This and That

It’s a Wonderful Life Village

“As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation.” ~ John Battelle

My husband and I are about to go on a Christmas vacation to be with my mom, sister and her family. We haven’t spent the Christmas holidays with them for five or six years and we are looking forward to it immensely.

On the other hand, I find myself torn between setting aside all the projects I’ve been working on this fall, and taking work with me. I will keep up my blog posts, but other than that, I’m fighting with myself. Should I take things along so I can work on my books? This dilemma forces me to ask myself, why am I having such a hard time unplugging?

I’m a bit sad to say that since I retired from full-time teaching eleven years ago, I’ve gotten into the habit of doing some amount of work on my creative projects every single day. When I wake up in the morning, my mind is full of all the things I want to accomplish that day. And just now as I’m about to take a two-and-a-half week vacation, the thought of not working at all leaves me feeling a little bit unmoored.

This feeling is unsettling because I’m a firm believer in taking time to do nothing. In fact, I have a page from one of my Mary Englebreit calendars framed and in plain view in my office that reads, “How beautiful is it to do nothing and then rest afterward.” It’s a Spanish proverb.

Somehow working all the time becomes addictive and it snuck up on me unawares. I’ve got to break the habit. That’s probably why I’ve felt a little stuck on my novel, too many things going on in my head.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the work I’ve been doing is really important. I’m learning vital things that will help me sell my books, and develop my narrating career. But a break from work every so often is something I’ve been neglecting doing.

Getting ready for this vacation, as is usually the case, has been a bit stressful. I’ve just finished my semester of teaching. And though it’s only one class, there are grading and other duties to finish before I can take my month break until the next semester begins. I just finished the work on my friend’s audiobook. It’s in her hands now for final approval. We’re finally signing the contract this weekend before I leave. And there are the tasks I’ve had to suspend while working on the audiobook. A person could go crazy trying to clear the decks so they can relax while on their vacation.

With all that’s been going on this fall, I’ve come to one conclusion. It’s not worth trying to do everything at once. I’m not a good multi-tasker, never have been, never will be. So, these last weeks I chose to concentrate on only one thing at a time, and only do a couple of urgent tasks in one day. Slowly my brain is beginning to unwind. I’m feeling a bit less stressed thank heaven.

We can go a bit crazy this time of year trying to fulfill our expectations of what makes a perfect holiday season. I think I’m just going to enjoy being with distant family laughing and enjoying each other’s company. All the tasks I set for myself will still be here when I get back.

Here’s hoping your end of the year celebrations help you connect with those you love, even if that’s only yourself.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate it. Next blog post will be from the Seattle area. Have a great weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

I’m Back and Ready for a Change

Ashley Pond Park in Los Alamos, NM

“The thing I love most about going on vacation is that I get to leave behind any kind of schedule. My entire life is scheduled from morning to night, and when I’m on vacation, there is no schedule.” ~ Kelly Clarkson

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” ~ Randy Pausch

My husband and I got back from Los Alamos, NM the day after Memorial Day. We’ve been wanting to visit that city for a long time, and the cosmic tumblers finally fell into place so we could go. It was fabulous! But our trip was much too short.

I have been feeling restless and ready for a change for quite some time. Since returning from New Mexico, I’ve been having all kinds of aha moments. Well, actually the first aha came before leaving. I was listening to a video and the message was, it’s important to have as much fun as possible. I forget that one all the time. I think life has to be hard that I have to struggle. I believe that because that’s what I was taught. But it’s not true. I can find fun no matter what’s happening. Or I can leave and go someplace that IS fun.

When Barry and I got to Albuquerque, we wanted to stop at DQ for some ice cream. Barry set the GPS on his phone and Siri gave us great directions, until we hit some construction on the street right outside the entrance to the small shopping area where the store was located. Barry followed his nose and we took this circuitous route through a residential area and finally got to the entrance to the parking lot on the opposite side of the little shopping area. It took us fifteen minutes longer than necessary. Barry was a little frazzled. I would be too if I was driving, but I chose to see it as an adventure. That’s what going on vacation is all about, the unexpected, discovering new places, having fun. Soon Barry was laughing too as we told the customer service woman about our adventure and she told us how she had to do the same thing getting to work. We all had a good laugh.

