A Little Self-Care Will Go a Long Way

So Camp NaNo ended yesterday, and I accomplished my goal which was to complete 30,000 words in the second draft of my current novel. I wrote a little over 32,000 words so I’m happy with that, but I need a little bit of a brain break from the story and the everyday pressure to write something in that story. Don’t get me wrong I love NaNo and the whole organization and the community that spawns from the event but towards the end of each month of those NaNo events it can get a little overwhelming.

So a few of us in our little corner of the AuthorTube community on YouTube thought it would be a good idea to focus on self-care the first week after each NaNo. We even have self-care Bingo cards (it’s a thing we do, a little friendly competition and camaraderie) to make it fun and to essentially make sure that we take care of ourselves. So that is what I am doing this week. I am not doing any heavy work, nothing related to writing anyway. I will be back next week with a new blog post. Also, if you would like to challenge yourself to a self-care week or even a month, I am leaving the link to the two self-care bingo cards which can also be found on my video that will be going up later today. Take care yourselves everyone because you deserve it!

Self-Care Bingo Card #1: https://bingobaker.com/#b2cda71389264966

Self-Care Bingo Card #2: https://bingobaker.com#a19d19d195f756d9

Until next time… #BeGentle #BeMindful #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Circle You Choose

I think sometimes it can be overlooked how important it is to have a core set of friends who understand you and your passions. Not only that but understand and accept you as a person. They don’t ask you to be anyone you’re not while still allowing you the room to make changes at your own pace. They don’t judge the things you do that they may not understand. They respect what you’re passionate about and respect the time you need to dedicate to that passion. Most importantly they are friend enough to tell you when you’re not doing what it is you’re supposed to be doing and that you need to get yourself (s**t) together.

I joined a writing community virtually a little more than two years ago (a little bit before the Pandemic hit) and as luck or fate would have it, it turned out to be one of the best things I could’ve ever done. I met friends there who get me, they understand me, they accept me, they are my tribe. I underestimated how much I needed that. Even us introverts need a tribe and people who will support you and encourage you no matter what.

Even though I’m a person who would rather be alone more often than not, I have always had a good amount of friends (not too many and not a dismal number either) but I can’t always say that they understood me or accepted me fully without trying to change me at their rate of change. I can’t even say that they always respected what I’m passionate about (writing) or the time that I need in order to fulfill that passion. I’m sure that they thought they were being the friends that I needed them to be because I never lead them to believe otherwise. Given that they were far more social than I am I’m pretty sure I wasn’t what they needed either.

I think this is why every friendship isn’t meant to last forever and people do move on and they grow apart. But when you do find those people that get you, your tribe so to speak, you absolutely should hold onto them. And don’t just receive the love they pour into you, make sure that you are pouring love back into them as well. Writing can be such as solitary career choice, but it doesn’t always have to be. Find your tribe and when you do make sure that you love on them and hold them close.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeReceptive #BeEmpowering

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Are You the Tortoise or the Hare?

I was on a live stream yesterday with a lot of my fellow writer family and we have this thing we do during streams where we pose questions on each sprint and they can be questions that are silly and allow us to just think fun thoughts, but they can also be deep prophetic questions that make you really think long and hard about what determines your answer. Oftentimes they’re a mixture of both. So yesterday on my friend Gwynna’s stream (watch the replay if you would like) she asked the chat are you more of a tortoise or a hare and why? The answer could be literal or metaphorical.

Now I don’t think my answer will shock anyone, I said I was a tortoise through and through. The funny thing is about a decade ago I probably would have said metaphorically a hare but physically a tortoise. I mean I’ve been overweight since I was in the 5th grade so speed has never really been my thing on a physical level but there was a time where I wanted everything to happen quickly.

I had goals and visions and I wanted to achieve them right then and there. I didn’t want to allow for any growth or learning curves, I just wanted things to magically happen for me. I would see people around me with not nearly as much drive or ambition have opportunities just present themselves to them and they took those opportunities for granted. It’s funny what living a bit of life and raising a child and hitting many (many) brick walls can actually teach you.

