I was reminded today of my vow two years ago to try and post all year long. I lasted until July, so at least I made it more than half the year - WIN! Seriously though, I do call that a win. Since then, however, its been a bit scarce.
Around March of last year I posted about doing some work I wasn't crazy about as a means to an end. Well, that paid off. I was able to get the job I wanted with a little sacrifice and a whole lot of JUST KEEP GOING. I'm not afraid to pat myself on that back for that one. It may sound a bit self-serving, but that's not something I do often, so even putting it in writing is a big step.
Too often I (or should I say WE) don't allow ourselves to reflect on what we have accomplished.
Recently, I had a friend come to visit, and not surprisingly, she gave me some much needed perspective. As I sat there, pouring out to her all my frustrations and failures - things I felt like I wasn't doing enough, or couldn't seem to accomplish, or want so bad but its just not happening for me - she stopped me mid sentence and delivered this:
Back up. You need to give yourself some credit. All these things you are pushing aside as everyday nothings are accomplishments that you should be proud of. You are a household of two working parents, you've birthed and are raising three happy, healthy kids on your own with no help from family. You've relocated and re-invented a career for yourself three times in the last 10 years, managed to buy a house in an impossible market, are able to make some money on the side selling art and doing what you love, got a job you wanted for years without having to go back to school, manage to stay healthy and active, and still have energy left to pursue other passions. These are incredible accomplishments, not just everyday expectations.
And she was right.
I'd love to say that I had an immediate switch go off in my head and now I'm happy and satisfied, but that's clearly not the case. I still feel there are ways to do better, or more and I can be doing. I'll probably always feel that way. But it is so easy to get caught up in the rat race and not allow ourselves to enjoy and be grateful for what we have already accomplished. Just the status quo REALLY IS an accomplishment in itself.
With that in mind, I think I am going to add a few more goals to my list this year. Not from a place of not doing enough, but more because i know I can and that’s exciting. First, I'm going to try and continue with this blog. I'm not even going to try and do more than last year - just keep it going. Second, I'm going to try and sell more artwork than last year. Eventually (read: soon) I want this to be my full time gig, so forward momentum it is. JUST KEEP GOING.
These goals feel like something I can do without deviating too much from my daily routine or making any huge changes. They will keep me focused, but not so stressed that I am just setting up for failure. Hopefully just the act of accomplishing them every month will make me feel positive and successful.
Last, I like to throw in a hail mary. What's something that I will allow myself to make a goal for the year, but wont be completely devastated if it doesn't happen?
I'm going to start, and make significant progress on, my first novel.
I've been kicking this around in my head for a about 18 months (yes that long), and even have a good amount of plot and character outlines down in writing. Hopefully now that its out into the universe the stars will align for it to be written and published! We'll see...
Quite honestly though, why not? There are literally THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of authors with published books, who work full time, and have kids, etc etc etc.. Throw enough darts, and one is bound to land.
Why not me?
Here’s to big things coming.
What have you been putting off and telling yourself you can't do right now for this reason or that?