We’ve been hearing a lot about that whirling mass of cold air that keeps engulfing us again and again. And there is no denying that it sucks. The day or two of warmer weather sandwiched between frigid air feels like a mean joke, and it’s all grown so tiresome.
But it’s not just the ridiculous weather that’s gotten me down. These last couple of months I’ve also been drowning in my own vortex of minor health issues. Oh, I’m fine. And I’ll be fine. But it’s been one thing after another and I haven’t been able to run or swim for weeks, which has led to stiff everything and a very crabby Kate. Finally yesterday I indulged in a massage (something I do approximately once every 18 months), and I feel better—sore, but better. I slept well last night and woke feeling more like myself. (And trust me, I’m not the only one in my house who is relieved about that.)
I’m going to head to the gym today and walk, try to remind my body what that feels like, and then I’ll spend some time organizing myself for my online class, which starts tomorrow. I forget how much I miss teaching until I’m kicking off a new class. There is that tingle of excitement in knowing that I’ll learn just as much as my students. And what a group they are—women from all over the country and world. I’m already grateful for them.
The other thing I’m doing to get out of my funk is to start planning for some of the great stuff I’ve got coming up this spring and summer (when it will hopefully be warm again). My annual retreat at Faith’s Lodge is in just three weeks, and that’s always such a rewarding weekend. Then the following week I’m off to Seattle for AWP, where there might be spring flowers and some sunshine. (I’m hoping.) I’m really excited about the two panels I’ll be on: “What Was Is: Present Tense in Creative Nonfiction” and “Breaking Silences: Women’s Memoir as an Act of Rebellion.” What’s not to love about those? And if you’re in Seattle, I’ll be reading and discussing Ready for Air at Third Place Books, Ravenna, on Saturday March 1st. I’d love to see you there.
At the very end of May, I’ll be heading to Ashland, Ohio, for River Teeth’s Nonfiction Conference, a highlight of my year. And in early July, I’ll be leading a Women’s Memoir Retreat at Madeline Island School of the Arts. Imagine it: Hopping on a ferry in northern Wisconsin and heading to the largest of the Apostle Islands for five days of writing and talking craft and biking/walking/running along the shore, staring out over the sparkling water of Lake Superior. I’m slowly compiling essays and memoir excerpts that I want to discuss over the week. It’s going to be so fun. Anyone interested? Check in out here. Then later in July, I’ll be the visiting editor at Ashland’s MFA residency, so I’ll get to go back Ashland and spend time with some of my favorite people and do manuscript critiques. What an honor!
See? I feel so much better. It will eventually be spring. I will eventually stop coughing. I will run and swim again. And I’ll get to work with tons of smart and funny people. Vortex destroyed.
What is keeping you sane these days? What are you looking forward to this spring and summer? Come on, spread the love.