Sarah Klenbort

This story came to me during a year off with the family. In 2016, my husband and I quit our jobs, took the kids out of school and went camping around Australia for 13 months. It was only then, during those long, simple, quiet days in the bush, when I was able to look back on my life in Sydney and see it for what it was: hectic, with every moment scheduled. 

That year in the bush I read long 19th century novels, because I had time, and spent hours with my family on walks, swimming in waterfalls, snorkeling with sea turtles, building campfires, reading, talking. We had so much time. Meanwhile, whenever we had a signal, I got emails from frantic friends back in Sydney--my husband's going through a midlife crisis, or I was up until 2 a.m. answering student emails, or I'm working three jobs and haven't slept for a week. Were my friends going crazy or is it modern city life that's mad? This question was the germ of the story.

I based 'All that Matters'--loosely--on the The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.