Well, it’s official – I didn’t get laid off from my full time job, so I need to bite the bullet and find a way to deal with working another 3-4 years while continuing my pursuit of publication that pays. (Hmm, maybe I should have used that for the title of this post: Pursuit of Publication that Pays – catchy alliteration, huh? But it’s not really what this is about).
I did a lot of whining in my last post. I’m past that now. I know that I need to create balance, since I won’t be handed the gift of time (in the form of unemployment, which came with its own price). So I decided to shake up my usual patterns and see if the freshness revives both my energy and my creativity.
It’s not easy to do, you know, especially when you are “of a certain age.” Changing lifelong habits gets harder with the passing years. I’m grateful the habits I need to change are not addictions, like smoking or substance use, but just patterns of life.
I’ve always been a morning person, so it seemed natural that if I wanted to fit exercise into my life, it should happen first thing in the morning. But there’s a downside to that. Not only does it mean getting up earlier (and losing sleep in the process), but having to pack everything needed to shower and dress to go to my professional job. So my first shake-up (those of you who aren’t morning people will never understand how hard this is) is to change my workout times to after work. It means I can sleep 2 extra hours and don’t have to pack anything but workout clothes and sweats to wear home after my workout. No more remembering to pack towels. No more “oops, I forgot underwear” that means I have to wear wet workout bras under my work clothes all day. I’m going to try this for at least two weeks and see if it works better for my life (and mental state).
I’m also letting go of my obsession with distance running for the next few years. I can manage a much more modest workout schedule, stay fit, and create time to accomplish other activities. It’s not like I’m a competitive runner who will lose precious competitive years. I’m not even a jogger. I’m a schlogger – I schlog through 13.1 or 26.1 miles. I’ll still be able to schlog in 3-4 years as long as I maintain basic fitness until then.
I’m also going to make a commitment to play one day every weekend. That means I have to reserve the non-play day to be really productive – but most research shows that taking a break from your work allows you to return to it refreshed and ultimately more productive.
Okay, so I’m the first to admit that this post is probably pretty boring for the average reader – and I apologize for wavering from my usual goal of writing about writing. But really, I didn’t waver in this case – because this really is about my finding time to accomplish both writing (book #3 in process!) and all the writing-related activities, so I can maintain my writer presence until such time as I can commit to it full time.
And who knows, maybe one or more of my books will do well enough to help me escape the contrictions of a full time job and long commute!