I’m turning in a very big project in a couple of days. I know what to expect.
It’s not regret. The book is great. The prose lives. Sure, it has warts, but it’s a major piece of work. I feel pride. I feel accomplishment.
But also, sadness.
When you’ve wrestled with a project this long, you feel its absence, like a partner no longer there on the other side of the bed.
I will miss pushing the boulder up the hill.
I will miss the discussions, the arguments, the ideas, the application of skill and experience.
I’ll miss the flow.
I’ll miss waking up each day knowing what must be done or it won’t be good enough or done on time.
The first few times this happened, it surprised me. Why am I moping? I should be cheering.
And it always lifts after a few days. There’s always another challenge.
But for now I will feel sad, because something important will be missing.
Months from now, I’ll hold the solidity of a book in my hand, still smelling of fresh ink. I’ll riffle through the pages and see headings and graphics, starting back at me like old friends I’ve missed.
I won’t be sad then. But for now, I am.