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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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slowing down

So I took today off. In fact, I'm changing my work schedule so that I no longer work Fridays. I've finally had to admit to myself that I'm burned out...I've been running at high stress mode since the beginning of last year. I could handle it at first; even got a certain level of masochistic pleasure out of it. I worked on my book. Inkspot grew. I realized that I couldn't handle Inkspot by myself anymore; I needed more resources, especially fulltime help.

Living in Philadelphia has been fun in some ways, but the stress levels have been even higher (and I didn't think that was possible :-)), partly because I was working even harder than I did before. My body finally started rebelling. On Jeff's insistence, I saw my doctor last week, and she advised me to take some time off work. "But I can't!" I protested. "Yes, you can," she said. I decided to listen to her.

And in trying to take genuine time off, I'm realizing how much of a workaholic I really am. After several years of frantic chaos, I'm finding it immensely difficult to suddenly slow down.

I played some harp today. Did some Christmas shopping, browsed some bookstores and children's toy shops. Bought some healthy ingredients for meals and snacks instead of the usual frozen dinners (though I do still think Philly has the greatest selection of frozen foods!). Rented three movies: X-Men, Cider House Rules, and Anna and the King.

Fought the urge to check my work e-mail, to leap back into my children's book writing right away, to go into major packing mode (I'm not moving home for over a month), to go into an apartment-cleaning frenzy.

Downshifting is tough. But I'm learning. :-)

Today's Blatherpic:
My friend Brian Parkinson (Parki) and me.

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