What I Mean When I Take a Day

Blog Post No. 431

giphy-2I’ve noticed that over that last few months, I’ve mentioned taking a day or the weekend (off) more than I usually would. Not so much that I feel that I’m falling behind (or any more behind than I always do) but enough that I felt like a post was warranted. Part of the reason why I’m commenting on it more is that, since I have so much less going on in my life right now, I have less to write about. It’s been a real struggle to keep coming up with interesting topics and based on the views over the last few weeks, it’s been hit and miss on that front. I’ve been at home only going out for grocery trips spread out as much as possible and a weekly drive to make sure the car battery doesn’t go dead from lack of use.

The other big reason is that I’ve actually taken more days off than I usually do. I think it comes directly from being laid off from the day job. My schedule was inconsistent at the day job. How much time and energy it took from everything else wildly varied based on the season. There would be months (usually early in the year) when I had a few regular shifts a week and lots of free time. I could get a bunch of writing and other stuff done and feel rather productive (if a little tight in the pocketbook). Other times I was working constantly and struggling to find the time and energy to write. Now, though, I’m not going into work, so I have all the time I want to write (and edit and so on). I’m getting quite a bit more done, but I have even more time on my hands. There is a lack of stress from the day job, but plenty of other stressors in my life. More importantly, no matter how much time you have,  you eventually hit a wall and need to take a break.

giphy-3But that’s enough of me making excuses. I really wanted the bulk of this post to be about what I do when I do nothing all day. Most of the time, it isn’t really nothing. There is always some basic housework or other things on my to-do list. Like I mentioned, I’ve been going for drives once a week since I’ve been driving so little. I’ve also gotten all my tax info together to bring it to the accountant this week (I don’t trust myself to do it on my own). Sometimes I’ll not get any writing done in a day, but I’ll have spent my time sweeping, cleaning, and (one of my favourite tasks) organizing. When I can get into a routine, I love to set aside Sundays as a cleaning day. I’ll do everything from laundry to backing up my computer hard drive.

Taking a day, though, means doing a lot of nothing. I may spend my time playing a single video game from morning to bedtime with breaks for food. Sometimes I’ll dig into some old television show or some movies (usually with a loose theme of some kind) or try to finish a book in a day. One of my most memorable days off was a few years a go. I remember it was on a Wednesday. I had plenty to do with writing (not sure what it was at the time) but I was completely overwhelmed and couldn’t get started. I think there was one of the episodes of Flags and High Fives to be edited, too. Instead, I spent the entire day watching Studio Ghibli movies and playing Minecraft.

giphy-4I drank a couple of pots of coffee (the small ones I have, so, like, one medium sized carafe worth) and chilled. I can still remember the feeling of that day. It was great, even though I was extra stressed for it the rest of the week. It was totally worth it. That was the day I first watched Whisper of the Heart, my favourite of the Ghibli movies. On one of the recent days off, I spent the time playing a video game with my brother and we ordered a pizza. We ended the day by watching a hockey game. It doesn’t get much better than that.

It’s surprising how much writing and editing can take out of a person. Right now, I’m waiting on more reviews to come in and while I have plenty to do, I’m finding myself having trouble getting started when I sit down at the computer. Right now, I think it’s mostly due to being worn out from being at home all the time. I’ve tried to make up for the lost time at the computer by getting other work done around the house. Having to shovel the driveway due to the recent snowfall was probably the most prominent, though really it’s not that big a job. It was nice to get outside and be a little active, though. I know it won’t be long until I get all excited over the next project. It always happens this way at the end of a novella or other book. I get worn out and eager for it to be over, then I jump into the next thing and lose myself all over again.

giphy-5Not to say I won’t take more days in the coming months. I have to say, it’s better than being stuck at the day job then struggle to get the same amount of writing or editing done in the evenings and not having any time to relax. I’ll take getting the work done and relaxing every time. I may have leaned too much into the relaxing lately, though. But it’s always an ebb and flow. Hopefully I can knock out Break/Interrupt in the next few weeks and use the momentum to jump to the next thing with both feet.

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