“Deprived of a record-tying 22nd grand slam title in the Australian Open and French Open finals this year, Williams got to No. 22 Saturday by defeating Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-3 in a high-quality Wimbledon final.” – CNN in Serena Williams wins Wimbledon for historic 22nd grand slam title
Yes, I watch FSU football and. depending on the teams, selected games from the World Series. Otherwise, I’m more interested in tennis. Not because I’m any good at it. It’s fun to watch. Recently, I wrote a post about aging authors who are still writing, saying that that gave the rest of us hope. Watching Serena and Venus Williams, at 34 and 36 years of age, playing in a game that requires a lot of stamina and athleticism and favors youth, makes me feel amazed at what people can do who keep in shape and spend many hours a day practicing.
I’ve watched three of Serena William’s Wimbledon matches this week and, while balls hit into the net or just outside the line tempt me to yell at the television set, taking time out for breakfast at Wimbledon serves as a good antidote to my driven approach to my writing. I felt driven earlier this week to work through a hard-to-write section of my work in progress and also to post a blog here about 85-year-old author Edna O’Brien’s stunning new novel The Little Red Chairs (which I’m currently reading).
Time off for tennis has been a better use of my time because–had I asked one–it’s probably just what a psychologist would recommend. Both players in today’s Wimbledon final showed moments of frustration; Kerber rushed her game (and displayed brief moments of panic) on some points and that might have been one reason she didn’t beat Williams this time out. Frustration and panic are bad for a writer, for all of us. Goodness knows, the news this week hasn’t helped.
Time off might look like goofing off, but it’s controlled goofing off that takes one away from a constant focus on work and/or the news rather than turning into a 24/7 habit. Now I can look toward the afternoon feeling like I drank some magic tonic.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Emily’s Stories,” “Sarabande,” “At Sea,” and “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” all of which you can learn more about on his website here.