About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm cheating this Monday

because I've been frantically busy - not just normal busy but getting to the office at 7AM and leaving at 8 or 9 or 10PM busy. That's all going to end soon (got my fingers crossed!), but as of today, Sunday, it's going to go on for at least four more days and I promised a blog every Monday.

I'm cross-posting my Witchy Chicks blog from last week because I really need your help.

Here it is:

We live in a very busy world - one where (at least for me) we seem to have lost something very important. It's not just relaxation, though that's part of it - but what I seem to have lost is what I call do nothing time.

My days are planned from before the sun comes up until after the sun goes down. That doesn't mean that I don't get to do things I enjoy. I still get to movies. I still walk on the beach (though not as much as I used to). I still - because it's my chosen addiction - read 5 or 6 books a week. I still watch Criminal Minds every Wednesday night when I'm home (about one week out of three). Right now, I'm watching the World Cup and following my team - the Netherlands - on their journal to the final game on Sunday. I still, occasionally, get out for a glass of wine and a bite to eat with a friend. I'm telephoning friends to check up on them.

I'm not even including work. These days I'm at the office before 7 most mornings and I'm putting in extra hours on the weekend. I'm writing. I'm updating my website. I'm writing two newsletters a month. I'm writing blogs. I'm answering emails. I'm scheduling blogs for one of my chapters. I'm doing all the paperwork that comes with my new contracts. I'm planning workshops and keeping in touch with the writers I'm mentoring. I'm keeping my complicated calendar up to date and when something comes up I haven't scheduled, I'm shuffling things around - which takes time and planning - to fit them in.

And then there are the things we all have to do just to live. I'm going to the grocery store, the drugstore, the post office, the bank, the hardware store. I have to admit I'm not doing much cooking these days. I'm paying bills and going to doctors' appointments or to have tests done, none of which are serious, but they take up time. And planning. I'm going to the gym three times a week.

And I know all of you are probably in exactly the same boat. I wonder whether this is partly our age - we have more complicated lives (at least I do) - both personally and professionally than I did twenty (or even ten) years ago. And I hate the idea of missing anything.

But the thing I miss - the thing I don't know how to fit into my schedule - is doing nothing. And I don't mean meditating, though that's important as well. I mean DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Sitting at the coffee shop and watching the world go by. Driving - the freeway seems to work best for me - even if at the end of the hour I have to be at a meeting or a dinner or a friend's house. Putting on one of my favorite CDs and sitting in my living room with the lights off enjoying the music. Sitting on a bench watching the waves come in or go out. Walking, by myself, with no destination or time limit.

I can't think of the last time I've done any of these things. Oh, yeah, I can. It was almost three months ago. I drove out to the suburbs (I live downtown) to replace the new cellphone that didn't work. (I don't know why I bought the cellphone out there. Impulse purchase, I guess.) An hour each way. And even though it was Friday night at rush hour I didn't care. It was wonderful.

What do nothing works for you? How do you schedule it into your life? I'd appreciate any and all comments. Really. Because, whatever it takes, I can't figure it out.


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