We had a wonderful Thanksgiving week around here. My parents came up for several days, and they brought one of my nephews (who’s going to college near their house) with them. The flaming flamingo visited. My sister & her family, along with my brother-in-law, joined us for Thanksgiving afternoon and dinner. We relaxed, read, worked on hobbies, visited The Mystery Spot, and–oh, yeah–ate. (I highly recommend the Key Lime cheesecake my son baked.)
Weeks like this are a strange mix of calm and chaos, I think, of sort of being transplanted to a different world, even when you’re based at your own house. I wanted to take this break, to have everybody here and together, but it’s a definite shift to get myself out of the writing, editing, and networking that make up so much of my regular daily routine.
And then comes the shift back in.
Saturday, honestly, I slept. I read, too, and I tidied a bit, but then I’d nod off and wake up to find another hour had passed. Last night, I slept great and long, and this morning I got a few productive things done–getting ready for the upcoming week. I definitely needed the transition–as much as I needed the break.
I come out of weeks like this, often, wanting something different from what I was experiencing when I went in. For me, a pretty tight single-focus is necessary–I am on holiday, and I am doing the holiday, and that’s it. And it’s fun. There’s a certain amount of calm, because I need it to be calm. At the end, though, when I look ahead to the multi-tasking and juggling that’s my norm, I find myself tempted to back away, step back into the one-task world, even if there’s no writing or productivity in that small circle. Which, of course, is not really a place I want to stay.
So instead, I’m striving for is a calm that includes writing, a calm that lets me relax into my work, into my craft, rather than jumping like a caffeinated grasshopper from project to project. It’s times like these I reconsider meditating and tell myself that–oh, come on–I can learn to do it and to benefit from it. It’s also times like these that I determine to exercise more, to keep the house from becoming one big pile of stuff, to dig deeply into my fictional worlds and gain understanding–not just word count.
Yes, in other words–just when I’ve discovered calm, I’m ready to add back in a gazillion goals at once. Irony? Oh, yeah.
What I’m learning to do, as I get older, is breathe just a little more consciously and a little more slowly. If I don’t keep a gratitude journal, I do try to spend a little time at night filling my brain with the good from the day, and a little time the next morning reminding myself about what I want to spend time on that day. It’s when I try to remember that life takes time and—almost always—small, clear steps will move me forward.
Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wishing you calm productivity, at least between now and your next holiday!