Monday, September 18, 2017

Soak Up The Moment



*leaps back into the blogosphere and pulls each and every one of you into an epic group hug*


I AM BACK!!! And goodness have I missed all of you! I mean, I know I’ve only been gone for two weeks. You guys probably didn’t even notice my absence… Ahem. But I still missed all of YOU! Namely because, for once, I took an actual hiatus. See, usually my “hiatuses” just mean me not writing my own blog posts but still very much reading all of yours and keeping up on social media. But this time I took a for reals full two weeks social media hiatus. I barely even opened the twitter app! *GASP* I know, right???


As a result, I have approximately 909823847 emails, blog posts, and all that other fun stuff to catch up on and I may or may not be drowning in it all. BUT I SHALL CATCH UP. Though I may not be commenting on all the posts because, well, I only have so much time. But I will be reading every single one of your lovely posts I missed, even if I don’t get a chance to comment! (Because normally I’m sooo good and persistent at commenting on everything… AHEM.) And if you sent me an email and it takes me 3459 years to reply, I apologize!


Not only do I have the last two weeks of stuff to catch back up on, but I shall soon be jumping into NaNoWriMo plotting since we only have a month and a half left before it is upon us (you’re welcome for the panic attack I just provided, always here to help). Plus I have some beta projects I’m doing that also probably need to be tended to before the ever time-sucking NaNo takes over.


Needless to say, I’m feeling a leetle swamped. So the question is, was taking two full weeks away from everything even a good idea?


YES. The best idea.


Because you know what? Life isn’t about being up to date on blog posts and keeping my inbox clear and organized. Life is about living. And yes, I’m a writer. All these computer things I do basically is my livelihood. Not to mention the pathway toward my dream career. But there’s still so much more to life than a computer screen.



On September 3rd, I headed out to spend a week with my best friend of 17 years, and then she came back home with me to spend nearly another week in my town. And I didn’t turn on my laptop not a single day for the first entire week, and still barely touched it the second week. I could have used my laptop some. I could have taken a bit of time to keep caught up on things so I wouldn’t be so swamped when life returned to normal. My current self would be a little less overwhelmed. But you know what? I’d also be regretful.


I’d regret that I took time away from my friend to do something that really didn’t matter, that could totally be done later. Instead, I soaked up every second I had with her and just relaxed.


And that’s when it hit me. I spend far too much time worrying about “getting things done” so I don’t have to “worry about it later” instead of just enjoying the time I have. But that’s silly, because there will always be things that need to be done. No matter how hard I work, there is always stuff to do, a constant stream of things to catch up on. I can’t just forever be fully “done”. But I worry myself to death trying to get “caught up” on things, and then miss out on LIFE. The world will not explode if I wait a few days (or even weeks) to answer that email. And yet I seem to live like it will.


(And yes, I totally wrote a post very similar to this same topic back in February titled Moment by Moment, but it takes me about 346 years to actually learn these lessons, so here I am, learning it all over again. And forcing you to read my rambles about it once more. Because my blog is often where I braindump and sort out my thoughts and you all have to suffer through my rambles with me. *cackles*)



My friend and I only get to see each other about twice a year. (We used to live in the same town, but her family moved when we were 13 and yes, it stinks but we make the best of it.) Because we only get so much time together, I try my very best to soak up the time I do have with her. Spending hours of our time together on the computer does not fit into that equation. Not to mention, sometimes we just need breaks from the computer! Whether it’s your career or not, we can’t spend our entire lives in front of a screen.


During my week at my friend’s house, even on some days when she had to work, I used my time to just relax. Instead of snagging my laptop, I picked up a book. Instead of tweeting, I scrolled through Pinterest (because Pinterest unwinds me and is my happy place). I used any free time to just do things that relaxed me, tasks I loved and that caused no stress. Yes, I LOVE blogging and connecting with everyone on social media and writing. It’s one of my greatest joys, literally my livelihood. But sometimes we need a break from even those things and to just allow ourselves to be blissfully lazy now and again. Sometimes watching an entire season of Gravity Falls with your bestie (yes, we totally did that *cough*) is way more important than being on top of emails.


