January 11, 2012

Embracing Couches: ROW80 Check In

There's something seriously wrong with me. I cannot sit on a couch. I'm someone who has to stay in perpetual motion or risk melting into a pile of overtired, overworked goo. I don't sit down for fear my mind will register the need to take a break.

I joke with my husband that he has a magnet in his butt that immediately engages with the matching magnet in the couch if he's within ten feet of it. This isn't entirely true, but my husband does find plenty of time in the evening and on weekends to sit on our couch.

Constant motion keeps me on task. I don't even love sitting down at my desk, but I get so mentally stimulated that it still feels like motion. When I sit on a couch, I feel tired within fifteen minutes. There's no getting back up. I know this about myself, so I rarely sit.

Soon guilt has its say... my oldest daughter was talking to me the other day, following me from room to room. She finally stopped and asked if she could just have ten minutes with me standing still. It was all I could do. I literally felt jumpy. That's sad.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to embrace life, especially time with my family and friends. I have to fight my own "get it done" personality to do this. Since I work from home (as a writer and mother), I don't get to leave work and refocus. I feel like I live at my office, constantly reminded of all the tasks I haven't completed.

I'm really working on resetting my all work and no play mindset. Just the other day, my daughter was goofing off. I needed her to get some stuff done, like her homework, reading, and trombone practice. Frustrated, I told her she'd never be on her deathbed wishing she'd sat on a couch more days of her life. After I said it, it hit me. Wait, I think the saying is supposed to go more like, "Nobody ever sat on their deathbed and wished they had worked more."

I have to find more balance, play more. I know it makes me a better person when I find time to disconnect.

What are your suggestions for striking a balance between responsibilities and living life to the fullest?

ROW80 Update

I am going to Colorado to visit my girlfriends for five days starting tomorrow. Five days! I've never left my kids for five days. Plus, I've been really focused on goals since this round started. I'm terrified of losing momentum.

I think this will be good for me, all fears and worries aside. I need to find ways to unwind and disconnect. If I don't, I'm just going to end up burning out. Hopefully I will come back refreshed and ready to balance work and family, having missed them both.

On to my update...

Writing: Surpassed my minimum 500 words a day with a total of 1,682 words from Sunday through yesterday. My goal while I'm gone is to write a couple of days. No pressure. The point is to unwind and enjoy.

Blogging: Posted daily here and already three posts this week on Mom in Love with Fiction. I'm keeping up with checking on everyone. I need to spend some time on Twitter, but I'll set that goal once I'm back. I will still post daily while I'm gone, thanks to a marathon session of prewriting and scheduling posts.

Reading: I let this slide this week knowing I'm heading to vacation with my Kindle and a couple of books. I also joined another reading challenge: 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge

Editing: On hold until I get back. I'm taking my laptop, so if I'm up at night... we'll see.

Exercise: My Colorado friends are great motivators for a healthy lifestyle, so I'm not worried about keeping up my momentum here.

Hope everyone is doing well this week and finding time to work and play.


Julie Jordan Scott said...

I feel a twinge of envy for your trip... it sounds like this time away may be the perfect time to create a balance plan.

I am recovering from being far too focused on work & rushing rushing rushing. Life is so much better now that I will take a spontaneous walk or chase the sunset with my camera on occasion (sometimes with kids) and meeting a friend for coffee and a writing session.

I look forward to hearing how all this goes for you!

Trisha Philbrook said...

I think it is great that you know yourself and that you have set the goal to play more. Nice Post.

Lisa Berquist said...

You may find if you can truly disconnect and take time you will even be more productive! Enjoy your time away. I am in Colorado and it is snowing today so enjoy the beauty!

Anonymous said...

I'm a perpetual motion machine too. When I sit, that left knee just starts bouncing away like it's waiting for the starting gun. The way I've struck my balance is in WHAT moves I make. I'm a gardener for pleasure...it allows me to stay in motion, but at the same time it keeps me moving towards a productive end. And it can't be rushed, or you kill the pretty and yummy plants.

Another thing I do is rush rush, so I often end up places early - and I refuse to carry a book. This means I have 10-30 minutes to sit and just be, or 10-30 minutes for a stroll through someplace new.

Holly GM said...

Have fun and BE in the chair your sitting in, be in the moment! :)

Yolanda Early said...

I'm always thinking I should be doing something even when I am supposed to be taking it easy. I realized that I have more of a "get it done" personality than I ever realized.

I wrote a personal mission statement, and in it a commitment to focus on the things that make life worth living. I read it all the time to remind me of how I CHOOSE to live my life.

Just making the choice to embrace couches and to take time for yourself will make a world of difference. Kick back a bit.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I think I feel guilty because 1) I've really been staying focused and 2) I just took off to enjoy family over Christmas.

But I'm going to enjoy it and use airport time to catch up on things that have been slipping.

Now I'm off to see how all of you are doing!

Anonymous said...

I can sit just fine...but I always have some part of my body moving. I'm a fidgeter. My husband will sometimes reach over and stop my leg from bouncing. I can't help it!

Enjoy your Colorado trip! It looks like you're doing great on your ROW80 goals.

Unknown said...

You and I are so very alike. I am constantly in motion, except when I'm sitting at my desk working. But even then I have to get up every fifteen minutes and take a lap around the house to pop a load of clothes in the washer or fold a blanket someone left on the floor. It's difficult for me to be still for any length of time, because I am always thinking about the things that need to get done. I don't sit in the recliner until it's time to "rocky" my youngest, and then I am usually out like a light!

Anonymous said...

Life is one big rush, isn't it? The trick is to go against that tide once in a while. Learning to do that is hard.

Isn't guilt to do more ingrained in us? And there is pressure from everywhere to do more, do more.

Try to take time away from the electronic devices (Kindle possibly excepted). And try not to feel nervous about that. Sit and look at scenery and do it for long stretches. Walk. Eat at good places.


Nadine Feldman said...

I thought when I left my corporate job a few years ago that I would slow down. It hasn't been the case! This morning I woke up feeling sluggish and tired, but guilty for wanting to take a day off. Truth is, I do better and even get more done when I slow life down...but it's easier said than done!

Trips are great, though. I hope yours is wonderful!

Taslim Jaffer said...

When I read your weekly check-ins I wonder how in the world you get all that done! Now I know :) I am constantly having to evaluate what's on my plate because my oldest is only in preschool (and therefore only occupied in the mornings Mon-Fri) while my younger one is not quite 2. So, while I'd love to write, read and fundraise all day, I know that I can't so I've learned to decipher between a yes and a no. It hasn't been easy and at times I have felt resentful for not being able to do what I love all day long but I am considering this to be training in balance. Hopefully even when the kids are in school full-time I will be able to look at my plate and go "Nope, don't need to do that". For example, as much as I love reading (and now starting to get into reviewing), I will try to stick to one or two goals in this area.

The other thing that keeps me in check is my health - I know that if I'm not healthy I can't do anything I love and that is enough to make me want to replenish my mind, body and soul with rest.

Your drive and focus are inspiring, Tia! Enjoy your trip!

Tia Bach said...

Your comments have all inspired me to slow. it. down. Let's hope I can make the changes to accomplish it.

Loving CO!! I have really disconnected, so unlike myself. I love it, but don't want to get too used to it. ;-)