I’m a bit discouraged about my summer goals and the lack of accomplishment that’s actually happened. I’ll talk more about that in a bit. BUT when I get down, what do I do? I give something away!
I’ve forgotten when my blog anniversary was (sometime in October I think?) and I don’t think I remembered to celebrate it last year. There was a lot going on.
SO I’ve decided to make up for that today. In case I forget again this fall (which will be highly likely). But first a bit of a rambling insight into my world this summer. Bear with me.
If you know me, I’m a goal setter. My friends who know me well always ask, “And what are your goals for this break.” They know I have lists and lists and lists. This is how I get so much done. If I plan it out, it will get done.
I knew I was already running on empty from this last school year. I prioritized sleeping and “refreshment,” making myself and my sanity the highest priority this summer. Holy buckets is that hard to do! I have THINGS that need to get done! BUT I kept reminding myself to take a chill pill and take the time to rest.
Have you heard the term “fill the well”? It’s used a lot by creatives (writers and illustrators alike). It comes from something Julia Cameron said (way back when). It’s the basic concept that in order to create, we have to dig into ourselves (maybe our subconscious) and pull from our source of creativity. And there are times when the well is dry. These are fallow dry times and can be hard to deal with. This is when fear creeps in and tells us that we’ll “never create again!” But that’s not true. We creatives constantly need to remind ourselves that this is just a season, it’s NOT forever. (Reminding myself of this right now.) Then what you have to do is fill the well. There are a variety of ways to do this and it’s different for every person. I suspect many of us are dealing with dry wells right now because of pandemic shenanigans.
However, I’ve learned to respect the cycles in my life. The end of the school year is always hard (I’m never so tired as when it’s the end of the school year) and I find ways the first week of summer break to fill the well. Usually, I try something brand new artistically that I’ve never tried before. This will fill my well, trick me into “playing,” and kick start the creativity I usually need to drive my writing and illustrating projects through the summer.
But this year, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been more exhausted than ever before. Think Sahara desert levels of drought. The amount of sleeping I did for weeks was ridiculous. I simply couldn’t get my energy back. Then my hubby and I traveled. Yes, we traveled. We celebrated our 5-year anniversary a bit early and went to Hawaii (using all sorts of coupons and discounts to make it happen). BEACH TIME!
It’s exactly what our souls both needed. And I’ve never seen so many sea turtles in my life, let alone on one trip to Hawaii! In fact, a lifelong dream randomly came true: I was able to swim with a sea turtle! It looked like this (NOT my photo, but someone shared it on social media in a Hawaii group and I swear it’s almost exactly what I saw under water when I was swimming!):
I’m still flabbergasted by that. It happened when I least expected it. SO amazing. (Ask me the story and I will tell it to you.)
BUT, my “simple” list of goals isn’t getting accomplished like I thought it would this summer. It feels like the summer is almost over for me (school seems to be starting REALLY early this year). I’m still working, things are still getting done, but … not as fast or as much as I would like. It’s SLOW progress again. Plus I feel stymied and frustrated with my art skills, like I’m hitting my head against the same brick wall. I know I’ll eventually get around that wall and grow, but … man. I feel like that kid that just wants to be taller already! (Though, to be honest, I’ve never experienced that problem because I was always the tallest kid for my age.) Even plants don’t grow just because you yell at them, right? Everything in its own time.
So I moped most of last week. BAH HUMBUG to that! Instead, I’m trying to be present in the now and enjoy the time I have and do what I can. I’m a natural giver too, so I thought, “what could be better than doing another giveaway?” That would cheer me up AND cheer up someone else (which I also love). And possibly, it will fill someone else’s well.
After all, not everyone can travel this summer and certainly not everyone can travel to Alaska (which I know is a dream for so many of you). SO without further ado, let me tell you about the THREE prizes I’m giving away to YOU, my dear readers (or at least the first three winners).
First place is a box of Alaskan tea (it includes 18 tea bags, in 3 different flavors) that I thought had pretty Alaskan art on it. Second place is a blank Alaskan notebook with funny cartoons on and in it for the writers. Third place is a smaller Alaskan “tea for two” blueberry tea sampler. All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter here. Winners will be selected next week when the rafflecopter closes (next Wednesday at midnight).
I hope your summer is full of renewal, writing and art, dreams coming true, and fantastic reading. If not, I hope you’re at least filling your well, dear readers. Good luck!