Coming into work, I saw a penny on the ground. It was tails up, bad luck. But then the words of one of my godfather’s rung in my ears, “Who am I tell the universe that I don’t need money?” Or abundance.
So I picked it up
That penny sat on my desk at home for a week and then it went into the coin jar. In a couple of months; maybe a year since I don’t use cash much, I will take all the coins out, roll them and make a trip inside the bank to deposit them.
The penny on the ground isn’t going to fill the jar. Nor is it going to get me out of debt or help me save for my next adventure on its own. Just like sitting down to write for ten minutes isn’t going to write my next novella. It will, however, help me get closer to those goals.
Because who I am to turn down the abundance and gifts of the universe? Like the gift of a quiet Sunday morning to write.
Actions are votes for the type of person that you want to be. I heard this on a newscast on New Year’s Day. The brief interview was about how to make your resolutions a reality.
Small actions leading to better habits was the gist of the conversation.
If you want to lose weight don’t think about the weight but what a person who loses weight does and then do that. Think about what a person who has achieved that goal has done and basically what would they do.
What do you want to do? What does a person who does that thing do? And then do it?
Hard at the same time.
What if you don’t know what the person you want to be does? You have an idea, but so much of it is still a mystery. You see the outer shell of that world not knowing of what is underneath. Social media is great for giving us peeks into other people’s lives. Those peeks however are cultivated ones designed to let us see more often than not the best parts of their lives.
The lense of social media can be deceiving. Everyone else seems like they seem like they have so much confidence. You might be afraid to even try. Mistakes are going to happen and very few actually completely stop you unless you allow them to do.
You might ask questions or advice from experts and be disappoint when the advice is vague or seems just out of reach.
What if you are already doing it, just not at the level you want to? What if it still all seems overwhelming?
My advice pick somewhere and start. The TV expert d’jour stressed making small changes first before trying bigger things. And he isn’t wrong. You still need a place to begin.
When I was a young, I would often clean by piling everything on the bed and putting things away from there. The mound of stuff was always overwhelming. The idea in my young mind was that I couldn’t go to bed until such time as everything was off the bed. Often because I was not a neat child it would be over my head. I would scan the mound for the easiest thing to put away. Dishes to the kitchen, laundry into the hamper, toys and books arranged as I went. It got better. The mess would return, but I had a strategy to get take care of it. My teenage-self just learned to either make a nest out of the junk or push the mess on to the floor on the opposite side of the bed from the door so my folks won’t see.
I want to be a better writer. I want to write more constantly, publish multiple times a year and have writing expenses match with writing income. Currently, those two figures do not agree. And, yes, there are expenses that however is another post.
Writers have to hustle. They have to generate multiple streams of income. One thing I learned early on from selling my book on Amazon, was that you don’t get paid right away. I knew this from other author friends, but the reality selling a few dozen books and not seeing the money for three months was eye-opening. A couple of times, I was surprised when there would be extra money in my account.
So small habits will I be incorporating into my life to learn that hustle?
Learn the business side of writing – the small thing I can do with this is keep track of how many books I’ve sold and where I’ve sold them. In the beginning, I was great at this until it came to the point where I was selling physical copies on my own. I lost track there.
Write on a schedule. Set a schedule and stick to it. This takes a lot more planning than you would think. Wednesday, it meant writing right after coffee since I made plans to spend the day with my sweetheart. Today, it meant craving space out either before or right after work. Maybe both depending on the goals.
Examining what my goals are and defining success. How will I know if I am a success if I don’t define it for myself.
Where are you going to start on your goals? What little habits are you going to incorporate to make things happen in your world? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.
For the last four weeks, I have been the type of sick that people dread. The kind that makes your whole life slow to a crawl. There is nothing you can do but rest, drink lots and lots of fluids and hope that people don’t get tired of you asking for help. Help getting groceries, driving and doing laundry. My body didn’t have the energy to stand or sit long enough to fold my own laundry. I had to ask for a lot of help. Bronchitis turned into pnenomina. My body forced me to rest. It is still forcing me to rest. While drafting this post, I took an hour nap.
I am on the mend. I am off the antibodies and codiene laced cough syrup and back to my morning coffee. I’m back writing in my office under the watchful eye of my Ghostbuster figures. All good things.
If I take things slowly, I can get back to a normal pace of life.
The problem is I am not sure I want to go back to the way things were. To be blunt, my life is comfortable and there are a lot of awesome things in it,but it isn’t working. I am not happy. I am lost. I’ve been this way for a while.
It is the combination of a lot of things. Things I am willing to talk about and things that I am not sure how to talk about.
Twleve years into teaching and I am not inspired to be creative anymore. What is the point when I am never going to be really recognized for the work I do or paid fairly for it? It isn’t about being Teacher of the Year or anything life that. It is about not having to worry constantly about money or what deeming thing is going to said to myself or collegues next.
