Relaxing. Simple concept — extraordinarily difficult to implement.
I was chatting about this with a friend the other day who is a life coach.
“When is Christmas, Jim?”
“How many years have you missed it?”
I laughed. “Zero.”
“What about July 4th?”
“I’ve made that one every year as well.”
“You know what they have in common?” He winked at me. “You put both of them on your calendar.”
I thought for a moment, then said. “What gets scheduled gets done.”
“Almost.” He held up his forefinger. “Scheduling time to relax isn’t enough.”
“I’m guessing when Micah gets married you won’t miss his wedding will you?”
“Hardly.” I took a sip of my coffee.
“Why won’t you? Because his wedding day will be a priority. You writer types know you need to refresh, know you need to take time off from your manuscripts and social media and whatever else it is you do, and not just those things, but life too … but you don’t do it because it’s not a high enough priority. So people burn themselves out till they crash emotionally or get sick.”
My Friend is Right
This past weekend I was on faculty at the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference in California and I loved it. But wow! Not much time to even breathe as I had appointments with my students as well as aspiring writers racked and stacked all day long.
Plus I had the evening programs to go to, I hosted a table at meals, and I had to prep my magic act for the faculty talent show. I was burning out.
So on Sunday afternoon I took a walk in the stunning Redwoods (that surround the conference center) for an hour and a half.
I didn’t have time to go on that hike. Not even close. But as Taylor is fond of saying, “We all die with a full To Do list.”
Wow was it the right choice. It filled me up for the rest of the conference.
I encourage you to do some filling. Do yourself the best of favors and do two things:
1. Schedule time to relax. Maybe it’s walking your dog, working in the garden, putting on music that takes you away, shutting off the TV tonight and going on a long walk instead, or doing something as simple as taking an extra long shower a few times a week.
2. Then, make it priority.
Whatever you choice is, plan it. Write it on your calendar. Besides doing wonders for your personal life, when we give ourselves space, that’s when creativity happens.
I want to hear how it goes — email me and let me know, yes? I read every response.