I’ve always read the story of the tortoise and the hare and would choose to be the hare in that scenario if I could because he was quick and confident. Now I see that story a little differently. He was quick and confident, but he was also cocky and didn’t think things through or prepare well enough which meant he didn’t have a good game plan for how to win, he just relied on his speed and his cockiness. There is a reason why slow and steady wins out. I said that I was a tortoise through and through because I have grown more methodical and analytical. I have learned to think things through (one could argue I might think them through a bit too much) and I don’t go into things on a whim. Sometimes this can be a flaw because there’s no spontaneity in being methodical and some think there is no fun in being cautious.

Now there is nothing wrong with being a hare (metaphorically or literally) and being that spontaneous and throw caution to the wind kind of person. There are times where that, throwing caution to the wind attitude, is necessary. I wish that I was that person but personally that doesn’t work for me. I think slow and steady really is the way to go. It may not get me to my destination as fast as I would like to get there and there will most definitely be stumbles and people to trip me up along the way but if I don’t give up, if I take my time, and if I remain confident but not too cocky, I will get there and what’s more important, I will be able to sustain myself once I do.

Whether you are more of a hare or more of a tortoise in life, I think the truly important thing is to know who you are and what method works for you to get to your end goal and to make it through this life. Even if you are a hare there is still some preparation that has to be involved or else, you’ll end up like the hare in the story who didn’t properly prepare for the race that he had to run and who also underestimated the person he was running the race alongside. However, you get to the finish line make sure you are focused on the lane that you are in and that you’ve given the race your all. Winning is nice but being the first to cross the finish line isn’t what matters most. What matters most is that you eventually cross that finish line.

Until next time… #BeVigilant #BeConfident #BeAmbitious


Jimmetta Carpenter

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Growth in Gradual Steps

Growth can be hard especially when it means realizing that you can’t do all of the things you were once able to do. My ambition does not always match my physical abilities and that frustrates me to no end. I keep setting goals that, if I take into account my new found physical limitations which oftentimes weigh on my mental state as well, are not realistic goals for the person that I am now. I set them as if I hadn’t been in life changing accidents and as if I haven’t put on more weight due to those life changing accidents curbing my physical capabilities. I set them as if I were the me that I was 5 or 6 years ago and that just isn’t who I am anymore, regardless of how much I wish I was still that person.

In some ways I have grown into a better version of myself and in others, the one’s that I’m more limited in, let’s just say the wisdom did not follow with the age. I still keep thinking I can do things at the same pace, with the same veracity, and the same stamina that I could when I was in my late twenties, or even early thirties. How foolish is it of me to still hold myself to that standard?

I suppose adequate growth would be me adjusting my goals to something manageable that I know I can get accomplished. Here recently I have been working on tailoring my goals to be more in line with what I know I can actually get done not what I think in my head (because in my mind I can do a lot of things that I can’t actually do in reality lol). So far it has been working really well for me and has allowed me to feel less pressure to get things done. But I still have the problem where I still feel like I’m not being productive enough.

I think people who are overly ambitious have this constant need to feel as if every second of the day if productive in some way. When you think about it, that sounds completely irrational because there are things like sleep and taking care of yourself in some way that doesn’t involve doing anything. Sometimes taking care of yourself is simply doing nothing at all. It’s the doing nothing at all part that I would like to get to a place where it doesn’t make me feel guilty. I’m not quite there yet but I’m working on it. I hope that in being as productive as you possibly can you find time to do nothing and simply just be.

Until next time… #BeKindtoYourself #BePatient #BeMindful

Jimmetta Carpenter

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These Are Apparently the Times We Are Living In Now

I don’t typically discuss political things or things that are going on all over the world here. That is unless those things have affected my mental state so much, to the point where I have to get what I’m feeling out or else I will scream. So, to avoid having people looking at me crazy or my neighbors thinking that I’m dying in my apartment I have to get some things off my chest. Now if you are a conservative who is in favor of what the Supreme Court has done to this country in the last week alone, I am sorry, but this post is not going to be for you.

This Supreme Court sucks! I am so profoundly devastated by the thoughtless and dangerous decisions that the Supreme Court handed down, not JUST on Friday but on Thursday too because in one breathe they’re saying the state of New York can’t have a say on how they handle guns and everyone is now free to run around New York all willy nilly with their guns out, while turning around on Friday to say “oh but we trust the states enough to make them the arbiters over women’s bodies” because that makes sense. Let me make this clear, I am neither for or against abortion. What I am for is women having a say over what to do with their own bodies and with their own situations. I am not for a bunch of old men (mostly anyway) getting to control whether a woman does or does not have a baby.