After my week in her town, we came to my town and spent basically every second with friends here. One of our dearest friends is literally moving this week to somewhere that’s 11 hours away. Many states away from me! *sobs for an eternity* (And let’s not even talk about the fact that her sister, my other dearest, dearest friend may end up moving eventually, too.) So yes, I’m now about to go through my other dear friend moving away from me. (Because having one friend move wasn’t fun enough. Eheheheheh…heh. *sobs some more*)


As a result, I spent the past week soaking up every single second I had with all my friends because I knew our time together was limited. And I didn’t want to waste a single second of it.


Now, I’m not saying by any means that we shouldn’t be productive. Making careers and working toward goals and living intentionally to achieve our dreams is so, so, so important. (And something I’ve been thinking a lot about as well.) Sometimes we do need to set aside time to work, or to turn down that lunch date to instead edit the next chapter of your novel because there’s a deadline looming. That’s just life. Being productive is a beautiful thing, and something I admire in people. If I had the chance to watch an entire season of a television show in one week with a friend every week I’d prooobably have to decline. But, as I said, since I only see this friend a couple of times a year (and we both just really love TV shows and spend about 96% of our time together fangirling over things) it was something I was perfectly happy doing.


No, we should definitely not spend every moment of our day doing recreational activities. But what these past couple of weeks taught me is that we should soak up the time we do have. I very intentionally let loose any fears and stress for the future during my hiatus and just enjoyed my time with friends. I soaked up each moment, and now have those memories to treasure forever.


Sure, I’m ridiculously behind on things now, but I don’t care. I wouldn’t trade these past weeks for a cleared out inbox for anything in the world.



As they say, the present is called the present because it’s a GIFT. The future is unknown and can worry about itself. But the here and now, it’s what we have. And it should never be taken for granted. Don’t get me wrong, we should certainly set goals for our futures and reach for our dreams, but that doesn’t mean we should be missing out on the moments we’re living now. If I’m guilty of anything, it’s that. Lately time has just been flying and I’ve been in regret of all the time I’m wasting. And I think the source of that is because I’m so constantly focused on the future, I’m not being still and just enjoying the now.


This hit harder than ever last year when someone very close to me passed away. In fact, there were multiple deaths of acquaintances last year. And as I’ve seen people pass away and experience friends move miles from where I live, I realize more than ever, the present really is a gift. We don’t know what we’ll have or not have in the future. But this moment, right now, we do have.


So let’s choose our priorities wisely. Let’s enjoy the moments we have. Let’s soak them up. Let’s let loose our stress and fears for the future and live intentionally, seeing the moment we have now for the beautiful gift it is.


(Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be spending the next few days catching up on all those millions of things I’m behind on and probably ignoring my life because actually applying the lessons I’ve learned is not my strong suit… *cough, cough, COUGH*)

 

Sorry for the braindump and the serious turn this took! The post was really just supposed to be a quicky one letting you all know I’m back and sharing some thoughts I’ve had but…well, my “thoughts” tend to be longwinded, so here we are. But now I want to hear your thoughts! Do you soak up the moments as they happen, or, like me, are you so worried about the future and getting things done you let the present pass you by? I’M SO GUILTY HALP. What tips do you have for enjoying the present and not worrying about the future? Any good ways to find the balance of living in the here and now but still being productive? (Because I am on an eternal search for this balance!) ALSO. What’s been going on with you??? Like I said, I’ve been cut off from everyone for two weeks. I’VE MISSED YOU ALL. Tell me how life is going. I want to hear it all!!!

37 comments:

  1. CHRISTINEEEEEEEE. *tackle-hugs* I totally missed you, don't even pretend otherwise! *attempts to put on a reproachful look and fails miserably* ;)

    I'm so, so, SO glad you had a wonderful time with your bestie!!! Like that just makes my heart happy. <3 I can't even imagine only seeing my best friend twice a year (*distant sobbing because that may be somewhat of a reality if I go away to college*). Friends like that are absolutely precious gifts, and it's so special to be able to spend time with them!

