Monday, June 15, 2009

Serenity Tip: Doing What You Have To, Giving Yourself What You Need

You may have noticed radio silence from me over the past week or so. An odd thing happened at the end of the blogathon. I was plum out of energy. After filing a big story last week, then my birthday, and then a little break between assignments, I found myself with free time.

My usual approach is to keep working full days. After all, there's always something to do:
And of course, and perhaps most important, querying for more work.

One of my coaching clients has said that she has found, in the time between assignments, that life encroaches. It sure does.

But what I decided to do was something that seemed sane but never occurred to me before: I worked half days. I let myself sleep in every day (that extra hour of sleep is life-giving), and when I got up I sent a query. Then I did whatever else I wanted. I went to the gym. I went shopping (birthday gift certificates in hand). I read a guilty-pleasure book. I called friend.

And I capped it off with a weekend out of town that consisted mostly of soaking in a hot tub while reading.

And I'm here to tell you that the world did not fall apart. In fact, I came back and the first thing I did after saying hello to the kittens was finally throw out a bunch of old magazines that I'd been vacillating on keeping for months.

Amazing how inspiration strikes at the right time.

You may be in a slow period, and if you, like me, are a workaholic, consider a contrary action: Do what absolutely has to get done. Then get out of the office and enjoy your life.

If, on the other hand, you have a hard time getting started, please don't take this post as permission to put off your work to another day. The key is contrary action: Doing something against instinct. It can be healing. It was for me this week.

Photo by m o d e.

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