Dear friends and readers,
During April, there was a week or two that I had it tough. I had a headache that took a few days to go away and this was after my 4 year old went through chickenpox so part of it was due to not having slept properly for at least a week.
But it wasn’t just that.
What made my headache worse was that I immediately started working on a translation that came in during the end of the period that my kid was home. Taking no time to do something about the headache and having no alternatives, I proceeded with the translation in hand hoping that my headache would go away.
Taking a break from parenting or freelancing (the two go hand in hand) is always a mission impossible, unless it’s for a couple of hours and always during the week while my kid is at school – which isn’t really a break – so I knew deep inside that this was a “normal” situation that I just had to endure.
Chickenpox is part of the process.
Having spoken with other parents, I was happy that my four year old had it now and not later. I heard of moms and dads who went through chickenpox along with their kids and it was a horrible experience for them.
Back to the headache now.
As I went along translating and doing all the other things I needed to do I kept realising that it’s impossible for someone not to be able to take a break. A break from the computer. Because it’s the computer that I blame for that headache. Well, not exactly the computer but you know what I mean. After intense translation work or an intense period of whatever (chickenpox) you need a break from it to help you see clearly.
Thing is I usually never take a break from it (not until when the chickenpox bout as you will see later). And besides translation work, I have other projects going on (let’s call it “writing, rewriting and deleting”). I don’t have a strict daily writing schedule but if an idea pops up (and it just so happens that ideas spring up while translating), I will write it down regardless of headaches, slight aches ..and other minor or major events.
So if I wasn’t translating, I was writing. But besides writing, there’s the temptation of Twitter which I have covered previously in the post How freelancers (and Twitter enthusiasts) can tame the #procrastination beast.
About Twitter. Even if I believe in its power and its magic in finding like-minded spirits that in real life and in your neighbourhood would have been impossible to locate, you need to know how and when to draw the line. That line that reminds you that you are not dedicating enough time to your side projects.
I decided it was time to find that golden line, hold it well, keep it straight and never let go.
After that translation was delivered, I took a long walk in the park with a friend and it was great. I kept my phone in the car. That felt even better.
That walk was like an antidote to everything that happened to me during the chickenpox period and afterwards. It was a revelation. I actually went to walk three times with my friend along with other people who joined us. Walking in the park with others is priceless. It’s also a time to connect with people offline and not just to connect with yourself.
That’s why the experience was something to write about.
Which translates to… taking a break from translating in order to write.
To write about headaches of course and about how crucial it is to take a break from it all, to let yourself experience something completely different, to embrace a state of mind that is pure, that is light, that nurtures you physically, that gives you food for thought.
Thought that removes those 140 character boundaries of tweets from our life.
That wasn’t a normal headache. It was a warning. An opportunity to finally do something different.
Walk in the park or go on the swing with your kids (I do it often – oops, did I hear a squeak?).
If you don’t have time to drive to parks you would love to go to or different locations do something different in the place you go to on a daily basis.
The baby park has tremendous possibilities. I get to talk with moms, read Dostoyevsky (a few paragraphs each time will suffice) and take notes.
—The name of the game is less online and more offline, less tweeting and more working. I’m sure there are many of you out there that feel the same way. Share your thoughts.—
Thank you for reading…