As I write this I’m sitting in a coffee shop, one I’ve never been to before. It’s edgy and funky and I don’t fit in. I’m the only person wearing a J.C. Penny blazer and dainty sandals and color in a room smattered with black, combat boots, and gauged ears (and just so you know, I had to Google “What’s it called when people wear those huge circle earrings in their ears?”). I’ve got Ellie Holcomb blasting in my ear buds to drown out the clearly-I-have-no-idea-who-this-is playing over the speakers.
But it’s all good. This coffee shop, this eclectic group of people, even the music I can still hear over Ellie — something that sounds a lot like elephants trumpeting, I think it might be jazz or maybe heavy metal — it’s all exactly what I need. Something different. Something outside my typical zone, a zone which largely consists of my writing desk and my kitchen with an occasional foray to the bathroom, Monday-Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
I need different because I need a break.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for these last few weeks and months. The book, the launch, the guests posts, the social media blitz, the readings and speaking. It’s been awesome. Far better than I could have ever expected or imagined. And I am in awe of the work God has already done with this little book and my little platform.
But I’m just now realizing that I’m tired. Frankly, I’m a little tired of my book and I’m a lot tired of myself. And if I’m really honest, I’m a little tired of writing about God and faith and the journey. I know. I’m cringing as I write that, because it’s a little scary for a woman who makes a living and a calling out of writing about God and faith to be tired of writing about God and faith.
But there it is. It’s the truth. And it’s called burn-out.
I’ve been feeling a few nudges here and there, prompts from God to take a break. The timing isn’t great, I know that. The book’s only been out a month; I’m sure there’s more speaking or tweeting that could be done. I’m sure I’m supposed to be hosting giveaways on Goodreads or the like. But for some reason I’m listening to my heart instead of my head. And my heart is saying stop. Or at least slow.
So. Here’s the plan, if you can call it that.
I plan to spend more time reading and less time skimming and scrolling.
More time making eye contact with my children and less time glancing at them distractedly over the computer screen.
More time talking to my mom and my sister and my BFF on the phone while I’m tucked into a cozy chair with a cup of tea in my hand, instead of from the driver’s seat of my mini-van as I’m hurtling across town.
More time looking for the elusive orioles who have moved into the neighborhood and less time looking at my Amazon rank.
More time sipping wine on the back patio with my husband. More time sprawled on the floor next to my dog. More time sitting on my lounge chair with nothing in my hands — not my smart phone, not my laptop — except a good book.
If I’m here at little more sporadically than my usual Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday, you now know why. If I write a little more about birds or books instead of the Bible for a while, you now know why. If I quit squawking about my book, you now know why. If I don’t update you on my “status” twenty-four-seven, and fail to post the super cutest Instagrams you now know why.
Friends, I’m going to get back to living, breathing, running, walking, hugging, reading, smiling, laughing, dog-petting and being for a while. I’d love to have good long chat with you over a cup of Ethiopian dark roast. Let’s meet at the edgy, funky coffee shop across town — the place that doesn’t quite fit but feels perfectly right.