I watched as pro-life people talked to reporters about being the voice for the lives of the unborn children and I wanted to scream and say, “so to hell with the life of that mother who is carrying that unborn child”. No woman wakes up saying “hey I want to go out and get pregnant with a child I may or may not be able to afford and then precede to have an abortion”, that’s just ridiculous and that is how the pro-life movement is presenting things. Either that or they are relegating it down to making it as simple as saying women only choose to have an abortion because they are not being told by the masses that they are strong and capable enough to be a mom.

Well, here’s a thought, what if a woman just simply doesn’t desire to have children or if they have decided that 3 is their cap and they don’t want any more. Or what if you have a child who is raped and gets pregnant? So, then she just has to suck it up and deal with it? I literally wanted to scream when I saw a pro-life activist on CNN the other night and her response to the child who is raped question was “we don’t answer violence with violence and abortion is violence”. I wanted to yell at that woman and ask her so is her answer to punish the child who doesn’t bare any blame in that scenario with a responsibility that she is not mentally or financially ready for?

I watched another young woman who celebrated the decision by relaying a story of a teenage girl who she helped through a difficult time in which she made the choice not to go through with the abortion and I thought great, but you’re apparently losing the point that she had a choice, the decision wasn’t made for her. Anyone who is pro-life or pro-women for that matter, seriously needs to think about the fact that they are celebrating women no longer having a say over what they can and can’t do with their own bodies and in their own families. Every woman’s story is not the same and to impose your belief systems and moral reasoning on women as a whole is just wrong. It’s interesting how no one wants to regulate men’s bodies, force them to get vasectomies, take away their options to get these women pregnant.

I am so livid about this that I literally could not focus all of Friday and the vast majority of the weekend. For Justice Alito to say this text is not a part of the Constitution as his reasoning for this decision is ludicrous because in the text of the Constitution, I would not even be considered a person, but instead property. I also would not even be allowed to vote. It makes me wonder just how far back he wants to take us. And if you think that they are going to stop here then look no further than Justice Thomas’s concurrent opinion in which he thinks they need to overturn rights to contraception and marriage equality, i.e., same sex marriage. Who are they to tell someone who they can and cannot love? Who are they to regulate whether a married couple or anyone having sexual relations can actually use various methods of protection to at least try to keep themselves from getting pregnant? What kind of place are we living in right now?

This is not the country I grew up loving. I was born after Roe v Wade was in place, so I’ve never known anything but being able to have rights over my own body. So now my daughter is going to go into her adulthood not having rights that she had when she came into this world? What are we doing right now? I am just saddened for this country and I’m sad for my daughter and the daughters of other women I know. I’m extremely sad for my niece who lives in Oklahoma (a state who now holds one of the strictest laws against abortion I’ve ever seen) and is a young woman now and I’m worried about if she were to end up in a scenario that she didn’t want to be in. She would just be forced to do something she doesn’t want to do, being a mom (because she doesn’t even know if she wants kids)?

I just… I’m out of words now… I can’t understand what is happening and I’m just sad. These are dangerous times we are in, and it’s just not supposed to be this way. In the land of the free, we’re not really all that free, are we? Then again, I guess we never really were.

Until next time… #BeVigilant #BeStrong #BePersistent

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are We Going To Just Stare At the Wall or Find A Way To Climb Over It?

I’ve been staring at a wall lately and that wall has time written all over it. Time is not my friend. There is never enough of it and yet it feels like the time I do have can’t be adequately balanced in a satisfactory manner. I’ve been struggling lately with this balancing time thing with taking on something non-creative in order to pay the bills and having the creative side of me, that being writing which is like air to me, suffer drastically.

I mean I won’t say that I’m not able to write ever, but it’s a far cry from the amount of time I was once able to put into my writing and as I said, writing is like air to me so right now I quite literally feel like I am not able to breathe. I feel like I’m suffocating and all I can think about is writing but it’s the one thing I’m unable to do as freely as I need to. But I think that I’m looking at this the wrong way.

I’m staring at the wall and instead of figuring out a way over or around that wall I am just stuck, looking up at this massive road block, and wondering what the hell am I going to do. I’m not going to pretend I have the answer for this problem at this exact moment but I do know that giving up is not an option. We spend so much time staring at the wall rather than climbing over that wall and that is tantamount to giving up. I say we because I can’t be the only one who gets stuck at the road blocks that you come across.

