About Me

My photo
A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Monday, January 21, 2013


You ever have those weeks where life gets MAD-crazy followed by relative peace?

Last week was a pendulum swing.

With the launch of the new year, my 2013 started off with learning the ropes of several volunteer positions to which I'd been elected.  The first week was understandably a lot to take in, learning the systems and job requirements, and for a brief moment I wondered if I'd taken on more than I could handle.  But once I agree to something I'm committed, plus things were sure to settle down once I got the hang of them.  

A new year full of new beginnings and jobs also had me thinking it the perfect time to upgrade my cell phone.  I'd just reached the end of my previous contract and a slew of new phones had just hit the sales market. The planets were aligned with fate, destiny, a call from above!

Pan to the middle of crazy-week:  My inbox full of correspondence that I couldn't access because the phone I'd purchased, the device that held such promise according to reviews I'd read online, turned out to be a dud; the screen locking up horribly when performing basic functions.  

The self-made communications mess forced me to lean heavily on my PC, the time I'd reserved for working on volunteer board-member stuff quickly rerouted to land-line phone calls and help desk chats to troubleshoot why a brand new cell phone had to freeze up ten times in an hour.  

Precious could-be-used-for-work hours passed in a blur as the OS company offered the online FAQs forum saying, "consult the maker."   The maker said, "Talk to the software company."   The software company said, "We only handle music downloads, try your cell phone provider."  The buck-passing coming full circle. 

The trip 'round the world in thirty helpless desks left me wanting to whack my new phone with a rubber mallet, the return in purchased condition clause be damned.  

Then I stopped and took a deep breath. 

Why did I do this now, of all times?  I thought. 
So much back-and-forth, what a waste of energy. There had to be a better way.  

A solution pinged through my overheated brain, the message clear:  UNPLUG 

I mean, what were the disadvantages of stepping back?  The world would keep spinning, tweeting, e-mailing and Facebooking without me.  The massive scroll through I'd do to catch up when I got back wouldn't be that bad. 

The hiatus might even be...refreshing.

So I did. I purposely stayed away from all internet and maintained a healthy distance from my crappy cell phone for twenty-four hours. 

I didn't go to bed angry.  I went to bed grouchy and without mallet—uh, malice.

The next day I stuck to my vow of slowing down, no pushing.  

In life you bend or you break. The times you feel rigid is when you're most liable to snap, but the answer is simple—don't.  

I've had moments like that with my writing all the time.  Times when I felt like a coil wound too tight. To get my head out of it, I'd roll my shoulders back and think of fluid, pliant things.  Flexible, yielding and bendable.  Emotional bamboo.  

After the disconnect I visited my computer once, solely to research whether anyone else had reported problems with my model of phone handset.  Within thirty minutes I discovered that there were bugs in the first batch in question and the maker had issued a software update to fix the freezing issue.

Returning to the store I opted to replace the handset, just to be on the safe side, then shared the software update directions with the service rep, so that it could help others with the same problem.  Forty-five minutes later I left with a working phone that thankfully has yet to display any of its predecessor's dysfunction.

The week of chaos was followed by crickets as I adjusted to the new pace of my assignments, and delving back into the digital world, I didn't miss too much with the absence.  Nothing that couldn't be handled upon my return, and the break taught me something valuable.

When the world gets too busy there's no harm in taking yourself off the grid. 

Simply ease up and let go.