Finding balance in work and play

Today was a suitable counter-balance to yesterday, I think. I cut the grass at my new apartment, moved a good deal of things in (though there are still many box-loads to go, I’m afraid), and decorated a little. It certainly was no day of playing World of Warcraft and relaxing in my current home, but not every day can be like that (I mean, they could but I would end up very unemployed, very fat, and quite unhappy, among other things), and so the work was both a necessary evil and a nice change of pace.

However, as far as daily balances of work and play (or leisure or whatever) go, I am not particularly good at finding such a nice equilibrium. Some days are very work-oriented, with me accomplishing a great deal of productive tasks. By nighttime on those days, I am tired but I feel fulfilled. It’s all very positive, really, ignoring the exhaustion and that there are some such days I still feel like I fell short of where I should have been. There are other, very similar days, when I have shirked responsibility in favor of relaxing and recovering. Days filled with video games, movies, books, and so on. They don’t really serve a practical purpose, but they leave me feeling rejuvenated and prepared for the next day of hard work.

It’s very possible to make those two days into a daily thing. I realize this is all very “hey, that’s obvious” territory, but I excel at the obvious.

What I’m talking about in this case is a total revamp of my schedule as I know it. It’s probably going to be Hell for a while, but I think if I can pull it off that it will provide me with tremendous benefits. That’s what I’m going for here, by the way. A Phil who can find a daily balance of hard work and relaxation time in the face of working eight hours five days a week and trying to become a writer, all while pretending very well at being a responsible adult. A lot of this will revolve around me making a number of relatively large changes over however long it takes, and I imagine it will involve a great deal of swearing along the way. Continue reading

Pumpkin spice season has (almost) arrived

At some point or another, September apparently showed up. Or every single calendar I’ve encountered since Sunday has been telling me horrible, cruel lies. I’m slightly more inclined to believe the former is true, however, because I’m not all that big into outrageous conspiracies on most days. This summer provided many opportunities for hilarious misadventures, but it also somehow managed to be entirely draining. From the work-related madness to the life-related madness (with a friendly reminder there was a goddamn bat in my house not too long ago), this summer has felt less like a season of vacation, rejuvenation, and fun in the sun, and more like a time of frustration, bad news so bad it bordered onto comedy, and both minor and major setbacks. That’s not to say all of the summer was bad, of course. I won a book contract, which I then over-thought to the point of making it a good and a bad thing (if you missed that you should count your blessings and move along). Brianne and I have found a new place to live, which I’m quite excited about (save for now having to cut the grass, which is far from ideal). I could probably go on for a dozen more posts about my trip to Chicago, but it’s probably for the best I don’t. You were all right, Summer of 2014, but you certainly tested me. For that I should probably be thankful. Continue reading

In hopes of forging new habits

Or “Help, I’m Experiencing a Horrible, Painful Book Hangover.”

I was planning this blog entry for earlier, and by earlier I don’t mean earlier today so much as some point yesterday.  Then I worked for ten hours, which transformed me into a three-toed sloth with a strong, overwhelming need to loaf about the couch.  I had also wanted to come up with a really witty title about having a sizable, ever-growing backlog of books (that didn’t pan out anyway, because the best I could come up with was “book-log”, and that sounds like toilet humor).

The three new habits I hope to form this year, which aren’t to be mistaken for New Year’s resolutions because, as mentioned in my last entry, I don’t usually handle those well are as follows:

  1. Read, even if only a little, every day
  2. Write, even if only a little, every day
  3. Write a journal entry every day before bed

The first one is actually what waylaid me from making an entry earlier.  Instead of writing about how I have a backlog of books to read, and how I already have some titles I want to add to my library (I’m looking at you, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove“), I ended up reading the two-hundred-some pages of “Dreams and Shadows” I had left (and hadn’t gotten around to for the past couple months, which is a shame because it’s a fantastic book).  Since a bit before my last year of college, I noticed I’d been making less and less time for reading.  Not for lack of wanting to read, and not for using the time for video games or other means of entertainment.  At some point, reading began happening less.  Yes, I realize there was probably an actual, underlying reason for that.  Since I genuinely enjoy reading, and I like to claim I’m a writer (though there is limited proof of this), I feel like I need to get back to reading, and reading often.  The intense feeling of sadness I have from finishing “Dreams and Shadows”, which I referred to above as a book hangover (if you don’t think that’s a great term, you need to reevaluate everything about your life because it is a great term) is something I’ve missed.  Falling deep into another world for hours on end is something I’ve missed even more.  And, of course, those new books I received for Christmas aren’t going to read themselves.

The second habit I intend on getting into will be a bit more difficult for me, but it’s one I need (emphasis on need over want) to get into.  I’m a writer, damn it.  I should start behaving more like one.  My schedule with my nine-to-five job, which is almost never actually 9a.m. to 5p.m. usually leaves me more ready for extended periods of sleep.  That being said, my notebook for “Joshua’s Nightmares” has been sitting out in places where it can make me feel guilty, and I acknowledge how awkward it would be if all of these lovely notebooks I have were to continue to remain blank.

Thirdly, and feeling a bit like a simple variation of the previous habit I hope to build over the course of this year, I want to start keeping a journal daily.  My all-around wonderful sister got me a TARDIS notebook this past Christmas, and I’ve been thinking about what to occupy its pages with.  A couple days ago, for whatever reason, the idea of starting a journal popped into my head.  The idea of journaling then proceeded to buy prime real estate in my head, where it built a tiny, but cozy, cottage, unpack all of its things, and refuse any notions of eviction.  I’m the sort of person who tends to worry a fair bit (read as “I’m a ball of anxiety on a regular basis”), so I thought it couldn’t hurt to have another outlet for what’s on my mind (without polluting Misadventures in Fiction with it).  It’s also a great way to make sure I do at least a little writing every day, though that one pertains more specifically to writing of a creative nature.

Anyone else working to form new or stronger habits, creative or otherwise, and feel like sharing them?  Post ’em in the comments.

And now, in line with all this positive-thinking, new-habit-forming business, I believe it’s time to write a journal entry.