I’m not sure where the first half of 2018 has gone. It seems like only yesterday I was writing down my new year’s resolutions – some of which I’ve actually managed to maintain. Others were abandoned/forgotten.
July feels like a good time to re-evaluate my progress.
I’m healthier. I made walking/hiking part of my life. I started strength training and while I need to be more consistent, my body is stronger. I feel better than I have in years. I’ve lost weight – not as much as I had hoped but I still have 6 months to go.
One of the things I wanted to work on that still needs improvement is utilizing my “down-time.” I’ve spent time on my photography but there’s other things I enjoy. So in this next half of the year, I’m going to finish the baby blanket I started crocheting. I have a beautiful puzzle that needs to be put together. After working all day, it’ll feel good to engage my mind on something I enjoy.
During June, I spent a lot of time staining my deck – never realized how many pickets we had on that sucker. I thought my hand was permanently stuck in the “holding the brush” position. While the work was time-consuming, the pay-off has been so rewarding. Most evenings I’m out on my hammock, torches burning, crickets singing, frogs croaking and me – doing my best to unwind. I think the alone time has helped with my stress.
Life goes by so quickly. It wasn’t that long ago that I was at ballgames cheering for my boys. Now, two of them have children. It’s quite challenging to build a new life (in a matter of speaking) when your world has changed. I want to make sure that I’m living the best life I can. I don’t want to look back with regret. So that’s what July 2018 is for – editing my life and evaluating my progress.
I’m proud of my successes but there’s room for improvement.
How about you? How’s things going with your resolutions/goals?
Like so many of you, I work a full-time job and squeeze in my writing here and there. I find it tremendously sad that the thing I enjoy most is the first thing that is sacrificed at the altar of not enough time.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels a bit brain-dead at the end of a work day. And to be honest, it’s not that my job is unduly stressful or that I work in an unpleasant environment. Hardly. I like busy days and I get along with my co-workers. But there is a certain frustration that lingers with me through out the work day. Story ideas are born. Characters stop by and introduce themselves and to be quite honest, distract me from my work. I might make a note or two, time allowing, and I usher them away. By the time five o’clock has rolled around, my eyes are tired from staring at a computer screen. And those characters – they are long gone…
A short drive home and I’m preparing dinner. I might go for a ride in the jeep just to unwind. And I might plan on getting a few words down only…
Poor time management.
Whatever you want to call it – it robs many of us (writers) of valuable time. And it does so, so insidiously, we often fail to recognize it’s happening.
It starts out innocently enough. An internet search/fact check becomes a quick stop on Amazon… A look at a cute puppy video is followed by a notification of a friend’s Facebook update… A text message that leads to a phone call… A short break that turns into an hour in front of the television…
Before you know it, your best laid plans have failed and its time to go to bed and you didn’t make any headway on your latest WIP.
The frustration is real. So real in fact, that I decided I needed to be proactive. Following the suggestions of many other writers, I made myself some rules.
- Turn off the cellphone.
- Turn off the television.
- Do not access the internet.
- Be committed. Schedule writing time and stick to it.
- Go on DND (do not disturb) during scheduled writing time.
So this is the plan.
Got my fingers crossed that I’m disciplined enough to follow through.
They say opposites attract – and it must be true. My husband and I have been married for over 25 years. He’s my best friend and while we have many things in common, there’s plenty of areas where we differ. He likes chicken; I prefer steak. He likes salty; I like sweet. He loves winter while summer is my choice.
Hubs grew up in Ohio – he loves snow and white Christmases – neither of which happened in coastal North Carolina this year. Christmas day hit 70 degrees. Hubs was disappointed to say the least.
So – that made my Christmas gift to him all the better. A weekend in a mountain cabin in Virginia.
The Enchanted Cottage
This little cabin was perfectly enchanting!
And while it is quite the romantic getaway, I couldn’t help but think that others might find the cabin a wonderful writing retreat. Everything about this place tickled my imagination. It was literally like walking into a fairy-tale.
The Enchanted Cottage is located in Dugspur, Virginia – just about 30 miles north of Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
How about you? Have you stumbled across a place that would serve as a wonderful writing retreat?