I tried unsuccessfully to exit teaching this year. I figured that it was time. My resume was met with an understandable silence. I didn’t have on paper what they were looking for. I would have loved the job, been good at the job but I have no one but myself to blame for not landing an interview. I didn’t do everything I needed with my resume to show them.
I have tried and failed to develop a consistent writing routine. I have also failed to complete any of the projects that I have going. The list of unfinished work gets longers and longer.
The sequel to Blood Child remains unfinished as does my first novel. Everything in my life is in the works.
I have craft and art projects that are collecting dust.
I am lost. Lost in my work life, in my personal life and pretty much everywhere. I feel like if I really let someone know what is going on then I am going to break down the cry. And the tears won’t stop.
Because not only am I a mess, I am also deemed to be broken one. Broken because I am over weight and depressed. Lossing weight isn’t going to cure my mental health issues. And curing my curing my mental health issues isn’t going to fix my weight.
I am lost because I want to move and at the same time I am terrified of it.
Leaving teaching means leaving job security and my health insurance. It means abandonning the known.
My folks are fine with me moving if it is for a better position and place in life, but I don’t know that it will be. I can’t guarantee that I will be making a move that is going to make everything better.
If I roll the dice and pack up my life, I fear that went the dice land they are going to come up snake eyes.
There is more.
I have a serious case of imposter syndrome. I feel like I am a huge fraud.
I am a poet who can’t snap her fingers.
I am lost.
Here is the point in writing that I would normally write something hopeful and inspiring. It is tempting to end that way once again. We all like stories of redemption. Stories where the underdog makes it to the end, finds their ray of sunshine and lives their dream. I think in always trying to be the protagonist in that kind of story, by forcing life into that mold, I have lost myself. I have lost the ability to admit mistakes, short comings and given into the notion that I must always put a positive face forward.
I crave being seen yet, I have been trained to hide myself and not be trouble. Not to worry others.
When I talk about depression some well meaning friends are always concerned that I have gone to that dark place again. The one where sucide is the only exit to freedrom. I am not there, trust me. I was never really there. I saw the other exits can clawed my way to them, sometimes figuratively some times literally.
I am in a different place, where there are a thousand doors and the reality of happily ever after has forever been shattered.
The sound of something crashing, even something small, echoed in the main atrium of the department store. Mindy had only walked away from the makeover for a moment to help a young woman. In that hair of a second, the customer had taken it upon herself to add some eye-shadow to the areas under the eye. Not a huge sin in the cosmetic counter world,but when the loose samples slid out of the palette rendering them useless, it didn’t seem like the brightest of ideas. Mindy had to take a deep breath, then another one.
The look of sorrow on the woman’s face made the last breath short and soothing. The woman went one about her life and desire to have an interesting mid-life crisis. She talked about her ex-boyfriend who raced motorcycles and hated Harley Davidson. She labored over each imaginary choice working Mindy for any suggestion, any suggestion at all that would make this time of her life interesting and fun but still leave her appearing like the responsible single mother she had always strived to be, despite every other word that had come out of her mouth. She wanted to be this or that, but never one of those people No mention of her precious babes. She didn’t want to appear irresponsible, yet, she did nothing about the powdered mess spread out at her feet.
She used Mindy, a girl barely out of high school, like a tenured bartender and didn’t even leave a tip when she finally abandoned her stool two minutes before closing. She did look fabulous and with that Mindy smiled.
Today’s sketch was inspired by a trip the cosmetic counter at local department store. This is the fourth character sketch I have started and the second that I have finished. As with the first, Saturday Morning Sketch, I started with an idea and just let it take me where it wanted. Hope you enjoy it and as please let me know what you think.
He was trying to absorb some of the hope offer by the sun as it reached through the trees into the darkness of the urban park. His head bend to all the way to clasped hands, eyes closed, pleading for something to change. Pleading for a miracle. Just had he had every other morning since he had begun sleeping there.
“Come on, boy..” the sound of another intruder breaking the tranquility that drew him and the others to the park broke his concentration. He looked up to find a tall woman silently making her way along the path. If she hadn’t called out to the black lab walking beside her, he never would have heard them coming. She wasn’t rushing along ignoring her surroundings. Her pace was smooth. The animal beside her ambling along just a peacefully. Her eyes were covered by a pair of big sunglasses, but the smile on her face warmed him more than the sun had in the last hour. He bet that the smile reached all the way to her eyes.
“Good Morning, sir.”
He just smiled and nodded. His ears not believing what she had just said. His head returned to begging for his miracle. His change.
And there it was.
Above is a character sketch based on a man I saw in the park while I was walking Luke. The man struck me with the peace in his stance, but the desperation in his eyes. I have no idea if he is really homeless. As I was writing those details just flowed onto the page. Not sure where this one is going, but it needed out of my head and onto the page.