I always go into summer expecting to get so much done: write a novel, clean out the rooms in the basement, organize the entire house, lose a ton of weight through healthy eating and exercise, read, relax, tour historic places with my children.
The reality was that I had about four days without anything planned and used that time to do basic housekeeping: laundry, always laundry; vacuuming; washing the floors; cleaning the bathrooms. Our back hall is still a wreck of backpacks and the contents of my kids’ lockers, baseball bags and bats, hats and sunglasses, travel bags and carry-ons, and shoes. So many shoes.
When I do sit down to write, I’m paralyzed by the lack of organization of my plot and purpose for my scenes. I’ve written 23,000 words, but am just getting to the scenes I’m excited to write. Why do I do this? Am I starting the novel in the wrong place? Will I ever correct this?
Some of the positive things I’ve done this summer that perhaps you could take something away from:
- I decided to end one job to take another. It was time to start something new.
- I counted calories for ten days with the goal of losing two pounds every week. This was eye-opening and so necessary. I realized how much over-eating I was doing. The combination of #1 and #2 made me feel like I was purging my life of things that had been bogging me down. I feel freer and more energetic and in control of my life now.
- I choose joy. Due to my faith in Christ, I have been blessed with a sense of inner peace and calm and joy. Joy and happiness are not the same things, as you probably know. I am not always happy, but deep down, I know that I am not alone and that I offer my life and all its happenings to God. I know there is a better life to come and this one is fleeting. I don’t let minor issues in life get me too upset. (Now, I do have my momentary lapses when I need to get a grip, pray, and remind myself of God’s role in my life!) My husband gets in a tizzy about my kids’ baseball performance and I reminded, Choose joy! repeatedly this summer. (He thinks it’s a joke, I think it’s a mindset, a way of life.) (Deep down, he agrees.)
- I learned about intermittent fasting. I’m in my forties and my metabolism died when I was 37. I’ve been steadily gaining weight ever since. I’m short and flat and I dislike my fatty tummy. I’m choosing the 16:8 fast so I eat from 11-7 each day. Some days I fail, but I think I’ll be able to do this long term, especially once school starts, and I’ll see if I can continue to get back down to my healthy and happy weight where my clothes fit again and I don’t feel like a bloated pile.
- I started walking more. I’ve been a runner since about sixth grade when I started running the track at the YMCA on Saturday mornings and started running half marathons fourteen years ago. I haven’t run one in over a year now and can’t seem to bring myself to run most days. My dad bought me spin bike so I’ve been retraining my brain to realize that I can get fit by doing active things other than running, so I’ve begun to spin, walk, do strength work, and found a slew of youtube videos for dancing, abs, cardio, etc. I still feel like running is the best way to get good and sweaty and run off my bloat, but if I wait to run each day I’ll do nothing at all. And something is definitely better than nothing! It’s a work in progress and a thank @themeanchick from Instagram for helping me to see this. (I “met” her on Whiskey Cavalier (Scott Foley’s wife and co-star) which is a whole other blog post. Sniff. So sad it wasn’t renewed for a second season on ABC.)
So that’s me. Summer’s over and I have a new adventure in a new schoolyear awaiting me. Pics of my industrial chic/home sweet classroom are posted on Instagram or on my Facebook page if you’re interested in seeing those!