Friday, April 20, 2012

Climbing Out of a Rut

by Debra E. Marvin (who has no business writing a Self Help post)

This past winter was pretty pleasant, weather wise. But it's still the season of being house-bound for many of us, and this year, being without a job, I easily slipped into hermit mode.
Other than letting my dog out, my 'little old lady who only drives to Church on Sunday' lifestyle lets me linger long hours of moving nothing but my fingers on the keyboard and chopping vegetables for soup.
Believe me, watching streaming videos on my lap while in a recliner burns very little calories.

But weeks of such inactivity,  lack of sunshine (Vitamin D) and too many starchy, sugary carbs is not good for anyone. Add the glaring fact I'm on the rolls of the unemployed, in a slumped economy as an aging baby boomer in a rural area. Gosh I'm depressing myself here...somebody slap me.

Ha ha. Fake Laugh. It is depressing actually. I pray about it and keep hearing this little voice that says:

"here's the cure, girlfriend..." or rather 'think on these things, my blessed daughter...'


I think I've eeked out of another season of the blues by employing the cure! Phew!


C.J Chase, moi, and Gina Welborn... Inkies on a Carriage Ride in Williamsburg VA,  thanks to our lovely COLONIAL QUILLS sister, Carrie Fancett Pages  If you are a fan of  the Colonial period and great fiction, you should be visiting this blog!
Carrie Pagels is "Miss Colonial Williamsburg"!  Her knowledge and enthusiasm made for such a wonderful day. Thank you again Carrie for all your generosity~ Here's Carrie and Dina on the town.

My traveling and LIFE friends, Katie, Wendy and Sharon...and Gnorman the gnome. I was sandwiched between my school buddy friends and my writer friends. Wonderful! We all ate lunch together at the fabulous King's Arms Tavern.

Gina and Dina discussing the politics of the day in the (historical) coffee shop (we are drinking warm, thick, dark chocolate here)

"Milk does a body good"... sure, but hanging out with your buddies is better (if you're taking calcium supplements...)

Spring is a great opportunity to spring clean your house and yard. Sure it's a dirty, dusty business, but who doesn't love the 'after glow'.  I 'used' to have a clean house when I was three times as busy.  Last year I decided I had to either keep my house clean or finish my novel.  What Would Gina Do?

With the loss of my computer to a timely death (wow, I can swear that was just the newest hippest computer ever... has it really been THAT LONG?) I was unable to write for almost a month. It's almost like going on a diet. Only worse.

Then, the best thing happened. My 'virtual' nephew Alex Levine, (Sharon's son) took pity on me and donated an awesome better than I could ever imagine used laptop! I'm back in business!

So, just this week, after spending some time talking up writing with some novice writers, my excitement returned and I can't wait to get back to my manuscript! (okay, I still have that major spring cleaning to complete but I'm buzzing through)

A year ago, it became terribly clear to me that I was a writer. When you can sit and work on something for hours without noticing the time and hate having to stop, then you know you are doing something you love.

Can you prescribe a cure?

What's the last time you laughed so hard you cried? (and if there was any other spillage elsewhere, we don't want to know...)
A couple weeks ago, my friends and I went to dinner at a fabulous Dominican restaurant. Our table had so much food on it we couldn't fit all the plates. The more we looked at the table, the more we laughed. How blessed we are to have such abundance in food and friendship! Thanks Katie, Sharon and Lori

And the best reason of all to smile...
A Weekend of Grandchildren (Birthday and Easter) -Grant, Alanna and Grace. (Son Kyle is that mystery man). We are so grateful for your prayers last year for Alanna's health, and now she's exceptionally healthy, active and happy!

Did winter do a number on you this year? What do you do to climb out of your rut?
I'm giving away two novels to a random commenter. These will be two of my Inspirational  Fiction collection. You must promise to pass them on when you're done and I'll let you pick your choice off my list. 


  1. I'm at a stage in life where I'm not so much in a rut as trying desperately just to tread water. Busy is good, right?

    Even so, I think you offer great advice, Deb. Remembering to take time out and enjoy friends is so important in order to recharge. Same with staying active--not just virtually! And finally nurturing your passion even in the midst of busyness. All of these things will help keep us from going insane!

  2. I know that my depression manifests itselfs primarily in physical exhaustion but the fix is betting busy...hard to do when you have no energy.

    Busy is so much healthier for the body and soul...but when it becomes stress you are right to force some mental health breaks. Enforced quiet time with family, friends, a book or movie. Lisa I know you are crazy busy right now and perhaps the most stressful part is wondering what you are sacrificing. We're praying for that balance and reminding you how resilient kids are as long as they feel secure and loved. And you and Joel are certainly excelling there!

  3. Well there is no doubt in my mind that it's you talking here Deb. I feel like you are next to me. I know NOT being busy is probably the things that is driving you to drink...or rather to carbs! You have always been one of my friends who have about a zillion things going on at the same time. You spoke from your heart and we are all at that place inside ourselves at different points in our lives. I am so lucky to be one of those friends:)

  4. Glad to see the trip pics and the grandkids. They're as cute as colonial buttons, and Alanna has gotten so big! There's proof of a good God.

