Time out!

Many people know that I have multiple projects on the go all the time. Even when I simplify my life down to just one project, I have multiple avenues of aggravation and stress.  That’s the norm in my life. I am a single parent with aging parents and an injured sister.  Plus, I’m a full time writer – of one thing or another.  I’m also a hard worker and tend to *over heap* my plate.

Sometimes, life goes my way and it seems like I’m on a production line where projects finish up and move out smoothly. Then there are the times where it seems all I do is wait for other people to get back to me. I end up waiting, waiting, and waiting some more. These are frustratingly unproductive times where I can’t move forward.

So in order to feel good about this passage of time, I decided to plan out small ‘free’ days.’ Now free days don’t mean ‘away from family’ days, because family is often a casualty of a heavy work schedule. And these aren’t actual holidays, although I’ll treat them as if they were. They are an attempt to turn a frustrating unproductive time into something fun and productive – in a different way.

Soooo, I worked out six day trips and three overnight trips – all within an hour of home.  First up, is Fintry Provincial Park (pictured above).  This place offers sandy beaches, camping, hikes to an incredible waterfall (left), and best of all, it’s away from the problem of *waiting* at home. I’m heading into just this type of problem now! Just think, in an hour I could be climbing to a waterfall, swimming in the lake or visiting the heritage site in the park.  Short, simple, as minimal packing is required, and yet a fun use of time that would be otherwise spent waiting to hear from someone. Not to mention, I can still deal with work issues early in the morning and late in the afternoon after we return, so my work day isn’t completely wiped out.

It’s a chance to regroup, refresh and relax. To remind myself that life can change in an instant and there is something other than my work. I find at this stage of my life, I need to take a *time out* now more than ever. It’s not an issue of getting older, but my life is getting crazier and I find I need to work *smarter.*

This is my solution.

How do you handle the frustration of waiting for someone to contact YOU?

 

About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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11 Responses to Time out!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Dale, it’s amazing how much you get done even while you’re taking your day trips to such beautiful places. When I have free time, that’s when I’m catching up on my reading or even my cleaning. Like you, I often have more than one project going on. So when I’m waiting, I just go on with the other project and try to concentrate on that.

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Edie,

      I used to start something new, but when people/situations did finally come through, I’d have to put the new project on hold – and that always increased my frustration. Last week, I had four projects dependent on other people to move forward in one way or another. I just didn’t want to add in anything more, but at the same time, that frustration wouldn’t go away. I use to always say that there is always something I could be working – but it wasn’t always the smartest way to work.

  2. Donnell says:

    Wow, Dale, what a great solution, especially with all you have going on you simply can\’t take an extended sabbatical. All I can say is Focus must be your middle name. You write in the midst of your family and that has always amazed me. You\’re amazing.

    When I need a break, I go for a walk, which I\’m about to do. Just getting away from the keyboard helps. I also don\’t sit at a keyboard all day. I write in my notebook in shorthand and then print it out and by the time I get to my keyboard I have a third draft.

    Everyone has a process. Yours, my dear, just happens at warp speed. ;)

    Great post today. Thank you!

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Donnell,

      Walking is a great way to shift from frustration/anger to having a sense of balance again. Good for you. I try to shift from keyboard to paper copy and now that I have a Kindle I can take a story and go to the creek and continue to review my work. Shifting physical locations is a huge help.

      I find that sometimes, I still have to shake it up and make a bigger change. Hence the freebie trips. An escape to make me feel good and not guilty at not being able to move forward. :)
      Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Interview and excerpt with Giveaways

  3. Misty Evans says:

    Dale, I so relate, and I applaud you. You’re doing an amazing job and making the most of every situation. I always too many things heaped on my plate and it drives me crazy if I can’t give 100% to every one of them.

    Today I’ll head out to the patio with a good read this afternoon. I’m reading Galaxy Girls by our own Edie Ramer and it’s a wonderful mental break even if I can’t take much of a physical one! Sure wish I could go to the beach with you. :)

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Misty,

      Yes, you’re life is similar to mine for craziness. Sitting in the garden isn’t enough for me. The frustration can make me edgy and unable to sit calm. I’ve tried, and it might work for an hour, that’s about it. If there’s still no way to move forward, I need to seriously get away. Lol.

      The beach is always a good way to wash away the frustrations! Wish you could come too!
      Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Interview and excerpt with Giveaways

  4. Liz Kreger says:

    I hear ya, Dale about waiting on people. Can be very frustrating. Most of my “waiting to hear” moments come from work, so I’m able to go onto the next task while I’m waiting for a response from someone. If necessary, I re-contact said individual with a reminder that I’m waiting. Sure, that can be annoying, but sometimes working in a law firm requires answers pretty darn quick.

    I like your idea of getting away … wish I could do that. :wink:

  5. Amy Atwell says:

    The bonus for you is that fresh air and exercise truly rejuvenate the brain and help build better perspective. I try to hit the pool or beach and get some sunshine and fresh air for at least an hour per day. Unfortunately, for me, if I’m just trying to kill the “wait” time, there’s plenty of laundry, some leaky pipes, paper filing and a few walls that need painting at my house. Oh, and the windows! I’ve been “planning” to wash the windows since February!

  6. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Amy,

    Glad you popped by. I find if I stay home, the work never ends and the frustration builds because the more I do, the more there appears to do. By getting out, I can’t see it, and it doesn’t bother me. Sure, it’s there when I come back, but the mind set has shifted.

    Have a great weekend.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Interview and excerpt with Giveaways

  7. Cynthia Eden says:

    I think you’ve got a fabulous solution there, Dale!!

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