S7109949215ummer is a funny time for me. Looking back on the last several summers, I get lulled into a peaceful state, where I think the road is smooth, and will be smooth, for the coming school year. I volunteer my time for future projects and things, get excited to *finally* feel like we have a regular ‘ol family life with regular ‘ol stuff to deal with. Really, for the most part, we do. But then, we have extra.

I’m crying “uncle” at this point in the school year.

This is the year I finally learned. I sit here, staring off through the window at my backyard, and I realize: the empty glass on the counter is me. By pouring myself out in small portions all over the place, there’s nothing left in my own glass.

As outgoing as I appear to be, I am actually quite introspective. If anyone were to read my journals over the years, they would see that I strive to understand myself so that I can be the person I want to be. This requires time. It really doesn’t take that much – bits here and there – but when I find myself staring off into space during that bit, my mind whirring with, “what’s next? What am I forgetting? What SHOULD I be doing?” I realize that I’ve let my glass get empty, and left it on the counter.

This is the year I started writing for other people and getting paid to do it. I love it. Someone handed me the chance to do work that I love from my home, and it’s been amazing. But then there’s my brain – “what’s next? What SHOULD I be doing? What am I forgetting?” and the other things that I’ve committed to threaten to drown me in the rising tide of deadlines and details.

I miss writing for me. I miss making my thoughts into words that give back to me and fill my glass. Pouring my heart to writing keeps saving me from myself, time and time again. When I share my words, and even one person reads them and thinks, “yes, this.” I feel full.  This is the year I learned what truly feeds my soul and fills that empty glass on the counter: words. They challenge me, heal me, and bring me back to center.

I am coming to the end of a long winter filled with Girl Child’s medical mysteries, school volunteer projects, and deadlines. With spring on the horizon, I am whittling down the extras. I am putting deadlines behind me. I am putting in front of me what I took out of my soul in the preceding months of long nights and short days. I’m filling my own glass again. My glass deserves to be full as much as everyone else’s around me.

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