    Normally I'm pretty blue this time of year, but yeah, I think the busy-ness helps. Looks like a nice sunny day here. Hope it is there too--so lets make a pact to try to get a little vitamin D in today, huh?

  5. Oh Wendy, thank you. I love you! We are so blessed to have a friendship like this!

  6. Hey Barb! Yes, mowing the lawn is a good combination of exercise AND getting some sunshine. I'm painting and standing in the sunny window right now... it's warm and the birds are singing and I can hear the wind in the trees and the lake hitting the shore. How great is that?

    Yes, the grandkids are something very special. They help me keep my priorities straight, that's for sure. Alanna is 10 months old now. Trying to walk, chattering and exploring and putting every possible thing she can in her mouth. yum.. I don't miss that part of it but I love being around them all.

  7. Finally, the pics! So nice to see these. Of course, I wish I'd been able to be in Williamsburg with you, but I'm blessed just to get to 2 conferences a year.

    I'm also blessed to have some writing friends I visit with over coffee once a month throughout the winter - depending on the weather.

    Great post, Deb.

  8. Deb, you're so funny. Are you sure you don't write romantic comedy? I'm so glad you shared the pictures. I love them!

  9. I meant to add what a joy it is to see your grandkids. They are too precious for words.

  10. Ah... despite how we might be feeling, the pictures are a reminder of all the goodness and blessing God has been pouring out on us! Some things might be all wrong (unemployment, broken computers, houses that won't sell, extra Mimi fluff around the middle) but SO many other things are very, very right and good!
    I needed to remember that today!

  11. Thanks Anita Mae! Yes you are blessed to be going to two conferences and I will be living vicariously through you! But I know you are good with photos!
    It's funny how getting together with people who share our passions revs us our creativity. I guess why there are club os every kind - biker gangs, knitting circles, cat shows... Is it the reinforcement that we are 'normal' at least to like-minded people?

    You know, I posted those photos to the Inkwell Facebook page. I wonder if they ever showed up...

  12. jeepers excuse the typos folks. I am typing on a laptop with a cat on my lap also. The cheater glasses must be beyond their range, as the cat keeps trying to find more space and push the laptop off. don't you love pets?

    Thanks Suzie. Hey, you know my first complete manuscript was a romantic comedy for the old Love and Laughter line. I might find a place for it someday when I'm not writing about dead bodies.

    NIKI- that grandma fluff is part of the price I guess. I decided when I turned 50 it was going to be okay as long as I got a grandchild out of the deal. Waited a couple years and now I have three. They don't seem to care about fluffy laps, or gray hair, or wrinkles. I know very well, because I loved my grandparents to pieces. I'm so very blessed to have these little ones in my life.

  13. It was GREAT hanging out with the Inky Quills (Inkwell and Colonial Quills gang combined!) Or I guess it could be Colonial Inspirations! Great to meet you in person after hanging out with you in Colonial American Christian Writers (as well as CJ who has been a local friend for a while and member of CACW and Gina, also CACW.) Hey, I just realized they aren't Quillers (CQ contributors!) so I guess it would have to be Colonial Inspirations not Quills, lol! Thanks for giving me heads up and I am so glad I was part of your process of getting out of your rut! Blessings!

  14. love seeing the pictures. they do help one have perspective, don't they? whenever i start to get bummed about current situations, i start thinking about all the ways the Lord has taken care of me and that helps pull me out of my funk.

    having good friends is priceless. it's so neat to see how God has blessed you.

    the pic of your grandkids is adorable too!

  15. What a post, Deb. I LOVE the pictures--y'all are gorgeous and it looks like you had a fabulous time.

    And your grandkids are adorable. So glad to see Alanna healthy and hale.

    I feel like I'm treading water, too, but I'm losing ground. I think I should bring a recycling bin into the office and just dump stuff. I'm so inspired by you giving books away--I need to do that, too.

  16. I did pretty well this winter. Got outside for a walk most days. This is the first year in a while that I didn't end winter 5-10lbs more than when it started.

    Did you know that Gina and I closed the place down? well, by the end of the day it was just the two of us and we went for a Panera dinner. I loved Williamsburg, Carrie. Thank you!

    Hey Deb. Thank goodness someone follows directions and answered my question! heh heh. I think we all agree that it's sometimes just a matter of counting our blessings (and now I'm singing that song from White Christmas!) I do often.
    Count my blessings that is. not sing the song.

    I have so much of the important stuff in life!

  18. Susie, I made some big piles of books (it was a bit dangerous) and some are going to our church garage sale and some are going in a couple boxes that will be my share box. I wish we had space at church for a sharing library shelf. (no. little church. no room for even an extra shelf!) Many are signed by the author but it's just silly for me to horde them.

    I think we all know when we need some time with our buddies! Nothing helps like some good hearty laughing!


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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.