In the nearly 7 years I’ve been writing full time I was never under a huge amount of pressure. I never kept my deadlines I always knew I could push them back and I did. Frequently. Hubby never pressured me either, so I was accountable to no one really. I know what you’re thinking, “Sure you were, you were accountable to you”.
Here’s the thing, I wasn’t, I mean when you can push back every deadline that you, yourself created, when you feel nothing is at stake, then there is no need for accountability.
Where am I going with this? A little over a year ago my sister offered to take over the managerial position of my writing business. This was a load off for me because now I can just concentrate on my writing. She never pressured me either, she let me do my thing and she worked on learning the business. (To be honest I think she was a little afraid to push)But still in my mind, or at least a part of it, I had no real responsibilities. And of course the result of that were no new books being published, no traction gained, no forward motion in my career.
Around November of last year my sister had enough of my slack and idle attitude. And frankly so did I, but when you’ve been slack and idle for so long it’s hard to break the habit. Well she sat me down and said “Enough is enough, I’m putting you on a schedule, we need to start producing.” I also had the same private conversation with myself, but wasn’t so nice about it. For the next hour or so of that conversation we had the next two years planned out. I won’t go into the details since I did that earlier this year.
What’s the point of this whole lota feels like nothing topic? Since January of this year I have had a total of four colds. Yup, four knock me down, makes me useless, coughing up a lung, sleep all day colds. And so has Hubby. Of course I kept blaming him for bringing the plague home with him since he was the one leaving the house every day. Well until now. He’s been out of town for a week and it wasn’t until three days after he left I got the fourth knock me down cold.
So I’ve been thinking about this, I don’t think this is a simple cold virus running rampant through my home. No this is something else, this is stress. At least 80% of this is stress. Sure that first cold of the year was just a cold, but now our immune systems were depleted and we were left defenseless.
See Hubby’s job is super hectic and crazy. He’s on call 24/7, even when he’s on vacation his work doesn’t leave him alone. He never fully shuts down never gets a real break. Me, well my habits have changed drastically and practically overnight. I’ve written a book to near completion (it’s currently with the editor) in about 3-4 months and have already started the next. This is a first time for me. I’ve always taken a month or two break in between books. Not to mention the fact that the times when the betas and my editor has the book I do nothing. That’s right bubcus, nada, zilch, nothing-o-rama... well you get the point.
This change is drastic and could be seen as stressful. I didn’t think I was that stressed. I thought I was handling everything quite well. I was horrifyingly wrong.
I couldn’t quite figure out why my sister kept asking me when I was going to take some time off and go on a vacation. I thought it strange since I didn’t really need to. Plus we are saving up to go on a huge blowout trip to Disney World in January of 2021. So two years of no travelling or time away. No problem. Right?
Then I got to wondering “When was the last time we got away. Even for just a weekend. February 2018 we went to Colorado. He spent most his time hiking and I spent my time in a writing seminar and networking. (It is way funner than it sounds).
In the past we would try to get away a few times a year to recharge, usually a three or four day trip to do a race of some kind. And here’s the kicker, we rarely got sick.
So here’s the moral of this long winded story. Even if you don’t feel like you’re stressed, even if you love what you do (which I do). It’s still vitally important to take the time to decompress. You need to slow down, unplug, get away. Or you’ll end up in a perpetual loop of never ending colds. If you can’t afford to travel, then spend a weekend with your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and take long walks in nature. Take up yoga, sleep, spend at least 48 hours not thinking about or attending to work related topics.
Take care of yourself, take care of your body because one day when you don’t expect it, when it’s the worst timing ever your body is going to fight back.
I have a tendency to ramble when talking to friends. I figured why not share my ramblings here with you nice people!