I have to give myself this little reminder every day, ”Don’t miss summer.” It’s on a sticky note on my calendar and in my very own voice on the micro recorder in my car where I track more things “to-do” as I drive.
Yes, perhaps you can see that Work is way ahead of Play in my life. Lists, reminders, recorders. It’s all about productivity.
I’m looking more closely at that drive this year. I’ve finally come to see what others saw long ago: I work hard, I do a lot, and yes, I get a lot done. I neither defend or apologize for this part of me, but I also know it’s about recovery, and a little bit about making up for lost time and lost creativity.
I don’t regret the past—exactly. But I do wish I started writing earlier, sending work out sooner, and publishing a long time ago. Working hard at both my career in nonprofits, and at my career as a writer brings me so much joy.
There is a bit of grief in this too perhaps. In my addictions, I was buried in both substances and in fear, and I couldn’t focus, and couldn’t find what I now know to be, my dharma.
But even in this hard work, ultra-productivity, there is this voice in my ear this season that says: “Don’t miss summer.”
Winters are long in Upstate New York, and my long recovery is stable. I can trust a day off now, and a weekend away, and I can trust that stepping away from my desk doesn’t mean going down a ten-year rabbit hole as it did once long ago.
So, a gift of recovery is meeting my hard-working self, and the second gift is meeting the parallel part of me that can learn to relax and play. And I want to do that this very summer.
There is more on making a great life in long recovery in the book: "Out of the Woods--A Guide to Long-term Recovery" published by Central Recovery Press