You can feel the longest day of the year, like a physical weight pressing down on your soul.

It’s one of those days when you question if maybe you haven’t travelled a little too far and have accidentally crossed into the underworld – because the oppressive darkness around you just won’t let up – instead of heading home from the grocery store.

At the end of December, we passed the hibernal solstice. It’s that turning point after which everyone gets increasingly restless because it’s the point at which hope returns. But the change is gradual from that day on and you don’t really see tangible change until sometime in January.

One day last week, the light changed. It was no longer the cool, hazy, pastel-saturated light of winter. It was a bright, yellow, vibrant spring light that brought with it the promise of new life, of new energy.

Again, that change is gradual and we still have many weeks ahead of us of snow, and more snow, before we’re going to see anything resembling green. Up here, where we clutch the hem of the arctic circle like a child hiding behind its mother’s skirts, we have to cultivate our patience.

It isn’t easy.

Especially not when every cell in your body is screaming at you to just forget about the world and retreat into a blanket cave with chocolate and things to watch.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to deal with on its own, your body has to drain your vital resources to prepare for a reproductive event you’re never going to repeat, and then the first reproductive event you already achieved stays home from school because of a poorly slept night caused by a growing body going through a taxing metamorphosis.

Since I’ve barely managed to drag myself off the floor today, I’ve served as a cat perch for most of today. I’ve coloured. I’ve looked up with interest and offered encouragement at every “Mom, look at me!” and “Did I do a good job?” and I’ve discussed issues ranging from ‘Since there are microscopic germs inside us, what if we are just some microscopic germs inside an even larger animal?’ to ‘How are CDs made? What’s a CD?’ and ‘Since I have so many gaps now, my S’s have gone on holiday’.

Some days I wonder how it must seem to her, when her mom becomes a puddle of fatigue about once a month when my iron reserves are pushed to the limit, and a familiar guilt rears its head, but she’s a good kid who takes things with such grace I can do nothing but be grateful.

Her father thinks we “really lucked out with that one”.

My reply to that, “Let’s not forget this is ten per cent luck, twenty per cent skill, fifteen per cent concentrated power of will, five per cent pleasure, fifty per cent pain, and a hundred per cent reason to remember the name”.

Apparently, I’m not good at telling jokes.

I’ve given up on achieving any kind of work today. Maybe I’ll just run away from my responsibilities for today and call it a day. It is a Monday after all.

Maybe tonight I’ll see a second wind and will actually start writing some words. Right now it’s hard to focus on even the simplest tasks, with fifty questions being interjected about what I’m doing and why.

Why am I talking about this at all?

Creative burnout is real. And I don’t recommend it.

So, if you’re finding yourself being dragged away from your creative work, sometimes the answer is just to go with the flow. Enjoy your time away and then enjoy the time you get once you finally get back to it.

And don’t forget the fun.

My grandfather used to tell me how he always said to people who worked for him, “If you’re not having fun, you’re fired,” and I think he genuinely had some wisdom in that.

Fun is what makes it all worth it. So, always move towards the fun.

And when there’s no fun to be had, find your gratitude. Because some things in life just are and never will be fun. But you can still be grateful, which makes all the difference.