As you know, I spent the long Christmas weekend at my family’s beach house. During the return drive, I had a lot of time to think. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you saw an introduction to this post. Here are some of those thoughts:
- I need to take more “me-time” and take advantage of the family beach house on a semi-regular basis. As an extension, I need to plan early in the year or before the new year how to use all of my vacation days, which shouldn’t be a problem in 2016.
- As a corollary of 1 – this could really be 1a – I need to build time to slow down. It’s okay to say no to plans and take time for myself. In fact, it’s better to live for yourself than for everyone else.
- TRANSFERENCE!!!! That’s the word I couldn’t think of when I initially wrote about the beach and questioned if I’m pushing Finn to hard or if I’m transferring pushing myself too hard onto her. Answer to both: yes. Most likely. (It’s also really hard on Finn to spend a few days completely together and then leave her when I return to work. The puppy eyes she gave me Monday morning…I almost didn’t leave.) (Thank you, E., for giving me the word!)
- There’s something (okay, a lot of things) to be said for staying someplace so deserted, the only sounds are the ones you’re making (popcorn popping, tv playing, typing, talking to Finn, Finn shaking her ears), the roar of the ocean, the howling of the wind, and the blast of the fog horns. It’s peaceful. It’s relaxing. It’s recharging. It’s comforting.
- It’s okay to ditch “real life” and the I-have-to’s and the I-need-to’s to get yourself back on track. But don’t wait too long or it won’t be enough.
- It’s okay not to accomplish all of your goals. When I went east, I said there are certain things I want to accomplish:
- Take a bath (there’s a large soaker tub in the master bathroom and I don’t have a tub in my house)
- Bring Finn to the dog park in Southampton
- Visit the J. McLaughlin store in Southampton
- Start reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- Write a blog post
- Learn how to write a business plan
- Start writing said business plan
I didn’t do all of these. In fact, I didn’t do most of them. Instead of freaking out the way I’m wont to do when I don’t do everything I set out to do, I was perfectly calm and accepting. So what did I do? Let’s go in order. I didn’t do 1 (I couldn’t figure out how to plug the drain), I did do 2, I didn’t do 3 (Saturday was the coldest and windiest day of the weekend and I had no desire to go out beyond walking Finn), I didn’t do 4 (I started the book when I got home Sunday night), I did do 5 (I wrote 3 posts), I didn’t do 6 or 7 (the scenery didn’t feel right for something so formal).
- That’s why writers go on retreats or have a place to work that isn’t in their house!! Now it makes sense. When I opened my Surface to write the one post I planned on writing, I ended up writing three, including the intentional one. The words just flowed from my fingers and I couldn’t make it stop. There’s something about not being home that allows the creativity juices to run freely. (The three posts are this one, this one, and this one.) The writing carried over when I came home but it’s taken me a lot longer to write this post than it did the others. Home has too many distractions (do the dishes, cook food for the week, do the laundry, organize the bedroom) that place dampers on the spigot of creativity.
- It’s okay not to spend all day Sunday cooking food for a week’s worth of breakfast and lunches. It’s okay to place orders with Trainer J to have paleo food delivered and eat that for a week. I don’t need to do it all.
Tell me, Fitters, how do you encourage creativity when working/writing from home and not from a getaway? I look forward to hear from you, as always. Wishing you all the best in 2016!
Author’s Note: Post has been edited to include # 8.