    BUT GIRL. THIS POST SPEAKS TO MY SOUL. (I swear we are 10000% the same person sometimes like whaaaaaat.) Just...yes. I'm so with you on this! I'm constantly stressing myself out about getting everything done, and even on family vacations, I'll be that person staying up late at night in the hotel room scrolling through blog posts and GR to catch up on all the things. And then I'll try to whip up a couple blog posts somewhere along the line because I "have to stay on schedule." BUT SERIOUSLY MARY?? That's not what life is about! *facepalm* Right now, I've been having a pretty rough time life-wise and things have been CRAZY. And...I'm still stressing myself out about being on top of things and not going on official hiatus (because, good grief, I CAN'T do that twice in one year *fake gasp* :P).

    But like you said--it's OKAY to just live. I have a lot going on in my life that is infinitely more important than churning out biweekly blog posts. That's just where I am in life right now. Sure, it's not always fun (evacuating for hurricanes, though...ugh, I don't want to do that again soon) but it's right as rain going to be 1082x less healthy for myself to stress out about other tings that TOTALLY don't need to be stressed out over.

    Anyway. Sorry for all my rambles. XD (My brain is still in the foggy sick-mode which I swear will NEVER GO AWAY. *sticks tongue out at virus*) Your post just totally spoke to me, and I relate HARDCORE.

    I LOVE YOU, DARLING. <3 Keep living life and enjoying those precious moments!!

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    1. MARYYYY. *tackle-hugs back* It's so good to hear from YOU, you precious thing! <333

      Awww, you are so sweet! We did have an absolutely lovely time. It is really hard having your closest friends live far away, but it just makes time with them all the sweeter! (And you may be going away to college? Ooooh! I did not know this! :O) You nailed it, friends are the most precious gifts. Such blessings! ^_^

      I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this post! But YES. I think we're the same person, too. Like seriously, it's getting crazy! Because I'm over here nodding to everything you said. I'm totally that person, too--the one so stressed about schedules and being on top of things and staying productive, I forget to actually enjoy LIFE. Like...why is it so hard to relax??? Seriously now!

      It just hurts my heart that you're having such a hard time right now! D': And, girl, if you need to go on a hiatus, GO ON A HIATUS. I mean, you're dealing with HURRICANES and horrible ILLNESSES and still doing SCHOOL and just AGH. IT'S OKAY IF YOU NEED A BREAK. I mean, I've gone on THREE HIATUSES this year so far. O_O And I haven't even been going through the kind of stuff you have! So...yeah. Breaks are good, especially if you're feeling over stressed. Please be kind to yourself. I'd MUCH rather see you rested and happier than have consistent blog posts from you. And I'm sure all your readers feel the same.

      You're constantly in my prayers! I so hope that sickness has finally left your body and things are getting better.

      LOVE YOU, TOOO!!! *huuuugs*

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  2. I needed to hear this SO bad right now. Like today specifically. So thank you!!!

    I frequently struggle with feeling overwhelmed by what I need to get done, although lately God has been helping me learn to prioritize and manage my time better. SO THANKFUL FOR THAT. I absolutely hate when I feel anxious just because I have emails to respond to or blog posts to write etc. Life should not be dictated by such trivial things. (They're wonderful, yes. And communicating with friends is THE BEST. But it shouldn't become a burden; it should be a joy.)

    A couple things I find helpful:
    1) Remembering that in all honesty all I REALLY need to do on any given day is to love God and love other people. Everything else comes after that. Remembering that helps me relax and let go of the unimportant--and RIGHTLY prioritize the other important things like eating, school, work, etc.

    2) Monthly goals--weekly goals--daily goals. I've only just started to use monthly goals, but I've been categorizing what needs to get done as daily or weekly goals for awhile now and it helps SO much. Just don't overburden yourself with too many goals, especially on the daily list. #youwillbestressedifyouoverburnden :P

    3) Taking time to FORCE myself to relax and read a book or watch a movie--and basically ignore any and all internet obligations. :)

    I guess that's all I have for now. :) Also, THANK YOU/NO THANK YOU for reminding me there's only a month and a half till NaNo?!?!? *screams* I've been so looking forward to it...but not so much that I want time to fly as fast as it has been. :D

    THIS POST WAS SO GREAT. <3

    PS. Have you read this blog? http://www.abbieemusicblog.com/
    The writer, Abbie, talks a lot about productivity and time management and stuff. She's just so much fun and SUPER encouraging. :)

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    1. Awwww! You're so welcome! It's something I think God has been teaching me all year. And I still haven't gotten it quite right... Haha.

