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A Should-less Day | NaBloPoMo Day 9

A should-less day | NaBloPoMo day 9

I failed to blog yesterday. Barely a week into NaBloPoMo, and I dropped the ball. I have plenty of excuses. I was traveling home from the whirlwind weekend that was BlogHer Food, where I spoke on a panel. I had to get up very early to make my flight, and my head was not so clear. I should have written while on the plane, but I didn’t. I should have done it when I got home, but I didn’t. I should have planned farther ahead so I wouldn’t have to deal with blogging on a day I knew would be tight, but I didn’t.

Friday morning’s keynote at BlogHer Food was on maintaining long-term happiness. The panelists were all good friends of mine, all colleagues in the sense that they’ve been at it more or less the same amount of time I have, within a tolerance of a couple years. The biggest threat to momentum is of course burnout, and each had differing methods of combatting it. Ultimately, each of them has learned to step away from the need to constantly do: Checking stats, updating social media, chasing comments, the whole lot.

Sabrina of The Tomato Tart cited an interview with Ellen Burstyn, in which she said she has “should-less days.” As she says, “I have what I call should-less days. Today is a day where there’s nothing I should do. So I only do what I want to do. And if it’s nap in the afternoon or watch TV and eat ice cream, I get to do it.”

As a freelancer and independent contractor, my time is not structured. I used to think that being freelance meant you could take time off whenever you want. In fact, it mostly means you never really take time off at all. I am always working on something. I don’t even notice it, really, because I love what I do, but I do get fatigued, and fatigue is the predecessor to burnout.

Yesterday on the plane I read Finding Yourself in the Kitchen by Dana Velden, and played video games on my phone. When we got home, I took a nap, and relaxed with my husband and dog. We went out to dinner at our favorite neighborhood restaurant.

I should have blogged yesterday. I didn’t. And I’m really fine with that.

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