Back to work

The holiday weekend’s over, and it’s time to get back to work. I have things to clear off before Christmas, and despite having planned a light schedule for this time of year, the flupocalypse derailed those plans. I took some time to bake and hang with family and friends anyway, because I’ve spent far too many holidays working and stressed over the workload. There aren’t any do-overs for those days, but it’s never too late to start better habits.

I’m excited about getting back to work and finishing projects I love. I still don’t know what’s next, exactly, but by the time I turn it all in I should have that nailed down.

Hope everybody out there had a good long weekend and feels rejuvenated for Monday. And you NaNoers, you still have a day! Make the most of it. I think my record is 50 pages in a day, but whatever your speed, a day’s work can take you far.

I hope Santa likes pink

We went to get a tree yesterday, and the small people expressed an opinion about it for the first time. They felt strongly that the tree should have a theme, and that theme should be…pink. And since it’s their tree, too, and this is really the first year they’ve had opinions about it, we said yes.

So we bought pink sparkly snowflakes and pink ornaments and we decked the halls. Joy to the world!


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. If you’re cooking a turkey, remember that Butterballs come with instructions that I can personally certify are idiot-proof. As long as you do in fact remember to remove both bags from both cavities before you begin to roast your bird. Very important detail.

Enjoy your day and the people you love and I hope you have something good to read. Because what’s the post-turkey lethargy for if not a little reading and a nap?

3 weeks to make a habit

If you’ve been doing NaNo for 3 weeks now, guess what? You’ve made a habit of writing. This is a good thing because it’s our habits that shape our lives. Habits are decisions we make by reflex. Sometimes that works against us, but if we put in a consistent 3 weeks of different behavior, we can make it work for us, by establishing new habit patterns.

I developed the habit of daily writing when I was 12. It’s been a constant in my adult life. Unfortunately, when I started publishing regularly I found myself writing more and crowding out other habits. And eventually the lessening of those habits impacts writing.

Over the last year I had to re-establish the habit of reading. Of doing something, anything fun and creative that wasn’t writing. Of playing with words the way I used to, instead of thinking all writing must be professional. Being social.

And for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been re-establishing good eating and workout habits. Because without good health, I’m not going to be the writer I want to be. (Not to mention being at risk for all sorts of problems I do not want.) I’ve lost almost ten pounds, gained muscle, and have better energy and concentration.

I used a plan that I could easily follow every day to help me build better habits; I signed up for Slim-Fast. You put in your weight goal, your activity level, and it gives you an eating plan to follow that’s a balanced diet. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of balanced eating, it’s helpful to be shown what it looks like. What a 500 calorie dinner looks like. I get reminded to drink 8 glasses of water and walk for 30 minutes and eat my vegetables. Yes, I needed to be reminded. I’d gotten out of the habit.

Now instead of putting on the 2nd pot of coffee by 9 in the morning, I might have my 2nd cup. So I won’t join Balzac in producing a lot of words and then dying of caffeine poisoning.

It’s been an adjustment, but building new habits always is. Once we’ve built them, momentum is on our side. After the 3 week mark, habit helps maintain the new behavior that helps us make our lives look more like what we want them to be instead of what we wished they were.