For all her life, Holly, my horse, has gotten her winter coat starting in September and sheds beginning in January. Vets express their concern because her internal clock seems to be a little off. But not really. She waits until after the Autumnal Equinox, when the days get shorter (even though she was born and has lived all her 14 years in the Phoenix desert, where the sun may go down a minute earlier but the temperatures are still over 100), and sheds after the Winter Solstice, when the days get longer. Temperature doesn’t matter. It’s the hours of daylight.
For the last few years, I began planning my writing/publishing/marketing for the next calendar year in September. I look at what I accomplished the previous nine months, what I might get done the last three months, and then squint and toss the darts at next year’s days. And by January, I’ve seen the error in my attempts at over scheduling and forgetting that life happens regardless of my plans. Though no doctor has expressed concern over my “internal mechanism” for wanting to write stories and create books, I remind myself that temperature doesn’t matter. It’s the hours of daylight.
This week, daylight has been blocked by a big change that I didn’t predict and can’t influence. Like all creatures, I love my routines. They are my comfort zone. I know how life happens outside our comfort zone, but I love my life inside my comfort zone just fine. For years, I tried to “write despite.” After all, if I called myself a writer, then a writer writes. Even if I was sick, or lost my job, or had to move, or faced difficulties in relationships and finances, by gosh and by golly, I had to sit and put words on the page… or else. I’ve since realized that I don’t function (well) that way.
I’ve acknowledged that I’ve overbooked myself in regard to what I can accomplish in a day/week/month/year. But is it horrible that I keep trying? Maybe this isn’t the worst vice I could have… so, with the unexpected change this week and compiling ideas/tasks and being offered two jobs (and then making other contacts about those jobs), not much got done. And maybe I’m thinking “not much” because I didn’t finish a project or make sweeping changes on my sales pages or turn a corner in managing my time/energy.
But I will finish the math workbook this weekend. I’ll also upload a cool graphic to my trilogy pages on Amazon. I’ve made a few decisions about my Patreon page and other bits. And when I adjust to this change, I’ll pick up the stories and the tasks and carry on inside my new comfort zone. When change comes, are you able to carry on regardless or do you need a minute to adjust your routines?