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Monday, February 18, 2013

Self-Care: WIPmadness Check-In, Week 3

"Go home, Springform Cake, you're drunk" ©2013 Laura Sheana Taylor. My most recent baking adventure had unexpected results. (This shows a cake that rose lopsidedly, where one side baked much higher than the other. The top resembles a disc that has been tilted.)

Yesterday I was exhausted. Not from a hangover, exactly, though the party was definitely one to remember even without all the cake-making hijinks that preceded it. Even after I fixed the cake's severe balance issues, problems with the white icing on a cartoon character's face led to totally unintended, highly-suggestive images that were thankfully iced out. 

No, I was feeling a little drained. Okay, a lot drained. Since January, instead of the usual "whew, holidays are over and I can relax" feeling I've come to expect, instead it was more of a "go-go-go-hah-what-made-you-think-your-time-was-yours" kinda thing, with no stop in sight.

It's partly my own fault. I said yes to ALL THE THINGS and didn't stop to take a breath. I was not kind to myself. Yes, I had a blast with all the commitments and parties and social events, but I didn't give myself much time to recover. 

Which made me a crabby, unproductive little girl. 

Realizing this was the best thing that happened to me this week. So I resolved to take measures that would calm things down a bit. It's a work in progress, but I'm already feeling better than I was. Sleep, and self-care in general, is such a vital thing, but it can be so easy to forget that truth. Especially if like me, you have a day job in addition to writing goals and/or responsibilities.

Sometimes we just need to take a break.

"This is Why They Call it a Cat Nap" ©2013 Laura Sheana Taylor. Two kitties sleeping. Pixel and Charlie are too tuckered to pretend to hate each other right now.

Sooo. That was my week. How was yours?

22 comments:

  1. Glad you decided to slow it down and give yourself a break. Breaks are something most writers don't allow themselves. There's always one more sentence to write, edit, polish. Not to mention all the un-writerly obligations! It's important to relax, take a breather. Although, I find this easier to think about, rather than actually doing it. Have a super week, y'all. :)

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    1. You, too, Candy. Yes, it's definitely easier to think about than do, but that's what makes it a challenge. Realizing that we need to take a break versus actually taking that break ... the latter is so important.

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  2. You've just echoed my thoughts, L.S. The past two months have been unbelievably exhausting. Now that the worst of it seems to be behind me, I'm completely drained and spent. I started working again last week as a substitute teacher in various assignments. I love being back in the classroom, but it's another adjustment in my ever-changing life. I don't feel centered or balanced yet, but I'm getting there. I can't even think about writing. I have another week before I get my second-round revisions from my editor, so I'm diving into my TBR pile and also beta-reading for one of our own.

    I appreciate all your support as I continue to fight my way out of this swirling black hole I got sucked into.

    Write on, Wipsters!

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    1. I admire your courage and hardiness through all of the adversity you've faced, Angelina. I hope you get enjoy that much-needed breather. *hugs* We're all here for you.

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  3. So true, L.S. With homeschooling son, I'm always on the run. It's crazy. His theater teacher tried to get me to volunteer to be the stage mom on top of all that. Uh, no. Saturday we were in San Diego all day for son's Lego Tournament. I was exhausted. Son, "Why are you tired? I did all the work!"

    I'm trying to not say 'yes' to so many things too. Those cats in your picture have it right. Yesterday I took a nap after church services. I also have been saying 'no' to visiting or meetings on that day. I need at least a day to not do anything. **Though I do admit I was reading a friend's ms while in church but when I got home the notes I made on my Nook all were gone! Ugh!

    This week son has week off for President days plus furlough ones. His ES tried to 'schedule' tutoring time every day. We both said 'no'. Son says he needs his time too. I hope to visit library this week and continue with this revision. Plus publisher of NO GODDESSES ALLOWED emailed me that she has some exciting news about my book. Can't wait to hear more so I can share with everyone!

    Here's to a great, productive week to all of us!

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    1. Saying no is the best thing you can do for yourselves sometimes. Enjoy your week off, Kim, and can't wait to hear your news!

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  4. Hope everyone gets the rest they need! I had a pretty decent week, writing-wise, but I think this week will be crazy at the paying job. There always seems to be a trade-off...ah well :)

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    1. Rock on, Jennifer! Hope your dayjob isn't *too* hectic.

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  5. I admit, I'm pretty good at saying no to things, but it was a hard-earned skill to acquire! I've been doing better and better at keeping my life in some sort of balance, but it often comes with tough decisions. My motto is "under promise, over deliver" when it comes to other people and even my own goals. So if I think I have time to beta read for a friend this week, I'll purposely tell her I can't get to it until next week, for example. Then if I get it to her early, we're all happy. I try to do that in most areas of my life. Life can still get exhausting, of course, but sometimes there's nothing you can do about that.

