Yesterday, I spent almost 12 hours outside. . . and today, aside from the poison ivy on my ankles and the mild sunburn, I feel amazing. Revived. Balanced.
For a while last evening, I sat on the edge of Mom’s garden and planted impatiens in her favorite color – salmon. Then, I put down the trowel and just stared off at the chicken run. I thought about what it was like to have her as my mom, and I thought about how much I miss her. I cried . . . and then just as I needed to either give in to the sorrow or get on with it, our neighbor Roy wandered over with his dog Spot, and Philip and I spent a lovely time talking with him over the fence line while Spot and Meander played on the hill behind us.
I’m refreshed today. Rested, even as I’m physically quite tired from putting in the vegetable garden and carrying goat kids around.
I need to make some changes.
Normally, I spend at least 12 hours a day on this computer – writing, doing work for clients, reading – and I love all of those things.
But I think that this much time in front of a screen is causing me to be unbalanced in a few ways:
- It is very hard for me to work on one task from start to end. I want to flip away, do something else, distract myself. I think this tendency may be caused by tabs on my browser, or rather, my desire to have a constant awareness of everything. I’m not sure this is healthy. I think there may be something to be said for a time delay, the way information gets filtered, distilled, brightened through minutes and hours.
- My stress level is very high, so high sometimes that my chest hurts. I don’t want to feel that way. I don’t want to worry all the time about what I need to do.
- I don’t give myself enough time to think. I’m always taking in new information, absorbing new tasks, responding – quickly – to new things. I don’t think deeply much anymore.
- My ability to set boundaries is slipping. Because I can almost always access my email or Facebook, I find it hard to not respond to messages and needs right away, even in the evening when I don’t want to work.
Something has to change.
Right now, I need to work a lot of hours, and I love what I do – editing, writing, managing. So that stays.
I love connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter, so while I’ll do that significantly less, those stay, too.
But for a while now, I’ve felt like blogging 6 days a week is a bit too much for me. For a while, this blog was part of my daily writing practice, and I loved it for that. But now, I’ve got the practice down at 5am, so I don’t need the blog for that work.
Plus, some mornings, I feel like I’m really stretching to have something meaningful to say.
Thus, I’m going to be blogging less. I’ll still be doing Writers Write interviews on Saturdays (Be sure to check out the interview with Aimee Bender from this past Saturday.), and I’ll definitely be writing about writing, research for the book about my family, and the general stuff of life at least two other times a week.
But beyond that, I’m stepping back a bit – reclaiming this screen time to play with puppies and goats and baby chicks, tugging that incessant grass out of the radishes, and sitting and staring on the front porch.
Maybe my writing less will mean a bit less screen time for you, too?
Or maybe it will just mean you’ll come visit us here on the farm? We’d love that.
How do you balance screen time and the other things in your life? Do you find that balance hard to maintain?