Living in my Head

Writing Conference NotesI came home last weekend from my writer’s conference on an incredible high. I used some of that energy to finished writing my book that I was muddling through for the last year (or at least came to a good stopping point for now).

Monday, I was still bounding with excitement and started working on a new writing project after work.

Tuesday was a hard day on the phones at work, then Cub Scouts started a few minutes after I got home. I was worried about losing that pep in my step so quickly after my awesome weekend. But when everything settled down, I spent a few minutes working on the opening scene to my new book. My mind kept working on the scene while I slept and I added to it when I got up the next morning. My workout suffered, but I was excited about my day again!

Sometimes I think I spend too much time in my own head, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe I need to be more intentional and escape into my imagination as a way to escape the mundane. This could be a tool to balance my mood when I’m feeling discouraged or overwhelmed; a way to stay connected to my goals and dreams.

So now to put my theory to the test and experiment with spending more time living in my head, which sounds like a lot more fun than a lot of the other tests I’ve been taking lately! How do you escape reality?

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January Review

I’m checking in on my New Year’s goals and January’s overall accomplishments.

Paperelli  and Lemony Stitch Prize.8 – My goal to lose weight didn’t start off like I was hoping since I gained almost a pound in January. I’m fine tuning my goals to include a 350 calorie daily deficit.

1 – Prize won from Lemony Stitch and Paperelli, now I’m just waiting for a birthday to celebrate

2 – Trips to the movie theater (both a little sad) and two books read (one boring and one inspirational)

3 – Friends enjoying a girls night out at a local BBQ restaurant

6 – Hours spent doing inventory for the family business, the kiddos put in more time than me. The youngest were floored to make that much money in two days

7- I’m making progress on 7 of my 10 New Year’s goals by completing my ethics test for my insurance designation, finding a roomie for this months writing conference, posting to my blog, applying for a new position at work and continuing with belly dancing class with the girls

8 – Boys at Cub Scouts, that number will continue to drop over the next four months

Santa Timer8 – Photos of things that make me happy posted to Instagram

11 – Number of months until Christmas! I even started a little bit of shopping

20 – Other January accomplishments include 20 projects off my list (let’s see if I can keep that puppy under 3 pages)

29 – Days I logged my food with My Fitness Pal

641 – Easy as PIE page views, Utah likes me the best

Overall I’m happy to report I’m on track with my goals this year and we’re over 1/12 of the way through 2015! Please share your January accomplishments or hold yourself accountable to those New Year’s resolutions in the comments section.

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Making Mistakes

I made a mistake a couple of weekends ago. Actually I made several mistakes, but this one involved someone who has been rather toxic in my life. The demeaning response and consequent attempt to take advantage of the situation lifted the floodgate of emotions related to a situation I’ve been working to overcome.

Mistakes are a funny thing. No one wants to make them, but they are often the gateway to experience, learning and growth. How many times have we been told about the number of failures Edison had before he invented the light bulb? Or how many shots Michael Jordan missed? The learning is in the journey and the journey is filled with bumps, pit stops and distractions.

I remember a discussion in Sunday School a couple of years ago about mistakes, where the instructor said mistakes aren’t bad. I don’t think I can describe the shock that reverberated through my body as I thought of the consequences I faced for past mistakes. That was the first time I realized that maybe my perception of mistakes were off kilter. Actually, that was at the beginning of my discovery that maybe many of my perceptions were off kilter, but that’s another blog post.

I let the reactions to my alleged mistakes by someone close to me feed my insecurity in my decision making ability. I was often paralyzed and unable to decide anything for fear of making a mistake. I walked on eggshells, fearing I would unwittingly make a mistake in this person’s eyes – which happened frequently. I don’t want to focus on my relationship, but a little about how others react to our mistakes. For me, I developed a fear of not only failure but also a fear of making decisions.Candy Corn Cookies

Mistakes show we are trying. If we’re not making mistakes, are we really living? When I struggle with a decision, I remind myself that if I choose the wrong option then I’ll pick myself up and move on. Often, a choice is just a choice with no right or wrong answer. Like the time I made cookies with candy corn instead of chocolate chips. They tasted fine, but they were messy and ugly. Lesson learned.

Other times mistakes can lead to pain, and that’s OK too. Life is meant to have good days and bad days. It’s very hard to appreciate the good, without the not so good. For me a painful day is still better than those days I was numb, blocking out how unhappy I had become with my stagnate life.

It’s so good to feel again, regardless of the emotion; although I do prefer the positive emotions. This year I’m focusing on rediscovering what makes me happy. I’m bound to stumble on some unsuccessful attempts. And I’m sad to say I’ll make a few more mistakes and some of them might sting a bit. Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll be more in tune to what makes me tick with no visible scars from the mistake or two (or 90) I make along the way.

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New Year, New Goals

The New Year is goal time and I don’t mean football. Before we get too far into 2015, I wanted to take this time to reflect on my progress on last years goals. I start each year recording my top 10 memories of the previous year and setting 10 goals for the new year.

Of last year’s goals, I completed five. I finished a couple of specific books. I attended a conference. I doubled my target of adding 2000 words to my book. Not only did I finish one class for my insurance designation, but I finished four of the five.Books

The other half of my goals, I didn’t quite achieve. I wanted to finish the first edit of my short story, but I didn’t even it touch it last year. Another goal was to lose weight, instead I gained weight. I made some progress on the others. I read half of a specific book, I worked on my scrapbook a little bit (and I do mean a tiny bit) and I read 14 of my 24 book goal.

It would be very easy to look at these unmet goals as failures, but I’m choosing to think about why I didn’t achieve those goals. I haven’t worked on my short story because I’m not ready to relive some of the memories the story triggers. I realized a couple of the goals aren’t as important to me right now. My lifestyle isn’t conducive to reading 24 books, so I scaled that goal back. And I didn’t have a plan to make the weight-loss goal become a reality.

June scaleI took my “failures” into consideration as I set this year’s goals. While I want to push myself, I also want to keep my goals achievable. This year’s goals include:

  • Finish my AIC insurance designation
  • Go to a writing conference
  • Add 5000 words to my book
  • Blog monthly (maybe weekly if I can get back into the swing)
  • Read 18 books
  • Complete digital scrapbooks for 2011 -2014
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Log in food journal 5x a week
  • Get a promotion
  • Exercise/play with the kids weekly

I’m hoping this is the balance I’m looking for between focusing my goals on what’s important to me while remaining attainable. I’d love to hear your goals for the year. We could support and encourage throughout the year.

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