Finding Excuses – are they really that bad?

I admit it. I’ve been finding excuses to not edit lately. Or do much of anything else unless it’s an absolute have-to-do. And, believe it or not, I’m okay with that.

There’s a fine line between finding excuses and procrastination. I’m sure there are folks out there who think there’s no difference at all, but I’m one of those people who believes that well-placed excuse-finding isn’t such a bad thing.

This past year has been insanely busy at the day job. I’ve also gotten rights back to In This Life and hired a cover artist for its re-release, written my third book for which I’ve hired an editor once I’m done editing it myself, and managed my family and fun time in between. This is a long way of saying I’ve had little time to myself.

So what do you think happened? A couple of weeks ago, when the weather turned bitterly cold, I decided all I wanted to do was to hibernate, much like our ancestors did tens and tens of thousands years ago. All I wanted to do was put aside the things that were making me a little crazy and just hunker down and do nothing.

I’ve been running into people experiencing the same thing as I’ve been recently, and I’m wondering if it’s a seasonal thing as in holiday-related or if it’s a seasonal thing as in winter-related or if it’s a combination of both. Then again, maybe it’s something else.

I’m finding that people, more and more these days, are working themselves harder than ever before. I suspect part of that is due to connectivity (do any of us ever really shut down?), and part of that is due to the new post-2008 corporate culture, and part of that is due to just taking on too much for reasons that are never very solid.

So I started thinking that maybe my own finding excuses is my brain and body’s way of saying, “whoa! enough already!” I mean, is it necessary to keep going every minute of the day without taking a breather for ourselves? I don’t think so and I, for one, am paying the price right now. Because all those minute breathers I didn’t take have now added up to weeks of not wanting to do anything. And I’m finding I’m rather enjoying it.

Oh, I know that the third book’s edits have to get done — and they will. I also know I’m a bit behind schedule with my writing and that I haven’t been as active on social media or my blog — to which I think, “oh well”. Do I take my writing and my family and my day job seriously? You bet your ass I do. But I also take ME seriously, and there’s a voice inside me that’s reminding me how important it is to just be right now rather than fill it with what I have to do.

I will likely pull out another chapter to edit this afternoon, after I’ve enjoyed a cup of tea, watched the wind flutter through the evergreen trees outside, and taken the time to clear my head of the open items on the checklist I’ve created for myself this past year. The things that, ironically, didn’t get done that now leave me wondering just how important they were to begin with.

Hmm. Sounds like some additional re-prioritization is in order. And I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The human body wasn’t designed to keep going non-stop. So if you’re like me and feel like you need a little more time for yourself these days, I say go for it. Rather than getting sucked into misplaced holiday madness or year-end planning, I say refocus on you, listen to your heart and mind, and give it the rest and love it deserves. You’ll probably be happier for it.

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About terriponce

I write about twists, turns, past lives and suspense
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5 Responses to Finding Excuses – are they really that bad?

  1. Traci says:

    December was a complete bust for me too, I worked too much through the fall and got a stack of rejctions as a holiday surprise. Thanks for the post Terri. By the way, how did you get your novel back for release? I’ve been thinking I want revise my debut.

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  2. Well said, Terri, and Linda. We shouldn’t need excuses for looking after ourselves. I’m re-reading Cheryl Richardson’s Extreme Self-Care, as I often do when I feel the need to unwind more, and it’s definitely convincing me that downtime is a necessity not a luxury.

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  3. Terri, you said it well. It’s where I am right now. So even though i should be sending our queries, I still have some final edits to do based on the last Beta reader’s comments. Fitting everything in is exhausting and we need time for ourselves.

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  4. Reached that point myself, Terri. I’m exhausted, and I need a break. Yes, it’s the holidays (added stress, especially for women!), and winter doldrums ( lack of light), and yes…it’s the end of a very long year of hard work.. My body and mind are revolting against my relentless pace and demanding that I slow down for a while. We shouldn’t need “excuses” to take better care of ourselves. Hibernate to rejuvenate–even if it is just for a few weeks instead of several months!

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