I am a little embarrassed to tell you this, but I’m going away again. This time, not for a short break, but for what I sense might be a long season—at least fall and winter.
I know it’s really bad for business. It’s the worst marketing strategy ever. Letting my blog idle won’t help me build an audience, endear me to readers, or encourage sales on my book.
I wish I could explain it better, but I hear God inviting me to a place more hidden. I feel this need to get very quiet and hunker down to do the kind of spiritual tilling, reading, and writing that just can’t happen when I’m crafting short pieces for public consumption.
I don’t know if I’ll work on a next book or not. But I do know that I will never write anything else as long as I am blogging regularly. Some writers can do both at the same time. I’ve learned that I can’t.
Here’s another part of the picture. Dave and I are at an important juncture in our lives. He recently turned 64. We need to be intentional about planning for the future. Instead, we’re both living at breakneck speed, bemoaning that life is passing us by.
You’ve heard me whining about how my life is out of balance. How I need to get back to yoga. How I need to get and stay slob sober (I keep house like a toddler). But none of it’s happening, folks. The seemingly urgent keeps winning out over the truly important.
As I look at where I spend my time—recovery meetings, sponsoring women, working as a writing “doula,” promoting my book, maintaining important relationships with friends and loved ones, answering reader email, and writing posts—what seems expendable right now is writing more posts.
Besides, after publishing a book and more than 200 posts in less than two years, I think I’ve said enough for now.
So this is my plan. I’m going to leave this post as a permanent explanation on the front page of my blog. Meantime, I’ll continue to post in Raw in case any of you want to check in with me or hear how it’s going.
One of the hardest parts of going down under is how much I will miss connecting with you on a regular basis. And I only just recently met many of you!
Here’s what I hope. I hope that if you miss my regular posts you’ll come by and read old ones, and if you haven’t read my book, you will. I hope, too, that if you have a question, if you think of me, or if you need help—you’ll drop me a line at Heather@Soberboots.com.
Remember, I’m not going to Mars. Just being quiet for a season.
I’ll leave you for now with a poem.
We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.
Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,
Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry—
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.
And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.
—Marie Howe, The Kingdom Of Ordinary Time
The first time I read this, I felt a stab of recognition and guilt. I wanted to race to the phone and call my grown sons to tell them how sorry I am. I’m so sorry I was in such a hurry for you to become people in a hurry who probably won’t believe me now when I tell you that you’ve already arrived.
The last time I read the poem, I recognized my Ego-Me in the mother’s role, trying to urge God along behind me, saying—Hurry, hurry, hurry! If we don’t get there first, I might miss out, I might not win!
Today, I’m ready to slow down, to let God lead, to hand over the keys of my life to the only One who knows where I’m going.