Lately I’ve felt like a hamster on a wheel. I seem to be doing the same things over and over, and not making progress. Have you ever felt that way? It seems I repeat the same things daily: workout, get ready for work, go to work, work at work, come home after work, work at home. Lather, rinse, repeat. I guess it’s only appropriate to be experiencing “Groundhog Day” in February.
The weather here has been the same for almost two weeks. Lots of rain, with a few days that were scattered with sunshine. I’m really needing more vitamin D than my supplement provides. For me, February has always been a month where I find myself in a rut. Christmas is over, Spring hasn’t sprung, and I’m not as motivated as I need to be.
This February has had most of those things: bad weather, little sunshine, and a semi-rut. But I’ve figured something out about my state of mind. I’m distracted. Plain and simple. I am so busy with all kinds of things. I’m multitasking at an incredibly high level, yet it seems I struggle to reach my self-imposed deadlines.
I fully intended on writing a funny, self-deprecating blog post about the day I met Colleen Hoover (seriously, I’ve met her). I promise that post will come, but for now, I’m keeping it simple, and you know why… I have to get back on the hamster wheel. Daylight is burning.
A year ago, I was still cranking out blog posts now and again, but I honestly thought writing books was a thing of the past. I didn’t have it in me. I knew that I needed to re-publish the books I’d already published (due to the publisher going out of business). There it is again. The hamster wheel and/or Groundhog Day. It seemed like my life was a series of doing or redoing things I had already worked tirelessly to do.
Life happens. Things change. You get older. And that’s where I am. As I approach a new milestone in a couple of months, I realize how much I still want to do. I have things I want and need to accomplish. And let me tell you, once I began to look at each day as an opportunity to begin again and also to do better at things I’ve already done, I was released from the rut filled chains I felt were holding me back. The detours that have made me tired, and burned me out, and have put me in a rut, have served to rejuvenate me. I might be doing the same things over and over again, but those things are making me better, and I’m getting better at those things. They are giving me practice, and confidence.
By looking at each day as it comes and not worrying about the future, I have let go of the things I can’t change. And for a control freak like me, that’s big! It’s taken a while, but through sudden loss and grief this year and thirty years ago, I have finally learned to slow down. And on this detour from exhaustion, and trying to call the shots, and trying to fix things I can’t, I have learned to relax my mind. And the crazy thing is, that has opened me up to all kinds of ideas, goals, and opportunities.
And now for the contradictory part of this post: In my detour of trying not to control everything, I have taken control of my writing. I am learning to not only write manuscripts, but to also format them, design book covers, and even be my own publisher. The process begins and ends with me, and of course the Lord, who makes it all possible! And it is the most freeing feeling! I’ve had the most awesome mentor, Ellen, who always finds time for my questions and fixes for my mistakes.
From out of my rut, and into my writing freedom, I have landed two incredible opportunities. Right now, I’m trying to get all my ducks in a row, and when that happens (in the next couple of months), I will share more about these projects, and will also solicit feedback and help from any of you who are interested.
I’m a little off schedule on re-releasing A Southern Girl Re-Belles (will happen in March), but I’m halfway through writing the sequel, Getting Hitched. After Christmas, I decided to create a designated area to write. My own little corner of the world. It is amazing how doing this one simple thing has helped me re-focus. When I’m in my author’s corner, I write. I fulfill that purpose. I’ve made it comfortable, inspiring and the outcome is accomplishing more during my February-rut-turned-rejuvenation than in the past three months!
Through my detour, I’ve learned to give myself a grace period, instead of a hard deadline. I think I’m finally slowing down, and understanding how important it is to stop and smell the roses, and even the skunks along the way. We all have a purpose, even stinky skunks. They make us appreciate the roses even more!
I’m honestly not sure what point I’m trying to make…squirrel!
Maybe it’s this: At times, distractions are needed, and detours are necessary. As long as you are moving forward, and consistently toward your dreams, you’ll get to those deadlines. And along the way, you will find rest, and relaxation, and maybe even a couple of hamsters, groundhogs, and squirrels (and maybe not too many skunks)…