Monday, October 24, 2016

What you do when you're not doing anything

I swear the title makes sense. I'm talking about those times when you aren't actively writing or making something, or when you're not moving around much (like when you're riding the bus for example). Do you sit still? Do you have to have something to keep at least part of you occupied?

I've always been a fidgety person. Most of the reasons why I wear rings beyond my wedding set is so I have something to play with on each hand, particularly if I'm sitting in a meeting and listening to someone speak. I'm not entirely sure why, but my focus seems to be directly connected to my hands.

A couple of years ago, my office had to evacuate due to a threat to the building that the authorities felt was credible. (Spoiler: nothing happened in the end, thank heavens.) I've found that my anxiety is much more likely to rear its ugly head when I have just enough information to know that Something Is Wrong, but not enough information to make any sort of a plan. Naturally, this kind of evacuation put me squarely in that category.

Fortunately, when we were evacuated, we were told to grab all of our things and prepare to make "alternative work arrangements" as no one knew how long we would be away from our building. My bag included my project bag, with a scarf I was crocheting at the time. After milling about for around five minutes, getting closer and closer to a panic attack, I finally pulled out my crochet and got to work. The pattern was fairly simple, so it didn't require a lot of attention, but it forced me to calm my hands down enough to get the yarn moving. It gave me an outlet to get rid of some of the nerves that were flowing, and it helped me calm down. It also confused my manager and coworkers, but they've gotten used to me by now.

I like putting my characters in different situations and seeing how they react, as it helps me learn more about their basic personalities. Figuring out how my characters handle time in which they aren't or can't actively do something can be a defining characteristic, I believe. I don't know how nuts it would drive some of them, or if they would be relieved to take a moment to breathe. Only one way to find out!