Working Too Hard Part 497,235

One of the things that I will try to do this summer is to get back into the habit of writing here. Now, I haven’t been avoiding my blog because I don’t like to blog. No, I’ve been ridiculously busy for many reasons that I’ve talked about in other posts.

But let’s just stop offering up excuses. There is always work to do, and I will always have too much of it to do. My problem in interfacing with the world is that I am a workaholic who seeks to value myself through achievement, and quite frankly, this year, I have fallen off the wagon, big time.

And let’s cut here for those of you who are very, very bored.

Let’s recap, shall we? You may remember that as the star child of a dysfunctional family, I proved to the world that my family was “normal” by going out there and kicking the world’s ass. When I feel insecure about myself or my life, this is the behavior I fall back into. Work has been rough, the sands around me shifting for a lot of reasons. I tried to get a job in Florida for all the right reasons, but that did mean extra insecurity.

After the nail in the coffin on the new job (I got pretty far, and I don’t have to live apart from Bryon for 3 years. I’m cool.) and the reshuffling of our department here at Kirkwood, I took a good, hard look at where I was at. I’ve gained about six pounds (horror! But you must understand, I have just about undone all of 2014’s weight loss), I’ve taken to eating food for a reward. I’m tired all the time and have less energy.

I still have awesome friends, good relationships, a fantastic husband. I am still working on my writing. It hasn’t been all bad. But I haven’t been taking care of myself. So, yes, I am back with the estimable David, who is helping me get it together.

Together David and I have laid some new ground rules.

1. A lunch HOUR every day. I asked if I could have a lunch half hour, but no. It’s gotta be an hour. I want to see what you can do with an hour, David said. Fine. What I do is eat lunch and then go for a stroll outside. I am not allowed to stay in my office.

2. Keep up the physical activity. Yup. Got this one. Likes my walking fine.

3. Reflect for half an hour each day. So each day I read or work on habits or think about the state of myself. Right now, I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, and I’m thinking about forming new habits.

4. Do something creative each day for an hour. Right now I’m in the transition zone, wherein I still have some obligations that prevent me from doing this, but I am doing what I can. I have a writing day tomorrow for example. And I have two next week. The goal is to keep these times sacred. I have let other things encroach on my time.

My most powerful weapon in my battle against the dread Type A is scheduling. With the exception of six weeks of the year I have scheduled an hour and a half of writing for each day, including through Christmas vacation. the trade off for that six weeks is 8 weeks of summer vacation, and I’m still working on how to write during those six weeks. I am discovering that I write not at all well in the evening, so I’m looking for the right solution, perhaps some other kind of motivator to make it fun in the evening.

My next most powerful weapon is reflection. I need to think about when I feel happy, joyful and relaxed. I need to do things that support this. The two new habits I’m working on right now are cutting out sugar (mixed results. I’m still getting some of the food out of the house and replacing it with plain versions. Like I eat plain yogurt and pure peanut butter now.) I’m also working on checking my physical needs before all things. Enough sleep? Movement? Drinking okay? How about eating well? So, it’ll take me a while to get better in the food department, but I am determined to change how I eat so this health thing doesn’t keep resurfacing like a white whale.

Finally, the third weapon I choose to engage is appreciating the awesome person that I am. I always fight the battle of accepting myself in ways that my friends accept me: unconditionally. It doesn’t sound like it with all that regimentation, I know, but what I’m doing is making sure I make time to be me and do what I want in the face of a world I think wants me to do otherwise. That is the nature of my particular disease.

And so, one of the things I enjoy is this blog. I have focused more on fiction first, which makes perfect sense, but I don’t want to forget about this. I will aim for posting at least once a week here at first, and perhaps as the summer goes along more. I’ve missed this.

Okay, so, I have books to talk about, movies, and interviews and, well, just stuff. So, I’ll be back here next week, if not sooner.

Meanwhile, you guys stay sane and take care of yourselves. Much better than I do, okay?

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.