On Rest & Enlightenment

As you read this, I’ll probably be back at my desk at work, and happy enough to be there. My vacation week wasn’t all that productive, but it was both restful and enlightening. I had a lot of time to think, and I needed that, though I wouldn’t say it was always the most comfortable head space to be in. Navel-gazing with a purpose is often uncomfortable, especially when the whole point is finding “points” at which to change things in one’s life.

I’ve made some decisions as far as my priorities go, which I’m not entirely happy about, but they’re compromises I can live with, at least for now. Things like buying bread instead of making it myself, and only making dog food for one dog, rather than both of them. Certain hobbies will be relegated to weekends only – things like comic books (which should be read the same weekend I pick them up – and my pull list is small enough to do that and I pretty well caught up with my backlog last week) and stamp collecting and polymer clay, which I’d like to do more with in the new year.

Top “hobby priority” is my writing, which will still be late at night, just not as late. I need to make a point of being back in my office no later than 11pm, and focused on writing by 11:15pm, which gives me half an hour to write before I need to be getting the dogs settled and myself shut down for the night. I can write 800 words or so in 30 minutes when I’m focused, so that with extra time on the weekends should be sufficient for the three novels I want to write next year (yes, only three).

Bedtime, as of this week, is midnight. Not for sleeping, but for 30 minutes of reading before sleep. I’ve been neglecting reading for a long time now, and as it turns out, it’s important to my mental health. Don’t ask me how that works, it just…does. Kind of like how I get crabby if I don’t get any writing time in.

Crochet/knitting are also weeknight hobbies…I can do those while I’m watching TV. And I need to be downstairs by 9pm for a workout too. Mental and physical health, thank you very much.

I’m also going to do my best to take 15 minutes four mornings a week for journaling (one morning a week I have to be at work early for a meeting – I don’t do anything aside from get myself up and out the door on those mornings). I think it will both help me wake up, and help me keep the brain “clear” of clingy thoughts/stress. Sort of a cleaning/cleansing exercise, so to speak. Right after yoga and before my shower will be the perfect time for this, methinks. I may wait to start this for a couple of weeks – but it will make a nice resolution for the new year. More on that later…

There are a few other smaller habits/routines I’ll be cleaning up, and my wardrobe definitely needs a makeover with the new tattoo (well, it needed one anyways – but now it’ll happen sooner rather than later). I love the new ink, and I’m not too worried about displaying when it’s just my co-workers, but I do want to have long sleeves most of the time so I can keep it from being distracting around people I don’t see often, the public during work hours, or during meetings. Seems like the more professional thing to do.

I have a few routines to clean up with regard to my workday as well – simple things like making sure I take daily breaks, and have a certain structure to my “normal” days (ie, days when things aren’t crazy or weird for whatever reason).

None of these are particularly big changes, they mostly just require discipline. Nothing will radically change the structure of my day, which makes it more likely I’ll adhere to them. I just need to…well, do it. Them. You know what I mean.

Next vacation, I’m headed out of town to visit an art exhibit I want to see in our old state prison. I’m fairly certain that will be a far less “in my own head” break…but I’m really looking forward to it.

For now, back to reality…