    This week I'm busy getting ready for March Madness, getting ready for a vacation, getting a school visit presentation ready for when I get back, and finishing up a revision to get to a beta reader. Phew. Exhausting, yes, but doable. And I'll catch up on my self-care on vacation. LOL. (Great post topic, btw!)

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    1. Man...I like your advice, Denise. Good luck with this week and happy vacationing when the time comes!

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    2. Thanks, Denise! I hope your vacation goes well, too. My first three days of March Madness will be spent out of the country as I head to Seattle for a comic book / geek convention. Will get back just in time for my own first post! I'm looking forward to what is going to be an awesome, crazy month. :)

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  6. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to getting enough sleep...I'm a natural "night owl", but get up early for work and/or getting son off to school. Adding nightshifts to the mix doesn't help! But reading your post has reminded me that I need to take care of myself, so I will be more intentional about simply getting enough sleep. Thanks, L.S.

    Writing-wise, things are coming along. I wish for more words, but slow and steady will get me there eventually, right? ;) This week my goal is to do my loose version of plotting for a MG project that I want to work on during March Madness. But it is also a week of full-time work and some family concerns that may bump writing down a notch on the priority list, so...we'll take it as it comes.

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    1. yes on taking it at is comes. one word at a time will get you there.

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    2. Hah! I feel your pain, Shari, because left to my own devices I can be a night owl, too. It's true: slow and steady *does* get something done, and that's better than a blank page, right? Hope your week is easy enough on you to allow some writing time!

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  7. Can I curl up between your kitties? Looks like heaven. I have to laugh when some mornings, my kitties look at me as if I'm crazy, stretch, then re-curl up on my bed and go back to sleep. So unfair!

    I was sick for most of last week. "Sick" in that I was covered in hives for no apparent reason other than my body saying, "Hey, you know what might be fun..." So I was forced into laying low and, other than the torture like itching, I enjoyed having a reason to stay down. Now to learn to stay down more often without the need to scratch. TMI? Sorry!

    Writing wise, not a ton done, but I had a lovely afternoon getting to know a lead character by just letting her talk to me via the keyboard. Fun!

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    1. Oh, sure, it's heaven until they lock you in place for enough hours that muscles start to cramp!

      Very odd, GP. I had the exact same thing happen to me a month ago. It was scary stuff and the only thing we could figure was that it was cheap hotel soap. Glad you're feeling better.

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  8. Hi all! Boy I hear you on trying to do ALL THE THINGS. Have a week of that ahead of me and am dragging my butt cause I had a week and weekend of that last week. BUT. It will be done and I WILL NOT forget to take some time to relax, breath and try not to do this to myself again.

    Have two courses to finish this week, so that is where my focus is. Also want to find bits of time to put together another book idea, non-fiction. Considering seeing if I can get a couple of last minute days off work this week.

    So glad you a feeling better and working on the take time for yourself. Thanks for reminding us all to do that.

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    1. You're welcome, Deb. Definitely don't forget to relax! :) Best of luck with next week.

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  9. My week ended with a birthday bash in Atlanta for my newly-minted 12-year-old daughter. We hit Legoland and did it up right then shopped and shopped and ate badly. I'm paying for the whole "ate badly" part of it now...poor tummy.

    So I took yesterday off, but what did I do? Went grocery shopping and made risotto for my family. No Writing. Little rest. Yes, I have a hard time just sacking out when I should, even when I have a tummy ache. But, my brain never stopped thinking about my WIP. (Not sure if that is sad or inspiring...)

    So today, I am going to listen to my bod and do what it asks me to...after work, of course.

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    1. It really can be hard to stop and just do things for yourself, can't it? It's like, instead of "Yay I have a day off that I can rest and relax and work on my own stuff" it becomes, "Oh, I have a day off now. What needs to be done for other people?" Well, it does for me, anyway. ;) Hope things go well for you today.

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    2. You said it! And of course, all I keep thinking about today is the birthday cake I didn't get around to baking yet because we went out of town. What I would really like is a whole day and night alone in my own house. I might even run naked through every room! Just because... ;-)

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  10. I feel you! I say yes to so many things in January and February that - instead of that lovely feeling "phew! holiday's are over, time to relax," I have a bubbling sense of panic. I'm painting a mural at my daughter's school for International Day (Brazilian carnival girls, if you are curious) and am chairing a charity event. I also said yes to knitting a shawl for people in hospice care. I am a crap knitter, so I don't even know what I was thinking. Yes, I have YES disease. Looking forward to March where I concentrate on ms. revisions!

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