After that, we chose to laugh at seemingly little set backs. For example, we accidentally made a mistake on the reservations for one day less at the B&B than we intended. We could have gone home one day earlier, but we decided to go see the sites we wanted to see that day and then stay in Albuquerque that last night in order to shorten our drive home on Tuesday.

When we got back, I was tempted to stress out again because I am teaching an independent study class this summer. There were lots of things to do to begin the semester. But then I said to myself, I can have fun going back to my daily routine while creating something new. I told myself to follow the fun and stay away from life killing stressful situations. I mean, in this class I’m teaching we watch movies and discuss them. What could be more fun than that?

Finding fun is sometimes as simple as changing the way I look at things. Every time I choose to see a situation as fun, or leave a situation that’s not good, I create more joy in my life.

I asked my sister if I could tell the story of what happened to her this week. She and her husband have been struggling financially for a few years. A few months back my sister renewed her massage license so she could bring in more money. She got a job and thought their lives were going to improve, but no. The owner of the salon, who is very controlling, was making sure Celeste did not get enough clients in a week to make much more than she was making at her previous job. She didn’t want to pay Celeste what her skills are worth. So, after a month or so, Celeste decided to find a new job, which she did easily.

Her first day of work at the new place was this past Tuesday, the day she was supposed to learn all the ins and outs of scheduling clients, writing the reports, and doing the billing. It was an abusive disaster. The receptionist and owner yelled at her for not understanding how to use the computer program after only a two times through the procedures. Well, after getting out of an abusive marriage, and two or three abusive work situations, she was not having it.

I talked to Celeste on the phone later that day. She was able to process what had happened that day with me, a friend and her husband. By Wednesday, Celeste had decided to leave that abusive place and look for a new job. By the end of the day Wednesday, she had a new job at a fabulous chiropractic office. Every time I’ve talked with her since, she has more wonderful things to say about her new place of employment. She’s found her “people” and I’m so happy for her. It was a long haul for her to figure out exactly what she wanted but she just kept looking for a better situation. And now she’s found a fun place to work.

My life has not been as stressful as my sister’s, but I too am ready to make some changes to find more joy in my life. Barry and I have dreamed about living in Los Alamos for a long time. Now that we’ve visited, I know it’s the place for us. We made a friend there, I can’t wait to see how things will unfold for us to be able to move. I’ll keep you posted.

Oh, and today is the one year anniversary of publishing the ebook version of my novel, The Space Between Time. I’m celebrating by being the featured author at the Cochise Writer’s Celebration at the open mic event on June 15 to read from and sell copies of my book. It’s going to be fun.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking. Have a fun filled weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

First Break in Five Years

Blue Grosbeak

“As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation.” ~ John Battle

“The purpose of a vacation is to have the time to rest. But many of us, even when we go on vacation, don’t know how to rest. We may even come back more tired than before we left.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Cardinal

I started this blog five years ago this spring, and I think it’s time to take a little break. Coming up with things to write once a week, then twice a week wasn’t hard until just a few days ago. I know it’s been two weeks since my semester ended, but I’m still tired. I want to sit and watch the birds in our back yard and at the bird feeder, not to mention all the other wildlife that wanders past our windows. I want to read books and watch movies. I want to take walks with my husband. I want to sit and have quiet conversations.

My husband and I are taking a little vacation over Memorial Day weekend and I think I’ll give this blog a little rest too. It’s not that I’ve run out of ideas, it’s that I need to take time to just be for awhile.

In the meantime, here is the link for the video of Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare that I directed this spring. The students did a fantastic job of making Shakespeare come to life, even though we didn’t have nearly enough rehearsal time. I hope you will take a look. The themes are surprisingly contemporary.

I’ll see you in a week or two with new movie/book posts as well as things I learned while letting my mind take a vacation.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. There are plenty of past posts archived if you want something to read. But, I hope you take time to recharge your internal batteries as well.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.