This time of year has the potential to swing me into a funk. How about you? Do you fight off the overeating, reflective to a ridiculous point, SADD moody blues? I’ve learned to fight and people, sometimes I don’t fight fair. I combat any sinking feelings with prowess and intentionality.
I’m going to share ten ways I play against the doldrums today:
- When it’s time to iron (which I loathe) I head to the basement, crank up music and dance as I’m scooting the iron across pants, creasing them flat as Ohio terrain.
- I make birthday plans (Now might be a good time to tell you all three of our girls have birthdays at the end of this month. No we did not plan that and no our anniversary isn’t in April…but spring is ;) Having something to look forward always helps.
- I dedicate time to a craft project other than writing. Quilting, refurbishing a furniture piece, learning how to mosaic…I’ll try anything. I didn’t say I’d be good at everything, but I’ll try it.
- I exercise. I walk (or run) on our treadmill (a note: I used to run outside in frigid weather. During a blizzard, while I was in college, I headed out for a run dressed in shorts. Several friends pulled up next to me, insulated in their car yelling, “Run Forrest. Run.” I got a reality check). Today I stack three or four books where I can reach them and dig in. I got this idea from Stephen King. In On Writing he wrote that he walks and reads at the same time and well, if he can certainly I can. :D
- I pray. Another thing I do while on the treadmill is go through the ACTS in my life. I share with God all the ways I Adore him. I Confess things I need to release. I Thank God for just about everything. Then I supplicate my requests to him, asking for help in specific areas and with specific people. I also make time to read the Bible throughout the day. My children sing Bible verses before dinner every night (okay, I know I pushed it. I’m kidding on that one).
- I think about a getaway. I’ve gotten away so few times. I can count on one hand the times I’ve left for more than a six hour stretch (excluding our Austria trip). Youch. I’m hopeful about attending writer’s conferences in April and September this year. I’m working for the funds, but I trust it will be worth it.
- Sundays and Wednesdays. Not sure I’ve told you about these two days before. My husband and I hold fast to them. They are the days we’ve marked off to connect if the rest of the week spins around us like a rabid Tasmanian devil. At least we have these nights to catch up, work through conflict and connect.
- I give myself a break. That’s right, without going overboard I give in to little innocent temptations. Yesterday I felt like baking chocolate chip cookies, so I did. It served as a good practice in discipline for me not to eat the entire bowl of cookie dough before I popped the tray into the oven.
- I read. I read. I read. When the earth is covered with that lovely brown snow and the wind is so intense it turns my nose and cheeks crimson after being outside less than two seconds I hibernate. I curl my hand around a mug of tea, toss a blanket on me and READ. Ah. Now entering imagination. Buckle your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the vehicle. Neh, stay unbuckled and lift your hands for a wild ride.
- I write. I write. I write. I’ve found that nothing keeps me percolated like writing. It lights a fire under me. Someone once told me the best way to know what your passion is in life is to pay attention to what you’re excited about when you wake up. For me it’s my kids and the words.
What do you do to beat away the doldrums?
*I’m excited to be posting interviews with two stellar authors in the coming weeks. They blow me away with their wit, grace and integrity with words. Can’t wait to share…stay tuned.
**photos by flickr