Do you feel like you need a break after finishing a project? Maybe a total detox?
I’m not sure if it happens to other writers (I suspect it likely does), but I live, eat and breathe my characters, until I scribble the words “The End.” Then, I proofread, edit and format, until I’m ready to create my press release and distribute where needed. At that point, I can work through the remaining post-its on my desk.
Ten days prior to working through my post-it island, I had my day of enlightenment. See, I didn’t realize how hard I was pushing myself. The universe was trying to get my attention. An invisible hand was waving me down…in front of my face.
I didn’t notice at first.
I was dropping things. I spilled water on the carpeted floor…twice. I overwatered my aloe plant…apparently multiple times. I cut my finger. I thought it was strange. Yet, I didn’t slow down.
In the weeks leading up to the launch of my third book, I felt out of balance. Whether fully accurate or partially imaginary, I was worn thin and weariness was creeping in. I was aware it was happening, but I pushed myself to complete my project.
Finally, my husband asked me why I hadn’t taken the hints. And, I paused. His words spoke to me, showing me what I didn’t notice on my own.
How many of us push ourselves to the brink of madness when our eye is on the prize? Do we take discipline to the extreme?
We become so single-minded, that we’re unfocused to the bigger picture. We have a task to complete and we want to do it well, but we’re ignoring the quality of our life. Our passion is rolling and we’re fully engaged, but we’re not living. We want to get it done. NOW. But, we’ve forgotten what balance is.
We’re not designed to be full throttle. Stress causes unrest, which compounds physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, when we try to get just one more thing done. In the past, how many times have I taken a break, only to return with a fresh set of eyes? I’ve told those words to others. Yet here I was, drinking so much caffeine, that I couldn’t turn my head off. I’d fall asleep late, only to wake early. Prompting the cycle to continue.
I needed to decompress and detox. Fortunately, the majority of the work was completed. It was Thursday. Friday was my anniversary.
My husband and I took the weekend off. Totally off. We chatted and cooked, canned fresh tomato sauce base from the plants in our garden. We watched a few movies, as well as enjoyed a couple drinks. We were only online, if we needed wi-fi for a movie or T.V. connection. I spent the weekend living with my husband. Being fully present and enjoying our time together. We enjoyed being together.
Slow down. Rest. Don’t push what doesn’t want moved. Reflect. Think It through.
And most importantly, live in awareness and embrace what truly matters. Be present. Live in the expectation of a life worth living. It starts with balance.
Where can you refocus? Where can you embrace the awareness of presence? And, live it? Be, in quality time. Where can you rest, before you have to re-engage?
What’s next? I’m going to read a book for fun, not because I need to do research. I’ll cook with my husband, instead of throwing food together to be ready when he gets home. We’re going to hold conversations, instead of asking the unthought-provoking questions and then working through the evening, at times in separate directions. I’m going to capture something I wasn’t aware was lost. And, I’m going to rediscover my new balance for an improved quality of life.
Where can you find your own balance? What steps do you need to take?