      You put it PERFECTLY. "Life should not be dictated by such trivial things." YES. But, like you, I get so anxious when I have things piling up and I HATE it. I've got to put into practice just taking the time to enjoy life and balance work and productivity!

      Oh my goodness, your tips are GOLDEN. The first one especially smacked me HARD, in the best way! Because that's LITERALLY something God was showing me the other day--that I should focus on HIM, and focus on loving HIM and OTHERS instead of being so anxious about productivity, THEN everything else will fall into place. And now here you're saying the same thing. I think God used you to remind me of that once more! THANK YOU! I needed to hear this!

      Gooooals!!! Goals give me LIFE. Although...then my OCDness and overachieving self kicks in and I obsessed over the goals and ignore life... Ahem. So I have to balance my love for goals with living sometimes, too. XD But they do help me keep on track SO MUCH.

      Yes to forcing ourselves to relax! It's kind of crazy we have to do that. XD But I sure do! I've been trying really hard lately to not allow myself to work any time past 10 at night, and use that time to read before bed. I think it's helping a lot!

      THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THESE! I want to try to put them ALL into practice. I think they'll really help. You are a treasure! <333

      Oh, and you're sooo welcome for the NaNo reminder. *smile, smile* I couldn't have a panic attack by myself. Got to share the panic with friends. ;D

      THANK YOU!!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

      Oh my goodness, Abbiee's blog is amaziiiiing. I've only been following her for a few months, but her posts are LIFE CHANGING. She's the best!

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    2. Neither have I. Thankfully He keeps teaching us. :D

      Same. I hate getting anxious and yet I hate having things pile up...it's a vicious cycle. :(

      REALLY? Wow that makes me SO happy to hear. Like, I'm SUPER glad you liked the tips, but that you think God used me to remind you of that? Wow. I feel extremely humbled. Isn't it amazing how God can use us to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ without even realizing it? *hugs*

      "Obsess over goals and ignore life". Yesssss. But yes, balance is key. It seems to be key for most everything actually. :D

      Giving yourself a work "deadline" each night sounds like SUCH relaxing plan. I need to implement that more often!

      AWWWW. I'm so glad you liked them. Thank YOU for this post!! <3

      Isn't it just?? I'm so glad you like her blog, too. :D

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    3. He's so good and patient! ^_^

      He totally used you! Your list of things have helped me so much. I've been trying to put them into practice, and I'm *already* seeing a vast improvement in my life! I'm getting things done but not even feeling overwhelmed, and yet at the same time I've been finding more free time to spend with family and friends. Things have been really good lately!

      Yes, balance is DEFINITELY key to like...EVERYTHING. I've been learning that big time for the past few years. Toootally failing to actually reach that balance, but, like I said, I think I'm seeing improvement! ^_^

      I've been trying to do that deadline but I failed a bit this week. Eheh. I need to be more strict about it, because it does help a lot!

      Thanks so much for everything, Natalie. You're a treasure! <3

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  3. So, basically, YES AND YES. All that stuff about thinking the world will end if I don't do this or that... and it won't... but I still think it... and then I don't LIVE and I stress myself out and ALL THE THINGS. Brain twins. Except that I haven't gotten to the pause-to-soak-up-all-the-moments-and-relax-sometimes thing because I'm even worse at learning to apply stuff. XD I SHOULD TOTALLY LISTEN TO THIS SO THANK YOU. Beautiful post, and I'm SO glad you had a good time with your friend(s)!! Taking a break sometimes is so important so I'm so glad you got one! ^_^ Good luck on catching up on things, but do breathe a bit and I hope you won't stress out over it! *hugs* (Because I know I would. XD) I LOVE THIS POST THANK YOU FOR SHARING! <3

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    1. ALSO. "we only have a month and a half left before it is upon us (you’re welcome for the panic attack I just provided, always here to help)." AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Ahem. You crack me up, my dear. XD *laughing* *panicking too, but laughing* XD

