At the beginning of this school year, I made a vow to myself to use every spare moment - to prioritize my time - to cherish opportunities for accomplishing everything. While I have had a few set-backs, I have been far more successful in keeping up with everything. Nothing is perfect, but I feel I am more balanced and more up to date than in the past. For example, this is the first time I've ever gotten both summer reading projects for my AP kids graded within the first half of the first quarter. I have been pleased with my efforts, and vowed to keep working towards the goals I had set for myself.
November's Nano started with big expectations. I was looking forward to writing my next novel, and I felt confident as the month began. I easily sailed through the first week, building my word count up and surpassing the daily goals by 2,000 words in that first week.
The second week began and I knew I was going to have to fight to make my word count. I had a few days at school where I seemed to run at a break-neck speed. I began to fall behind. I held my ground and managed to take care of school, the house, and cater to my son, somewhat, and still catch up by writing nearly 5,000 words in one day over the weekend.
That was exhausting.
Syd is still in the habit of getting up by 5:30 on most mornings. Now that I'm no longer nursing, we've gotten into the habit of getting to bed by 10:30. On 'Mommy Nights' - days when I bathe Syd, rock and read, and put him to bed, I am usually free by 8:30. That gives me two hours to get ready for the next day, to complete school work, to straighten the house and throw a load of laundry in, and to write.
Let's be honest. Not much writing was getting done after 8pm. I am tired in the evening. It is difficult to keep everything in balance and I had faith that I could still do it all. I have a great idea for my book and it started to write itself. But then it took a very odd turn, and I struggled to make connections between where it was heading and where I wanted it to head.
But then I started feeling that same gripping, drowning feeling I've had in the past. I started to stress over not getting an opportunity to write. I started fussing at Sydney when I was trying to write and he wanted to play, or watch Mommy write, or just needed a granola bar or milk in his cup. And I felt horrible.
And my grading began to pile up. And laundry began to pile up. And my cooking/baking slackened.
Needless to say, I started to struggle to find the words to put down on paper. And I fought myself to force myself to write.
And then I wondered why.
I've accomplished this once. I know I will have more opportunities to complete this in the future. Why does it have to be THIS year? Why?
And I realized... it doesn't.
And I decided to let go. To return to the plans and vows I had made myself that were making me content. I returned to playing with my son. I returned to baking for fun. I returned to trying to keep the ever-growing/never-ending piles of laundry smaller.
And I felt peace.
So, remember, above all, "To thine own self be true," and pick your battles. Do what makes you happy for who you are, not for some random goal you feel you have to accomplish. I got halfway to the end in my Nano 2013 sprint. And I'm very happy about that. And I'm perfectly content to leave it sitting there until time and energy allow me to refocus on my writing as opposed to my other goals in life.
And most importantly - I felt peace with my decision.
This holiday season, do what makes you happy. And find your peace.