Friday, June 17, 2011

Eat. Watch. Stare.

I told myself that I would blog every day this week. And. Yeah.

Anyway.

I've been kind of sick. And also tired. Very tired. I have this tendency to work myself to the point of exhaustion. Which certainly doesn't help fight off sickness. 3 AM bedtimes do a real number on your immune system. School is also out, and as most parents of school children could probably attest to, life becomes a little more complicated when the kids are home 24-7. You have to do things like feed them and stuff.

Seriously, motherhood takes serious work, and oh my god, I'm not going into it in this post. So not the point. Assume it requires a ridiculous amount of time and physical and mental energy. But motherhood when the kids are home all the time? Well. It's beautiful. AWEsome. But. I have other activities, like volunteering or whatever. And then I have another job doing all my writerly and readerly stuff. I won't go into the laundry list. Who cares. But assume that on top of all the typical writerly/readerly and social networking stuff, I write. Obsessively. I write and revise and write more and revise and plot and research and write crap and write awesome and write more crap and write awesome and play with my kids and make them food and clean and play with my kids and then write crap/write awesome/write crap/write awesome and it just.goes.on.

So I'm busy. I stay up until 2 or later most nights. I don't watch TV. I watch a movie maybe every other week. I turn down girls' night out usually. Parties? Hmm.

Here's what I do allow myself: I give myself free time...to shower. Sometimes. I try to run a couple miles a few times a week. I take vitamins. I get the mail a few days a week. There you go. 

But since the kids have been out of school, I sort of just...got tired. I became profoundly aware of the exhaustion settling deep inside of me. I discovered this need to sleep in late and then lounge in my pajamas, sitting inside my daughter's cardboard clubhouse watching iCarly, eating pita chips with hummus. I realized that I wanted to do nothing more than watch movie after movie after movie. I wanted to watch TV.  I wanted to shop. Leisurely. I wanted to sit beside the pool, getting sweaty reading a book. I wanted to talk on the phone with my mom and my friends for hours on end. I wanted to play tag and jump on the trampoline and dance until my muscles were weak. In short, I wanted to rest.

So, sick and exhausted, I have rested. Like, letting Little Bean paint my toenails multiple colors and layers. Letting her brush my hair. With lotion. Spa day, don'tcha know. We went shopping. Picnic at the park. Movies. TV. Went to the drive-in last weekend--didn't even get home until 5 AM. Shoot, three movies in a row, but they were kickass. Totally worth it. We'll probably go again tomorrow. It's totally my fifth favorite thing to do. Today, we went to the water park. Four hours in the sun. Great fun. I even remembered to put sunscreen on. Most of me. Ouch. Still. Great fun.

This weekend, I'm going to make homemade pizza and maybe cream puffs with custard and chocolate ganache and possibly also a strawberry margarita(s). I'm going to watch loads of movies and dance and then I'm going to do nothing. Like totally nothing. Just maybe staring. Eat. Watch. Stare.

And if I try really, really hard, I won't even feel anxious. I won't think about the story waiting to unfold. Or the emails stacking up. Or messages left unanswered. Or the conference I need to pack for. I won't think about anything at all.





******************

The winner of the signed A TOUCH MORTAL by Leah Clifford is

Alison M.

Congratulations, Alison! Please email me an address where I can send you your book. Thanks so much to all who entered the giveaway. I'll be having another one shortly.

46 comments:

  1. Good policy, Carolina - give yourself a break and have a relaxing weekend!

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  2. blog every day? Aren't you too busy for that? Anyway, congrats to Alison!

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  3. I always say that the moment blogging becomes a chore for me, I;ll pull the plug. I think blogging should not be stressful or hard work. I really really don't. I know there are writerly people who blog and say that they are creating a platform and that social media stuff should be seen as work etc but ya know - life's too short to be spent in front of a pc when it's happening all around you. Besides what on earth did writerly people do before the internet?!?! Write. Ahem. Eat chocolate. Go to a pub. Sleep. :-)

    Please find your free time and enjoy!! Take care
    x

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  4. But those times are good too. I've learned that I'm usually exhausted in summer and I don't make wise decisions! So I try not to query b/c I make bad decisions.

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  5. That sounds excellent. So important to recharge, because fatigue can squash creativity! I do consider blogging part of my work, and sometimes it is a chore, but it's also fun and an exercise in discipline and creativity. However, I know I'll reach a point when I need a break. I'm not sure mine will be as fun as yours, though! Hooray for drive-in movies!

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  6. Good for you for resting and doing nothing. Sounds like you needed it. I so long for that sometimes. But with working and family and writing and blogging, it's not possible. Like ever except for maybe a day. And is summer going to be less busy? NOT. My daughter has to be at swim practice at 7:00 am. But it's worth it.

