Getaway Day

A few months ago, April took a weekend away to stay in a cabin and go hiking and be alone with her thoughts and God. It was tremendously beneficial for her, and after she returned we realized that I hadn’t really had any time like that for a couple of years, and not really more than a few hours of alone time contiguously for longer than that.

I had won a night’s stay in a hotel through a charity auction, so we picked a long weekend and agreed that I’d take a night and two days to just get away. Leaving her and the kids was harder than I expected, and by the end of day 1 I was really missing my family and kind of wanting to go home, but I also found the weekend to be rejuvenating and necessary.

My regular self-care consists of playing computer games 1-2 evenings a week for 2 hours at a time, reading for 30-60 minutes before bed, getting as much sleep as I can with kids who wake up before 5 am every day, and meeting with a counselor every 2 weeks. I realized partway through day 1 of my getaway that my regular self-care is like drinking water: it’s necessary, life-giving, and refreshing, but it’s also the bare minimum. It helps me survive, but not thrive.

I had a lot of realizations in my time away and wanted to document them here. I’ll go through the days chronologically.

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Can you deliver?

An interesting discussion has taken place over at scraplab about “delivering.” Whether it’s a program or a book, we deliver when we put something out for public consumption. We’ve taken our baby and sent it out into the big, scary world, and now it has to stand on its own. Or, as might very well be the case, fall on its own.

  1. you’ve either shipped or you haven’t
  2. Shipping news
  3. greys

The second entry is a response on another person’s blog to the first one in the list. In this exchange, they talk about deliverables, and then about journalism/news. What about blogging?

Blogging seems insignificant next to a newspaper, though there are certainly blogs with larger readerships than many newspapers. Either way, both have to keep feeding the press, coming up with new words and putting them together for hungry readers. We still deliver, but I like how number 2 up there puts it:

It’s not that the media critics have never shipped, it’s that they do so much shipping they’ve stopped caring about product like anyone else would.

I still get a bit of nervousness when I publish something I’ve written, even though I publish something most every day. There’s a vulnerability inherent in putting words into the database, formatting that for public consumption, and sending it out into the world. Will anyone notice? Will anyone care? How many will hate or like this thing in which I have invested myself?

Some people point at the current state of writing as “the death of literature.” When everyone writes, can anyone be called a Writer? And if everyone is a Writer, is there anything special in it? If everyone is published, is it worth “being published?”

The shift is this: if anything, there is greater emphasis on writing for the self than for others, because in the great noise that is the Internet, it is becoming increasingly rare for others to notice that we deliver.

If no one notices, does it still matter? I dare say it does.