Category Archives: self-care

Managing the Internet Time-Suck

To start off today, I have to announce a new story. Still Waters Run Deep is now posted at Turtleduck Press, and it marks several firsts for me — it’s the beginning of a serial, and it was inspired by my Asia trip. To be precise, it’s a fantasy story set in a world that looks something like Thailand. And did I mention it’s free?

I’ve been thinking a lot about something I wrote here two weeks ago:

3. The Internet isn’t that important. When I was travelling, Internet time was severely limited. What did I spend it on? Email and Facebook, to stay connected with people back home. Blogging. Travel research. A handful of other sites. Everything that didn’t make the cut is superfluous. Instead of being bombarded with a flow of information and LOLcats, I was bombarded with new sights and new experiences…in other words, with life. As a writer, I can’t stay away completely — I need to keep up with blogs and other social media, publishing news, and so on — but I can take a good, hard look at my Internet usage.

As you might imagine, it’s hard to make lasting change, no matter how good one’s intentions. The Internet is my entertainment of choice, up near books and way ahead of TV or movies or music — plus it’s a social hub and a professional necessity. So I’m finding myself getting sucked back in…and then feeling guilty about it, of course. But this time, I’m paying attention.

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Coming Home with Fresh Eyes

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes wish that you could step back and look at your life with fresh eyes. A new perspective on your time spent, your priorities, your living arrangements…what would it look like?

Well, I’m lucky enough to be experiencing just that. I’ve just returned from a three-month trip through Asia. My house looked pretty unfamiliar when I first stepped in the door, let me tell you — and not just because I haven’t lived here that long. I’m still working to get a handle on post-travel life, but here’s what I’ve got so far…

0. We’re lucky to live in a first-world country. There’s a lot we take for granted in countries like Canada. But you knew that, and I won’t elaborate on it, because for the purposes of this post, that’s not what I’m interested in.

1. I have too much stuff. I spent three months living out of two backpacks (more about that in a future post). Did I miss my closet, let alone the entire rest of my house? No. Do people over there own as much as we do? No — of course there’s a lot more poverty, but even the middle-class homes we visited were compact apartment-style residences, not overflowing with stuff. Now that I’m back, I can’t remember what I actually liked to wear, for example, and what was just in my closet because I didn’t want to get rid of it yet. There’s stuff everywhere and it all looks strange to me. Calling FlyLady

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Ten Lessons Learned in 2012

2012 was a year of change for me. My life circumstances morphed in several ways — all for the better, but I found myself tested pretty severely at times. I came through stronger, though. Here’s what I learned…

Decisions

  • I hate making choices, especially important ones with lasting repercussions, so making a lot of them in a short period of time isn’t good for my mental health.
  • Despite that, I can still be a decision-making guru when I need to be and not fall into a million wibbling little pieces…mostly.
  • Even though decisions are hard, most decisions aren’t life-altering.
  • With the ones that are, I’ll just know the right path, even if I’m scared. Or the path will turn out to be right, one or the other.

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7 Tips for Dealing with Life’s Curveballs

This week, life threw me a curveball. Due to a freak folk dancing accident, I’m going to be hobbling around for a while. Sucks, right? Yes. But not as much as one might think.

At another time in my life, I would have been a complete emotional mess if something like this happened. Waterworks (tears), worries running rampant in my head, growling at my loved ones. But that’s just not the case right now. Sure, I’m a little worried, and yes, I shed a few tears, but overall I’m pretty mellow.

What’s changed?

First of all, it helps that I’m pretty happy with my life right now, and I don’t have any urgent plans that have been thrown into disarray (like, say, moving into a new house or going to a writers’ convention). Second, as disasters go, this one is pretty minor. But those are factors you can’t control, so I’m less interested in them for the purposes of this post.

So what have I learned about dealing with injury and other curveballs?

1. Acknowledge your emotions. First, it’s important to let yourself feel fear, or grief or whatever you need to feel. Share them with someone who’ll listen, too.

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Seeking Productivity Tips

Okay, blog readers. I need your best tips.

I recently finished a major project (not a writing project, alas) that was sucking up all my time and energy. That was over two weeks ago. I’ve been reading and relaxing and recovering, which is all fine and good, but I’ve been having a heck of a time getting anything done. It’s sort of like post-NaNo slump, except I don’t feel drained, just unmotivated.

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Learning to Have Fun

1.

I’ve been thinking lately about having fun, reclaiming fun, relearning that pure intense joy that we have as children and so often lose as adults.

Alice Bradley of Finslippy.com writes:

I cannot begin to tell you how fun this [art] class was. It was stupid fun. I can’t explain it. We didn’t do anything ground-breaking. But by the end of the class I was giddy. I get such joy from this, it’s embarrassing. Why is it embarrassing, you ask? That is an excellent question…

(read the rest)

I could talk about responsibilities and adulthood. I could talk about how being with my significant other can make even the most mundane or tedious thing fun, as long as we both let it happen. I could talk about contra dance, the thing that is for me what art is for Alice (oh wait, I already did) (and no, it’s not writing…that’s a whole ‘nother blog post).

But today I want to focus on buses.

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3 Ways to Cope with Being Stuck in Transition

Have you ever felt stuck between two stages of life? Maybe you’ve graduated college/university but haven’t found a job yet, or you’re working on making a dream happen but it’s still a ways off?

That’s where I am right now. I’m about to move into my first house — an exciting stage to be sure, but it’s taken a long time to get here and still isn’t quite here — and I’m having a little trouble finding balance.

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