Recently, I realized how I need to let this blog be part of my life, not my entire life.
The day my friend left town this week, I had nothing else to do — and today I also had nothing to do, since I didn’t get called into work. As a substitute teacher, I get a fair amount of time off, just random days that I can do whatever I want.
Sounds like the ideal life, mostly. It’s what I’ve been needing.
Lately, I’ve just been blogging, honestly, or reading other people’s blogs. Wasting time on Facebook, reading tweets, trying to keep up with social media for this blog. Today, I went for a walk with G, got some grocery shopping done, played with Matrix a little. In the evening, we watched some Gotham on Netflix. (Please tell me what you think of this show — I like it, but I’m hearing mixed reviews!)
I’m consciously trying to take more time to myself even away from my blog because life is so much more than that. How can I write if I have nothing to really write about? I have opinions, and I can write about things that I’ve done, but eventually I’m going to run out of things to say because all I’ve done is sit at home with my kitten and my keyboard.
When I finished my last teaching job, I was so excited to start reading for pleasure a change! The same friend who came to visit (let’s call him P, he’ll come up again soon I’m sure) lent me a whole bunch of Spiderman comics a couple years ago, and I never had time because of school. Now, I do, and I still haven’t gotten through one whole book. I’ve made a dent in one, but come on! What am I doing?! I started reading Bill Nye’s Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, and I’ve barely made a dent in that either.
So, my ideal day off begins with sleeping until I wake up naturally, making myself a cup of tea, and reading all day until I need to go outside for a break: a walk in the neighbourhood with G, catch up with how he’s doing. Then I’d go online, read some blogs, check out Facebook, maybe write a post or two, taking breaks to play with Matrix. In the evening, I would either watch a show or movie with G, or go for dinner with him, if we have the money.
I left out exercise, I know. Right now I’m feeling the need to relax. And walking is exercise, right? If it’s for an hour and a half? Yes. Yes, it is.
So with all this time off, why I haven’t I just made my ideal day a reality?!
Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold . . .
— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life”
Vincent makes such a good point — and I’ve come to realize this for myself. The problem for me is that I’m not used to all this time! I’ve had to consciously reach out and try to find things to do because I can’t even remember what I did for fun. My life was theatre shows I was doing to learn more, or theatre I was doing for classes, or teaching for classes or work. Free time has been so unheard of for so many years — I’ve been having to schedule in time to hang out with friends and with G, and when I did happen to have the luxury of time alone, I mostly just spent it taking a nap or surfing the internet. (What else?!)
And now, I’m discovering that blogging is freaking addictive. I just want to write all the time, read all the time, read about blogging all the time.
Recently G and I decided to schedule time together. Since living together, we’ve grown to kind of stop doing the things we loved to do in the beginning: just talking for hours on end, going for walks, visiting cool shops with no intention to buy anything… so now, Friday or Saturday night (whichever is free) is dedicated to that.
I think I’m going to have schedule time for myself too. So far it’s getting better — that audition I went to? I got a part! I’ve been having rehearsals for a little while now, and show is on the 28th. So that’s some scheduled break time, doing something I love. (Achievement unlocked: To thine own self be true!)
But I’m going to have to schedule in reading time as well. I’m finding that I love writing so much I keep not reading, which is really counter-intuitive, especially considering I just wrote a post that mentions how reading helps you write.
And I mean, I love reading!
Besides, I’m sure P wants his books back.
What do you do with your free time? How do you reset and give yourself breaks — is there anything you need to do to help stay balanced?
Is there something you think I should write, or a topic I should write on? Head to my contact page and send me your suggestions!