Happy Friday Eve, ya’ll!
Before I get started with the meat and potatoes of this post, I’ve wanted to get in the habit of making a little list at the beginning of all my Thursday posts, so here goes:
What I’m Reading: Kitchens of The Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Last Song Purchased on iTunes: Pet by A Perfect Circle
Current TV Show: Just finished The Defenders.
Last Movie Watched: Actually, I’m watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 right now.
Alabama Rain’s Current Word Count: 30,765
Weekend Plans: Visiting nephew in Atlanta, writing, blogging, and updating websites
Onto the post.
I’m not sure if I’ve made you guys aware, but my Monday blogs are thoroughly planned out ahead of time, and most weeks I’ve actually been writing them for several days before they’re published. My Thursday posts are spur of the moment. I try not to think about them too much because I want them to be true to who I am in that moment.
Today was rough. Scratch that, this year has been rough so far. I think back on those posts I made in December and January. I had such high hopes and plans for this year. I thoroughly believed that 2018 would be a far better year than 2017. Not so much.
Last year (which, comparatively, was better, as hard as that is to believe) I gave up writing for a while. I’d absolutely lost the ability to keep up with both halves of my world. Writing doesn’t pay the bills and it likely never will. So I made the sensible decision and I put my writing away to alleviate some of my stress.
But I was still stressed. I am still stressed.
Cutting out my writing ambitions was the wrong move. I know that now. Believe me, I am desperate to cut something out right now…but it won’t be my writing.
Let’s talk about stress.
Is stress bad?
Not necessarily. There is such a thing as good stress. For me, writing is good stress. I stress over getting the words right. I stress over getting reputable sources for my research. I stress over cover design. I stress about marketing. I stress over my blog posts.
But the thing is, I want this stress. It motivates me and pushes me to get better in so many areas of writing—which is all I want to do anymore.
See, I am actually in control of this stress and I utilize this stress. It, for me, is good.
Bad stress, I believe, is when you have little to no control over its origination nor its resolution.
For me that is most of my work-related stress and dealing with family health issues.
So, when I gave up my writing last year, I indeed gave up some stress, but it was the good stress and all I was left with was the bad stress. It was not a good equation.
Short of quitting my job with no notice, what am I to do?
I know you’re going through something rough right now, too. You’re fighting your own battles, and I’m sure there are days you feel you’re winning, and others when you are so damned exhausted from it all that you don’t even notice when you start to cry. There are days when you feel whole and motivated and invincible…and then there are days when you feel defeated and even simply going through the motions is so taxing you crumble.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep fighting. Don’t lose your passions, because you’ll lose yourself.
How am I coping?
Not well, usually. But I have taken to closing my eyes and counting back from five. On especially bad days, I do something nice for myself. I find things around me that I like. (Something in the color green, something that smells nice, something I like to eat or drink…anything to make me focus on something positive.)
The tough love ending here is that even though lots of the things that stress us out are beyond our control, we can control how we react to it.
I nearly lost my control at work the other day. I started to walk out the door with my middle fingers up and said I’d figure the rest out later. All that would’ve accomplished would have been to trade one bad stress for a heap of other bad stress.
Instead, I have accepted the fact that my job will never again be the same for me. Coming to this realization has clarified for me what I should and should not fight for. I’m incapable of changing the company culture…but I can change the company I work for. It might take some time, but that is within my control.
I cannot change the fact I have an aunt who is fighting for her life, the stress of which is causing ripples in the family. I can, however, do what I know is right and visit her and offer my shoulder to her daughters.
These things are preventing me from devoting as much time as I’d like to my writing, but I also have to accept that I will likely not meet my quarterly goal for 2018. I imposed these deadlines and the only person who really cares if I meet them is me. I have to give myself permission to adapt my goals.
I am going to give myself permission to be human.
I hope you will, too.
See you Monday, my lovelies.