This time of year, I pick up print periodicals or open one on my computer, and I'm bombarded with hints and tips to get the Perfect New Me to finally emerge from my all too human persona.
The perfect diet! The perfect exercise program! The perfect mental health regime! They're all there, if I just buy this magazine! Wow, cool!
Whoa, Cathryn. Metaphorical slap up-side the head, here. I don't diet anymore. Courtesy of the fabulous, I-can't-say-enough-good-things-about-this-woman Genene Roth. Google her, right now, if you're already exhausted and heartsick at the thought of one more $%@#* New Year's Diet That Will Finally Work.
Exercise? It's already crucial to my mental health. Writers spend an awful lot of time in our heads. Hey, amazing things are happening in here! You should see and hear what I've got rolling in the amazing technicolor movies in my head. Oh, wait, you've already read some of them--courtesy of Samhain Publishing, and the Free Reads on my website, grin.
As a reader, I spend time in my head, too. And usually in a chair of some sort. Either way, whether I'm spinning stories or enjoying others', I'm sitting.
My perfect antidote? Exercise. I'm hooked on the endorphins--those little happy pills that are released into my system when I take my golden retriever for a walk, dance around to loud music, pump iron at the gym, or ride my bike.
When I need to walk away from the tension of characters who will NOT behave, or how to get my new website to the best position on Google, or any of the other problems of steering my second career, I can. And I return refreshed and relaxed, and ready to have fun doing what I really want to do ... spin those technicolor fantasies into stories on the page.
'Cause I'm already close enough to perfect. Which is to say, not at all. I'm not supposed to be. That's not why God put me here. And no turn of the calendar, no diet, no exercise program can do it for me.
So excuse me, I hear a perfect fantasy calling! Gotta go get it on the page ... as well as I can, anyway. See you there!