It wasn’t until 4pm today that I realized I hadn’t posted a blog yesterday. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling a bit under the weather again, and I’ve got a bunch of stuff coming up this week, so I need to take care of myself. Mostly, though, I just passed out at the end of the night and was dead to the world for a solid nine hours.
When I was in the workforce full-time, I was working ten hour days, five days a week. If you add my commute time, I basically spent a solid 12 hours a day at work, or traveling to or from I hated it. I hated how, after I accounted for work and sleep, I only had four hours to myself on any given work day. Let’s just say that it was usually the sleep and social life that suffered. There was no work-life balance, which is part of the reason that I was very adamant about leaving. The job was also very physical. I was on my feet for the majority of those ten hours. When I would get off, my feet would be killing me, I’d often be limping, and I didn’t want to do anything where I had to move. For the most part, though, it wasn’t very mentally draining. In my opinion, I felt like a glorified babysitter; as long as no one died and the store didn’t burn down, I was doing my job right. Yes, that is oversimplifying it, but I definitely didn’t have to employ all parts of my brain to do the job. Now that I’ve switch gears, things are different. When I work casually, it’s usually mostly physical, but also the shifts are short, so it doesn’t generally bother me or make me hurt. However, when I spend the day, or even several hours writing, I find that my brain is hurting. I think part of it is because I’m not used to writing or delving into my world as much as I have been lately, but also it’s because my world is so huge and complex. Sure, I’m only working on one story right now, but there are so many moving pieces in it, and then in tying it to Elyria proper. Plus, because I’m someone that likes to know what happens to the characters outside of the story, as I mentioned before, I’m expending extra brainpower on something that I may not even ever use. I’m okay with it, but it’s just killing me a little. Which is why I just crashed last night.
That’s the great thing about focusing on my writing though, and working for myself. When I get exhausted, or when I am having a bad mental health day, I can take it off. I don’t need to feel guilty, or lie, or try to explain to someone why I don’t feel like I can come into work today. I know myself well enough by now to know when I’m falling off the edge and when I need to focus on myself and my well-being. And it’s great that I’m the only one to answer to, because I’m the best boss and I’ll always let me take time off. Granted, I’ll let myself take time off even when I’m not crashing. Ironically, the one thing that has always helped me pull out of downward spirals, or get me out of a funk, is writing, so I really shouldn’t be taking time off. But that’s besides the point.
In good news, I think I am really starting to get into a groove, now that I’ve actually decided to sit down and write regularly. I managed to get quite a bit typed up yesterday as well as add to some older stuff. I’m really feeling like I’m in the zone with this story now. Whereas before I was trying to figure out what I could do to not actually work on my writing, now I’m annoyed that people want to hang out or eat food, because I just want to keep writing. That’s not quite right, because I do want that work-life balance, but it sucks when I just really want to get down to writing and people want to do fun stuff and they invite me out, because I’ll never say no. Still, I’m feeling great about the progress I’ve been making. Soon, I’ll have all the characters and places typed up, and then I’ll be able to move on to shoring up the plot and making sure everything works out. I guess taking that mental health crash last night was a good thing. Who would’ve thought.