From my window, I can see the hillside covered in snow and the rare vision of sunlight illuminating tree branches and turning the dull white of the hill into glistening diamonds. It won't last long - more snow is expected this afternoon and then for the next three days. It's Vermont. In other years, I would be out cross country skiing. (Actually, to be honest, in other years, I wouldn't be here, I'd be in Florida. Most years we spend January and February close to Ft. Lauderdale. We still get plenty of winter when we return to Vermont since snow in April is not uncommon, but deep winter can be on the grim side.) This year, though, I'm staying close to home. Which is one of the reasons being in between is something of a pain.
Yes, I do have plenty I can do. I have way too many hobbies from playing guitar to taking photographs to learning French. Thanks to my daughter, I recently discovered on-line chess and I've been playing several games a day against the computer. There's a stack of novels I'm working on, and I love reading. And while I am not going out to trails to cross country ski, I have a lovely big yard, where I periodically traipse through the snow and woods that are lovely, dark, and deep.
(I also could clean my house and do laundry, but that's a whole other subject.)
But I was doing most of the above when I was still working on Nerve Attack. (Except cleaning my house.) My mornings were for writing and editing, but I would take periodic breaks to indulge in my various hobbies. Working on a book gives my day focus. Purpose. Yes, I have more time now to play, but I don't feel like it. I feel like something's missing. I'm waiting. And even if you have plenty to do, who really likes waiting?
And, by the way, aren't we all in-between at the moment? Waiting for something to start. In many ways, we've been on pause for a year (maybe four years) - and we can see the end, but we're not there yet.
We all have lots of things that we say we'd do if we had the time. But what happens when we do have too much time? How much do we really do? Because we don't just need things to do, even fun things to do. We need purpose and direction. And that's what I find to be problematic about being in-between.
I initially thought I'd take a few weeks off from writing, but since I'm not enjoying it as much as I thought I would - maybe I'll start on my outline today or tomorrow. My chess game may suffer, but that's okay. I'm lousy.
Here's to all of us ending our national in-betweenness as well.