Dealing with unexpected free time

One of the challenges of making the most of our “down time” is that we often don’t know when, exactly, it’s going to appear, or how long it will last. It’s easy to be caught off guard, and so not be sure what you want to do with the hours.

I find myself dealing with something along those lines at the moment. My due date was Sept. 16 — now come and gone — and I’d more or less planned my workstream to be on whatever you call maternity leave when you’re self-employed. Of course, I also figured I’d have a baby to be caring for around the clock during this time! But the baby isn’t here yet, I’m somewhat wary of setting up interviews that I might have to cancel, and it’s hard to concentrate in the fog of late pregnancy.

So I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself. I’ve been going back to my “List of 100 Dreams” that I wrote out for 168 Hours — things I like to do, that I find pleasurable, or that I’d like to accomplish in my life. These can be profound or mundane. Some are pretty mundane; for instance, I wrote that I want to maintain a stash of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate-covered caramels. Well, today, I hauled myself down to Union Square and bought three tubs of the things (yum!) I’m buying books with abandon for my Kindle. Going for walks isn’t working as well as I might have hoped due to some physical maladies, but I did manage to take Jasper for a 2-mile walk in his stroller yesterday. I am trying to spend time writing in my journal, even if my other writing projects are on hold. Just hopefully there won’t be too many more days of this!

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