Every January for the last couple of years, it seems that I speed up. Weekends are gone in writer’s meetings or trips to San Diego to see my dad. Weekdays are filled with the Day Job and writing and cooking and nagging the kids (I say kids, but they’re both in their 20s, so…).

Planning the year (books to write, vacations, and such), taxes, FAFSA forms for the kids,  it all seems to hit in January, and I start to say to myself “I can relax when…” The only problem with it is that “when” never seems to arrive. Or I hit one deadline, but three more loom up at me. Plus the state of my office after the holidays stresses me out but there’s NO TIME to clean!


The mess  that is my desk. And this is after a day of cleaning earlier this month.

The mess that is my desk. And this is after a day of cleaning earlier this month.

Illness is one way your body slows you down. Forces you to rest. After a couple of years of being forced to go slow due to health issues, I now very much enjoy the whirl of lots to do. But I’m finding I also need to plan down time. Slam my hand on that “slow down” button and force myself to just be. (Last night that took the form of being so tired I was asleep by 8pm. Yum…9 hours of sleep!)

I realized, not too long ago, that since I started my job with the wacksters in the summer of 2011, I’ve taken my five days of vacation and used them for writer’s conferences. As all writers know, conferences are NOT vacation. They are working meetings; fun, yes, but not a vacation. (How I could have done that two years in a row and not figure it out, I do not know.) So not only have I planned a mini-vacation in February with the hubs, but I’ve asked for a second week of vacation from the boss. And it was granted!

Now I am looking forward to using one week of my vacation time for conferences, and the other week for basking in the mountains up at Mammoth Lakes with my family. Nothing but bears and catching fish in the streams and maybe hikes if we feel like moving our bodies. If not, then it’s hammock time. There is nothing better than reading  in a hammock in the mountains, and slowly falling asleep and dreaming.

Lazing in the hammock, August 2011 - my last "real" vacation.

Lazing in the hammock, August 2011 – my last “real” vacation. I can tell because that’s the first time I broke my leg, three weeks before our vacation. When I got back from this one, I started at the new job.

I shall watch myself this year, and see if some parts of the year are automatically more “deadline oriented” than others. I can tell you that a part of me relaxes automatically when I think of the mini-vacation to come in February; four days in Cambria, renting a house on the coast, just me and the hubby.

What do you do, when you realize you’re overbooked and need a break? I’d love to know!

Until next time, be good to yourself.