I realized after I wrote it that the title of this post could be misleading, but didn’t change it because it is so appropriate; sometimes I feel like I should be committed.
Have you ever been so wrapped up in work that you forgot to eat? I never thought it would be possible for me (food and I have such a bond) but it happened last week…at work. That may not sound like such a big deal, but what you may not know is that when I don’t eat my body rebels and I get…let’s say less than rational. Ok, I won’t sugar coat it, when my blood sugar drops I can get a case of the hot crazies, and this state will last until I eat, or cry…or both.
I didn’t eat until 2pm on Thursday and a very small task expanded in my mind’s eye until that task was impossible. I sat at my desk obsessing about a simple e-mail for thirty minutes (ok, it was more) until I vented to a colleague who very gently led me down from the ledge. (He’s someone’s husband…the training in dealing with women like me was clearly in evidence that day.)
The part of my mind that reads Scientific American in airports (to look smart on the plane) knows that my irrational behaviour is probably a natural result of plummeting blood sugar levels. (For those of you who are wondering, this is not the dominant part of my brain. The dominant part of my brain is usually thinking about reality television, fantasizing about being able to do push-ups so I can join the Marines, and wondering how Hostess could ever have consider taking Twinkies out of my life.)
What I want to know is why the smarter (Scientific American reading) part of my brain doesn’t develop a system to prevent the hot crazies. Some sort of buzzer that goes off when I haven’t eaten in four hours. Something that could save me from displays of blatant irrationality in front of co-workers; who, unlike my husband do not have to love me no matter how crazy I am.
Here’s to hoping the rational part of me takes over one day.
So, what does that have to do with the other type of commitment you might ask? Well, I was thinking about how I let myself get too busy. I do things I think I should do, at the expense of things I really want to do. (Write, spend time with my husband and friends, ride horses, plan ways to help save Hostess from bankruptcy…you get the point.) So in an effort to bring the things I want to do back into my life, I am publicly renewing my commitment to do something on my “want” list every day. Today that is writing for four full hours.
Taking time for yourself can mean anything from slowly enjoying a coffee with the morning paper, to fitting in a workout. But what if taking time for yourself wasn’t about carving out a piece of your day for something important to you. What if you could actually “take” time. Steal it from someone else or from your past or future self.
Consider a character who has found they have this ability. How would they spend this stolen time? Would they really do everything they ever planned or would they sit on the couch procrastinating for longer and longer periods of time? What would the consequences of this theft be for your character and the people from whom they steal the time? Aim to spend forty minutes exploring stolen time. Happy writing.