Shifting Gears and Slowing Down (Just a Little)

Occasionally life offers a clear moment of transition. There is a clear marker of the current thing being complete or the next thing beginning. Most of the time I’m surrounded by a plethora of transitions as one project trails off to a conclusion, another idles, a third begins ramping up. On this day Planet Mercenary is in its final stages. After months of me pushing as hard as I can every day, I’ve come to the place where I’m waiting on other people instead of being hyper aware that others are waiting on me. It is strange to not have a long list of urgent tasks to do. I’m actually finding it a bit difficult to focus my days. Some of that is pure fatigue. It is normal for me to go a bit drifty after a period of sustained energy. I should probably expect this period of driftyness to feel a bit different because I’ve never had such a prolonged period of sustained energy. I’ve been pushing hard on Planet Mercenary since late December.

Now I am beginning to have spaces and I’m trying to remember what I ought to do with them. Much of my time has been spent on parenting tasks, paying more attention to house, homework, children. Last week was full of melt downs, difficult conversations, realizations, and emotional reactions to all of it. Perhaps all of that is also a natural reaction to the shift in focus. I’m still processing. I’m tired and discouraged on several parenting fronts, while seeing encouraging growth on others. Somehow the fatigue makes the discouraging stuff easy to see and the encouraging things out of focus.

Part of the challenge is that while I’m not pressed with tasks that are “do this today” levels of urgent, I still have a long list of tasks that are urgent this week and this month. Planet Mercenary still has important tasks associated with it. I’m writing the bonus story for the next Schlock book. We’re preparing to do crowdfunding for the deluxe handbrain screen whose development was partially funded by the Planet Mercenary Kickstarter, but which we can’t afford to print without pre-orders. There are some posters and other merchandise which we also want to release soon. And I’m working to release all the currently available Schlock books in PDF as well as print. I have not run out of things to do. They won’t until after Planet Mercenary shipping in July.

And yet, I’m beginning to be able to imagine there being spaces. Up ahead there will be days where I can ask myself “what do I want to work on today?” instead of being dictated to by urgent deadlines.