One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to swim with the stingrays. We literally do it every summer and it never gets old. In the “wild” they flock to this particular sand bar of their own free will, because they know the visiting tourists are bringing breakfast (squid). They want breakfast. But we’ve learned from the guides over the years, that they like to be cuddled too. It takes practice to learn how to scoop them up and hold them just under the water so they can still breathe, while rocking gently with the waves, and rubbing their soft white underside.
If you do it right, they will stay there with you, and it’s absolutely magical.
Each year, I try to wrangle one for myself and each year I fail. I’ll get it partially right, but then I’ll come up too fast or hold on in the wrong spot. Or I just get startled and let go too soon, and off they go. But this year, I thought through everything they’ve taught us, and all the ways I failed over the years, and tried again. I was able to scoop up several of theses beauties and dance with them completely on my own.
It turns out that all those years of practicing and failing, paid off.
I took a little “vacation” from writing for the first time since January 2015. After 858 blogs, I’m not really sure what happened. It wasn’t planned. I just decided on that first night of vacation that after this insane year, I needed the rest. It felt so good that I kept deciding to rest the entire time we were gone. Then the day of travel home on Monday was exhausting, so I rested again.
It’s been almost two weeks since my fingers tapped these keys to write.
I cannot believe how hard it is to write when it’s been that long, versus my daily habit of just getting up to write each morning like clockwork. You’d think after writing consistently for so long, it would be so easy, like riding a bike. But it wasn’t. What I noticed was that it was getting harder and harder to think about getting up to write. Even this morning, after I set my alarm to get up early to write, everything else seemed more interesting. Texting a friend, checking email, cleaning up a little, eating breakfast . . . all things I would never normally do before writing.
Here’s the deal. . .
If you need rest, take it. Take a vacation if you can. Get the rest you need. Only you know what you need. Only you can decide to allow yourself the rest. But come back.
Come back from vacation, and do your work.
Show up, even when you don’t want to. Practice again, even when you’d rather keep resting. Dance again, even when it feels hard and awkward and messy. Create your art again, even when it feels harder than before and it’s not turning out the way you planned. Sing your song again, even if you think you’ve forgotten the words. Keep writing your story, even when everything else seems more interesting.
Come back and do the thing only you can do.
We’re counting on you.
Of course it takes effort, practice, and hard work. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Doing the work isn’t easy for anyone. But it comes easier when you keep showing up to practice.
Take the rest you need, and then come back.
We need you.
to more love,
P.S. We’re going to practice honing our photography skills at the “Phonetography GNO” on August 2nd. It’s a Girls Night Out phone-photography workshop meant to teach you the skills to use the very best camera there is (the one in your pocket!) to capture all the beauty in your world. Tickets are selling fast to this one. Get yours today girl. Can’t wait to see you there!