Some Ways to Recharge

We ALL need rest (although try telling that to my five-year-old). So I started thinking about what helps me relax and stock up on energy…here are my ideas.

1. I prepare for recharging like I’d prepare for a visit from a friend. Yes, this is a little counter-intuitive because I’m doing some work up front, but it’s worth it. The house doesn’t have to be spotless, but I try to get it to a decent point. Then I plan some activities and good food, clear my schedule and cut back on obligations, and it’s all worth it for the recharging time ahead.

2. Limit screen time. This is a big one. It’s easy for me to zone out in front of the computer or television, but at the end of it, I totally do NOT feel rested. There’s noise. Noise noise noise noise, like the Grinch says. So turning those off and getting into a book or a notebook or an artsy project (see 4, below) is what helps me.

3. Cat naps! Goes without saying, really.

4. I try to do something creative, but only if it doesn’t feel like “work.” Writing can fall into this category, but if I’m not having a good time, I should work on something else, like a Shiny New Idea, or…scrapbooking, or making my kids’ Halloween costumes.

5. Sort of related to the above, PLAY. If I can sit down, with or without the kids, and break out the crayons and a coloring book, I’m a happy girl. It is SO soothing. Same with Play-Do, LEGO, My Little Ponies….

There’s more, of course, but I’m going to take my own advice and relax. Well, not really. I’m in Tip 1, which is setting the scene for recharging. I’ve got a few writing-related things I need to wrap up over the next few weeks. I’m taking a month-long break from this blog, although I’ll still do my two scheduled posts at the YA Muses, and I’ll try to comment on other blogs occasionally. So, my next post here will be October 11th.

The Unthinkable

Three bits of randomness, and a challenge.

1. Yesterday, two wild turkeys wandered along the sidewalk past our house. Just out for a stroll in the fog. No big deal.

2. Today, I pretended fixing breakfast took a lot longer than it did, because I was reading.

Yeah, that sort of sneaky behavior only works on the shorter set. Anyone tall enough to see over the edge of the counter (and she’s just about there, believe me, I’m raising an Amazon’s child) wouldn’t be fooled. [Yeah, that’s my crowded counter and chipped butter dish. So what?]

3. And finally, today I made Mommy Surprise. I named it that; it’s really a modified “Fruit Crisp” recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (modified: tweaked because we didn’t have “rolled” oats, only other oaty stuff; no human needs 4 tablespoons of sugar in a fruit crisp, and I mean Z when I say no one; and I got tired of cutting up apples so added two cups of blueberries instead):

Surprise! Mommy really loves you!

Prepare to be impressed: I microwaved it. Really, I’m not that afraid of the oven, but (sappy voice here) I wanted it to be ready before Z’s nap. She doesn’t know I’m calling it Mommy Surprise because it’s “Surprise! Mommy can actually make stuff in the kitchen! And she put her book down long enough to do it!”

Okay, here’s the real post, now that that other stuff is out of the way.

The challenge: Severely limit the amount of time I spend using the internet

The reason: Other than the fact my eyeballs hurt…my husband (sort of) jokingly said that I love my laptop more than I love him. Youch! Which got me thinking, am I online too much? Could I be the half-step between a regular person, and a person with the Feed? (That’s an M. T. Anderson Feed reference, there, and if you haven’t read that creepy-sad book, I suggest you do.)

The limits:

  • I will allow myself three sessions to read and respond to emails next week. No session may exceed an hour. I’d give up email entirely, except I have promises to critique writing and post writing for critique for one of my writers groups. And a week’s worth of Freecycle posts would probably get my email account shut down.
  • If I can keep each of those email sessions to half an hour, I get a prize. Now accepting ideas what that prize can be.
  • I will not post anything on my blog, nor will I check the stats, nor will I fiddle with any of the widgets or anything blog related.
  • I will also not – gasp! – read the blogs of anyone else. (Will WordPress, my blog host, even allow me to post a blog like this? If I don’t participate in the blog world, their site traffic will be decreased dramatically.)
  • No Facebook or Twitter, which, as fun as they are, won’t be such a hard loss.

The benefits: I calculate there will be many. I’m looking forward to some chunks of time being freed up for work on my manuscript, for one thing (no internet does not mean no laptop). Maybe Husband and I will watch a show together, or play a round of Killer Bunnies, or even, I don’t know, talk. The house might be a little cleaner. Z might remember what her mother looks like without depending on the clicking sounds coming from the little black box to recognize me. My time on the computer will be devoted to working on my manuscript, which will feel refreshing and invigorating and will give me that extra inspirational push I need to get through revising this pesky fight scene. I’ll also lose ten pounds and develop magical beauty skills, influence people, make friends, and convince Husband it is him I love, not this (beautiful, fabulous, convenient, perfect) laptop.

The question: Has anyone else tried this before? How did it work out? If there’s something else I need to consider, let me know soon, because it’s Internet Black Out starting at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The other question: The world won’t stop, will it?