Category Archives: Self time

Inspiration, STAT!

So you’d think, seeing that I’m headed for some serious reading/writing/reflection time this weekend, that I’d be chock-full of topics and ideas to write about. Know what? I have zero. Absolutely zero. Well, not absolutely zero. Trouble is that the topics I’d really like to vent discuss are way too personal for a blog. As in, specific people and situations, We’re talking names, folks! And that’s just not appropriate for this blog. It would be one thing if I wanted to talk about (insert celebrity name here) or the latest episode of Downton Abbey. Which I haven’t seen yet, by the way, but I HAVE heard enough spoilers to get the gist of what happened. Not happy about that.

But I digress. I’m getting really irritated that I’ve got all of this time coming up over the next couple of days but no inspiration. I mean, almost two days? To myself? That’s a gold mine to this working mom. You’d think I could at least write the Next Great Novel or something! That’s a joke, folks – I have trouble writing fiction. Funny, since when I was younger that’s pretty much all that I wrote. My problem is that I get an idea for fiction but get bogged down in the actual writing. As in, I know the basic plot outline and have good ideas for specific events – along with really good descriptions in my head. But it all tries to explode onto the page like a big glop of a verbal explosion. When my youngest minion gets his stream-of-consciousness talking going (and he’s been known to keep going for up to 45 minutes at a stretch) we call it Verbal Diarrhea at our house. Same basic concept with me and fiction.
If I were smart, I’d actually follow the writing process and do an outline first. But I’ve always hated outlines. Why waste time organizing ideas when you could just write them? See my problem? It’s that kind of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ approach that’s keeping me from writing fiction.
And, like I said, my nonfiction ideas are way too specific – and, at the moment too positively negative – to even think about posting.
So what should I do folks?? Ima be hoppin’ mad if I spend the weekend staring at a blank page!

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Filed under Blogging, inspiration, Moms, Self time, writing

Calgon, Take Me Away!

If you get the title reference, you’re definitely in my age group. I showed the kids some YouTube clips of those commercials and they just lost it.

Anyhoo, I’m not sure if I know of any working mom – in or out of the home – that doesn’t need a break now and then. An escape. Something mindless, trivial, or just plain stupid to get away from it all. If you’re a mom and you say you never need to just be – alone – without having to think about anything, then you’re not being totally honest. For me, that means one of about four things. Vegging in front of some LMN, Bejeweled Blitz, watching a chick flick or even reading a cheesy book. And you know what? That’s OK.

Does this mean I’m shallow? Nope. Not stretching myself? Nope. Vacuous? Absolutely not. Less intelligent? Please. I’m just as able to carry on a philosophical conversation after watching staring at something like The House Next Door than ever. If anything, probably more so. Why? Because it helps me recharge. Sometimes my brain just needs a break. A break from all of the multitasking, multi-acting, rushing around, and thinking about everything that needs to be done at home, at work, and for life in general. And after a bit of mindlessness I’m more functional. Just like my body has more energy after a good meal and a good night’s sleep.

Maybe your idea of mindless escapism is going for a run. A walk. A trip to the museum. Translating Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics into Latin. That’s fine. Whatever works for you. Who am I to judge what you need? Or to judge you based on your choice of escapist activity? Nobody. I’m nobody. I live in a glass house, remember?

Where is all of this coming from? I’ll happily tell you. My filter is on a medium setting today, so that’s not a problem. See, there are those who stereotype people based on their choice of escapist activity. Shocker, I know. Stereotyping? In our society? No… (Insert sarcasm here.) Example: I work in a male-dominated office. In a cube by the water cooler. Where men congregate. And one day they stopped me on my way to get my afternoon cup o’ Earl Grey.

“Wait, wait – here’s A. She can tell us all about it. Hey, A – what’s your Pinterest handle?”

Pause. Think. How to say this nicely? Just be blunt. “Don’t have one. Some of my friends do that. I’m Anti-Pin.”

“Huh? Seriously?”

“Yep. Don’t do it. I don’t go there.”

See what I mean? They were elbow-bumping and winking as they asked, sure that they’d get a long winded explanation of how awesome Pinterest is from me – because I’m female. Sorry to disappoint you, guys, but I don’t go there. And that’s OK.

My point? It’s OK if your idea of escapism is LMN. Staring at the wall. Nora Roberts. Mommy Porn. Heck, I’ve read Fifty Shades. Just the first one. Wanted to see what the hype was about and couldn’t get past the awful writing. So what? As women we live in a society that – for the most part – allows us the choice to veg out however we choose to. Does it make me less smart because I watch Lifetime movies now and then? Uh, no – because I’m just as likely to pull up a documentary on former Soviet republics on Netflix the next time I need a break. It’s all about perspective.

And for this mom, perspective keeps me sane. Or reasonably so. Most of the time. So, ladies, let your freak flag fly and get your Calgon where you can!

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Filed under Escapism, Free time, Moms, Self time, working moms