Hey, if it's Christmas in July, I should be able to celebrate a new year in August. And in a way, I am. The obvious is that summer vacation is officially over and the kiddo has returned to school. This frees up my ability to write without interruption. Woot! But this year, there's more...
Some of you loyal readers and friends might remember that a year ago I was diagnosed with certain chronic illnesses after 11 years of being ignored. I'm not going to lie, that kinda thing can throw a girl to the mat. It took a lot of the last year to work through some of the emotional and psychological baggage of it all on top of physical treatment and finding options that work for me and my lifestyle. That could be a whole post unto itself (and if it's something you really want to hear, let me know.) But while I was processing that whole shit storm, I didn't have the bandwidth to work on my writing or content creation for my blog, Patreon, or Cracked. I kinda fell into a black hole of myself and have been working like hell to come back to "the real world."
Let me just take a moment to say the real world isn't exactly great shakes right now. With *gestures to everything* all this shit....it sometimes just feels like it would be better to hide in a pillow fort with a coloring book and non-stop marathons of British panel-shows (#Britfaced) but that's not exactly living, is it?
Anyway, over the past couple of months, I've been slowly waking back up. New story ideas, a couple of writer conventions, writing a short story and sending it out on submission. Making lists of projects I want to accomplish, then making a--dare I use the word--plan on how I'll get to all of it. I got a new planner, one that is for project management and keeping it all sane. Not only is there writing to do, there's a Masterclass I'm taking. I've set up a schedule for that, too. And there is physical therapy starting in September. And I want to get back into a workout routine. And and and....
You can see where things have the potential to be intensely overwhelming.
But today was the first day of that. And it's a sign of maturity that I didn't say, "Okay, today we're going to go to the gym, run a 5k on the treadmill and spend an hour on various weight machines. Then we'll come home and write 4,000 words and watch all 24 lessons of the Masterclass BEFORE picking up the kiddo from school." Years ago I would've expected this from myself. I would've failed horribly and beaten myself up for it.
No, something a year of dealing with the fallout of years of undiagnosed chronic illness will teach you is temperance. What's that old saying? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
That's how I have to take life right now. One bite at a time. So I start with at-home short workouts with YouTube videos, and next week add cardio at the gym. A bit at a time. I watch 5 videos of the Masterclass per week. I write one blog at a time. One pitch at a time. One page at a time if that's what it takes. But rather than crumbling under the weight of the daunting EVERYTHINGNESS in front of me, I have to do it piece by piece.
And it's so odd for me! I'm the master of FWOOSH! Of exploding with furious passion for something. The problem is that fwoosh burns out. It's fast and furious. It's volcanic. I'm still learning to master this aspect of my being. Earlier this year I was a constant storm of "I want to do this" and "I want to try this" or "I want to write this". My Someone said it was like I was a volcano bursting with ingots of pure creative energy. I had an insatiable hunger to do and make and see. But that can't be sustained. That kind of hunger needs to be sated in manageable pieces in order for it to be nourishing.
And so, on this first day of school for my daughter, I am readying things. Making actual plans that take into account things like time, money and physical energy. The fact that my body still doesn't always do what I'd like it to (like stay awake all day) is still a concern and can be a limitation. But, I've tried to build in allowances for that. And I'm working on changing my thinking. The idea of making that allowance triggers a voice in my head that says I'm going easy on myself. Words like "coddled" and "candyass" come to mind. (I'm not very nice to myself. I am working on that, too.) So I'm trying to tell myself that being kind to myself and setting realistic goals is not coddling or going easy, but actually, you know, healthy. That life doesn't have to be overrun by some drill sergeant shouting every three seconds. That while counting calories and weighing in every day might work for some people, it's actually detrimental to my mental health, and I'm not obligated to do it in order to succeed and thrive.
Life is going to look different around here. And I'm excited. It feels like New Years Day when there's all sorts of possibility and wonder at what the future could bring. And that's a great place to start from.
Happy New Year!
How 'bout you? What's turning you on these days?