Frustration. . . .

Why is it that the only time my brain shuts off is when I sit down to write? All day my mind is humming in the background with thoughts and musings and ideas and . . . and the moment I open up the window for a new blog post . . . nothing. Nada. Zilch. Brain dead. Same when I sit down to work on my fiction writing project.

Aargh. How do you get past this?!?

What I Did On My Christmas Break

It is Sunday evening, almost 5 pm, and tomorrow I have to go back to the office after a four-day break. When I have a break like this from the office, I seldom find myself heading back to the office refreshed and reinvigorated, ready to take on the world. Instead I find myself wishing I had more time off. What this says about the wisdom of my career choice is a topic for another day. Today I instead want to think for a moment about what I did right–and wrong–during my four-day hiatus.

What I did right: spent time with Mike and the kids who live here, as well as Rachel and Gary and the granddaughters, who spent Christmas Eve and most of Christmas day with us on the farm. Cooked a meal for Christmas day and enjoyed it with the family. Took some time to look out the window and enjoy the serenity of the view it affords: our lake and and the trees, mostly bare of leaves, the blue sky, the chickens wandering around the yard looking for bugs, the cats stalking the chickens. Took several naps. Got the laundry done. Made homemade fudge and shared the pan and spoon with the vultures who appeared just in time. Made homemade potato salad because Gary asked for it–and he never asks us for anything. Shared a little bit of Christmas day with Matthew and Kahi and the boys via Google video chat. Cleaned out my closet and boxed up a big stack of outgrown clothes for charity. Read parts of a novel and a book on fiction writing and several horse magazines. Puttered a bit at working on the outlines of a novel I want to write. Pondered some goals for 2010. Ran on the treadmill yesterday and today.

What I did wrong: Ate way, way, WAY too much. Ate a lot of that fudge. Ate various types of Christmas candy. Ate a big bowl of buttered popcorn. Ate two big pieces of pan-crust veggie pizza (sans the onions) from Chicago Style Pizza (thanks, Mike, for driving in to pick it up). Just ate. Watched too much TV. Skipped going to a church Christmas Eve service because I was too tired/lazy to get dressed. Skipped running two out of the four days.

Nobody's perfect, but I think I did more right than wrong with these four days I had at home. I've got some work to do at the gym to undo all that fudge (I really ate a lot), but after all . . . tomorruh is anothuh day.

How Time Flies

I knew it had been awhile since I last posted here, but I didn't realize that it had been two months! I've thought about blogging. I wanted to blog. I've read a lot of blogs. But I just didn't get back here to do anything about it.

2009 is winding down, and my thoughts have been turning frequently to the coming year. 2010 is a landmark year for me: I will turn 50 in May. Although I haven't yet found the time to sit somewhere quiet and think deeply about what that means, and what I want to do about it (or as a result of it), I do think I want something remarkable to happen in 2010. I want to be able to point back to that year as not just the year I turned 50, but the year I [fill in the blank]. Something. Finished a book? Traveled to Europe?

Don't know. But I want to come up with some goals and dreams for the coming year so that the trauma of turning 50 (where did the years go?) will be overshadowed by the joyous events of 2010.

Don't really know if anyone reads this blog, but if you're out there, have you given any thought to what you want your life to look like in 2010? Do tell.

Trying to Stay on Top of It All

Busy at work, but trying to make myself continue to work out, eat well, and keep writing, even if it's just a little bit each day. So far I've been doing . . . okay, but not great. It's just a day at a time, isn't it?

Checking in is Better Than . . . Not

I haven't posted anything to this blog in weeks, because (a) I suddenly got busy at work and (b) I couldn't come up with anything profound to say. Mostly it's (b). If I can't say something profound, I don't want to say anything at all. Which is why I have never finished a novel, even though I've wanted to write one since I was a kid.

I'm too hard on myself. I know that. When it comes to writing, part of my problem is that I've read so much over the years, I've been exposed to the good and the bad and the ugly in published material, and I just really, really don't want to put the bad or the ugly out there. But I'm not sure I can measure up to the standard I've set in my own head.

But I have to have something in my life other than my job. Yes, of course, I have my family and the farm, and those things are the best part of my life. But I'm talking about something in my life to do for myself other than work.

So just for the sake of saying I've done it, I'm going to try to check in here several times a week, even if I have nothing profound or witty to say. Today all I have to say is that I wrote 1500 words on my novel-in-progress this morning. Not good words; not brilliant writing. But I got words into the computer file and moved the story a little farther down the road.

Today that will be enough for me.