I got away for the first time in nearly a year this weekend. It was relaxing to get out in nature as I explored a few hiking trails in Cathedral Gorge State Park on the eastern edge of Nevada. Having the ability to get away from the day to day grind was extremely freeing. I am now able to sit down once again with a much easier time focusing on what I need to accomplish.
Because I live in Las Vegas, one of the busiest cities in the world, I am constantly surrounded by people and the things they are doing. It is wonderful for inspiration yet at times can become overwhelming for the exact same reason. I will hear snippets of conversations, see outfits people wear, give directions to shows and clubs I myself have never experienced all the while my mind is locking away information that translates into stories later on. It is fun but there must be down time as well.
I am overly ambitious most of the time. I am always trying not only to use the information inside my head but I am writing a novel, revising a short story, editing and rewriting another novel at the same time. On top of that I am gathering submissions to my charity series, working on setting up signings and live events such as the one I am working on for Domestic Violence Awareness in October. Of course I have my day job I must go to when scheduled and then just for well-rounded god measure I am taking part in a four hundred mile biking challenge to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer in June. It is enough to make your head spin.
With all that happening it is important to me to make sure I get away from everything. I need to do so more often. I was able this weekend to get away for a day and a half to hike in a state park as well as explore the historical town of Pioche Nevada. It was great to take some time looking at the old buildings, checking out the records in the original courthouse and museum. I got the chance to talk to a man that retired from teaching here in Vegas and now does tours of the opera house there. He told tales of the wild west while showing the stage upstairs and explaining the history of the tunnels on the main floor.
I am renewed by the chance to catch my breath while also now being inspired by the town to create a few new stories set in the historical western town. It is shocking how much we allow ourselves to get bogged down the the everyday monotony. I, like many I know, just need to remember to take time for ourselves. Take a walk, go camping, even go to an amusement park. Do something that will give you the chance to smile and forget about what you have to do in order to support what you want to do. I often forget that I work to support my fun but that work is worthless if I forget to have the intended fun after all.