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Life has seasons, and so does this work.

Fall was a busy season on the road, hauling the exhibits and leading programming at colleges and conferences across the country. It was an exciting and robust schedule, but the last run was 30 days and 5,000 miles long. By the time it was over, I was ready for a break.

I returned home November 16 and went straight into harvest mode. For those of you who don’t know, Karen and I also have a Christmas tree farm. We started it 12 years ago and we are still steep in the learning curve of how this all fits into our lives.

We harvested 700 trees this year. It’s hard, physical work and a nice departure from the artistic realm. The work is all outside, it’s straight forward, and you know when you are done. The harvest had the added bonus of bringing friends together to help, many who I hadn’t seen in weeks or months.

Add into that busy schedule a family Thanksgiving, a wedding and an unexpected funeral, and it’s been hard to catch my breath.

But now we’ve made it through. The trees are all delivered. We can get at least one vehicle back in the garage. And I don’t hit the road again until mid-January.

So this is a season to reflect. During the fall it felt like the good things came at such a rapid pace, it was hard to even soak it all in. So now I’ve got some time to think things through. Do a little organizing and strategic planning for the coming year.

But most of all, the next several weeks are a chance to write. I started a book in the spring and made good progress, but I had to set it aside as the busy travel season put me in survival mode. The writing itself is a chance to reflect. A chance to look back at how A Peace of My Mind has grown since it started.

The end of the year is a good time to reflect like that. For the project, it’s also nearing the end of a decade, as I did the very first interview April 16, 2009.

In my life, I’ve always struggled to establish a routine. My days are just too varied and peculiar to plan regular habits. But the last week or so I’ve settled into a writing rhythm. Wake up. Get some coffee. Settle in by the dog and the fireplace. Don’t look at the news. Don’t look at e-mail. Just write. For a couple hours. Take a 20 minute break. Then write some more.

Afternoons are reserved for errands and office chores.

It’s working. I’ve revised what’s already been written and we are getting new words on the page every day. My overly ambitious goal is to have a rough draft completed by the end of the year, and I think I’m actually going to make it.

In the process, I’m able to reflect on where we’ve been and dream big about where we are going next. As 2018 draws to a close, I hope you’ll have the chance to do the same.

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