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Friday, April 19, 2013

Changing Patterns

As human beings, our lives tend to fall into set patterns--and it can be extremely difficult to change these patterns. I've been giving this a lot of thought lately, because clearly some of the patterns I've fallen into aren't working for me. [Flabby butt, I'm looking at you.]

I'm too tired, and have been getting more so over the last couple of years. Some of that is disrupted sleep (thanks so much, menopause hormones...and um, bite me) and not enough sleep because I'm staying up later to write. Some of that is not enough exercise. Too much stress. La la la. Any of this starting to sound familiar to you?

I also need to be getting more work done...while at the same time, finding more space for play and fun in  my life, as well as my spiritual practice. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO BOTH????

So I took a look at my goals: more focus, less stress, more rest, less sitting on my butt in a chair (a tough issue for an author, since that is pretty much the job description).

There are so many things that MUST get done. But there are a few places where I think I can work on changing those patterns. My friend Mindy Klasky had a great blog post here about improving/changing her writing and networking approach, and it made me decide to finally implement my own changes.

So here's the plan:
Weekends are now internet free zones. GASP! Yes, you heard me. No Facebook. No Twitter. No posting on blogs or reading other people's. I haven't decided yet if I can get away with checking my regular email from friends (probably) or if I need to leave the desktop turned off entirely and only use the laptop for WRITING ONLY.

I'm also going to reduce my web time during the week, and try to replace some of that with exercise and meditation. We'll see how that goes. And no morning news while I do my stretches. It slows me down and starts out my day with a lot of negative input.

Patterns are tough to change. So wish me luck!

What patterns would you like to change in your life? Are you making any headway?


  1. Great post, and I wish you the best of luck. It IS hard to change! (I do almost know "professional" webbing over the weekend -- I skim my social media, but I feel no compulsion to write/participate/whatever. Also, over the weekend, I read email, but I don't feel obligated to respond.)

    Fingers crossed for you!

    1. Well, at least if I cut down on some of this other stuff, I might have time to respond to emails from you :-)

      And thanks for inspiring me, as usual.

  2. Good luck with the changes you are making! :) Just the other day I decided I'm going to spend less time on the internet/computer. (Especially since the weather is getting more pleasant. It's almost time for some yard work and outdoor cycling!)The first thing I do when I wake up is feed the cats (of course), but I've gotten into the bad habit of checking my e-mail immediately after. And I don't NEED to do that; I NEED to revamp my morning ritual! I'd like to greet the dawn better - light a candle, burn some incense...

    1. Yup--my morning routine is get up, get dressed, go around the downstairs turning on the computer/TV/pellet stove (in winter), opening the shades, then feeding cats. Then I usually check emails while I am making breakfast, and do my stretches in front of the news more or less at the same time. Not a restful start to the day.

  3. Oh, good luck on the habit changes! Wow, every weekend with no internet? You are very brave my friend.

    I spend way too much time on my computer. And since I've been at the house, I haven't been exercising regularly, not even my "little" exercise routine. Actually, since I started packing I haven't been exercising. So I definitely need to change that. We'll see how else I need to change as I begin revising my novel, then when I find work, etc.

    1. If you want to chat on the weekends, you'll have to actually call me :-)

      Which you should feel free to do.

      We'll see how this goes. For now, I'm looking at it as a temporary extreme that I am using to "reboot" myself. If it works, I may stick with it on a more long-term basis.

  4. Great plan! I often go Net free or at least restrict it to a very narrow window of time on the weekends because my family is home and seems to enjoy/need/demand my attention. :)

    It's good to take a breather and sink back into the "real" world a bit. (Putting that in quotes so as not to incite a firestorm. Heh.)

    I'm just back from yoga and heading out onto the patio to give my spectacularly gorgeous new Zafu it's inaugural sit. :)

    1. Happy sitting! I just got a box from you :-) Haven't even opened it yet.

  5. Last October I had did something similar. Findings? Well, I wrote like crazy, and got a lot more done in other parts of my life. My mind was quiet. I loved it.

    Then, I eased back into the internet, cause, yanno, I could handle it. NOT.
    I'm going on an internet detox starting tomorrow. I'll allow myself to go on the net only on a Saturday morning, and only to see what's happening with Bettyverse, Refab and of course, Jenny's blog.

    Good luck Deborah!


    1. Wow--only one morning a week! I bow in your general direction. I'm not planning anything quite that drastic, but I do think that taking the weekends off will increase both my productivity and my mental/physical health. Now mind you, I haven't figured out what I'll do if I hit something in the book I really need to research before moving on... hopefully I'll be able to just put [insert fact here] and ignore it!

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