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  7. I swear you just described my life. Totally. I haven't watched TV in ages (oh wait - does iCarly count?) and movie? What's that? :)

    Glad you took a break! You need that to stay sane. And be effective. Good for you!

    And yay! Thanks so much for the contest! I'll send you an email ASAP!

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  8. Love this Carol! You just described my life too! Except my kids have movd on from iCarly to Wizards of Waverly Place and Shake it Up. Personally, I miss Sam.

    You totally deserve a break, and it sounds like you're doing a damn good job at it. Eat, watch, and stare till you're all charged up again. :)

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  9. At the start of this post, I was worried about you! You can't burn the candle on both ends for long. Well, at least I can't. :) Take care of yourself, have fun with the kids. The story will come. I struggle with trying to make the story happen on my schedule--and then I go for a walk, and the characters scream at me. I'm glad you're resting--you'll recharge and come back strong!

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  10. Good for you!!!

    It's SO important from time to time to refocus and reprioritize, to remember to live life and create moments, you know, between the moments of exhaustion that I know will resurface soon enough. Those of us that have that drive understand it, like we understand the total and necessary need for a break. :D

    Sounds like your summer is off to an excellent start!

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  11. Sometimes we need to just chill. Don't feel guilty - enjoy. Years from now, what are you going to remember most - the time spent writing or the time making memories with your family?

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  12. First, I love the lazy song and that's totally going to be me this summer (minus the hand down my pants part).

    I hear you, Carol, about everything here. I don't stay up late (if you don't count 11 pm as late), but I get up at 5 am EVERY day to blog and write. I just want to finish off my revisions before the kids are off school and I go on vacation, then I'm talking the summer easy. Just 10 more days to go. *rushes off in a mad panic*

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  13. People need to re-learn how to just be. Like when we were kids. We would just be. Good for you for realizing this! Have fun and enjoy yourself!

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  14. So glad you're getting some down time, Carol! Sounds like it's well-deserved. (And now I'm craving pita chips and hummus...)

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  15. lol I'm gonna see Bruno Mars in concert this summer.

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  16. Taking time for yourself is so important; I'm glad to read that you're doing just that. Besides, we're no good to others or to our work if we're running on vapors. :) Revel in this time--you deserve it!

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  17. Good for you!! If anyone deserves to take a break, it is you. Enjoy it. And don't worry about all the stuff piling up. THere's always a list of "need-to-do's," but there's only a few short years when you can do all these fun things and make these memories as a young family. :)

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  18. Here's to hoping you one day learn the art of doing absolutely nothing. Mwah!

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  19. You worry me with your exhaustion. I'm glad you took a break to rest up. Sounds like the perfect way to relax. (Especially the drive-in. I love those like crazy.) Don't worry about the rest of the things you need to do. You'll do them better after this mini vacation than you would have while beaten down!

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  20. Good for you girl! We all need to slow down and do that every once in a while. It helps us recharge! Enjoy, and get a nice tan while you're at it. ;)

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  21. It's called R&R for a reason. Peace of Mind is priceless, and yet highly underrated.

    On the other hand, I probably get too much of it.

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  22. Can you send some of that rest stuff over here? I've been out of it for weeks. Months?

    Glad you got some, though. I'm waiting until I get sick again (or die) to sleep. But I like to hear when others to it. :)

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  23. Glad you're feeling better. Sometimes you just need what I call a "mental health day".

    I'll be sitting by your pool reading when you get home. ;)

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  24. That was a pleasure to read! You're always telling me I deserve breaks, when you're the real one who needs rest. Soak it up!

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  25. I do this, too. I work myself to death until I crash. Then I sleep for hours and have no energy or motivation to ANYTHING.

    Take care of yourself and enjoy your down time. You totally deserve it.

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  26. Well, you know I feel your pain, and for the same reasons.

    Also, I am of the firm belief that strawberry margaritas and movie nights pretty much cure everything.

    Love you,
    L

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  27. Man, I've been on summer break from college since the beginning of May... I have done NOTHING. So don't feel bad; there are plenty of people who are lazier than you. That's what matters, right? Being less lazy by comparison to others?

    I've always thought summer vacation was kind of pointless, but after surviving my first year of college... I've realized that it's necessary. Otherwise all the students would die and no one would be around to continue to pay tuition. I say embrace your laziness for another week or two, and then slowly get back to work. You only get two-three months of this before the kids go back to school and everything gets crazy again, so enjoy it.

