Changing Habits One Vacation at a Time
Changing Habits One Vacation at a Time
Hey! We’re on vacation! It’s our last full day and it’s raining.
Secretly, I’m sorta happy about the rain. I’m happy to have an excuse to sit around and be lazy and drink wine during the day and type things to all of you.
Also, one of us (my youngest stepdaughter) probably has mono. Seriously. Two visits to the urgent care this week and finally she’s on a prescription, but she needs a mono test when we get home. So that has changed the trajectory of our vacay a bit. Another reason that a rainy, lazy day is not a bad thing right now.
We are here in my mom’s camper at the Jersey Shore. For me and my kids, this is our 10th summer coming here. Megan says “This is pretty much my third home.” Joe and his girls have been here with us once before but we’ve never come down for a whole week. We were concerned that six might feel like too many people, but it’s actually been fine … other than the fact that Joe and I are sleeping on a (surprisingly comfortable) futon out in the covered porch/living room. The lack of privacy has been a bit challenging for two people who are still newlyweds …
Oh Lordy. That sounds like such a sterile way to say it. But now the kids are old enough to read this blog. Megan even told me that she looked it up at school once or twice when she was bored. She read a story about her dad and I trying to kill a mouse and thought it was hilarious. What she would find less hilarious would be finding out that her stepdad and I think vacation sex is the best sex.
Megan: stop reading this. I probably should’ve said that a few paragraphs up.
One reason I secretly wanted a rainy day so I could blog is that I looooooove writing here at the shore. I did so much writing here when I started blogging. The kids were small then and I used to write in the early morning while they watched TV and then later again while Benjamin napped. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find the mental or physical space to put down some thoughts this time around. But right now everyone is either napping or using their electronics, so it’s quiet and lovely.
Honestly, I’ve been scared to do much blogging or creative writing. I’m out of practice. I sometimes worry that I’m so out of practice that I can’t do it anymore. And writing at home, on the computer where I work, tends to feel like work. It’s hard to do creative work in the same space where I do my work-work.
I read a book on habits a while ago. The author said there a few ways you can change a habit. I can’t remember what they all are, but one approach was to capitalize on novelty. Like, my dad decided to quit smoking on my 17th birthday when he was on a business trip. Just decided he was done and then sweated out the next few hours and days and then he came home a non smoker.
I have taken that opportunity on this vacation to stop taking Ambien. I have had crippling insomnia for the last few years. I’m not physically dependent on Ambien, but I’m definitely mentally dependent. That is, I worry if I don’t take it, I won’t sleep. The last few weeks I’ve been breaking the pills in half and only taking a half dose. I haven’t taken one single pill – whole or half – since we started this vacation.
I also wanted to take this vacation to become a writer again. Not a business writer or a content strategist or any other title that’s going to go on my LinkedIn profile …. but a writer who writes for the sheer joy of it. I want to move through the world like a writer again.
Leaving this vacation without sitting and down and writing would’ve felt like a fail. I’ll go home much happier knowing I’ve done this. I’m capitalizing on the novelty of being in a different place on a different schedule and using different devices (I’m using my iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard) to conquer my fear and just DO the damn thing.
So here is a blog for you, but mostly for me.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go administer a pizza taste test to the dog (really … and I’ll explain later) and then probably play 5 board games with my family.
Thanks for reading.
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