Fresh Approaches to Old Problems

December 23rd, 2020:

It’s been a week of putting things in order and trying fresh approaches to old problems. In coordination with my wife, I’ve rearranged the household schedule to accommodate my writing with fewer distractions. Primarily this involves clearing weekdays for heavy drafting and editing by transforming our weekends into shared days for chores and rest. Wednesdays were grocery days for now irrelevant reasons, and a task I tackled alone while my spouse worked. That became a big mid-week disruptor for me, combined with taking Thursdays as my “day off” thereafter.

Now we’ve moved grocery day to Saturdays, which allows us to share in the chore. And as a store nearby now offers online ordering where they bring your groceries to your car after you arrive, we tried it. It requires planning but is safer for everyone involved given the pandemic. Our first run was quick and saved hours of effort at no added expense. We’ll keep doing the shop this way if the choice remains post-Covid.

By allocating my designated writing periods akin to a weekday 9 to 5 job, I align my free time with my spouse’s schedule. As she works 95% from home, our mismatched schedules in the same house had become mutual — if unintended — sources of stress. Now we’re sailing on the same boat. I’m using the shift to put more quality into our evenings and weekends together. For years I haven’t taken proper breaks to recharge, and this step is another in my journey to correct that and improve my mental health.

Friday and Monday involved snow removal after storms, nigh two feet from the former and two inches the next. That took away from my creative time, however I kept focused on getting my social media in order. It has been a mess since November after I got behind while crafting The Forever Halloween. I’ve been assembling things makeshift and sometimes even daily thereafter, a disruptive and inefficient method. Now I have established a one-week buffer and framework that only needs a minimal commitment each weekend. I’m looking forward to enjoying my accomplishment of a clean slate for writing and worry-free holidays into the second week of 2021.

With side distractions taken care of, I am rereading my draft of Tears of the Joyous Mare and restarting my work on it today and tomorrow. But I’ll be taking at least a three-day break starting Christmas Eve with my annual watching of the 1970, Albert Finney musical version of Scrooge. Beyond that, we’re catching up with the last few years of the Marvel cinematic universe and celebrating my wife’s birthday on Tuesday.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Take care, be safe, and keep writing!

~Jason H. Abbott

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