Shout out to all the Johnny Cash fans who have an earworm from that post title! It’s been a few since I blogged, after a nice run back in June to kick off the summer. The six people who read this blog may be wondering where I went?
The answer is – I went nowhere. I just shifted my attention to something else for a while. I am a big believer in tackling one big habit change at a time. I stepped back, and realized that time management and health management were two areas of my life that needed a reboot, to set the foundation for other habits.
After a year of remote working, I realized I wasn’t maximizing the time I’d recouped by ditching the commute. Mainly, it went towards sleeping a later. Which is not an amazing use of my time.
So I’ve switched to a new schedule. About half my coworkers are in the UK, and half are in North Carolina. My British coworkers are more likely to urgently need my attention than the US ones. For some reason, my coworkers rarely message me in the middle of the day. So I am now working a “split shift” – four hours on “London time” and four hours on “Raleigh time,” with a 2-3 hour break in the middle of the day.
This has been pretty fantastic on the whole, both for work and for my personal life.
What have I been doing with that big ol’ block of free time? Spending time with my kids, and kickstarting better health habits. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track my diet and exercise. Exercise has consisted of catching up on TV shows while using my hybrid stationary bike/elliptical. (I am now 100% caught up on Once Upon a Time and Killjoys). Diet has consisted of boring, old-fashioned calorie counting.
It’s working really well for me. I have been pedaling away while watching cheesy sci-fi and fantasy, and scanning foods into my phone like they’re freaking Pokemon. I’m also hydrating like a beast. Which is far more trying to my soul than logging calories, because while I love veggies, I hate drinking water. Since I now have time for errands and things midday, I’ve had more time for my family in the evenings.
I do intend to return to regular blogging, and to reboot the progress I’d been making on my various writing projects. But I’m getting older. I need a plan that’s sustainable long-term, if my fiction writing is going to become more than the crazy experiment it started out being.
Which is not a knock at all against crazy, midlife-induced creative experiments! I’ll always be grateful for kicking myself in the pants and returning to writing stories. But I was reading a devotional about marriage this week. It talked about the difference between infatuation and mature, committed love. It described infatuation as “the explosion that started your marriage” and mature love as “the fuel it will run on for the rest of your life.”
You kind of need both, the explosion and the fuel, for marriage and a writing career. I’m past the “honeymoon phase” with writing. So right now, I’m setting myself up to be able to fuel that creative drive over the long haul. Which means being healthy, and consistently having the time and energy to write.