Tag Archives: relaxing

Getting a Busy Signal

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for reading books. My love of reading isn’t anything new, but allowing myself unlimited “free” time to sit on the deck to read whenever I can instead of trying to do a million other things instead is.

It’s no longer a guilty pleasure, but rather simply a pleasure.

It’s a relative shift in thinking for me. I used to feel guilty, like I should be spending that time doing something work or blog-related that would garner an external result of some sort.

Why?

Because almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t working or doing something to promote their work. Bloggers talk about “taking things to the next level,” working on widgets, book signings, business cards, spending hours on various social networks, reading, writing, commenting, sharing, creating new tabs for their blogs, etc.

If that’s your job, that makes sense, but I just can’t keep up. And to be honest, I really don’t want to.

My job has me in front of a computer all day. I don’t love it, but it pays the bills, I work my butt off and I’m lucky I have it. And while I love blogging most of the time, it isn’t my job and I know that I’ll never be “big.” I know that as hard as I work, I’ll most likely never “make it to the next level” without devoting hours to doing the things that I’ve mentioned above.

Now don’t get me wrong…

I’m a very hard worker and would spend a million hours working towards “making it” if I thought doing all of those things was the key, but I’m not sure that it is. Why? Talent only gets you so far. There is only one Bloggess, and the market for those looking to recreate that magic is diluted with writers that have time and money to spend in an effort to build up their brand.

I do not.

What I do have are decent ideas, a couple books that barely paid for themselves, a laptop I have basic knowledge of and a fairly constant insecurity that a) what I do isn’t good enough b) confusion over what does become “popular” and c) a desire to hang it all up and let everyone else duke it out.

Because, oh yeah, there’s that whole depression/OCD thing to add in there, too.

And unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury to pick and choose when and where I work. Some days are great, and other days leaving the house simply sounds like hard work—but I have no choice.

What I tend to forget is that I do have in choice in how I spend the rest of my time. And sometimes I get caught up in the hype and forget I’m not the girl who is comfortable promoting herself or trying to appeal to a sponsor or some “higher up.”

I’m the girl who rambles and has her head in a book (when it’s not up her ass) and the game on TV with some snacks. I write because I want to share things, not because I need to have those things shared.

So I guess it’s a conscious decision to choose time and simple pleasures over the pursuit of  “more, more, more.” It’s a decision to always work hard and look for new opportunities, but to be content with where I am, whether it’s on the deck with a book or on Twitter spewing one-liners.

It’s remembering that the best investment of my limited time is to spend it doing the things that I want when I can and ignoring the things that might chip away at that contentment.

True, I might miss “making it to the next level,” but I won’t miss feeling like I’ve missed the moments worth writing about. And if I plan things right, I also won’t miss the ballgame.

Like the blog? Buy the books.

I Prefer “Conserving Awesomeness”

Ever since I was little I’ve done a dozen things at once. If I have the TV on, I’m usually reading or writing. If I have an extra 30 minutes, I figure I can clean or organize something. Part of me has always been of the mindset that if I have time, I need to fill it with something productive.

And for as much as I talk about being a lazy ass on the couch all the time, the truth of the matter is that I can’t tell you the last time I did actually stay in my pajamas and robe all day.

That’s just not how I roll.

But something odd has been happening lately. It’s like I have an angel wearing her thinking cap and carrying a Swiffer on one shoulder while a devil in a bath robe sits on the other, and all I want to do is tell the spastic angel to quit blocking the TV and go get me more tea.

In other words,  my motivation to “carpe diem” the past few weeks has been replaced by an urge to “carpe the couch” and completely zone out.

I still go to work, to the gym, to all the places I need to go, but when I get home and have time to do the things I feel that I need to be doing—you know, trying to market whatever it is I should be marketing, writing, reinventing the wheel, etc.—the siren song of watching a brainless show or zoning out with reading outweighs my urge to produce. 

Part of it is crippling depression and physical exhaustion—I know that much is true and possibly a future post—but dare I put a positive spin on it and say that in between those bouts I might just be (gasp) cutting myself some slack?!?

But of course there’s some guilt that I’m lazy or unambitious.

After all, I have the ability to write and create all that stuff, so that’s probably what I should do. And I also have the free time, more or less, so it’s pretty much sinful if I don’t fill that time up with stuff, right?

Part of me thinks that’s correct, that there’s so much more I should be doing. But then part of me thinks, “Bath robe all day!”

It takes a lot of energy to get through the daily grind. And although I don’t plan on making pajamas my outfit of choice, I’ve decided that I’m no longer ashamed to say that yes, I let myself zone out on the couch with tea and the ballgame/a “Chopped” marathon on Food Network sometimes instead of writing or “doing” something productive.

While I used to think I had to get up at 6am even on the weekends to avoid that “lazy” label I assigned to myself, I now proudly proclaim that I love sleep. Seeing as I’m up by 5 during the week, I look forward to bonding with my bed until at least 8am on the weekends with no guilt.

I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

So even though I do still feel a little bit guilty I’m not “doing” more all the time—especially as it relates to writing—I figure when the words are there, I know it and it’s kind of hard to ignore.

The same goes for everything else.

It’s finding a balance between spastic Swiffer angel and demotivational devil and just “being” without looking at it as laziness. Instead, I’ll just consider myself to be conserving awesomeness until I ready to unleash it on the masses.

Possibly in my bath robe.

Like the blog? Buy the book.