won’t say a word. (Proceeds to mumble ideas for the next hour.)

I meanwhile proceeded to read the same pages over and over again until I gave up and just sat and listened. I didn’t give in and write, but I definitely zoned out. I went far into my head; so far that hubby actually asked if I was okay. He gets me. He gets that I do this and that nothing is wrong, but I don’t typically (try not to) do this when we’re with other people. I do my best to be present. So I felt really bad about this, but my brain literally would not shut up. 

It got progressively worse from there. No matter what we were doing my brain kept throwing ideas at me. The only time it left me alone was when I was sleeping. It was always there, like a child, tugging on my arm, begging for attention. Going for a walk on the beach was the worst.

Brain: You enjoy your walk. I’ll just be over here… Hey! Look at all these people! What kind of stories can we come up with about them?
Me: No, no…. listen, I just want to walk. Please, just zip it.
Brain: Okay…. Psstt, look at that guy there. What’s going on? What’s that bottle he’s holding? How comes he’s holding his hands like that? Is he praying, or meditating? I bet he has a great story. Oh, oh! Look at this lady. A dog and three kids and she looks sad. What do you think –
Me: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

Silence for about two minutes and then we passed a group of older woman, sitting in those small chairs that go right in the water. They were having a lot of adult beverages and laughing hysterically. You could see the years of friendship and fun between them. Brain literally exploded.
I Just about ran to get away from them.

I made it through the rest of the week, but just barely. I was beginning to feel like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost when Patrick Swayze’s ghost wouldn’t stop bugging her. I’m trying to view this as a positive thing. My brain fully believes it’s a writer. Writer’s write. Therefore going without writing for a day just doesn’t work. It’s my own fault. This was my goal after all; to train myself to write as much as possible so I could become better at it, and actually accomplish something. In a way I wanted to become addicted to I and I did. I created my own monster. So for future vacations I will need to schedule time for some kind of writing. 

Otherwise I’ll need to buy a plane ticket for Patrick Swayze.  

~ Adrienne

PS - This was how I imagined vacation would go.....