In regards to the internet, I practically disappeared for a month and a half. Not just here, but practically everywhere: fora, social media, everything.
I stopped making, too. Okay, I still wrote or programmed if I felt like it, a little bit here and there, but I didn’t start any serious projects, nor did I make any promises about releasing, well, anything.
I was done with all of my summer work, and I still had all of August ahead of me, I just let everything go, and
…it wasn’t exactly something I wanted to do at first. I’d always lived by my work and by self improvement, so how could doing absolutely nothing contribute to my life? And it was a slow and somewhat painful process, too: the first few days, even after I stopped making, I kept checking. Anxiously checking to see what other people were doing, how they were being productive when I was not.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped caring. When boredom hit, I started doing other things. I learned how to ride a bike, finally. Admittedly, I’m terrible at it, but at least I could now. I read more, helped out some more around the house, hung out with friends, went to conventions and events without worrying about myself, and just, in general, had a lot of fun.
I also went outside for extended periods of time, something I hadn’t done for years, probably. I learned that summer weather was really nice, especially during a light rain.
It wasn’t easy to see before, but school and work had been wearing me out over the past few months, and my productivity had dropped off. It wasn’t exactly made better by the fact that I had my own side projects, but as I stepped back, I realized that I was pushing myself to the point of insanity.
I needed to learn how to relax. Like everything else I do, I decided to learn by throwing myself entirely into it. But with relaxing, that’s sort of a paradox. I learned that you don’t really relax by trying really hard to relax.
I started practicing Aikido. That martial art is all about relaxation. My muscles started out more tense than springs. They still are pretty tense, but it’s gotten a lot better.
After a month of what I thought was ‘doing nothing’, I ended up doing a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. And now here I am, back and writing again…and it seems to all flow much more naturally than it did when I was so wound up.
I’ve learned that I probably should relax more often. Like on weekends, for example. So that I don’t have to dedicate an entire month to doing so. But if I do have a month of free time, I might try this again.
Sometimes, it can be a good idea to, if you have the time, to just let everything go, and relax for an extended block of time. After this summer, I’m a lot less tense than I used to be, and I’m starting to feel more creative again.
Of course, unlike what I did, it might be a good idea to let other people know first.