Readjustments, or Why It’s Okay to Spend Sunday Afternoon in a Dive Bar

Hi, I’m Laura, and I’m fried. Like totally burned out. I took a few days off from social media, gave myself some grace about home and family chores, and abandoned daily writing goals. I feel a little better.

The past 14 months have been a ton of work. Ian still isn’t in school full time, so Steve and I are driving him around to various therapies, activities, and tutors — anything to keep him busy — all afternoon. At the end of June, he’ll transition into a work-social skill program, which he’ll need before he goes to college. It’s going to be a full day program!! I won’t have to worry about him until 3:30 every day!! I can’t tell you how much we need this.

We’re prepping the house for new siding and windows. The family compound is getting a face lift! Pictures to come. Like any house job, the prep work is the worst. It took me a year to find a contractor that I liked. Mike and I picked out doors and window trim last week.

I’m also working on a book, pitching agents, selling books, networking, making every day dinners, making a nice dinner for the folks, organizing the family on weekends, making sure Jonah followed up with with professor about a missing assignment, cleaning up for the cleaning lady, organizing a new parent’s organization for the school, speaking at school board meetings, keeping track of everyone’s vaccination schedule, and folding boxer shorts.

Like I said, I’m fried.

So, I’m cutting back on the responsibilities. I’m not accepting freelance work for a couple of months. I’m going to spend a little less time on twitter. My work priority will be rewriting Chapter One. Book selling is in that grey area between hobby and work; I like it most days, so I’ll keep doing that. (I bought a 54 book reference set for $15 this weekend; I’ll set it for $500.)

Blogs and newsletters are also in that grey area between hobby and work. I seem to specialize in grey area employment. I’m staying here, but might take off more days here and there.

I also need to concentrate on personal wellness. So, I’m taking the time to cut up the fresh strawberries and walk with a friend in the woods. I’m reading books, not BuzzFeed articles. But healthy can’t mean too much work, because that’s exhausting, too.

Burned out with finding new places to hikes and explore on weekends, Steve and I dragged Ian to a dive bar on Sunday for pizza and beer. It was one of those places with the ballgame and the lotto games on the TVs, the regulars at the bar drinking Coors, and RC cola on tap. I was feeling guilty about drinking at noon on a Sunday, but a very wise friend told me that drinking during on a Sunday is actually called “brunch,” so it’s all good.

It’s been a tough year for all of us. For many, the tough year is going on Year Two. It’s okay to take some time off and lower expectations. Dive Bar Sundays, aka Sunday Brunches, are a good thing.

7 thoughts on “Readjustments, or Why It’s Okay to Spend Sunday Afternoon in a Dive Bar

  1. I am amused with what you consider slowing down and engaging in self care (picking out windows and planning for window/siding replacement is very very low on my list).

    I am building elaborate flower arrangements (and photographing them) and looking at vacation rentals in Iceland.

    I’m also working on setting goals for myself of what I will do when fully vaccinated, so that I don’t continue to be stuck. I want to go to shopping, eat at a restaurant where they bring me my food and order cocktails (probably not inside right away), and meet with friends in person.


    1. bj said, “I am amused with what you consider slowing down and engaging in self care (picking out windows and planning for window/siding replacement is very very low on my list).”

      A female friend of our family says that it is common for women to confuse our spiritual state/well-being with the condition of our homes.

      Corollary: house-care is self-care!

      “…looking at vacation rentals in Iceland.”


      My Russian friend (who just got her second shot of Sputnik-V) got the box of US guidebooks I sent her. I sent her photo guides for the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Southern California, Austin/San Antonio and New Orleans. We are beginning to plot a joint family trip together. The easy version would be Texas (San Antonio!). The more advanced version would be Hawaii. I’ve never been and I think our kids would enjoy it.

      I have made contact with a (reasonably priced) personal trainer from the college gym and I need to book some sessions soon. If I’m dragging my feet a bit, it’s because of public-spiritedness, right?

      Husband and I will be going out to dinner in about two weeks.


  2. Your slowing down still sounds super-energetic to me!
    My burn-out weekend (3 day long-weekend for us) involved doing the bare minimum of driving-around-to activities for Mr 13, household basics (loads of washing, sweeping floors, etc.) – even cooking took a break, with 2 days of takeaways in a row — and then retiring to *bed* with a collection of books I’ve been dying to read. [This is, no doubt, why I’m getting fatter rather than fitter]

    I do feel moderately embarrassed by ‘wasting’ a holiday weekend. (And allowing Mr 13 to spend the vast majority of it gaming)……

    But have had to hurl straight back into an annual strategic performance review with a client (meeting all KPIs *despite* Covid), providing meaningful training and feedback to staff in what feels like an endless parade of emails, hammering away at 2 different ‘how to’ manuals, coding the next round of RegEx for data extract for a customer, and beginning work on the response to a tender (a client we really want).

    And after the mental break, I’ve nailed all of it…. Downtime really does pay dividends.

    Still have to find time to get a tyre replaced – massive bolt through the tread and underlying steel-belt – on the motorway (scary!) on Friday night.


  3. Amy P said: “A female friend of our family says that it is common for women to confuse our spiritual state/well-being with the condition of our homes.”

    I really struggle with this. My mother would certainly agree with this statement – she has the firm belief that if you are feeling down, you should go clean somthing… and you’ll instantly feel better. I am, no doubt, a considerable disappointment to her (as are both my brother and sister).

    I am not by nature ‘tidy’ – and housework does not come high up on the list of things I want to spend my life doing. Cleaning does *not* give me a psychological boost. Although I do believe in putting things away where you would expect to find them (rather than ripping the house apart when you urgently need them)

    However, I was filled with amusement when a cousin called (who shares my anti-housework genes), and asked, in passing how I managed to keep everything so tidy in Facebook photos (photos of the cats, food and child, rather than the house, I hasten to add). I laughed, and said that careful framing and use of the crop tool was a marvellous aid to house presentation!


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