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    2. Right???? Exactly! Just...why is it so hard to CHILL? We're so crazy! XD

      And, trust me, I might be able to talk the talk, but that doesn't mean I'm always walking the walk. Eheh. I've been tryyying to soak up life more and chill a bit but...there's so much to doooooo! *flails* So, ahem, yes. I'm still learning. I feel like I'll ALWAYS be learning. I'm not so good at applying lessons... *cough*

      BUT THANK YOU!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed my rambles. And I shall try to breathe some. But you do the same! You work so hard! *hugs*

      LOLZY. Laughing and panicking. Yep, sounds like NaNo season. ;D

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  4. Welcome back!
    You've been missed, but I'm happy to see you enjoyed your hiatus and spent it well!
    "but it takes me about 346 years to actually learn these lessons, so here I am, learning it all over again." <- that's basically my learning process, too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Blue! *hugs*

      So I'm not the only one? I'm the WORST and not applying things I've learned. And God has to teach me things over and over and over again. I'm sure it takes SO much patience to deal with me. XD

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  5. EEEP! You're back!!!! I missed your posts! I've taken a few mini-social media (particularly blogging) hiatuses... hiatusi? this year and it's been so good. Helps me recharge a bit instead of feeling burned out and at a loss for ideas of things to post about all the time. :)

    Such a good reminder. With four small children, being PRESENT in the PRESENT is so so so important, and can sometimes be exhausting or feel like a bit of a chore. Escaping into cyberspace to chat with people about books and life can be tempting, but I try to put my computer/phone away during the days so that I don't miss these little people right in front of me. Balance... the ever-ongoing search... often eludes me. But with God's help, I take it day-by-day... moment-by-moment at times.

    Glad you had a good time with your friends! Friends moving far away is such a difficult thing... I will pray that your friendships will stretch and grow even deeper across the miles. And that you will all find new friends where you are so that you can continue to bloom wherever you are planted by the Lord.

    Welcome back!

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    1. AWWWW! That just makes my day! Thank you!!!

      YES. Hiatuses (or hiatusi, I love that! XD) are wonderful things. I find myself able to be MORE productive after them because I'm refueled instead of scraping at the bottom of my creative barrel trying to constantly produce stuff. We have to take *some* time out to refill that barrel now and again.

      I honestly don't know how you manage to raise four children (and be AMAZING at it at that) and STILL keep up with blogging and write books and just EVERYTHING. Actual Superwoman! I can imagine it is definitely challenging, but I know God gets your through it. Day-by-day, moment-by-moment, yes! ^_^

      Oh my goodness, Jenelle, that touched me so deeply. Thank you! As an extrovert who THRIVES off her friends, it's really, really hard seeing them all move away. But I know God has good things in store. I'll still always have those friendships, no matter the miles, and maybe I WILL find more friends here as well. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement! I needed that today. <3

      Thanks, Jenelle. You're the best! *hugs*

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  6. YAY CHRISTINE IS BAAAAACK. *tackle hugs* <3 <3

    This post is so so inspiring actually. I'm going to my cousin's place at the end of this week and I'm now resolved to do my best to stay away from the computer. (Other than the fact that we're planning on doing some word wars because they're fun. xP) Because yeah. I don't think I'll regret doing that, but I might regret computer-ing away the time I have with her.

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    1. AWWWWW!!! YOU SWEET THING. *tackle hugs back* I'VE MISSED YOU!

      Really? Oh my goodness, I'm so happy I was able to inspire you. I hope you have the most AMAZING and refreshing time with your cousin! :D

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  7. Ugh I'm too often worried and planning and plotting the future. It's like I imagine my life is out there, that when I've reached that place there somewhere in the future I will actually start living, but, um, no. I LIVE NOW. That's something I've really been learning too :) I live now. I shouldn't somehow imagine that when I grow up or get this and this done it's be perfect enough to start enjoying. And you know? I think it's something that needs practice and something we'll learn over and over again but the sooner we begin to work on it, the better!!! Writing actually helps soak up those moments -- just be recording the little beauties of each day! Someday I will start a project -- to write one short short every single day just to capture the loveliness of life :)

    So, I guess that would be a tip of mine? Just write the beauty down -- even in one short phrase? Just stop and count the teeny tiny things you are thankful for -- like licorice tea?? Just capture it with your voice (record yourself talking), with a pen, with a camera -- or just say "God I this is so amazing -- I love you."

