January Check-in

So, we decided when we were setting up the blog schedule this year that we’d do monthly check-ins. We have no hard-set rules for these posts – they can be whatever we want them to be.

For me, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to keep myself accountable, to look at how I’m progressing toward the goals I set for myself, and to really look at what is working (and keep doing it!) and what isn’t (and stop and come up with something new!).

That’s all well and good, yeah? Problem is, I didn’t really set concrete goals for myself for 2017 like I’d done for previous years.  When the year started, I was overwhelmed – for myriad reasons I won’t get into in this post – and while I needed something to focus on and strive for, setting up specific goals (# of words written a week and that type of thing) was just too much for me at that time. So, for January, I decided I would look at areas of my life I wanted to do better in. I chose to focus on and establish routines with self-care and keeping my house in order (which, really, is kinda self-care because if there is chaos around me, my mind is chaos).

I used my bullet journal to help me out here. On each day, in addition to appointments, family obligations, and day job stuff, I had the same two checklists – one for self-care and one for the house stuff. It seems overly simple, I know, but sometimes in the midst of 4 kids’ school and work schedules, a husband who was traveling overseas for work, work from the day job… Well, some days, it was a struggle to be able to fill in those little boxes. But I did it. And I figured out what worked for me…how and where to fit those things that were important to me, my health, and my sanity.

And another moment of harsh honesty–there were some days in there that those 2 little lists were the only thing I accomplished that day. And doing them, filling in those boxes, sticking to it would make a really shitty day marginally better.

So, what now? I’m going to keep with those checklists, because the importance of self-care and being at peace with my surroundings hasn’t gone away. But now, I’m going to focus on getting back to what I love. Back to writing. And I feel ready to do that.

It has taken me quite a while to set aside the guilt I’ve been feeling for not finishing books that were meant to be finished this last year. A lot of stuff happened, and I wasn’t in a place where I could do it. Taking care of myself – physically, mentally, emotionally – had to take priority. Writing, as well as many other things, had to take a backseat while I figured out how to do that. But, now that I have, writing gets to be on the top of the list again, and I’m super happy and excited about that.

From now on, in these monthly check-ins, I’m going to look back at the previous month and how I’ve been doing, and I’m also going to write down some goals for the following month. So, here we go for February…

  • Continue with the self care and house stuff – definitely makes a happier, calmer me. 🙂
  • Complete Safeword Protected (Bound series) and Into the Deep (Albion’s Circle series) – so close on both of these, and since they have been on my plate, so to speak, for so long, getting these completely done and released will be a huge, huge thing for me.
  • Complete all scheduled blog posts for the month.

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Paige Prince

Wednesday Randomness: Finding the Balance

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Ah, balance. I have yet to find it. I’ve come close…really close at some points in the past. Now is not one of those times–believe me. This year has been rough. A lot of stuff that just…sucked. The last of which was surgery – minor but the recovery is taking a bit longer than expected.

Anyhow, so I have no great insights on how to find balance. I wish I did. I do know that what works for me…isn’t going to work for everyone. Heck, my way may drive other completely batty and vice versa. So, it’s about finding what works for you.

These days, as I mentioned, I’m struggling. Aside from the challenges this year has thrown at me, I have… Well I have a lot of stuff to juggle. Family stuff, more than one day/other job, in addition to writing. Writing, all too often, gets shuffled to the end of the pile. Which triggers mental crap that is all to familiar. The endless cycle of self-doubt and recriminations.

My inner voice at these times is:

tiredofyourbullshit

I’m getting past that. I’m definitely better at that than I was years ago.

One thing I’ve found that works for me, that gives me a chance of grabbing hold of that balance, is having a routine (or more than one throughout the day). My brain works better with routine – hey, my kids come by that honestly! A tool I’ve found that helps me so much with that…a bullet journal. Thank you, Jenny Trout, for introducing me to this fabulous little tool! It is literally keeping me on track lately. Ticking off the boxes every day is keeping me in forward motion.

(Here’s a link that explains and layouts the basic idea of it. There is a crapton of stuff on bullet journals online. A google search will yield a lot for you. Can be as simple/minimalistic or elaborate as you want it to be.)

So, for me, continuing to use my journal is my stepping stone to finding, and keeping, the balance I need in life.

And that is it for me this week. I’m off to get some much-needed rest after maybe…probably…okay, definitely overdoing today.

Hugs
J


Bronwyn GreenKellie St. James