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June: Freedom, routine and coping with burnout
I started writing my e-newsletter intro for June and realized I had more of a blog post on my hands. Now, of course, I have to come up with intro text anew. This might be a strange date to commemorate, but today is 6/6, which always makes me think of baking a Devil’s Food Cake in my un-air-conditioned college apartment in honor of 6/6/06.
It’s funny to think of that time sixteen years later. I was freshly graduated from undergrad with a Classics/Art History degree in a sluggish economy. While I ran out the lease on my apartment, I applied to weird jobs using paper resumes. Do you remember resume paper? It was an awkward time period for applying to jobs as paper applications were sunsetting and (frustrating, lengthy) online applications were just kicking off.
I also lived off of baked goods (the cake lasted a week, along with a blueberry crumble to prevent scurvy), read novels, did the NYT crossword daily, bought uncomfortable Steve Madden shoes, and wrote what seemed a staggering 1,000 words per day of my awful twentysomething fiction. I slept from 4 a.m. - noon. I generally refer to all this as having reverted to the wild.
This seems like such a carefree thing to do as I look back through the lens of my responsible adulthood. During lockdown, I had a work schedule to maintain and a child to keep occupied. None of the memes about reverting to the wild were relatable anymore. That lease-ending freedom is really the only time I’ve ever had like that. On the other hand, I’ve come to embrace structure. It gets things done. One thousand words per day isn’t so staggering now.
Something I pondered a lot over the winter was how to fix burnout when routines can’t be altered. We can’t always step back and revert to the wild, but we can step back mentally and change our perspective. I’ve finished two lengthy manuscripts (books 13 and 14!) and have hit pause on writing the series for now. Even when I’m not actively writing, I almost always have something to edit, but I’m trying to clear that out also before I set fingers to keyboard again. At this point, I’m eyeing fall for a return to creating fiction, which would make it my longest break since 2017.
My plans for this space and Instagram are finally starting to take shape and become more consistent, so I’m glad of this time to relax and refine. ICYMI, I was featured on the Redfin Blog!
What are your summer plans? With the weather pivoting and school giving up on homework at the beginning of May, we started early with long evenings on the deck and playing golf and croquet on the lawn. And always, ice cream.