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  28. I'm not a doctor, but I feel pretty comfortable diagnosing you with "overcommitmentitis." Symptoms include saying yes to too many projects and are often accompanied by a distressing sense of guilt when you are unable to do all of those things perfectly. I know. I feel your pain. I suffer from this ailment too. I'm thinking of starting a support group.

    And while this wasn't the point of the post, I have to say, motherhood is hard. It's HARD, yo! I love my children and I love being a mother. But it can be hard to admit that it takes a lot out of you. That it requires a kind of selflessness and selfless devotion that sometimes comes naturally and other times . . . does not. And you feel guilty even just admitting that out loud. But we all - or at least most of us - feel it. You're in good copmany if I do say so myself.

    Oh, and there's that minor other little thing of you being involved in the emotional roller coaster of the world of an author trying to get published. Right. That.

    Hang in there and enjoy your well-deserved time off.

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  29. YAY! C I am so happy you're taking a break for the weekend--and that you've been relaxing some this week as well. You deserve bucket and bucket and bucket loads of sleep and relaxation. You've earned them.

    Also, if you want to toss some of those cream puffs with custard over to VA, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to take them off your hands ;-)

    But seriously, stay healthy. Because nothing is worth losing that, right? And also, because I get to see you next week and I want a healthy Carolina to get together with.

    I mean, if you're sick I'll bring you soup and tissues of course. But then WHO WILL DRINK ALL THE DRINKS WITH ME?

    ;-)

    See you soon <3

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  30. Carolina, you are one BUSY mom! Feel better! Enjoy the kids and have fun and be crazy. Summer doesn't last that long. Before you know it, you'll be blogging about the kids going back to school.

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  31. And yet......busy making memories. Good job! and good for you (and the Beans + Hubs)

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  32. Even in your resting phase you amaze me...and you write so very well.

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  33. Yep, yep, and yep. Me, too. Ditto. I hear ya. All that jazz. Rest, my dear, rest. Your body forced you. So glad you listened:) Your wonderful words will still be there! And we will enjoy our kids, yet still know the exact number of days until school starts. It's all good.

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  34. Being a writer and a mom is so, so hard. I thought I would have oodles of time to write this summer, but my daughter no longer takes naps and has realized Mom can be really fun. All day long.

    So I'm right there with you at 2AM--it's the only time I can get any reading/writing/revising/critiquing done!

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  35. You have been going and going and going for so long, Carol. I am so glad you took the time you needed to relax. Now you need to try and figure out how to manage everything without exhausting yourself. I think you need a set bedtime before 2am!! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs to you!!
    Kelly Polark

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  36. Congratulations to Alison. Good for you for recognizing that you needed the time off AND FOR ACTUALLY TAKING IT. Enjoy. Relax.

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  37. Congrats, Alison.

    Eating, watching, and staring sound like wonderful weekend activities.

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  38. I feel ya - between full time job and kiddos and writing and social networking and keeping the house semi clean and remembering to feed the pets it gets overwhelming at times. Good for you for taking some relax time. iCarly is so addictive :)

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  39. I hope you got to relax this weekend.

    Sometimes we need to unwind. Just make sure it doesn't turn into depression.

    Congratulations to Alison M!

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  40. I completely understand needing time to just be. I bet once you have that time then everything will flow again. :)

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  41. You just perfectly expressed in this post exactly what I'm going through right now. And my family can attest, I have been singing The Lazy Song all weekend! It's kind of freaky how closely this post resembles my life right now. I just want to play games with my daughter and take the kids to the pool or bowling or take a nap or go for a run, so that's what I've been doing. Writing is definitely getting the short end of the stick right now. I'm taking a blog break starting next week, so I can enjoy the kids while they're home and spend time with family. Go ahead and enjoy and relax and don't let those worries get to you. Kids won't be kids forever, and summer will never be the same once they're all grown up.

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  42. Carol, I totally understand how you feel. I've been feeling like that recently. Like I just want to lay about and watch movies and eat ice cream. I too have worked myself to the point of exhaustion except that my work wasn't writing but a crappy day job that isn't remotely what I want to do with my life. So the break is complicated because while I revel in not working so hard, I'm thinking of all the writing I need to catch up on.

    Jai

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  43. yes yes yes.

    Oh and yes.

    Good for you for resting. A bit. (I know you're really still working harder than a lot of people even when you think you're being lazy...)

    Love that song, too.

    Happy SUMMER!

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  44. You totally deserve a break! All that fun will totally recharge the batteries so you can write obsessively again soon.

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  45. Aw, we all need a time for rest and reflection (or at least, time to sit and stare and NOT think!) and I'm glad you were able to recharge for your next reading and writing marathon! ;)

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