Taking Breaks

Eventually we all reach this point. You’ve been working every day for months, if not years. Dark marks lay below your eyes, and that tired feeling claws behind them. You might find yourself lacking that drive and ambition which got you started and where you are now.

Q: So, what do you do?

A: Nothing.

That’s what I do anyway. Well, sort of…

I know. I have probably said something about this before a couple of times. In fact, I know that I have. That’s why I said that I know right off the bat.

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, no, I’m not stopping the blog. I’m not going to stop writing either. Well, not altogether. That is, I’m taking about a week to have fun and/or sleep. The two actions are synonymous. And I’ll still write. Habits, even good ones, are hard to break.

This month, as in June, I’ll be returning to a place I was happy to call home once, Block Island, Rhode Island. If you’ve never heard of it that’s pretty common. I’m pleasantly surprised when someone says they have. It’s an island about 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. They have less than a thousand year round residents who live at or below the impoverished line, statistically speaking.

The population has a tendency to increase about 1000% during tourism season. Yes, that’s hyperbolic, but tourism brings in a lot of people, some of whom have money to spend. Like a lot of money. As in, something I doubt I’ll ever experience. The people who don’t have a lot of money like that can either come for a day trip, leaving on the last ferry of  the day, or visit someone who lives there, which is what I do. Basically, I’m a moocher who likes to visit my family on a wonderful place where I can recoup because I probably couldn’t afford to be there any other way. Woo! Go me!

Currently, a lot is happening and also not happening there. July is a little wilder for them. The 4th of July floods the beaches with people. In the past, most of them would stand shoulder-to-shoulder, beneath the sun, drunk. Some of them would have to be air lifted, if emergency crews could get to them. Although that has changed over the years. I picked a good time to come down when I can choose to do something or choose to go into the wilderness and search for peace.

There are lots of underdeveloped, protected lands to traverse and beaches to enjoy. I probably won’t sun too long since I could double as a piece of copy paper. Anyway, it’s a good time. And, frankly, I’m exhausted. Also, repetition can be a double edged sword… I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, especially since I’m only leaving to return stronger into the fray.

I love writing. But it’s not all I do. It’s important, though, regardless of what you’re doing, creative or otherwise, to take a break. It’s healthy. We’re probably only human. So, don’t let anyone tell you differently. Seriously, you’re not a machine, and if you don’t take a break every now and then, you risk exhausting yourself, which could have bad consequences for your physical and/or mental health.

Although, I would never advise an indefinite break. It’s a mistake. Unless you want to do something else and work hard on doing that for the rest of your life, that is. A skill unused is a skill lost. You’ll metaphorically oxidize and disintegrate. What I mean is, if you don’t keep practicing, then you’ll only get worse. That hard work to better yourself will be for naught. Eventually you won’t be able to do the thing you were doing at all.

Still, take your time. Return when you’re ready. Regain your energy, your creative juices which, admittedly, sounds dirty haha, or whatever. Be aware of yourself and how much you can do before taking any sort of time off.  Know how burned out you are before deciding this is the best way to go. If you feel you want to abandon your craft, use a couple days, if possible, to not do participate in creating in that way. Instead, do something else or do nothing at all. Return to it when you’re feeling better, not stressing about it, and see how you feel. This is all person-by-person. I take a week off here and there after a couple months, and then I’m good to go for a couple more months. You may be different. In fact, you most likely are, and that’s a wonderful thing.

In the end, work hard, live a lot, and take care of yourself.

Sincerely yours,

 

Nathan

 

 

P.S. IMPORTANT! I need your help! If you would like me to discuss anything, please let me know in the comments! I’ll be reading them.

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