Monday, February 15, 2016

4 months later….
Yup. It’s been 4 months since my last blog post, and the reason for that is the same as before: day job. 
2015 was a total write-off shit-show for me. I pretty-much did nothing but work, easily racking up 14- 16hrs/per day and traipsing into work on most Saturdays to rack up another 8hrs.  I did not experience summer last year.  No patios with friends, no basking in the sun, barely any time in my own garden. Got into the office at 8:30am and left well after dark at 9:30-10:30pm. 
This post isn’t about looking for sympathy, just emphasizing why I haven’t been posting here and got precious little writing done in the last year.  Being stressed out/over-worked really puts the big suck on all your creative juices.
But I’m determined, as much as it is within my powers, not to have this year be like last year.  My job is going to always be crazy busy – hopefully not like last year—so I know I have to have a plan on how to do my job while having some sort of life.  I want to see friends, go to the movies or out for dinner, read, write, see Shakespeare in the park, go biking, etc.
I’ve been striving to have a work life balance, but in the last month something just *clicked* in place for me on a couple of fronts. I just hit a tipping point, where I wanted one thing more than something else. 
For instance, I wanted to save money more than I wanted to sleep-in in the mornings (I also have issues with insomnia).  I was easily spending $150 - $180 per month on buying just breakfast/coffee!  (never mind lunches/dinners). Now I make a point of getting up in time to make/eat breakfast, have coffee and pack a lunch before leaving the house.   No matter how much I want to sleep for just 5 more minutes, I haul ass out of bed to get those things done. 
I used to veg most of the day on Saturdays (if I didn’t go into the office). I needed that time to de-stress, before I used up the rest of the weekend doing the whole cook, laundry, grocery shopping thing. 
But you know what also helps with stress, besides vegetating? Exercise. Something I was getting less and less of. I’ve been dealing with a stubborn cold/bug for the past month or so, so that’s probably part of the reason I’m getting easily winded lately, but without a doubt I’m getting more and more out of shape, and not getting younger. This week-end, I figured, screw it.  If I’m going to veg on the sofa for hours on a Saturday, I can damn well spend those same hours at the gym. *click*(plus, there’s a sauna at the gym *clickclickclickityclickclick*)
And on the writing front something *clicked* there too. That click happened because the annual critique circle my local RWA chapter holds every March. I brought pages of my dragon-shifter book last March for critiquing, with every intention of finishing the book last year.  Obviously that didn’t happen...
A whole freakin’ year went by and, I hate to admit it, I barely finished a chapter’s worth of writing. #shamed.   
I couldn’t let another year go by without completing a manuscript. One thing that sort of worked for me in the past was writing on my phone during the rush hour commute into work, but more and more I just found myself too darn tired most mornings to think, much less write, and kinda gave up. 
For the last week, though, I’ve been pushing myself.  All I had to do was write 1 sentence, that’s the bargain I’ve made with myself. At the very least, it would be 1 sentence more than I had the day before.  Most mornings I do more than the 1 sentence, tho… J  
And if I’m writing more regularly, then it stands to reason that I can post here more often too, just to keep myself accountable, right? *click*  J

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azteclady said...

I'm here. I'm happy to listen.

And I'm happy things clicked inside you, that point to things getting better on that work/life balancing act/trick thing.

Sasha White said...

YAY for things clicking. It's entirely true that a lot of it comes down to what is more important to you. Saving money is more important than 5-10 minutes of sleep.

Go you, you know I'm here cheering you, (and shaming if need be.) Go Vanessa!!!

vanessa jaye said...

You two are the best! lol. And please, shame away!

Seriously though, no matter how viable/true the excuse for not writing, exercising, or socializing is (and working 16hr days (while dealing with insomnia) is a pretty rock solid excuse. The fact remains a whole year of my life disappeared because I leaned on that reason. "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting the same results." I want different results.

And every change is a link a the chain. Making breakfast means I save money, I'm eating healthier, I had to really buckle down on managing the insomnia. It means I drink more water during the day, because it used to take me almost all day to drink that coffee I bought first thing in the morning. Now that I drink my coffee at home, by the time I get to work I'm thirsty and reach for the water.

Now that I've gotten accustomed to waking up earlier, I've been meaning to fit in some exercising or additional writing in the mornings. This morning I went for a quick 20min walk instead of watching the morning news and checking my email/FB, etc., while breakfast cooked. Got my exercise in and got a bit of mediation time (additional stress management) walking through the quiet woods.

I will add that all this clicking is happening not just because of determination, but I'm keeping all the changes as easy/simple of possible.

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