Spring Break


This year has been flying by.

It seems we say that every year. If last year were a person, she’d be one crazy bitch. And the insanity extended well into 2015 with the release of A Groovy Kind of Love.

I burned myself out, both professionally and personally. You know how it is. There’s always more that can be done. One more marketing venue to explore. One more book review blog to seek out. One more place to pitch your writing.

More. More. More.

My kids’ schedules provided the perfect pause with two different Spring Break weeks. At first, I was stressed out. How could I possibly work with everyone around? I gradually let it go like the Frozen song and enjoyed my time first with my eldest and his girlfriend, then with my younger son.

My husband took a few days off too while the collegiate crew was here, and we all played tourist in our own city, showing my son’s girlfriend Chicago (she’s from California). We took a trip to the Sears Tower (real Chicagoans will never call it the Willis Tower) some 1,353 feet in the air, 103 floors up, out on the Ledge, a glass box that extends about four feet outside the building.

After a bout of vertigo several years ago, I haven’t been very good with heights. Even my beloved roller coasters have been tabled. But somehow, I thought it would be cool to get a picture of all of us out on the Ledge. Again, the Frozen song echoed in my head, so I steeled myself and climbed on.


Looking down, I marveled at the feeling of being outside of the building, literally outside of conventional structure.

I felt free.

My father is downsizing and moving to a garden apartment in the same building where I spent a good chunk of my youth. Not good with change, this move is an enormous stressor on him, and consequently on me as well, even if it is only two floors down. A couple more weeks, and he will be in his new place.

The kids are back at their respective schools, and we are in the throes of our first high school lacrosse season (he’s starting attackman on the JV team —hooray for him!), which will be followed by club lacrosse summer travel tournaments. My eldest is finalizing plans for his senior year at Knox College (crazy, right?). I’ve been doing various projects that really needed my attention, including the aforementioned stuff plus various spring cleanings and my youngest’s scrapbook that I have six years of memories to chronicle before I forget everything.

I hadn’t felt the urge to write.

Until now.

A tiny fluttering flew into my stomach this morning, the spark of an idea or two rumbling through my brain. An essay, perhaps. Some snippets of a short story are beginning to make themselves known. Edwina Hipplewhite, actually. We shall see where they go from here.

Taking time off is essential for all of us, and writing is no different. Though it is a passion, it’s still a job.

And we all need a break.


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.


Chrys Fey said…
That does sound like you have a lot going on. You're right that there's always more that we can do, but we need to make sure we don't push ourselves too much. Look who is talking...I push myself to the stress point too. But I keep telling myself not to. I hope things ease up. I wish you a calmer 2015 for the rest of the year and many writing days. :)
Kelly Hashway said…
Completely agree. We need breaks for our own sanity. Nothing wrong with that
Yeah, Chrys. I've noticed your schedule, especially all of those April blog posts. May the calm extend to you as well. :)
Definitely, Kelly. I feel great.
Claudine G. said…
Karen, I hear you on the 'more, more, more' bit. There often seems to be one more thing we feel we could do when it comes to marketing/promotion. It sounds like the small break from writing has done you very well. It's always all right to rest and relax with your family!
I agree, Claudine. We really had a nice time.
brenda said…
Breaks! A must in our lives for balance and sanity. On the 3,000 words... amazing or scary how they are throw away comments EVERYONE uses all the time.

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