Your wall may not be writing. It could be whatever you’re most passionate about and have been struggling to weave it into your schedule. If you are struggling too then I want you to know that you’re not alone and that we are going to climb this wall together because quitting is never an option when your dreams are waiting for you beyond that wall. We may need some time to assess the wall, to make a plan of action on how we are going to get over or around that wall, but one way or another, we will overcome the wall that is blocking our way.

Until next time… #BePatient #BePersistent #BeDetermined

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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I Want To Learn To Love Dancing In The Rain

There’s this saying (pictured above) that life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, but rather it’s about learning to dance in the rain. I absolutely love this saying, but I think I’ve only recently realized that I am the person who waits. I am that person that will stand on the curb and wait for dozens of cars to pass before just taking the chance and running across to the other side of the street. I am the person that once the sky opens up and the rain begins to fall, I immediately run indoors to keep from getting wet. I am that person who is scared of what’s coming if I don’t already know what’s going to happen.

I would like to think that if I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime that I would just take that opportunity without over analyzing every single aspect of what could go wrong but I know myself a bit better than that. I just turned another year older last Friday and it got me to thinking of, not just the things I wished I had gotten to do by now (as most people did, I had a 30 by 30 list of sorts), but also, I thought about the things I would put on a bucket list today as I inch closer to 45. I thought of all of the places I have yet to go and the things I want to try, things I would do if money were not an obstacle. Things I want to just throw caution to the wind for and just take the leap and jump. I stopped short of compiling yet another list for fear that once again the items on it will go unchecked.

On the flip side, if I keep waiting for all the money I need to do these things, or for the right time to do them, essentially for all of the stars to align, so to speak, then I could be waiting forever, and it’s possible that it would never happen. I don’t want to let another decade of my life go by without having done something, anything, that wasn’t completely mapped out and analyzed to death. I have yet to ever get on a plane and travel anywhere and I don’t want to have never left the country. I’ve never even been to New York, which is sad considering it is the one state that I have always dreamed of living in. So what do I do with all of these desires and so many real or imagined obstacles standing in my way?

That is when learning to dance in the rain comes into play. Now I can’t say I will never over analyze a decision ever again because, as I said before, I know myself a bit better than that. But I think taking chances and risks in life, particularly for someone as analytical as myself, requires a conscious effort. It will require me to get out of my own head every time an opportunity arises for me to do something that I want to do. It will require for me to just live a little and stop worrying about all of the unknowns. Most importantly, it will require me to remember to bring my umbrella with me even if the forecast doesn’t call for rain because I never know when the sky will open up and give me the opportunity to dance. If you should have the opportunity to dance in the rain or run indoors for cover, I sure hope that you decide to dance!

Until next time… #BeAdventurous #BeOpen #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Our Limitations Cannot Limit Us

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few weeks about the things that limit me, whether it be in my writing career or my personal everyday life in general. Then I was listening to a motivational message this past Saturday and something they said struck a chord. They said we may be limited in a lot of ways whether it be physical limitations or mental limitations, but our limitations cannot limit us. That sparked something in me. They went on to expand on that point saying to think of all of the limitations that you have and the fact that just because those limitations exist does not actually stop us unless we allow them to. In essence, if we don’t allow them to those things may slow us down but they cannot stop us.

I thought about that, especially as it pertains to my physical limitations that have gotten worse over the course of the last few years. They are a pain (literally) and they slow me down for sure but nothing that I absolutely need to get done is going to be left undone just because those physical limitations exist. They might take longer to get done but they will get completed.

I suppose that I should approach that way of thinking in terms of my writing career as well. I may be limited whether it’s financially or even just lack of energy one day or another but that does not mean that my goals cannot be accomplished. They just won’t get achieved at the pace that I would’ve originally liked them to. With self-publishing there are a lot of limitations when it comes to having the monetary needs to do what needs to get done but it just means the pace has to be slower. It doesn’t mean that I stop. It doesn’t mean that I give up.

