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I'm having trouble taking time off after the latest gigantic project. I planned to. A trip away would be ideal, but we have a geriatric bulldog who can't be left behind and an ill-tempered mastiff who can't be brought along. So we're kind of homebound at the moment. And the weather has been cold and uncooperative this week, so I'm inside. Lance is out changing someone's life by putting one of his work-of-art waterfalls into their yard.

So I'm looking around the house, wondering what I will do if I don't work. And then I do some housework or some laundry, which isn't fun. Sometimes I cook or bake, which is a lot of fun. I enjoy cooking so much these days!

COOKING SIDEBAR: For lunch, leftovers from last night's dinner: A stir fry of onions, peppers, garlic, broccoli, snap peas, mushrooms. I stir fried them all in a nice, pre-heated, non-stick pan with zero oil or spray, and just added a splash of veggie broth to keep them from sticking. When the veggies were tender I added a small can of pineapple chunks, juice and all, and a nice clean teriyaki sauce, and simmered it a little longer. Served this over brown rice. Absolutely delicious. Maybe even better on day 2, and there's more left!

So yeah, I cook or bake, but regardless, I get pulled back into the computer if I'm within its range. I'm like the Starship Enterprise caught in a Klingon Bird of Prey's tractor beam.

Since I finished the gigantic, huge, very very big Wings in the Night project, my "days off" have included updating my website, optimizing its mobile pages, promoting my newest book release, creating and sending newsletters, and–ahem–writing blog posts. I just can't seem to help myself.

I should be in a hot tub, being served alcoholic beverages I absolutely cannot have. And chocolates, there should be chocolates.

Maybe I'll just soak my feet.

Weather Change

Tomorrow it's going to get warm and sunny and I think that's supposed to last at least three days. I can actually get away from the temptation to work by getting outside, away from the computer. That'll do it, for sure.

Oh, I have missed having my hands in the dirt. I have a vegetable garden to plant. I've already cleared out the first half of it, on the last unseasonably warm day we a had. I need o clear out the second half. It needs a fresh influx of topsoil. And I'm going to need a lot more space this year.

And all my flower beds need cleaning up, but carefully, so as not to disturb any still-sleeping insects. The mulch is old and faded and needs replenishing. Last year's growth needs to be trimmed back. The driveway needs to be power-washed. So does the siding, for that matter. And I'm feeling an uncharacteristic urge to put pansies and petunias everywhere, when I usually turn my nose up at annuals. Yes, I can find a lot of fun things to do outside, and the computer won't call to me loud enough to be heard over nature's song.

I'm not going to think about work the entire time. I'm going to be fully present in whatever it is I'm doing. I'll be naming the birds by their songs, and singing back to them, because that's a thing I really do. Like freaking Snow White out there.

I'll probably wear a sun hat and I'll probably get a little sunburned anyway. I'll probably overdo it and wind up with a backache. I'll probably spend as much time putting pretty statues and wind chimes out there as I will spend weeding and trimming.

Hey, I'm really looking forward to gardening for the rest of this week! As I write about it here, it's feeling to me like some actual, real-life downtime that will refill my well, replenish my soul, restore my vigor, and fill my creativity to overflowing so I can come back to work next week refreshed and eager and ready to roar.

See what I did there?

I took myself from "I can't go on vacay due to dogs," all the way to "I am going to have a blast in my back yard for the next three days, guilt-free!"

Oh, oh! Bonfire! Yes, there WILL be a bonfire.

I think I just figured out how to do downtime in my current reality. This is good stuff.

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