    LIFE IS GOING AMAZING. Yesterday I got literally zero computer work done but I actually cleaned the house and folded a lot of clothes and took videos of myself and went thru stacks of paper (bc we are moving) and we had some folks over and I got a good dose of exercise shooting hoops and I felt weirdly productive for ... doing so ... little??? For NOT doing any writing :P or computer work xD

    Plus we are moving and are low key stressed but it's all attitude, you know, and I am taking the time to enjoy the sunshine :)

    Sorry this must be a monster comment and I was mostly talking to myself here and it might be a tad mundane but hey -- you'll relate you do monster comments too xD

    and IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK + HAPPY YOU HAD SUCH AN AWESOME TIME <333

    lisa
    thisinkwell.blogspot.com

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    1. OH. MY. GOODNESS. You put ALL my feelings into words! I DO THE SAME THING. I've spent basically the last 10 years thinking, "Well, once I get to THIS place in life I'll start living." And then I just keep focusing in the future and waiting for things to happen and then I just waste my life away WAITING. Because, hello? This is my life! Sure, it may be different in the future. But right now, right here IS my life and I should stop focusing on possible futures and just soak it up NOW. Just...YES. I relate so hard to everything you said! That's all exactly me!

      And ooooh my, I LOVE your perspective on writing and capturing the beauty in life. What a wonderful idea! I actually do something semi-similar to that. I keep what I call an "One Sentence Journal". At the end of every day I write in it one sentence of something good that happened that day. It takes no time at all, but it helps me find SOMETHING good that happened in every single day, even the worst days. Plus it's just a great way to capture each day without having to write long journal entries. I've really enjoyed doing it!

      I AM SO GLAD TO HEAR LIFE IS GOING AMAZING. That just makes my heart happy! And I love those days where you feel productive and are able to get things done that may not even include the computer. They're pretty great. XD

      Oh man, I know the hazards and stress of moving! I do so hope it's going well and won't be TOO stressful for you all. It's so beautiful you're taking the time to enjoy the sunshine. You ARE a ray of sunshine! ^_^

      I toootally do monster comments (I mean, look at this reply!), and I LOVE long comments and chatting with you guys. So don't even think about apologizing!

      THANK YOU, LISA!!! I'm so happy to be back. I've missed all you precious people! <3

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  8. CHRISTINE!! *tackle hugs* I MISSED YOU, LAURI! <3 <3 <3

    And GRACIOUS, can we just say that this post was SO TIMELY? I've been under MAJOR stress from a) school b) writing (because DEADLINES *weeps*) c) blogging and d) LIFE. Lots and lots of pressure. I plan to take things slower in October, but then there's NOVEMBER which is NANO, and we all know how NaNo goes. *more weeping*

    But yeah, all that to say that I NEEDED THIS. I tend to be a 'take it on all at once and DO IT FAST EVEN IF IT KILLS ME' type person. Yeah, one of those maniacs. I need to learn how to take a BREAK, GAH xD. Literally (before I saw this post, ha), I powered off my phone and hid it behind my bookshelf and TOLD MYSELF that I can't have it back until I finish the draft of Asher Grey that I'm working on because I HAVE A DEADLINE COMING UP for when I need to get it to alpha readers. So my phone will have to be neglected and dusty for a little bit xD.

    OKAY THAT WAS QUITE THE RAMBLE. Anyways. I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE BACK and GOOD FOR YOU FOR LEARNING HOW TO RELAX (... why is it such a hard lesson? It seems like it should be so simple? And yet I have a hard time doing it? xD), and thank you for this epic post. <3 <3

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

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    1. *TACKLES BACK* AND I'VE MISSED YOU. SO VERY MUCH!

