I’m writing this from the Pacific Beach Public Library. I waited in line for one of 10 shared computers that I am now able to use for exactly one hour—something I haven’t done since college. There’s an odd smell and the man next to me has cleared his throat about 10 times in the past 30 seconds.
Let’s back up and examine how it got to this point, shall we?
Two weeks ago, when I was straddled with multiple deadlines and busy playing tour guide to my visiting parents, my trusty Compaq laptop became schizophrenic. I didn’t think much of it; I basically live in a black hole here at the beach where functional internet service is a luxury. Two hours later, the computer crashed…and I had a system failure of my own. As a freelance writer, I depend on that laptop – it’s my lifeblood. I frantically ran a routine repair while emailing an editor from my iPhone, pleading for an extra day to complete an assignment. Somehow I got the machine running for long enough to finish my story. Four hours and two Geek Squad members later, I pulled the plug on my hard drive. The prognosis for data recovery was just too grim (luckily I had some documents backed up).
This is pretty much indicative of my life in the past few months (before you categorize this blog post as a complete downer, hear me out). Let’s just say there a few things I need to reconstruct, and luckily, change is under way. For starters, I’ll have a new hard drive on Thursday (which should give me at least another year until it crashes again). Then, we move from a black hole to the vibrant downtown community of Little Italy this weekend. Yes, my dreams of high-speed Internet, clear cell-phone reception and year-long residents are finally coming true. What’s more, our stream of visitors has ended for a while. Much as I love our families, preparing, entertaining, and getting caught up afterward is exhausting. Lastly, I’m taking the following measures to help stay focused and keep my eyes on the prize (the prize being a kick-#$! career and a fabulous life in this city I’m growing to love):
- I walk on the beach every day. The salt air clears my head, and much as I complain about the lack of amenities here, I’ll miss the sound of the ocean and the sand between my toes.
- I enjoy one or two glasses of wine each night. Three when my workload and frustration level reach a certain point. Stop judging, there are worse vices.
- I find time in the week to read my favorite magazines cover-to-cover. Dog-eared pages and well-written content put me at ease.
- I make sure I’ve completed at least five deliverables every 24 hours. Crossing items off the to-do list does wonders for my confidence and five is a manageable number, so I don’t get overwhelmed.
- I get six to seven hours of sleep whenever possible. Because five just doesn’t cut it if I want anything I write to make sense.
The list is a work in progress, so let me know if you have any proven tips for rebooting!