I've been absent from the internet for the past few days because I've been out of town. I went to the coast to celebrate a friend's upcoming marriage and we had a fantastic time. It was something I didn't know how much I needed until I was back home and thinking about how much better I felt after unplugging from everything for four days.
I've been living in my own little thundercloud for the past six weeks or so, and I didn't even realize how much the storm had consumed me until I was suddenly away from it with no way to get to a phone or the internet. Instead of the panic I was expecting, all I felt was a blessed form of relief. On the way home (a four hour drive by myself), I did a lot of thinking about my current situation - with the book, the Clark Kent job, everything. Being away from the whole scene helped me see how much I've been stressing out about everything, from word count to work duties, and how much of a toll it's taken on me. At least half of stress is perception based - you may not be able to change your stressors, but you can choose how you react to them - and I'm so grateful that I was given a chance to see that I need to change my perceptions about my daily life.
Instead of beating myself over the head with the goal of finishing the book by the end of May, I'm being a lot more kind to myself and rejoicing in how much work's been done. I know I'll finish, and probably within the time frame I've given myself - but I no longer feel as if I've failed or am in danger of failing an important task I've given to myself. The Clark Kent job does not feel like a prison sentence; it seems like a gift again. I'm refreshed and ready to finish this novel and get on to the next step in my life.
And when I got home, I saw so many lovely people have passed on my Pay it Forward giveaway on their blogs, twitter and Facebook! How incredible! You guys are an inspiration! It was amazing to see how things had progressed in the four days I was gone. Not only did more than ten people blog about the giveaway, but I also now have 121 followers! Only four more 'til the MYSTERY PRIZE is included in the booty list! (Booty list... now that was just fun to type, heh).
Are you stressing about something right now? Is it weighing down on you, or racing through your mind, keeping you from being calm? I know you might not be able to physically get away like I did this weekend, but try to mentally take a step back from that stress and see if you can take a different approach to the problem. Breathe - in through the nose for a four-count, hold it for a seven-count, let it out slowly through your mouth for an eight-count. Feel better? Need to vent? The comments section is always open.