If anyone has been waiting on pins and needles for the promised post about my trip to Kaua’i, I apologize. It’s been difficult to readjust to regular life after such a wonderful vacation in one of the world’s most unspoiled places. Immediately upon returning home I felt a deep sadness that I’m still processing three weeks later.
I’ve heard of people suffering post-vacation depression, but I had never felt it before and was blindsided by it. And on top of that, my extended family is going through a crisis that has emotionally worn me down. Things exploded on FB (the social-media-site-that-shall-not-be-named) on my last day in Kaua’i and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve deactivated my FB account for the second time in a year. It’s too hard to watch family members sniping at each other on a public forum like that, made even harder by the fact that I live 300 miles away from all of them. I love them dearly but I can’t watch them self-destruct and I can’t let them take me down too.
I’m a bit resentful about how my family’s behavior has affected my ability to be on FB because I’m really missing the connections I had with my distant birding friends and other highly-sensitive people there. I’m still not sure it’s worth going back into that environment though. The whole FB experience just makes me feel bad.
Anyway, I don’t want this to be all about FB, so let’s just leave it at that. But wait, there’s a bright side to leaving FB in the rear view mirror….
Now that I’m not spending so much time in a funk worrying about my family, I’ve found renewed drive to focus on my writing and my real social life. I’m very excited to have joined the board of my local Audubon chapter as their newsletter editor. And I attended my first writers’ conference two weeks ago. I think that makes me a “real” writer, don’t you? And I’ve had more interactions with real-life friends in the past month than I’ve had for most of the rest of the year. Now that’s fulfilling.
Isn’t it interesting how much brain power can be sapped by worrying about things we have no control over? And for someone also dealing with menopausal “brain fog” (it’s real, look it up!), it’s important to muster up as much brain power as possible.
I’m also back to working on book ideas. I told you that I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo in November, right? That’s sort of a “writing fling” because I’ve never really tried to write fiction before and don’t know if that’s the direction I want to go. But it’ll be fun (or torture?) and will finally help me establish a daily writing habit, once and for all.
My real interests lie in writing nonfiction books. I’ve been keeping a folder of ideas for several years. I’ve come up with lots of interesting (to me, at least) book ideas, but so far none of them have survived the research phase. When I have an idea I like, I start searching to see if anyone else has written a similar book. I’m often disappointed to find that many of “my” books have already been written. Argh! That sucks. Some days I get frustrated and think I’ll never come up with one that can get published before someone else writes a competing title. But there are glimmers of hope, and I’m still writing down new ideas. The hard part will be to choose one and ignore the others while I work on just one at a time. I feel I’ve got a lifetime of books inside me, if only I could get them out!
So there you have it, the reasons I haven’t written about Kaua’i yet. It touched me so deeply though. And ironically, maybe that’s why I can’t yet put it into words. It shook me out of my normal state of mind, bombarding my brain with so many new things that I’m actually a different person now than before that trip. I’ve visited many countries in Europe and Asia, but somehow this far off place in my own country made me feel almost like I’d stepped onto another planet entirely. It’s a cliché, I know, but traveling to explore new cultures really can be life-changing.