Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cracked iPhone induced Anxiety or How to Fish for Crabs AND be a Full Time Writer

There are many times over the past two years that I've wondered who the heck I thought I was leaving my successful fitness career. I was a personal trainer, fitness teacher and yoga instructor.  Well, I guess you never stop being a yogini, but I'm no longer teaching regular classes at a studio or gym.  I practice every day, even if its just sitting on my mat to calm my nerves.

And there are things that I let get on my nerves, lately.  For one, I've set this goal of becoming a full-time, paid author and I have a serious publishing schedule to meet.  As an independently published author, I wear all the hats: writer, PR rep, marketer, social media manager, publisher, quality control consultant, graphic artist, etc. Its a hard row to hoe, but I know I'm on the right path and I am eager to do the work. Almost too eager.

It leads to imbalance, this passion for writing and independence.  For example, I spend more time tweeting with online acquaintances, posting with Facebook pals and tumbling with fuckyeahyoga than I do on housekeeping and gardening.  *points to piles of laundry and dishes*  My kids see me on my iPad and whisper, "There she goes again...lost down the rabbit hole."  They are eleven and eight. *sigh*

I am currently squinting through a splitting headache because I've been on the lappy all day writing answers to interview questions and arguing with myself over which guest post ideas are better.  Yes, I am trying to catch up after being on vacation at Folly Beach in South Carolina, but this is not at all abnormal.  Since dedicating myself to the full-time writer life, I have been racing at breakneck speed to get the requisite trilogy written so I can see my sales improve.  I have also written the first novella in a series I plan to release next and two short stories for anthologies.

While I love every minute of it, mostly, I do need to slow down sometimes. So, a trip to the beach and to catch up with thru-hiker pals seemed like a great way to unwind.  And it was. Seriously, it was.  The fact that less than five hours after arriving my iPhone ended up cracked on the road (a pure accident-nobody's fault) did not ruin the trip.  It ruined dinner that night for me as tears welled up over crab cakes and fresh salsa, but the trip was still awesome.

I did discover that I was wound way, way tighter than I had allowed myself to acknowledge.  How did I figure this out?  It was the little things like that second night on my friend's houseboat when I about hyperventilated every time my eight-year-old bounded down the steps to the lower deck.  I was terrified he'd fall overboard. And then there was how far out I could hack both kids wandering into the surf.  My husband was constantly trying to reign me in and give the kids a chance to have some fun.

My anxiety caught up with my one quiet night as my husband and I sat on the deck overlooking the beach and half a bottle of wine later I was crying like a little baby.  Where the hell did that come from?  I'm living the dream, for goodness sake!  *sigh*  Turns out burning that midnight oil needs to be balanced out with real living. So, my husband thought crab fishing might just be the ticket.

*big wide eyes* Bwahahahahhahaha!

Turns out *gasp* he was right.  Our local friends showed us how to tie chicken necks (I kid you not) to the weighted lines that we dropped over the edge of the dock and tied to whatever was handy.  One of us would pull the line up real slow like while another would scoop the crabs up with a net.  While most of the little buggers were too small, we had enough singing the blues in the bottom of the basket to entertain the neighbors.

And I was the only one who didn't get pinched. Ha!  Hammer and Kodiak (those are our hiker buds nicknames) showed me how to hold the crab by the two back legs so they couldn't pinch me.  I don't know why my husband refused to handle them that way, but he got pinched pretty good for his hubris. And so did I, but in a different way.  I tend to think I can work as much as I want and not pay the price.  I am learning the hard way, unfortunately, but I am learning.

All work and no play makes Melissa an anxious, cracked, crabby pants. :-P

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