downtimeI am the new generation of “retired.”  Nine years ago, I retired from being a high school librarian but – that didn’t mean the end of my working life.  I continue writing books for school librarians (the newest School Librarian’s Career Planner was published in June by ALA Editions) as well as School Librarian’s Workshop, becoming the publisher with the June/July 2011 issue.  I also am an adjunct at William Paterson University (NJ), do numerous workshops each year, present at AASL and ALA, serve on ALA and AASL committee, create and teach an online course for ALA Editions on Being Indispensable ( beginning November 4, and—as you know—have my first YA fantasy, Woven through Time now published and available from Amazon. While I love everything I do, I work about seven days a week—the new retirement.

Downtime is not normally on my “to-do” list.  Yet, I have learned not to let the demands of work keep me from being with my family and friends. This past weekend—from Thursday through Sunday—my daughter (without her husband this trip) and came down to New Jersey from Massachusetts with my two grandsons, ages almost 14 and 11.  While she attended the Romance Writers of NJ Conference, my husband and I got to spend more time than usual with the boys.  When the elder went to the city with his uncle and cousins, the younger one and I spent the afternoon together including a two-hour stint at the bowling alley.  Sunday the four of us (leaving my husband to rest) went to the outlet mall in Jackson. 18 minutes

At no time did I think or worry about the work awaiting me.  I have learned everything will get done, it always does.  I also recognize taking time away from my computer and being with the people who matter so much to me, refreshes and re-energizes me. It is confirmation of what I have been reading in Peter Bregman’s 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done (Business Plus, 2011,  978-0-446-58341-1), the selection for the “One Book, One Conference” at the AASL Conference and Exhibition in Hartford, Connecticut November 14-17, 2013.  Whether or not you attend the conference, the book is worth reading.  We are so tied to our jobs, too many of us have lost sight of what is important. When we become overworked and overwhelmed, we lose our enthusiasm and passion for doing what we love.

do moreAre you stepping back and making time for yourself and for being with family and friends?  Nothing on your schedule is more pressing than being with those most important to you.  How are you showing work is not your number one priority?

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