Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How I'll Spend My Summer Staycation

Summer is coming to a fast close and I'm getting antsy. I've not taken any time for myself, and time for myself soon will become a commodity I have less of. My wife and I have kids on the way: two, our first. I won't go into much detail about them on this blog because this is not the place for it, but I am certain these little ones will change almost everything in my life.

As a quick aside, I'll say this: over the Labor Day weekend, I got a terrible case of poison oak. I thought I'd been careful, wearing jeans, keeping my gloves on whenever I pulled at anything as I cleared away a backyard full of brush, but it was warm. So I wore short sleeves.

Dealing with the scrapes and welts and yellow fluid were bad enough, but the itch was miserable. I tried Benadryl gel, which helped but was insufficient. I pinked my arms up with Calamine lotion, but it's not always convenient in a work environment. And then there was a funeral. Nothing is ever quite right when a funeral is involved.

After the torrential rain and wind of the past weekend, we finally made our way back home, and I treated my itch with more care. For the most part, I'm back in shape. Yet there is still a dull aching itch I need to scratch.

I'm taking next week off — my summer staycation — and I already have a full list of things I want to accomplish. It's a list I'll never fully complete and which will leave me frustrated at least till January, when my new list of resolutions kicks in. But a key point on that list is to scratch at my itch. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The novel is ready. I have begun to write flawed queries that will not see an envelope, but by the end of next week, the first will be off on its way. I've always needed to write, and I've found excuses not to; I suspect I'm like a lot of "aspiring novelists" in that regard. But I have a novel and I have a need — I don't mean the money, though with hungry pooping progeny on the way, that's not to be dismissed either; I simply don't expect much money to come of it. One must be realistic.

But if I have anything to give these children, it's to teach them that the world is full of potential. They could become many things, and some of their dreams will crumble like fallen eggs, but there will be aspirations that stay with them their entire life. Like writing has for me. I need to show them that it's not only good to pursue one's dreams, it's crucial for life itself. It's the only way to live comfortably when an itch just won't go away.

I've begun writing every day again.

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