Today was my day off. Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, does it? In my world, it’s huge, because I don’t get days off unless I schedule them.
It’s not just the full-time mom thing that makes work a 24/7/365 aspect of my life, though my Mommy duties are a big part of it. The primary problem is that I work at home, in an office right across the hall from my bedroom. Work is always there, when I go to bed, when I go into the kitchen, or the bathroom, or to get the door. Yes, I can come and go as needed, in order to get all my mom/chauffeur/chef/errand girl/gardener/pet caretaker/laundry specialist/whatever-I-need-to-be-today stuff done. But I find myself in my office chair staring at the computer every spare moment when I’m not checking off something on my To Do list.
When you’re a writer, dealing with words and plots and troublesome characters and fact-checking and editing, etc., can become exhausting. I love what I do, truly. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, and I’ve been blessed to grow up and make money doing exactly that. I’m lucky! But sometimes, I have to remind myself to shut it off and take a break. Most folks with a full-time job get weekends off, or at least a couple of days somewhere throughout the week. Their reminder to take a breather is built into the job. The change in schedule, in activity, in duties, is good for the soul. It lets you rejuvenate, refill your energy source, and prepare to face work again when the break is over.
The book I’m working on now, Finding Refuge, is a difficult book. It’s angsty, it’s emotional, it deals with some heavy, difficult life issues. I can’t immerse myself in that day in and day out without paying the price of my brain turning to mush and refusing to spit out words and flesh out plots. I hit that point last night. That was my reminder to take a break.
So, I spent the day hanging out with my Helvetican. We lazed around the house for a while after the kids went to school then took a long drive. We hiked around in the West Deserts, where the early spring warmth, the gentle breeze, and the rich scent of junipers overloaded my senses and washed away work for a while. It was glorious. Add in a nap in the car, and I’m right as rain.
Tomorrow, it’s back to work. I’ll be ready for it. But before I open the WIP, I’m going to schedule my next day off in red pen on my desk calendar. What do you do to rejuvenate on your days off?