Wake me up in January (In which I ramble...a lot)

I won’t lie to you, friends. It’s been a rough few months. Really, this whole year has kind of been an exercise in how much stuff can happen. In fact, this post, much like this year, is going to be a rambly incoherent mess. You have been warned.

So yes. The year has been rough. And unending in the amount of stuff. The thing is, the disruptions are so minute you don’t even realize they’re major disruptions until they pile up. Things like a staff member leaving the office turn your world inside out. Your brother moving away with your adorable nephew in tow throws you entirely off balance. Presentations you’re asked to make compile to the workload. And did I mention the trips? I’ve been on the road more this year than I can recall being, and a lot of those trips have been last-minute or otherwise unplanned.

Keeping your eyes on the ball is rough, particularly when you feel you’re on the wrong playing field.

I admit, I haven’t made it any easier on myself. Saying no is not in my vocabulary. This would be one of the more unenviable traits I inherited from my mother. And like my mother, when I say “yes” to everything, situations that would otherwise not be stressful suddenly feel like the mother of all roadblocks.

However—and here’s the rub—I can’t say I regret saying yes once I’m on the other side of it. Even with the rushing and the panic and the inevitable mistakes I make. Yes opens the door to opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have. I was asked to contribute a novella to Totally Bound’s WILD ANGELS anthology, and I made time to write it. It was a fun process, I’ll admit—one pieced together by going to three trusted confidants (Sarah Ballance, Terri Meeker, and Tish Beaty) and taking all the plot-points they threw at me to come up with one cohesive narrative. Indeed, this has actually been a rather productive year for me in terms of writing. I relaunched my Sinners and Saints series and am almost done with Book 4. And I’ve met some truly fantastic people—people who have become invaluable friends—since January 1.

Still, for all the other things that the year has thrown at me, I’ll be celebrating harder than most come December 31.

A part of a writer’s journey is finding balance. With me—as with most people, I assume—that balance at times comes at a price. Either I feel over-extended or anxious because of my commitments, or my anxiety disorder itself decides to reinsert its presence in my life and throw me entirely off kilter. However, if something is important to you, you find the time to dedicate to it. And for me, it’s always better to have too much to do rather than too little. My over-active imagination will create false problems in lieu of real ones to tackle, and those are the most frustrating to let go. After all, if the problem doesn’t exist, how can you trust you’ve solved it?

I’m going to go ahead now, in mid-November, and make my resolutions for next year:

  • Learn to say no and mean it.

  • Don’t feel guilty when you choose to be selfish with your time. You need that time to regroup. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

  • Accept that mistakes happen. Now, tomorrow, and always. The only true mistake is the one from which you don’t learn a lesson. Take your lesson, accept that you’re human, and don’t ruminate over what you cannot change or control.

  • Make as much time as possible for your friends, ‘cause they’re awesome.