Oct 14, 2017

Bring on the Retreat!

by Deb Graham

As autumn settles in for good, I realize I’m exhausted. 

Part of this is because I just returned from a trip, and I leave again next weekend. Looking over my calendar, I see these are my 11th and 12th journeys this year, and two more biggies are scheduled before the holiday frenzy sets in. By the time my wedding anniversary rolls along, I’m invariably out of emotional fuel. Whose idea was it to marry right after New Year’s?  

Along with a whole lot of travel, I’ve had other bumps in my road this year; a few significant illnesses, my husband retired in May, then started a new (and undiscussed) job of work the following Monday. My eldest son has torn at the fibers of my family, causing sleepless nights and stomach pains.  My favorite (and only) daughter moved away and I grieve the loss of near-daily contact with her and my cute grandkids. I learned the meaning of Sandwich Generation as I worry for her having a rough time settling in and health challenges of her own, plus my mother who rode out a major hurricane at our place. I never aspired to be peanut butter, but sandwiched I am.

Writing has taken off this year; I’ve published three whole books and have several more in various stages of completion. Time-consuming, stressful, and enjoyable, it’s on my mind even when I sleep. I’ve longed for a personal assistant to take over the chores of advertising, website stuff, and other writing-related tasks that are not much fun.

As I said, I go into Fall feeling depleted, which is less than ideal since I live in the Pacific Northwest.  I need all the emotional energy I can muster to get through the upcoming long, gloomy, dreary, soul-sucking, endlessly rainy, dark, chilly days ahead. This year, I’m running on fumes, and it’s only early October.

But there is light on the horizon! I’m grateful to be at the ANWA Northwest Retreat as you read this! It’s my third year going, and I’m counting on the same uplift I found in the other years. The coming together of diverse, strong women, united in faith and common interest is soul-filling. I soak up knowledge insights, and information, but the best part of the Retreat is nurturing my bruised, tired soul absorbs.

These are not ordinary women; they’re creatives, out to push back the darkness of the world by writing uplifting, wholesome pieces that inspire and uplift. They’re warm and accepting, no  matter the level of writing we find ourselves, and just being in their presence is exactly what I need right now. I know I’ll come home re energized, buoyed up, strengthened and confident enough to step forward with feet undragging.

I’m not done unpacking from the last trip yet, but I already set aside a heap to take with me to the Retreat.  I can’t wait!!


  1. It was so great seeing you again! Rosario is a special fountain for us all! Love to you!

  2. I'm so glad that you were able to get away. The NW retreat is on my bucket list. Maybe next year!


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