A Change Would Do You Good

aka, Things I’m Going To Try To Start Doing

1.  Work on some part of my manuscript everyday, for however many minutes or hours.  And whether I want to or not.

2.  Jog.  With my dog.  (Aside from tennis and walking, I have not exercised since May.  May!)

3.  Stop and stare.  Why do the days pass in a blur?  I need to stop in the middle of #2 above, sit on a bench, and just see what’s out there.

4.  Do the things on my To Do list instead of just moving them to another list.  (Confession: I have items on my list that have been on there for more than a year!)

5.  Curse less.  The F-word has become a staple of my current vocabulary.  This includes F-word derivatives like freakin’, frickin’, and flippin’.  (P.S.  This will be hard.  I come from a long line of women for whom cursing is a sanity-saving right of way.)

6.  Watch less TV.  And since I like to eat while I watch TV, I’ll get the two-birds-with-one-stone thing.  Maybe I’ll even play more music with the TV off.  I can’t remember the last time I listened to music in my house.

7.  Clean it out.  I know, I know, I’m already not a collector.  But seriously people, I can’t park in my own garage.  More has got to go!

8.  Read while sitting up.  I think my days of long hours reading while in recline mode are gone.  I lay down, I sleep.  Period.  For example, I’ve been reading my current book for 2 weeks and I’m on page 12.

9.  Cook fewer dinners.  There’s only 2 of us here, and god knows we’re not starving.  I don’t need to cook every night — something my husband keeps telling me, and I agree, only to go on with the cooking.  To quote Joan Didion, cooking feels like “drawing the circle” for the evening.  It feels homey and safe.  But I need to cut down.  We don’t need meat and potatoes 7 nights a week.

10.  Turn off the computer by 7 p.m.  This includes my iPad.  I used to make fun of people for always being on their computers.  The mirror is a nasty piece of glass.  Off, off, OFF.

11. Look forward to the holidays.  Christmas was so stressful when I was a kid — divorced parents, poverty, shame, longing, disappointment — and that feeling of impending doom still hangs in my air.  So this year, as a start, I’m actually going to DECORATE MY HOUSE for Christmas.  This means I’m getting out the tree and ALL of my ornaments.  I might even buy some new ones.  This is huge, folks.  Huge.  Pray for me.

Would a change do you good?  What does your list look like?

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23 thoughts on “A Change Would Do You Good

    1. Teri

      The “Saying No” thing continues to be on my list. Always. I always want everyone to be happy, people-pleaser that I am, even people I don’t even know. It’s a disease.

      Though I have gotten soooooo much better, so at least I’m moving in the right direction.

  1. Oma

    My list is pretty much the same. Less TV=less eating. But I do most of my reading laying down. On my right side, in bed before I sleep. (Can’t lay on my left since a nasty accident at work broke all the ribs on my left side, punctured a lung and pulled just about every muscle up and down the left side of my body.) I read at least 60 to 90 minutes EVERY night before I can go to sleep. A horrible habit I have gotten myself into, but I have. Needless to say I have gone thru quite a few books the last few months. I need to walk, to exercise but I am hopeless. I have probably gained and lost a few hundred lbs in my lifetime but now that I am *# years old it is very hard. And Christmas, bah humbug. My favorite holiday is almost here. Halloween. I love it. I always have. I love the fall, walking through leaves. Harvest Moons. Halloween just tops it off. And I love howling at the moon with the grandkids.

    1. Teri

      Oma, we have a Halloween here that would knock your socks off. My neighborhood goes so nutty with the decorating that people actually come on buses to Trick of Treat! Streets are blocked off. We have hundreds of kids, so many that we combine with the neighbors and the front door stays open and someone is actually stationed there with a basket of candy. ALL NIGHT. It’s craziness I tell you.

  2. macdougalstreetbaby

    Yup, that picture is awesome. Between the jacket and the glasses and that smile on your face, I’d have a hard time just passing you by.

    I love the one about stopping and staring. I have a slight problem with that one. I can’t stop. And the worst part? I don’t want to.

    I’m not much of a list maker. I should probably make one, at least when I’m en route to the market. It would help me to remember what it was I was there for in the first place!

    1. Teri

      You are a superstar, MSB! If I had 4 kids you’d have to peel me off the floor because I’d be down there making more lists!! And you’re capturing your days on film, so at least you can look back. Isn’t it funny that one thing that always reminds me to Stop And Stare is looking at your photos? I think, now how did she notice that and know to capture it?