      Really? Awww! I'm glad to hear it was timely (because I almost didn't even write it. o.o It was a very last minute thing!). But I'm NOT glad to hear you've been under major stress. I do sooo hope October will be a little quieter for you. Especially before NaNo, goodness yes. NaNo is just wild. Eheheheh... *weeps with you*

      I AM THE SAME WAY. I'm so bad about forcing myself to do EVERYTHING all at once with no breaks in between, and that's just not good! I love that you hid your phone from yourself. I should try that! XD (Also, I hope writing Asher Grey is going well! :D)

      I've been asking myself that question for YEARS--why is is hard to relax? Like...isn't that something we WANT to do? But I literally have to SCHEDULE relaxing time for myself, otherwise I'd never do it. WE ARE JUST CRAZY I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

      Thank you, Savannah! It's so good to be back and chatting with you all again! <3

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  9. Christine is back!!! My favorite blogger! *hugs*

    I'm glad you had such a good time and that you took the time to breathe and live in the moment. I really need to start doing that. I am always focused on the wrong things.

    This post was a great reminder.

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    1. SKYYYYE! Favorite blogger? *melts in a puddle of happy feels* I CAN'T EVEN PROCESS THIS MUCH NICENESS. It's so good to be back. I'VE MISSED YOU! *hugs back*

      Oh man, saaame here. I'm trying to focus on the right priorities but, ugh, I fail so very much. It's always a learning process!

      Thank you, Skye. Glad you enjoyed it! ^_^

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  10. You're baaaaaack!!!!! *tackles* Two weeks feels oddly long! But I'm so incredibly glad you enjoyed your time off to just LIVE and spend time with your bestie. ^_^ That's so precious.

    Honestly, the way you've chosen to take time away from it all a few times this year is super inspiring...especially because I'm in a season of life where EVERYTHING is demanding my attention! (Okay, that might be just about every season of life...) It's HEALTHY to take breaks, unplug, and enjoy the people around us.

    I do think I'm slowly getting better at being productive AND pausing to appreciate life. I've a long way to get yet, but leadership college last year taught me a lot in that regard. :)

    Anyway, I'm rambling now. It's so good to have you back! No pressure on any of my emails sitting in your inbox, okay? ^.^

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    1. I AM! AND I'VE MISSED MY DEAR TRACEY. *tackles back* Usually two weeks just zips by for me, but those two weeks did feel like a good chunk of time. I guess they were so FULL of activity and things. It just felt like I was on hiatus for much longer than I actually was! Lol. But it was suuuch a good two weeks. I'm so glad I was able to have them. ^_^

      Awwww! Well, sometimes I fear I've taken too many breaks this year... Though in 2016 I didn't take ENOUGH breaks. So I'm hoping by 2018 I'll have more balanced the productivity + relaxing thing. XD (Okay, probably not. I never seem to get it right, but one can dream. ;D) But goodness, with you doing college and everything, I can only imagine how full your plate is! But I'm so glad you're learning that balance amidst it all. That's so awesome leadership college helped you with that!

      Thank you, Tracey! It's good to BE back. You're so sweet! *hugs*

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  11. It's wonderful that you could spend time with your friends! We moved away from all our friends 5 years ago and visited 3 years ago, so I know how lovely it is to soak up time with your childhood chums.

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    1. Awww, thanks! It was a wonderful time!

      Oh man, that must be so rough. Living away from friends really stinks. But I suppose it just means when we DO see them, the time is that much sweeter. ^_^

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  12. TT_TT Amen. This post is BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much for this reminder! And you're back!!!! I'm so pleased to hear you had such a productive and peaceful and happy time with your dear friend. It's so so so true that the media all to often takes away what we need most - time. I find I usually take for granted the little things and waste far too much of my time scrolling online or doing useless things. Like worrying. . . I'm TOTALLY and COMPLETELY with you in that. I'm a huge worrier. But one of my favorite verses in our Life Manual (aka the Bible or the King's Scrolls, if you will... ;D) is found in Proverbs 31:25, "She is clothed in strength & dignity, and she can laugh without fear of the future." God holds our EVERY tomorrow. He cares for the creatures of the earth and the birds in the sky, how much more do you think He loves us? I find comfort in that. It doesn't always keep me from worrying, but it's a beautiful promise to know He's in control and my time and effort is better spent NOT worrying, but striving for excellence.

