How do you know you're on the right path?
It may feel lonely, but traveling solo allows you to go at your own pace, to focus on your own needs. If it's rough going and difficult to navigate, you have the opportunity to build strength, character and stamina. Meandering paths mean you'll get to experience more along the way, while shorter routes let you enjoy your destination longer. An entourage can help to carry the load --- which is good since they probably created most of it! - and make the journey pass quickly. You might even branch off in an entirely new direction, one you never even considered before.
Whatever path you're on can be the right one, but it's up to you to decide where you want to go, and to take the first step toward getting there.
As a writer, I actually love the editing process. But as a flawed human being, well... not so much. Unlike unwanted text which disappears with a keystroke, old habits are harder to kill than Hamlet, even when recognized as a threat to the life I want to lead. Impatience, envy, laziness, self- doubt, worry and overly critical thinking (not the helpful, analytic kind) are some of the villains I battle to overcome. When unmasked on any given day, I can see the person I am without them, and I like her. But I gotta admit, there are some days when it just feels simpler to leave the old mask on.
The most annoying aspect of becoming a better version of yourself is, just when you think you've finished it off for good, the old self comes back to haunt you. It doesn't stay deleted. It takes constant effort.
Yep, changing the story line of your life can be tedious. But necessary if you want to create one worth reading.
With the New Year come new opportunities. This week I've been invited to discuss my book and writing process with readers at a local book club. I've done readings before, but this will be my first in such a small, private setting. I'm looking forward to connecting more intimately with these individuals who love to read, not only to find out what they think of my novel, but to "chat literature" in general.
Next week on Wednesday 1/21/15 from 6-9 p.m., I'll be participating in the Women's Rural Entrepreneurial Network (W.R.E.N.) Eureka Writers Night at the St. Johnsbury, VT Athenaeum. This event is open to the public, and the audience is encouraged to participate in the discussion. A panel of successful local writers– Beth Kanell (author, The Secret Room), Reeve Lindbergh (author No More Words and Under a Wing), Jennifer Mackenzie (author, The Spare Room), and Neil Raphael (book acquistion, Brigantine Media)– will offer their expertise toward creative problem solving the business challenges of myself and three other author-entrepreneurs. I have the pleasure of already knowing each of the panelists, so it will be like getting sage advice from friends.
Knowing others share your story always helps!
I really enjoy doing these daily posts, but today I'm cheating a little and writing tomorrow's ahead of time. (If you're reading this on 1/11/15, today is actually yesterday --- how confusing is that!) There are a few reasons for me wanting to get a jump on things. Even though today was a really full day, tomorrow looks to be even busier, and I don't really like being too busy on a Sunday. Another reason is that I'm just feelin' it today. Who knows if I will be tomorrow? Not that it's the end of the world to take a day off, but as the old sayings "make hay while the sun shines" and "strike while the iron is hot" advise, doing something while you can has merit. Sometimes, doing something in small fits and starts as time and budget allow makes more sense than trying to tackle a huge project under a tight deadline and less than ideal conditions. In fact, let's change that to most of the time. So, if you can, plan ahead a little if it means a lot to you. You'll be glad you did.
The wonderful thing about living in such a beautiful place is that even a little early morning exercise can feel like a walk in the park. Sure, I've been known to rant about how much time we spend in the car, the cost of gas and maintenance on our vehicles, the inconvenience of no high speed internet - all side effects of our remote location. But I wouldn't trade the majesty of these hills for anything. I've found, over time, that the more I focus on the silver linings and less on the clouds, I can see and enjoy the splendor that already surrounds me - regardless of the weather.
What are you looking at this morning?
Wanna hear a funny story?
Last weekend on pizza night our family went out for it, something we used to do on a weekly basis before I mastered the fine art of crust-making. We sat at two tables - the teens & twenty somethings at one, my hubby, our bonus baby and I at the other - side-by-side so we could still converse. We laughed and ate pizza and poutine (yum!), chatted with folks at a neighboring table, and generally had a great time. When we got up to leave, I felt something under the table at my feet. There on the floor, twisted and unappealing, lay a dusty, brown knee sock - gross! How long it had lain there was anyone's guess, but the thought of it turned my stomach. This place must really be going downhill! Brave Hubby chivalrously tossed it into the trash, and I tried my best to forget about it. But, later that night as I got ready for bed, I noticed a similar looking shape on my bedroom floor next to the hope chest where I don and doff my jeans. Yes, it was a brown knee sock. Just one. And then I remembered. I had stayed in comfy lounge pants all day, only throwing on jeans moments before we left the house. The stray sock must have been inside my pant leg, and snaked its way to the floor at the pizza place!
I don't usually like to reveal my embarrassing moments to the world. Like everyone, I try to put my best face forward. But sometimes, just maybe, laughing at our silly selves is the same thing.
I am a list maker. As an ambitious, but extremely disorganized organized person, if I didn't make lists nothing would ever get done. There is almost nothing more satisfying to me than checking the last item off a long "to do" list. Admittedly, sometimes I add to an existing list - even items I've already done! - just for the thrill of seeing how much I've accomplished.
In the last couple of days, I've ticked several items off my current list. I've added even more, both done and undone. The latter remind me that if I want to keep feeling good about the progress I'm making, I need to keep ticking things off. And better them than myself, which is why it's time to go back to work!