“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
How I was supposed to spend last week: relaxing on the beach with a good book, walking at the ocean’s edge as the waves cascaded over my feet, swimming in the pool while the sun shone down from above, editing outside on the balcony each morning, shopping at my favorite stores in Stone Harbor, eating out at some of my favorite seaside restaurants … in a nutshell, enjoying vacation.
How I actually spent last week: taking my temperature, blowing my nose, coughing until tears slid down my cheeks, transforming our hotel room into a makeshift pharmacy (Advil, Sudafed, and the antibiotic my doctor was nice enough to call in), napping on the sofa because the sinus infection often kept me up for most of the night … in a nutshell, not enjoying vacation the way I’d hoped.
I’d be lying if I said there was no disappointment. I try hard to be an optimistic person, but let’s face it, there’s nothing fun about being sick while at the shore. It stunk. A lot. And I was more than a little bummed. I’m hoping for a return visit next weekend – I have always wanted to spend my birthday there and it actually falls out on a Sunday this year – but since that’s still up in the air as of now, I’m just grateful the antibiotic kicked in quickly enough that I was able to enjoy at least a couple days of vacation. Did I get to follow through with all the plans I made? No. But isn’t that how life often works?
I wasn’t expecting to take a week off from editing. In fact, it was the complete opposite. I couldn’t wait to wake up early, sit outside with the computer on my lap and the sun glistening down on the ocean, and work my way further through Revision Land. Instead, it’s been nine days since I last immersed myself in Sofie’s world. In some ways, I think the unexpected break was good. Editing is a labor of love, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating sometimes. Knowing I must cut X amount of words is a tangible goal, a finish line dangling in front of me. Yet the steps taken to reach that goal are baby ones. I don’t delete thousands of words at a time. I delete a few … or a few dozen … or, every now and then, a few hundred. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And though it’s cliche, perhaps, I truly have come to find that slow and steady wins the race. So I guess this past week was my rest on the sidelines, my time to catch my breath and refuel for the home stretch. I have a third of the book left to edit (for this round of revisions, anyway – it looks like there might be a second), and I’m ready to jump back in tomorrow with renewed energy and excitement. I have missed my book-babies and can’t wait to “see” them again.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Had your plans go totally awry? What did you do about it?