Every morning I sit and write out my intentions for the day. It gives me a chance to sort through my racing thoughts and makes everything seem a bit more “doable”. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed this time of year and it’s a mission of mine to not just make it all happen, but to give myself the chance to enjoy it. I won’t skimp on the few years we get to keep it alive! First on the list today, is making sure I have my Christmas dinner menu done (check – yes this early – I get really excited, but come Christmas Day, it’ll be awesome), Christmas Cards ready to order (check), write letters to Santa (check), laundry folded (…in progress).
Christmas is easily my favorite holiday and this is our last one in this house which holds so many precious memories. It also inevitably makes me sad. I miss feeling the magic of Christmas. I miss the smells that seem different now that I’m older, the sounds, the anticipation… I have that all again through my children, but it just isn’t the same as believing. Knowing that it exists. Watching my kids race through the house to find the Elf gives some of that back, the fact that I am “Santa’s helper” in this gives me a whole new perspective on what this is all about.
To ensure that I get to full immerse myself in all things CHEERY, I set myself a deadline to finish THE SHAPE OF A SOUTHERN WOMAN and the feedback I’ve gotten so far makes me 50 shades of relieved. I have learned a lot about what expectations are as far as formatting and technical things that I did not know before. As much research as I’d done before I began, I am still learning, and there’s joy in that. Watching my girls write out their Santa lists this morning reminded me of the things I set out to accomplish this year.
In case you missed it – these were my goals for 2018
As usual, I have had to adjust expectations, not necessarily change them all, but through connections I’ve made and knowledge I’ve acquired… they’ve been adjusted.
I don’t know how I get so lucky in meeting the people that I do, but I have had the pleasure of getting to know an author that I can only describe as the person who inspires me most. She is the woman I hope to be and she is my proof that what I’m doing and what I hope to do – can happen as long as I keep pushing and working hard. (She wrote NOT HER DAUGHTER – go check it out!)
I’ve decided NOT to self-publish again. Her sound advice still ringing in my ears and her encouragement has shown me that I was limiting my potential. I’ve mentioned before that training for the half marathon taught me a LOT of patience within myself. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me so I have to be conscious of it and force myself to do things often that require it. Self-publishing WE ALL FALL DOWN served its purpose and I am grateful for the support that I received when doing it. However, there are many things I wish I had done differently and much of that is simply from lack of experience. Experience that I will gain from having an agent, which I am still working on! I will not give up because I know, eventually, I will find one that can take my words and get them out in the world… or at least on the shelves of Target.
I not only finished THE QUIET ONES but my third novel as well… which replaced reading 2 books per month. I read for inspiration but once I get it, I have to stop so I can focus on my own ideas and not get them jumbled up with someone else’s. I do have Santa bringing me some new ones to read, so I’m looking forward to diving in after the craziness of this year comes to a close.
I trained like a beast for my half marathon and completed it in 2 hours 11 minutes which I am REALLY proud of. I do wish my time was a little closer to 2 hours, but I didn’t stop, I felt AMAZING and I’m extremely happy with it overall. I set out to do something that seemed impossible to me a year ago and I couldn’t feel better about the whole thing.
Lastly, I feel like I at least got a good start on a little expansion when it comes to this site. I want it to encompass all that is me and connects me to you in an honest and fun way. I hope that is how it comes across and that no matter what you come here for, you leave with a smile or the feeling that you’re not alone.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned this year, is patience and grace. For myself, for my family and for others. When you are stressed or stretched beyond what you believe to be your max, it’s so easy to lose your cool. Too easy, actually. Any goal I set for myself is with purpose – yes I wanted to run the half, yes I wanted to have completed manuscripts, yes I want to make time for myself in things that I enjoy… but all of those things are to teach me to stick to my commitments, to learn to have patience because nothing great happens overnight. Many times WHILE I was running, I had to literally tell myself to stop overthinking and just let go and GO. And along the way, I’ve had to learn to accept that in doing what I do, I open myself up to imitations without recognition or criticisms/unsolicited advice. It’s not always fun, but I am learning to appreciate both, and not living in the negatives of it.
That is transitioning over into this impending move. I feel better now that we have a plan, however fluid it may be, we have one! We are fortunate that we are allowed to stay here through Christmas and not have to worry about listing our home and showing it throughout the holiday (incredibly grateful) and I am doubly fortunate that our friend in Houston is going to help us find our new home. Knowing that we have people we trust helping us through this process, makes me a lot less anxious. We have so much to look forward to as a family and just for myself, I feel like good things are on the horizon.
The power of a positive mindset, manifesting our goals and having amazing friends and family to support us along the way is irreplaceable and I can only hope that the things I have in the works, will come to fruition as we get settled in our new norm! My husband and I just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary and it feels comforting to have each other through all the chaos/excitement and it definitely comes in handy when I’m already in bed and he’s not and the damn elf needs to be moved!