Most of the people in my life tell me that I should not work so long or so hard or so much. They keep saying, “Take a break.” Of course, when they want something from me, they want me to be available and energetic and accept the task. I should take a break from what other people want, I guess, and from what I want to accomplish. I’m not saying that any of the people in my life are malicious or selfish users. Please let me be clear on that.
Most people are good people, and that’s especially true for the people in my life. But when a person wants something, he hopes he can get it. A person might not think about that double-standard thing going on there: Take a break, but not when I want something from you, please. Although if I said, “No. I need a break,” I think 90% of the time it would be received graciously. Your percentage wouldn’t be that high? You don’t feel so lucky? Don’t feel bad. Over the years, I have curated who is in my life, and most of them are gold. I apologize for missing a post on the 11th. I tend to write posts in spurts and to stockpile them, so I might finish up five posts on a Monday, and schedule them out for that Wednesday and the four following. The time I was working at a local daycare last year (and didn’t have the energy to write as much), I used up my stockpile, and I haven’t worked on posts very often lately. Then that Wednesday came and went, with 11 drafts and none complete.
Take a break
Did I take a break? Is that why I missed publishing a post (for the first time in a long time)? Not really, unfortunately. The Rescue Time software program tells me I did play 14 hours of computer games in one recent week, though. I was a bit ill and thoroughly exhausted, and a mindless game was all I felt like doing when I wasn’t at seeing clients at a local learning center or editing books in my home office. I hope that doesn’t come across as an excuse. It’s just simply how it is. I didn’t have much brainpower and I did not produce.
One man’s break is another man’s breaker
Nature abhors a vacuum. A person can’t “not do” something. A person has to do something. It doesn’t have to be work, of course. It could be sleeping, reading, talking, listening, eating, meditating, walking, viewing. It could be burning candles, receiving a massage, painting, jogging, or petting an animal. It can be mindful or mindless, but it has to be something. It can’t be “nothing.” I overcame much of my childhood training and I am able to sit down and be doing something other than work. I know how to relax, contrary to popular opinion. I just don’t do it often. When I need to take a break, I’ll take a break. With chronic illnesses, I get far less done than I’d like.
All the rest of the time, however, I’ll be as productive as I can. I’ll do my best to have a post for you each week—back on track. What further contributes to my reputation as a workaholic (I’m not one, I tell you, I’m not) is the fact that most of the things that I find relaxing and rejuvenating look suspiciously like work because most of them are productive. I even find some types of work to be relaxing and completely enjoyable. Freak, I know. But when you’re the one wanting me to get something done, you’ll be glad I am like I am. 😉
Over the weekend before the missed post, I received referrals from two author friends. I spent the first few days of the week answering a number of questions and going through negotiations. I signed two new book-editing clients. During that time I also heard from some small presses who would like me to be their go-to editor, and passed some time answering questions they asked. I’ve worked out an agreement with one of them, so far. I also finished line-editing and proofreading a book for another client. Since then, at least one person has contacted me each day. Not everyone who contacts me is a good referral; not everyone is at the stage that they’re ready for the kind of editing I do, and not everyone is ready to pay for a valuable service yet. I am thoroughly grateful for all of the business that’s coming to me. Thoroughly. My calendar for the year is nearly full, and it’s only February. I am thankful—deeply thankful.