    I've DEFINITELY missed you, dear Lauri! Oh happy day you're back!!!

    Love you, girl! :] <3

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    1. D'awwww!!! THANK YOU, SARAH! It's something God's been teaching me basically all year, and I still don't have it quite right. Ah me, I try. XD

      Oh man, yes. The time I waste worrying about things, and trivial things at that! It's so silly. THANK YOU FOR THAT VERSE. (And I love your title for the Bible. "Life Manual" It's so perfect! XD) You are so right, God has tomorrow in His hands. There is no need to worry about it. He's given us the now, and THAT'S what we should be soaking up.

      I've missed you toooooo! Thank you so, so much for all the encouraging words. I needed them today. Love you, sweet girl! <3

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  13. Good good yes! So often we romanticize this whole obsessively spending time on the internet thing, the whole "hustle" thing, and we forget that...yeah, it's good to be productive, and it's good to get things done, but in the words of my therapist, "happiness is VERY productive." Sometimes the best and most God-honoring thing we can do is to take care of our minds, to take a lil while to re-set our brains and get some actual living done while interacting with the real-life people around us.

    Good stuff, man.

    Feels Like Hope

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    1. You ALWAYS nail it with your words, girl! You're right, we do kind of romanticize being productive and getting things done, and pat each other on the back for being super productive and basically not sleeping and just working all the time. But...we gotta relax some! It's not healthy to be productive to the point that you're not even living anymore. (Preaching to myself here. *cough*)

      Oh my goodness, those words of your therapist are LIFE CHANGING. YES. I LOVE THIS! I must remember this. Maybe it'll trick my overachieving brain into actually relaxing if I see it as productivity. ;D

      But seriously, everything you said is spot on. God CALLS us to be still, to rest. Even HE took a day of rest. I often forget that it's a GOOD thing and something God WANTS me to do. Thank you for that reminder! You're the best, Aimee! <3

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  14. Thank you so much for this post!!! XD It was so sweet. I'm so sorry your friends are moving away. Two of mine are moving to the other side of the U.S.A! *sobs with you* Yes, I definitely think we should soak in every moment! It's been super rainy and stormy here, so I opened the window and just dove into a new novel I am reading. It was so refreshing! Live every moment!!! XD

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    1. Awwww! You are so welcome! It's been something I've been really trying to work on all year, and still very much trying to get right. Maybe someday I'll actually perfect it. (Buuut probably not. XD)

      Oh man! I am so sorry to hear that. Friends moving is the WORST. *shares consoling cookies with you* At least we have technology so we can keep in touch with everyone!

      Ooooh, reading a new novel while it's raining sounds dreamy. Definitely the perfect way to rest and soak up the moment! :D

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    1. THANK YOU, MY DEAR LODY! I'VE BEEN MISSING YOOOUUU!!! *HUGS*

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  16. YAY YOU'RE BACK! :D

    And THIS POOOOOOOST. You totally NAILED it! I'm always, always, ALWAYS worried about 'getting things done' so I don't have to 'worry about them later'. And then I get so overwhelmed that I end up not living the life I was meant to live. -__- But this post has really encouraged me! Thank you for the braindump! ;)

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    1. I AM. AND I'VE MISSED YOU. *hugs*

      Yesssss. You basically summed up my LIFE. :O Like...that's literally me. I spend so much time trying to make it where I don't have stuff to do later, I miss the now. *shakes head*

      But I'm so honored my rambles was an encouragement! It's a lesson I'll probably always be learning!

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  17. I'm glad you had a refreshing hiatus. I took one of those in July and it really helped me out. I spent two weeks with one of my best friends, barely going on my computer at all and it was amazing. I love what I do, but sometimes it's good to take a break. :)

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. "I love what I do, but sometimes it's good to take a break." <---SO MUCH THIS. Writing is an amazing, wonderful, magical thing, and I wouldn't want to do anything else, but it CAN be stressful. We have to let our minds refuel now and again. *nods* I'm glad you were able to have one of those refreshing, fun-filled breaks this year!

      Thanks so much, girl! ^_^

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