Monday, September 22, 2014

Fine-tuning how I spend my time

The weekend was fun and busy, with two volleyball matches, a soccer game, and lots of work around the house (homework with Zozo, and housework). M primarily worked outside and I tackled inside, including unboxing and assembling a new desk for my office. I was able to do most of it myself, which pleased me to no end and left me with a sore back (that never used to happen) and a new flat surface in my office on which to pile crap.

In the evenings, after our work for the day was done, I relaxed with Stephen King's On Writing. I'm not a huge King fan, at least with his fiction work. I just don't get much out of the creepy genre. His non-fiction book, though, came with high marks and recommendations so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Man oh man, it's pretty awesome.

The only thing I disagreed with is his insistence that a writer does not need a retreat or time away to write. Methinks Mr. King might be a bit far removed from those of us who are still trying to get started, especially those of us with little ones at home who have full-time jobs (jobs that aren't writing books). There's a retreat that I'd give my eye teeth to attend, and in his book Mr. King describes it almost perfectly, and then decries its value. For a working mom whose kid is in piano lessons and at least two sports at any given time plus daily homework, and a house that needs cleaning and laundry and other obligations…a retreat like Hedgebrook seems like heaven. There will never be that kind of time available to me until Zoe flees the nest and I retire. I wish I could spend four hours a day writing and another four hours a day reading as Mr. King recommends, but that leaves me with very little time to do the things I have to do that would support eight hours a day honing my craft.

However, I do see his point in that I need to just start writing, dammit, and that reading is just as important. So that's what I did this weekend. And last night, at bedtime, I realized that I hadn't checked Facebook or Instagram at all that day. And perhaps most surprising of all, I didn't miss it.

M killed his Facebook account last week. Wiped it off the servers. Now my status says I'm simply married, but doesn't say to whom. He never used it anyway, so it made sense for him to delete it. I was appalled at first. Now I'm wondering if he's on to something.

I read an article about a guy who quit liking everything on Facebook for two weeks. My curiosity was piqued, so I stopped liking everything, too. Just to see. What I found was that if I didn't really have anything to say in the comments, and didn't like everything that I, um, liked, well, my leash to Facebook weakened. I didn't feel as compelled to get on there and catch up. I didn't feel like I was missing stuff. Facebook just became meh.

This may be just an ebb in my social media flow, but we'll see. I am spending far less time looking at my phone and far more time reading books and interesting magazines and blogs. My brain feels much more nourished, and I feel more productive overall. Instead of 40 snippets of crap, I'll read something really worthwhile that makes me think. I spend less time analyzing what people on Facebook are up to or what they really mean, and more time enriching my brain and interacting with those around me. What a concept.


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