Sunday, September 20, 2020

Moving into autumn, Ruth-less.

Yurumi |

In early August, not long after I arrived in New Mexico, I posted about all the things I planned to do this fall. I was going to design new covers for the Pipe Woman Chronicles omnibi and start working on audiobooks for all of my novels and I forget what else.

So here we are at Mabon -- the autumnal equinox -- and I've done none of those things.

I did start writing a new short story. It's about half done. Haven't finished it.

I could beat myself up over it, but what's the point? Guilt has never been one of my stronger motivators. I'm more interested in why it's happening (or more accurately, not happening). And I think it's because I'm just flat exhausted.

I've been working for 40 years -- first in broadcast journalism, then as a legal secretary. Sure, there have been times I wasn't showing up at a job every day, but during those breaks I was: on maternity leave, which is so not a vacation; or laid off and looking for a new job; or going back to school for my paralegal certificate. Even when I was on sabbatical from WilmerHale, work was still on my mind. On my first sabbatical, I got a call from work asking me to take on additional duties when I got back. On my second sabbatical this spring, I couldn't hand in my work laptop and phone because the office was closed due to the virus.

And then in July, when I was supposed to be done working, I got talked into staying on for another three weeks. By the time I mailed all the equipment back, I had just enough time to pack the car and hit the road for Santa Fe.

On top of that, for almost the past ten years, I've been writing and publishing three books a year. 

And on top of that is all the political upheaval of the past four years. 

Long-time hearth/myth readers will recall that back in 2016, right after the last presidential election, Amy and I created a dumpster fire ornament. We hung it on our Yule tree that year, never dreaming that things could get worse than 2016 had been. But then 2020 looked 2016 square in the eye and said, very clearly, "Hold my beer."

This past week, we surpassed 200,000 Americans dead from COVID-19. We have a decently-performing stock market, but a limping economy in all other respects. We have a president who is apparently incapable of making any of this better. And now we've lost Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the Court's stalwart liberals, and it looks like the Republicans in the Senate will gleefully break their own rule from 2016 and replace her ASAP -- regardless of the fact that we're only 43 days out from Election Day and early voting has already started. 

I'd make another dumpster fire ornament, but honestly, who wants a 2020 keepsake? 

For Pagans, the equinoxes are all about balance. Day and night are of equal length at this time of year, and that encourages us to find balance in our own lives. Now is the time to begin to take stock of our personal harvests and set aside what will sustain us through the winter.

So I'm taking stock. 

I think when I announced those goals in August -- Write ALL the things! Make ALL the book covers! Record ALL the books! -- I was still in go-go mode. I didn't realize how tired I was. Now, I'm beginning to. And to be honest, I'm relieved to be off the damned clock for once.

Eventually, the book covers will get made and the audiobooks will be recorded. Eventually, I'll finish that short story I started. 

And eventually, we'll have a vaccine for the virus.

What's most important to me now -- and especially so, since Justice Ginsburg's death -- is to see Joe Biden elected as our next president

And by the way, the Constitution doesn't specify the number of Supreme Court justices. We have had as few as six and as many as ten -- and there's no reason we couldn't have ten again. Or more, even. Merrick Garland could still get a seat on the Court. And additionally, I think Justice Barack Obama has a nice ring to it.

Blessed Mabon, you guys.


These moments of balanced blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. For the love of all the gods, VOTE!

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