Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Slow Down, You Move too Fast!

Slow down, you move too fast! Yes, I did just quote Simon & Garfunkel. Sometimes you just need to accept that you're going to be late and relish in that time you have available. Everyone is in such a hurry. This is not a new concept. People have so much on their agendas that they feel they need to rush to do everything and are constantly busy. I'm just as bad as everyone else when it comes to this, but I've been reminding myself lately that I just need to slow down. Take things in as they happen and don't freak out if my self-imposed (or imposed by others) schedule doesn't quite get met. 

These thoughts came to me this morning when I was driving into work. I have to drive over the big bridge connecting I-35W to westbound I-30. It's a two lane bridge, but really it merges down to one lane at the end of the bridge. Everyday, today included, people poke themselves out of the line trying to make it through the end and rush down to cut in at that merge. This slows the entire line down and actually makes these line cutters part of the problem. Today about 10 cars sped past me while in line. Now, I have to admit that sometimes I will pull over and block these people from continuing down the line. I hate doing this, though, because I really don't feel like I should be policing others bad road behavior. It does end up benefiting everyone else, though, to keep those cutters from slowing down the line even further.

The big question here is, why are these people in such a rush to be first? It's not like cutting in the line is going to get them more than even a minute earlier. My mother would say that it's just part of the “all about me” mentality. She's probably right in most instances. I think that the majority of people who do this are just running late. Yes, we can tell them that they should just start earlier. Blah, blah, blah. We've all had those times where leaving on time just didn't happen. Just breathe.

This morning, instead of stressing out about the craziness on the road, I just sat back in my drivers seat, listened to my podcast (on play this morning was The Simple Sophisticate), and took a few healthy breaths. So nice! I didn't go over the checklist in my head of everything I had to do (and in today's instance, re-do because of a networking issue). I just made my way through my travels and made it to work, safe and maybe about 5 minutes later than my posted opening time. Once I got to work, I didn't worry about that redoing of a task. I had a bit of shelf therapy (see photo above), making my library look more together and organized than it usually does after the first week of school. It felt great and I was able to sit down and work at a computer after that.

So, please, for your health, slow down! Breathe. Feel groovy.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What Are You Afraid Of? No, Really...

In my Write Fearlessly course, the very first writing prompt I give my writers is to write about what they are afraid of when it comes to their writing. I don’t require anyone to share what they write, but it always amazes me that I always come up with something different (I journal right along with the writers so that I’m not that weirdo just staring at them, waiting for them to finish). I found that I always use the same excuse as to why I’m not getting down to it, writing, and publishing my work: not enough time.

It’s easy to say I don’t have enough time because I am a pretty busy person. 10 months out of the year, I am a school librarian, which started back two weeks ago with in-service and the first day of school was this last Monday. I own a business, Fort Worth Writer’s Boot Camp, and I teach a session there once a month. I’m also working all the time to improve that business. I’ve recently started a publishing company, with the first publication coming out at the end of next month (that’s scares me to death since I know I still have so much to do on it!). Between reading, journaling, learning a foreign language, and sleep, as well as the upkeep of my house, it’s easy to see why I think I don’t have time to write.

The truth is, though, I do. I waste a lot of time. I am on social media way more than I’d like to admit. I’m working on that. If I were being honest with myself- and I’m promising that I’ll be more honest- I’m not writing because I’m afraid it just won’t be that good. What the hell!?! That’s just stupid thinking on my part. When it all comes down to it, the most important part of writing is just writing it down. Editing and cleaning up improves it. But I’m still, deep down, afraid that I’ll write crap. So I don’t. Or I don’t spend a lot of time on it. My novel I started writing in May? I’m still on chapter 1.

Never again will I use the “not enough time” excuse. It’s time to just do it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My Summer Vacation, Or Why I Haven't Been Writing on Here!

Tippy the Kitten (Full name: Tippycanoe),
enjoying a nap
I’ve been absent from the blog for quite a while. This was not my intention at all, just what happened. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say, I was just too busy living life, reading, doing household things (like painting all of my lawn furniture, digging a new flowerbed, and keeping up after two new kittens set to destroy my home), WRITING, doing some freelance work, and editing on the Panther City Review. I’ve also been learning French. Not well enough to speak to anyone who actually knows French, but I hope to get there someday. After all, the Eiffel Tower wasn’t built in a day!

One important thing that I decided I would not do is to allow myself to be disappointed because I didn’t get any particular item on the “To Do” list complete before school starts. I know myself and I know that I will finish things. I don’t need to put that kind of disappointed pressure on me because I know that will put me in procrastination mode. The longer I don’t get something done and put it off, the longer I will continue to put it off and feel badly about putting it off. Nope. No longer. I think the major shift in my perspective is that I realized I not only need to get things done, but also enjoy life. If I’m constantly working or worrying about working, I’m not going to relax and experience life.

So, I still have my “To Do” list. I’m currently on vacation, visiting my dad and stepmom in Colorado, and I’m relaxing, working while everyone is at work, but enjoying time with family when we’re all together. Absolutely nothing wrong with that!

PS- I did go to my high school reunion. It was fun! It took me a while to remember who half the people were- we all got older! I’m glad I went, though.