Tunnel vision (just swing)

I’ve noticed that I tend to get a nasty case of tunnel vision when I’m working on a novel. I first realized this when I found myself mentally snarling about having to do terrible things like go to parties and meet friends for coffee–both benign if not utterly charming activities which I normally enjoy, albeit in small doses. Once I’d gotten to the point where any amount of socializing was too big a drain on my time, where free time reading in the yard was too dear a luxury, where a simple conversation with anyone was just too much to ask, I realized I might need to reevaluate my commitments.

This is not to say that I’m questioning my commitment to writing. In fact, I still hope to stick to the one-novel-per-year pace that I accidentally set for myself. But it would be nice to be able to accomplish that while reaffirming my commitment to actually living–occasionally seeing people who aren’t my boyfriend or my coworkers or my cats, finding a good-looking mountain to get lost on, working on a project not labeled Vestal or Book Three for a change. I’ve been desperately craving some kind of tactile project, maybe learning to work with felt or finally going to the local makerspace and learning to use those sharp, shiny tools.

In honor of my renewed commitment to sometimes engaging in activities that aren’t writing a novel, I decided to post a sample of my accidental collection of photos of me swinging, well, anywhere there’s a swing. I specifically chose this series because playing is utterly pointless from a productivity perspective. But give me a good game of hide and seek or show me a swing (especially if it happens to be facing the ocean) and I’ve forgotten all my cares and responsibilities. I’m happy in a way that usually requires two hard ciders, a bowl of ice cream, and a day off from work.

Maybe this is self-indulgent nonsense–which would, of course, be a first for a personal blog–but I needed to be reminded to relax and play once in awhile and I doubt I’m such a unique snowflake that other adults don’t face the same difficulty. So, however important the project you’re working on, however crammed your datebook might be with very important meetings and other adult nonsense, consider finding yourself a swing. Or anything, really, that encourages you to momentarily let go of your very important responsibilities.

In Anchorage, Alaska …

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In Avila Beach, California …

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On the Isle of Arran, Scotland …

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