Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Scenes from Winter Break

Back when I was a full time employee, reporting to my desk Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, I spent a lot of time staring out my window and dreaming about life on the other side. Of having the freedom to do what I want, when I wanted. Of dedicating my time to things that directly benefit me and my values. Of going for a walk in the middle of the day, just because the weather is gorgeous and the dogs look lonely.

Now that I am officially on winter break for the next four weeks, that life has arrived. And to be entirely honest: it's pretty awesome. Don't get me wrong - I love school, but in some ways being a full time student is more demanding then being a full time employee. When I worked at SFA, my day ended at 5pm. I didn't think about work once between Friday evening and Monday morning. I gave them 40 hours of my time (okay, a little less - someone had to read all those blogs!) and everything else was mine.

Now, things are not so cut and dry. Business and pleasure bleed together. I have lots of things to do and I can do them pretty much whenever I want, which is great (flexibility! the best!). The other side of that coin, however, is that I could always be doing something - especially when I'm not doing anything. Hello, guilt. Goodbye, relaxation. And thank god for winter break!

That said: I am still finding ways to be productive during these four blissful and stress-free weeks. My new routine goes something like this: wake up around 7AM. Internet and blog for a bit. Walk the dogs. Exercise (running + kettlebell or yoga). Shower, eat lunch, complete tasks I would normally procrastinate. (Hello, bill paying and dish washing!) After lunch, I ride my scooter to the coffee shop with my laptop and work on writing-related tasks for about three hours. Revising, mostly, but also identifying journals to which I will submit and contests I plan to enter. Come home, walk the dogs again, and start making dinner (with a big old glass of wine in hand). The next day, I do it all again.

It's pretty great and I'm starting to feel like I'm making some actual progress on my writing - making it better, stronger, instead of just producing words aimlessly and then moving on to the next story or essay. Revision makes me feel more like a writer than writing does. Funny how that works.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to fold some laundry and finish my grading. Duty calls.