Just wanted to post a quick update on my "old year" resolutions! I finished NaNoWriMo!

It was a blast and a headache at the same time.

Shortly before November started I found out I was pregnant and part way through the month I had a miscarriage. J and I were distraught and I didn't write for about a week. (I did write about our process here, if you're interested in knowing more. Today's blog has a different purpose and I won't touch on it much, but I do appreciate your thoughts and prayers!) Finishing my book pulled me back to reality. When I realized if I really focused, I could still win, I got excited again. I still allowed myself to grieve, but I tried not to allow myself to give up. Because I can't doesn't exist, right? The last day of November I wrote almost seven thousand words and finished with a 50,007 total word count.

It was definitely an experience I will never forget. My sister and I were talking about it and I tried to tell her how difficult it was. On a normal day I sit down to write a blog and when I finish I have this wonderful sense of accomplishment. I enjoy thinking that I was able to communicate what I wanted to communicate. But this month-of-writing was hard work.

When I looked back on it the daily word goal wasn't high, it was completely feasible. On a Sunday--granted a day off work--I wrote 7,000 words. But I didn't even devote every hour to writing. I enjoyed a football game and helped my aunt with her math homework. I could easily have written 10,000 words in a day and finished in 5 days. If I'd taken the week off. No, the content might not have been fantastic, but--my tragedy aside--I could have finished much faster.

I love writing, but I still had to work at it and some days it took a lot to get back into it and get it done. Working at it with everything I had was hard. It drained me. But I loved it.

There's a guy in my office who loves hiking. I mean, this guy loves hiking. He loves the mountains, the wildlife, sleeping outside, and feeling the burning in his legs. It's been a while since I've seen someone so excited about anything in their lives. You mention a mountain range and he gets this goofy little grin on his face; he couldn't possibly hold it in.

My desk is pretty central to our office and I just happened to be near when someone asked him about his plans for the weekend. I'm actually taking my vacation starting this weekend.

Ahhhh, vacation. Sit by the beach and drink pina coladas, right?
Ocean + Laziness = Vacation

"Oh that's nice! Are you going somewhere?"

"Yeah, I'm going to Mt. Whitney." He said and rubbed his hands together like he was about to eat a juicy steak.

"You're... hiking it?" Obviously not what he expected to hear.

"Yeah man." He raised his eyebrows like he was just waiting for that first bite.

"How long will it take?" Maybe this is just a day trip, he must've been thinking.

"I'll be gone all next week." He bobbed his head up and down. You could tell the anticipation was building as he continued talking about it.

"Is that easy for you?" The guy's obviously still trying to imagine this as a vacation.

Shocked, he let out an unguarded laugh. "No man. It's hard. It's a lot of work."

"Yeah. I was just checking. That's cool. Have fun." The guy dropped off the conversation as quickly a he'd started it. I guess they didn't have much in common.

It made me wonder. How many of us take our vacations to try to forget about our lives instead of trying to live them. We take the easy road when we go on vacation. This guy challenged himself to accomplish something great when most people would be sleeping.

I've been thinking about what this would look like for me ever since the conversation this summer. What do I love? On what would I be willing to spend my entire vacation time working?

Honestly, I think most of us have been taught not to think about the things we love. Like it's selfish or something.

I don't think it's selfish anymore.

I think it's living.

After writing all month last month, I'm ready to start living. It's way more fun.

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