I recently enjoyed a couple weeks off from working on blogs, vlogs, and writing. I also took a break from media, although I’m pretty scaled-down in that area already. I don’t do news and deleted FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram ages ago. However, I have a bad habit of checking my book states, checking in on my channel and blog to respond and reply to comments. It’s really not necessary to do this several times a day. Once in the morning is perfect.
I have been researching, reading up, and building my channel and blog and writing career for a solid five years now and burn out was tip-toeing behind me ready to throw a net over my head and take me down. I took the time off and the first couple days I would sip coffee quietly for hours while watching Sam and Arjan create with their toys, we listened to music all day because they were not to be on the Chrome book either during this fast. I would find a sunbeam on the nicely made bed and stretch out to just drift in and out all afternoon, something I can’t remember doing in the past many years. I literally rested my poor busy brain and stopped all thought. I promised myself that not only would I not do work but I would not think about it as well.
After a few days of rest, I began tending to my house. I felt like a full-time housekeeper and was amazed at how much there really is to do just to keep a house in top shape. We have it up for sale and it has to be clean and fresh every day. Thus I brewed the coffee, donned the apron and clocked in daily to wash, scrub, vacuum, and dust through the day. I even scrubbed baseboards that showed neglect, shampooed rugs, washed throw rugs, and washed the fingerprints off walls and doors.
Then we decided to have a little fun so the family and I combined a small road trip and thrift shopping in Vacaville. We also drove the extra miles to dine at an old favorite, the China Wall, in Concord. We set a budget before we left since we are still saving like mad while in a holding pattern for purchasing a new home. We found some fun toys for the boys and mama, some jackets for dad and went a little over the budget but a fellow shopper and the cashier let us in on some saving ideas. When we became members we received 50% off and walked away paying very little for all our loot.
This charming teapot along with two fun area rugs were part of my finds that day.
I decided to take a break from scratch cooking as well and turned to easier meals and we also decided to try some new dishes as I felt my family was growing weary of the same old budget-friendly potatoes and beans. Who wouldn’t tire of that after a while, right? So, I tried all sorts of new dinners and snacks to perk up our pallets.
This time of rest was so delicious. It was like the old days when the boys were babies and I was rarely on the computer except to look up homemade laundry soap or a bread recipe. Before I was writing or had a channel. I only had my home and babies to focus on. It does get old after some time and I’m so grateful for the hobbies that have turned into small careers, but I’ve had to go back to “before” to bring some balance into our lives.
I have also been enjoying some classes online. I enrolled in Masterclass. com last March and forgot all about it. It has all these wonderful and popular authors speaking on the craft and ways of writing fiction and some nonfiction. I love the way they have it all set up and I can listen to Judy Blume or David Sedaris while crocheting and being inspired.
I want to focus on my fictional writing again. I order books from the authors I listen to and signed up for a book reading challenge on Goodreads. I ambitiously challenged myself to 100 books, despite not completing the 50 book challenge last year, but I’m a new gal today!
What did I learn on my leave? I learned so much about my family and myself. I have listened to hours of Ted Talks on unschooling furthering my decision to take this approach with my boys. There is a wonderful homeschooling charter in the mountains that we are on a waiting list for. At the school, they will attend twice a week full days and immerse themselves in art, theater, Greek mythology, Shakespear, and play in the forest by the creek behind the school. They will have wonderful friends and a good social life. The children are mixed…big kids with little kids in a small school and I love that. The boys will also have the Forest school one day a week that they have been attending. But at home, they are unschooled and can find their passions and what brings them joy to learn about and explore. I committed to this decision after fighting for days with my eldest over getting his math completed. My boys are self-driven and Arjan is probably many grades ahead due to his own thirst to learn about everything. So he hates math. So do I. One day he will find a way to learn and enjoy it. Sam is self-driven as well but enjoying his little years as he should. I have seen the light and I need to get out of their way. After all, I’m no natural teacher. All I can and will do is provide all the materials and tools they desire to learn fully. I can create an environment of natural exploration.
I have decided to fully commit to fictional writing. No more homemaking books for now, besides, I believe I’ve written all I can on that subject in my efforts to avoid the work of becoming a storyteller. I love my Master Classes and I will dive deeply into the world of reading…which I’ve neglected awfully. I will begin by writing short fiction. Novellas…novelettes. Novels are exhausting.
I’m feeling rested and just adore all my creative endeavors and all of you that visit. I’m happy to return a bit early. But I will be taking vacations often now that I see what a wonderful and refreshing treat for the mind, body, and soul they are. Not to mention how revitalizing for the imagination and work.
When was your last vacation?