Sunday, May 1, 2016

The tools I use as life shifts between busy, bad and beautiful

If you’re on Facebook, you might receive those posts reminding you of something that happened to you a number of years ago. Today, I was informed that I became friends with my aunt seven years ago…on Facebook, that is. In life, we’ve been friends much longer than that.

Lately, what these reminder posts have accomplished is to give me a little shock when I realize how much has happened in the few short years since this or that occurred. If I use this latest FB reminder to go on, the amount of change our family has had to adjust to in only seven years is astounding.  From one end of the spectrum to the other, from incredible highs to extreme lows, all in the middle of what life usually has to offer.       

I’m sure many of you know what I mean.

Whether life is busy, beautiful or bad, I was pretty good at figuring out a way to swim through the muck and get done what I needed to get done. For the most part, anyway – I still had those days and while I’ve always been organized, time management has always been a work in progress. But when I lost my dad early last year, what had usually worked for me became foreign, difficult to stick with, or just outright challenging to even attempt.      

During a recent reflective moment, I reviewed my blog posts for the past few years and I noticed a trend…2013 and 2014 had a good mix of blogs having to do with possibilities, positivity, productivity, characters, the writing process, staying organized, recharging, creative chaos, perseverance, distractions, patience, time management, editing, publishing, writing events and holidays.

My dad passed away on January 2, 2015, and I’m sure most would understand when I say that my process as I managed life became difficult for awhile. Posts for 2015 were less than half the amount than the year before and included the subjects of loss, writer’s block, feelings/fears, characters (when they were speaking to me), productivity, motivation and time management. But the posts related to productivity, motivation and time management were likely more of a pep talk to myself, as I continued to try to stay on task given everything that had happened.

I had to get through a lot of firsts after Dad passed away and when I finally got through the first anniversary of his death, something finally happened. I realized I was continuing to remain stuck in the past and that I needed to get my head back into the present. When a person is able to do that, especially after such a great loss, it’s a truly beautiful thing. 

Since then, my posts for 2016 have included these subjects: a new outlook, staying on track, clearing the clutter, book events, staying focused, characters, and the writing process. Some days, I have a hard time coming up with what I want to share (I’m not immune to difficult days) but today I wanted to share what I’ve been doing to help keep myself focused and on task. 

Most important is writing – 

Good or bad, just getting something down is really important – this quote helps motivate me:

Reading to relax and unwind.  

I’ve always been a reader but I’ve slacked on how many books I can get through in a year, so I’m finding the time to read through the pile of books I constantly keep adding to.

Continuing to learn something new... 

about writing, marketing, blogging, or whatever might help me as an author. Learning from others will also provide me with motivation and inspiration and it helps to learn what works, and what doesn’t, for others who are doing what I do.

Clearing the clutter and reducing the creative chaos.  

I’ve taken on this task in the past, but most recently I have decided my past attempts have only scratched the surface. It’s going to take me awhile to get through every room in the house but so far the amount of items I believe I can do without is amazing. I’m currently using Ruth Soukup’s book, Unstuffed, for ideas.  One of the most rewarding tasks to date was to really clean my desk. Not just dust it. Not just reorganize it. But to go through every drawer, every shelf, every tray and each surface that has become more of a catch-all. Once I was done, I was floored by how much better my desk looked and how less chaotic it felt when I was trying to write or work on other projects. It is unbelievable how much better I feel when I sit at my desk and now I can enjoy creating without all that chaos waiting to curb my enthusiasm.



Paying more attention to what will calm my spirit and feed my soul.  

There’s much to be said when it comes to this subject. Being mindful, purposeful and grateful are extremely important and keep me motivated and inspired, and push my thoughts in a positive and productive direction, which will help keep me moving forward rather than looking backward.

Staying healthy – 

It's a hot topic right now and easier said than done when hurdles keep coming up but there are baby steps we can take…drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest, walking if nothing else in order to get ourselves moving rather than sitting all day, learning to eat right or in moderation with what is right for us. Now that I can begin working on my gardens again, I look forward to getting outside and playing in the dirt. Not only is it good when it comes to staying active, it’s great for my mind because I can work out so many character and plot issues when I’m gardening. And of course, we can all benefit from some more Vitamin D.

There’s more that can be added to this list and if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. But this is some of what I wanted to share when it comes to what I’ve been doing to stay focused and to move forward with motivation towards goals I wish to achieve. What I hope is that eventually these tools can help me shed the busy, reduce (or better get through) the bad and always enjoy what’s beautiful. 

Until next time; carry on, read on and have a great week!

No comments:

Post a Comment