We get hung up sometimes on the things that we are limited by and it’s human nature. It’s natural to focus on what obstacle is being thrown in our way. But we can’t let that stop us in our tracks. They are tests to see if we really want what it is we say we want. We don’t give up. We don’t have to allow our limitations to limit us and limit the achievements that we are destined to make. Keep moving forward. Your progress may be slow because of the limitations that you have been dealt with but don’t count yourself out.

Until next time… #BeBold #BePersistent #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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We Can’t Always Be In Bloom

It is impossible to be continually productive, every single minute, of every single day, in every single year. With that knowledge, I’m wondering why I keep beating myself up when a few minutes go by without me being productive on something. I haven’t been doing so great with my writing these last few weeks, mostly because my schedule changed due to taking on things to better provide financially for me and my daughter who has just entered college. The problem with doing things you have to do to survive is that the things that feed your soul (in my case, writing) fall by the wayside and that is literally killing me.

I’ve said it here many times before, but writing is like breathing for me. If I can’t write, then I am not a very happy person and probably not pleasant to be around. Writing makes me happy; it helps me think, it allows me to expel emotions that I would otherwise hold onto, and it just centers me. I have not found the balance yet and it is making me depressed and anxious and extremely overwhelmed and unhappy.

I shared some more about these struggles in a video I posted on my YouTube channel last week for Mental Health Awareness Month and I go more in detail about what I’ve been struggling with and just how much it’s been affecting me. It did make me realize (along with a really good friend of mine) that I am not a machine, and I cannot always be in the doing phase. Sometimes I just have to be in the phase of simply being and I have to be okay with that. It’s hard for me because so much of my identity is tied into my writing. I mean I’ve been writing since I was little (like 8 or 9) to get all of the emotions I could never verbalize out so to not be able to find the balance to do what I love is hurting.

I am going to try and work out a schedule to see if I can figure out a way to balance it all out without losing sleep (which was my initial plan) and have even crafted a schedule that I am crossing my fingers and praying it works but even in saying that I know that to protect my mental health I am going to have to be okay even if I don’t figure it out. It’s okay if everything I want doesn’t happen all at once.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeReflective #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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The Struggle to Find the Balance

What is balance these days? I’d like to think that I know how to balance things pretty well but then I have to remind myself that multi-tasking is not really the same thing as balance. Then again, I guess that depends on what I mean by balance. I don’t mean balance in the sense of juggling all of the many tasks that you have to do on any given day. I mean knowing when you’ve taken on too much and you need to just sit out a few rounds and pick up where you left off later. That is the type of balancing act that I struggle to conquer.

I am an all or nothing type of person most of the time. I don’t like to do anything half-way, it’s either I throw my whole self into whatever task it is, or I would just rather not do it at all and wait until I can give it my full effort. The problem with that way of thinking sometimes is that you can very easily end up with a lot of things not getting done or burning the candle at both ends trying to make sure that everything does get done.

Last week I got really lazy (at least it was lazy in my mind) and while I didn’t just throw all of my projects and work to the side, I certainly was not nearly as productive as I know that I could have, or should have been, if I were giving it my full effort. I was just tired. I was mentally tired. I was definitely physically tired (given quite a few physical issues that have been aggravated over the last few weeks) and quite honestly, I was emotionally tired.

I’ve been stressed about a couple of different things, not just creatively (or should I say writing business wise) but financially as well. I hadn’t even realized just how stressed the financial thing had me until it looked like there was finally going to be some resolution on that front last week and I just breathed a heavy sigh of relief and the realization of just how stressed that had me hit. I just didn’t feel like doing much of anything last week and I allowed myself to lean into that feeling.

Now going into this week, I know that I can’t be the same amount of unproductive as I was last week and frankly, I feel a little more refreshed, so I am ready to get back to the creating of things. But I think that having that balance of allowing myself to lean into the “lazy” feeling last week helped. I think every once in a while, it would be okay to just not put quite as much pressure on myself to get everything done. It was just far too much.

We have to know when to stop juggling all of the things in the air and to just let a few of those tasks fall by the wayside. It’s not as if putting off one or two things is going to completely throw everything off course (and if it would then those are the tasks you absolutely should not drop) and you won’t be able to get back to them the next day. We have to find the balance between being able to do it all and not draining ourselves physically and mentally actually trying to do it all. You’re not alone in trying to manage everything because I haven’t got it all figured out just yet either. We can learn how to balance together.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeMindful #BeKindtoYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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