  3. Laura

    Hey, tennis and walking ARE exercise! But I know what you mean.

    I want to eat more salads and veggies, stop with the nighttime eating, actually get moving on my (final? eh, who are we kidding) novel edits, actually write something new for the first time in what feels like forever, spend more time reading on the couch so the cats can sit on me, take more walks so I can fully appreciate the fall air before winter comes crashing down, do more yoga, run more often, use my juicer more often (have I just revealed myself to be a weirdo who makes carrot-spinach-apple-celery juice…and LIKES it?) and, last but not least, actually get in gear with stuff relating to my short story collection as its publication date looms. I swear, the closer that date gets, the more I just want to hole up in a cave and never come out. Not good.

  4. Lyra

    I didn’t realize that photo was you until a second glance. What a fantastic shot!

    I’ve been writing at night, and then I should go to bed. But no. I’ve been DVRing some shows that well, I can’t even admit they’re so bad, and then of course I’m drinking and eating at 11 p.m. It must stop. I have such trouble though going to bed then because it makes it feel like I have no life. Work, kids, bed. Ick.

    As for cursing less…hmmm, does it count if I limit it to work. I cannot tell you, shouldn’t tell you, the amount of times I state/shout during the course of a workday “Are you F’in kidding me?!” But of course I say the full monte. That and I’m fond of Douchebag, Douchery, Douche. It really must end. I’d make a sailor blush.

  5. Averil Dean

    I can tell you that cursing less is not on my list. I need my f-bombs.

    My list is too long to approach on vacation-hangover day, but I could fill numbers 1-10 with tasks having to do with my WIP, so let’s say I want to finish the damn thing and call it quits.

    Sheesh, Teri, stop pressuring me.

  6. lizisilver

    1. Love that picture of you.
    2. Write more.
    3. Stop thinking about writing whenever I’m not writing so I can actually absorb life and have something to write about.

  7. Teri

    First Day Update!

    I haven’t said the f-word for about 48 hours now. (I actually typed the whole word out but replaced it with “f-word.” See how guilty I am?)

    I did not run — it’s 92 degrees, that’s my excuse — but I did play tennis early, so all was not lost.

    I turned the TV off right after the news. Though I did devote 2 hours last night to the Dancing With the Stars season opener!!

    I called the Consignment Store and they’re coming to look at the stuff in my garage to see if they can sell any of it. That’s a start.

    I used my iPad last night after 8 pm to comment at Betsy’s. That’s not so so bad, right?

    I didn’t “work” on my manuscript today, but I did read through a long section that I can’t stomach and I’m just going to percolate on it and see if it’s worth saving.

    No dinner was cooked. I went to bed thinking I was starving, but that’s most nights. I’m always starving —- people who say, “I’m so stressed I can’t eat” baffle me to the bone.

    1. erikamarks

      Look at that pretty woman in that photo! Love it.

      Cheers on all that success out of the gate! Your 7 pm cut-off is one I want–NEED–to implement, asap.

      And add me to the list of people baffled by the stress diet. Maybe in those first few minutes after getting a root canal, I can imagine not wanting to eat, but that’s about it.

  8. Laura

    I have a new one to add to my own list: Refrain from reading all reviews of my book. I have heard there are writers out there who do this, but I honestly am not sure how possible it is. Oh man.

    1. Teri

      Oh Laura, that’s tough. How can you NOT read them all. I’m so OCD I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night for all the reviews that still needed reading!

      But dear lord don’t listen to me. Ignore them. Keep working on your next project!!!!

  9. Deb

    I’ve been a practicing number 1 for a few weeks, actually working on the wip for hours a day. (It’s startng to read like a book!) Unfortunately, it’s made number 7 an undeniable priority for the next few days. The dust and cat hair are taking over.

    If you need holiday decorating support, contact me. I’m a regular f* — oops, a regular Martha Stewart with the whole holiday thing! And also a reformed holidays suck person!

    1. Teri

      Congrats Deb! It’s so fun when it finally, finally!, starts to look like a real book.

      And I will absolutely need holiday rah rah support. I’m going to play Christmas music and decorate and drink egg nog and just sit in front of that lit up tree at night reading my book. Doesn’t that sound heavenly?

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