I somehow made it through 1000 Words of Summer. There’s a whole writing-adjacent culture of competition and checking in about my daily word count bubbled up my feelings about it, so I stopped that part, kept my head down, and wrote every night in the increasingly shorter time between my child’s bedtime and my own.

I have met a lot of people I really like at workshops and retreats but I'm not unaware that it's first a business. Most successful novelists and memoirists of our time have to teach workshops and otherwise side-hustle to make ends meet. It is LuLaRoe or Avon, but for words, and everyone’s trying to build a downline. The air in a workshop can be pretty thick with the hopes and delusions of people who do not yet see this. There’s usually at least one attendee on the cusp of understanding it, trying to stack-rank themselves among the rest by publications and residencies.

I won’t continue on about this, because it’s been done far, far better, and I accepted that writing is my hobby a few years ago.

I might have a just little more time to engage in said hobby at least for a few weeks, as my one-year anniversary at work was also my last day. (This is also not something I’m going to continue on about either, other than to note that most of my team was also laid off and I’m going to miss them a lot.) I’ve already got calls lined up from generous referrals by people I’ve worked with over the last eight years. While a stretch of unemployment was not entirely expected, given some formative childhood experiences I stay ready so I don’t have to get ready. We will be okay.

I’m hoping this time can be a reset for healthier habits I’ve let lapse. For years, I had regularly scheduled group exercise and group runs and personal training. There always something on my calendar and, frequently, a gym bag tucked under my desk. During my pregnancy when I had no energy for anything other than work, I took private Pilates classes on Friday nights. I even kept them up via Zoom after a tornado destroyed the studio two weeks before lockdown. We kept up our dog-walking routine before and after baby.

Once she became mobile, all bets were off.

My first full day off, I took a midday yoga class with my favorite instructor. I’d wanted to try it for months, but it used to overlap with a daily standup. Most of the attendees were closer to my parents’ age, and they were very excited to hear I’ll be back next week.

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