This past Tuesday, I attended my local Romance Writers of America’s chapter meeting. Due to personal commitments – work, family and life in general, I’ve been unable to attend any prior meetings this year. Normally when I enter the room, I feel this underlying thrum of energy, which was still very much present, but there was something else in the air too. I felt like I’d come home from a very long absence, and waiting for me were all my friends. It was as though I’d never missed a meeting.
While away, I’d forgotten how much interacting with everyone there really fed my creative spirit. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy sitting around chatting before the meeting came to order. And, I’d forgotten how, after every meeting, I’d walk away feeling enriched and invigorated by all I’d learned. I didn’t realize, until after the meeting adjourned, how much I missed well…everything.
This meeting was no different. I left feeling positive and uplifted by our speaker and I was so happy to see many of my friends again that I haven’t seen in a few months. I had a blast catching up with everyone. I loved celebrating with those who made a sale, or who had great news to share.
I think sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the many responsibilities we all have, we forget how doing the simplest, smallest things for ourselves can be more beneficial than we realize, and we take many things such as friends and acquaintances for granted. We have obligationns to family, work, household chores, and kids. If we write, our writing alone can take up dozens of hours each month. And if we’re published, add promoting to that, and for some, that takes up even more time.
When all is said and done, where does that leave us? We need to get away, to do something for ourselves that is unique to who we are.
I joined Romance Writers of America four years ago, and made some great friends along the way. I have many online friends who, like my local RWA chapter mates, enrich my life just as much. But there’s something to be said about personal interaction.
I love seeing the excitement of someone reaching a career milestone. Everyone there can share in that member’s euphoria, or give a hug when someone is struggling through hard times.
This month I was glad to climb from my little bubble and venture to somewhere familiar. Lately, I’ve allowed myself to get rapped up in the craziness that is my life, and I neglected doing something so simple, yet so fulfilling.
So whether you’ve missed your local organization’s meeting, catching up with friends over coffee, calling an old friend or acquaintance, renewing an old friendship, or just taking time for yourself, don’t do what I did. Take that first step, and set aside everything crazy in your life for a few hours. Put you first. Keep those friends you hold dear close. In your own way, show them you care. You never know what could happen. Your experience could be just as rewarding. 🙂
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