August 1, 2010


I'm the seasonal opposite of a bear. I seem to hibernate in summer (at least until my birthday comes around, at which time I emerge and demand attention). After years of judging myself for these periodic bouts of seclusion, I've decided that it's natural and necessary. Granted, I am one of the fortunate members of society that actually has the privilege of having the essentials for survival taken care of. That being the case, I struggle with falling into extremes (consumption, information overload, unhealthy food and lifestyle choices). I'm often out of balance, and these occasional periods of hibernation give me the space and time to find some equilibrium, or at least make a plan to move in that direction.

I'm currently housesitting at my sister and brother-in-law's place; their backyard is literally a forest and the house is built of cedar, brick, and glass. Despite my best intentions to use this time as a writing retreat, I have instead been wiling away my time on the Internet, baking sweets, and staying up until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. watching movies or old Sex and the City episodes. It's as if I've translated "summer off from work and MFA program" to mean "I have permission to overindulge in all that requires the least effort for the most pleasure."

As with all bad habits and addictions, "the first step is admitting that you have a problem." So here I am, admitting it. I will also make a public vow to work on one writing project for at least two hours today. Small, attainable goals, right? A disoriented, hungry bear should not be provoked.

Resistance, I will beat you down one small, daily decision at a time. Talk to the hand, buddy!