Don’t be afraid to change your goals.

My summer goals on writing each week have not been successful. My mother’s husband had surgery and he is my mother’s caretaker. She is in the last and final stage of Alzheimer’s. This is perhaps the worst stage yet. It could last months or it could last years.

With my stepfather’s recovery, my sisters and my step-siblings all had to pitch in to help out. It took a lot more mental and physical work than I had thought. At times, I felt thankful that I am a teacher and have the summer off so that I could help out more. However, there were other times that I felt overwhelmed and pissed off that this is happening to my mother. Life can be so unfair and cruel. It took my beautiful mother who had such spunk and left her as a shockingly old woman who needs help laying down, going to the bathroom, eating, and who doesn’t know her own daughters.

I foolishly thought that when she is sleeping or at nighttime, I would write. Quickly, I realized that I could not do it. My mind and my body just needed to rest. At first I was mad at myself for not following through on my goals.

After a few days of negative talk to myself and taking care of my mother, I came to the realization that it is ok to change your goals. Life gets in the way sometimes. We do what we have to do and that is that. Sometimes you have the time to follow through with what you want to do in life and sometimes you have to push pause and get back to what you want to do when you have the time and the mental energy to do so.

Summer Goals

Summer is my time to destress from a school year. As a special education teacher, my patience is tested throughout the year as I help students deal with their emotions, academic struggles, and just getting through the day. I love my job, but I do need the summer to be myself again.

This time of the year is greatly needed. My son and I love our time together. We have lazy mornings, snuggle time, videogame time, but we also have reading, non-technology time, and just good old-fashioned time together outside at the park, pool, beach, and, of course, our back yard. ❤

Summer is also my time to find my creative side again. Some school years take it away a bit as my mind focuses on IEPs, lesson plans, and meetings. So this summer I am so excited to let my imagination come out again. To do that, I have set some goals for myself:

  • Make time to read.
  • Write every day.
  • Create a rough draft children’s book for each week of the summer.
  • Blog weekly.
  • Read more.

This is my first full week of the summer. I am so excited to just read, write, and have fun. Until next time…

Unexpected Motivation

I recently went on a field trip with my son to Monticello as a parent and as a special education teacher. My focus was staying cool in the heat, keeping the kids on my caseload on track, and spending time with my son.

However, it didn’t take long for that focus to change.

Soon, it was pure motivation. Seeing Thomas Jefferson’s creations, architecture, books that he owned, gardens, etc was breathtaking at times.

I have been feeling down about my lack of progress on writing, my mother’s Alzheimer’s and infertility. Somehow being at Monticello made me feel hopeful. Not hopeful that I can change my mother’s prognosis or change my inability to have more children, but hopeful because LIFE is hopeful.

There is something about Monticello that makes you remember that life isn’t about what you have or what you cannot have, it is about using your mind to create the life you want. Instead of wasting my time and energy thinking about what I cannot have, I need to focus my energy on what I love and on what I can create.

Taming the Inner Critic

My inner critic is harsh. Let’s just be brutally honest here: my inner critic is a true mean-to-the-bone, socially unacceptable bitch.

You know the type: They put you down every chance they get. They blame you for everything wrong that happens. Why did the boyfriend leave? You. Why did you not get that job you applied for? You. Why do you doubt yourself? You are not good enough, she would reply. Yet she would say it with a sailor’s mouth with such vulgar that you don’t want to be in public with her.

There are some days where I can control her, but there are also some days where she knocks me to the floor gasping for air with tears staining my face.

I have always had a harsh inner critic. I used to cave in and believe her that I wasn’t good enough. I just took it. I believed the negative. I drowned in it, yet I also let it be my air that I needed to breathe every day.

Then one day, I decided to live the life I wanted…no matter what.

So my goal was to prove her wrong. For example, I fought her about being a teacher. I am quiet, could be a hermit, and am so very scared to talk to a crowd. I am now in my 14th year as a special education teacher.

My point is that we are our own worst critics. How do we not drown in our own criticism?

Well, I had to reteach myself how to talk to ME. I had to tell my inner bitch that I envied her free way of talking; that I will take that energy and turn it around; that I will prove her wrong for she is just doubt talking. I needed to give life a real try because life could be over in a second.

Life needs to be cherished…not hidden from. Life needs to be lived… not sheltered. We all have our demons, our mistakes, etc. Let those mistakes be a stomping ground on our inner bitches.

Just remember to tame your inner critic instead of banishing them. I still need her spunk and her devilish ways after all. Life is more fun that way. 😉

Confessions

It is now December 29th and no I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. I also didn’t write a novel. I also totally failed on my exercise schedule. Work meetings and holiday activities got in the way. Excuses I know.

The good news is that I did come up with a new children’s book and have started writing it. I did fail on my exercise schedule, but I have also decided that I cannot just do exercise without the healthy eating plan. So my fail has turned into an understanding that I need to take all around better care of myself.

So 2019, I will finish my children’s book and start being a better, healthier me. (And for those of you that want to argue with me about starting in 2019, I am trying to be as healthy as I can be right now; however, I am going to hold myself more accountable in 2019.)

A few of my friends do the Beach Body workouts. I am not doing that; however, I am doing the Body Boss workouts. I have done the pretraining and am starting the true program in January. Wish me luck!!! The pretraining was hard as hell and made me feel like I am sooo out of shape! However, the more I did it, the stronger I felt.

I am also going to attempt the KETO diet so if any of you have advice, I am all ears! With all the cookie, pie, candy, and chip eating during the holidays, I desperately need to get my blood sugar back on track. Thus the KETO diet sounds like it might help. Although, I do have Reactive Hypoglycemia so it might not work. I will have to see what helps me not have any blood sugar issues because when I get hangry..it is more than just me being angry and hungry. It becomes an all over feeling of not being able to focus, feeling weak, headache, nauseous, hot, angry, etc. Once it happens, my whole day is shot. It is hard to get back to feeling normal. I will keep you updated on how KETO is doing. If any of you have Reactive Hypoglycemic and have found a better way of eating healthy where I can also lose weight, please let me know!

I wish all of you a wonderful New Years Eve and a fulfilling 2019. Let’s start the new year off right! I am going to find a First Day Hike, how about you??

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/blog/virginia-state-parks-first-day-hikes-2019

Time to Write a Novel??

woman writing on a notebook beside teacup and tablet computer
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In just a few days, November will be here. To be that means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)!! It is the one month of the year where I, and many many others, try to write 50,000 words in just one month. Some of us are successful; some of us are not and that is ok. This is my sixth year doing NaNoWriMo. I am not going to stress out if I don’t make the word count, because my goal is just to regain my creative juices and write on a schedule.

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Planning is usually my downfall. I want to be a planner so I try and try each year to write what I had planned for NaNoWriMo, but it just doesn’t work out. My characters do as they damn please. So this year, I am not going to plan. I am going to write and let the characters run with it.  We will see. I am hopeful and excited to see what comes of it.

It has been hard to stay on a writing schedule lately. I have been letting my personal life interfere. Dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s has seemed to take over my thoughts and feelings. Perhaps writing can be a form of therapy for me instead of something I put off because I am just not in the mood to write? Maybe NaNoWriMo can help me get out of this funk?

I am looking forward to having a goal to work towards, talking with fellow writers about their imagination, and making time for myself to just write.

Good luck to everyone!!

at the end of a day
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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

In a previous post, I mentioned how I was going to start posting more and writing more and blah blah blah. Well, that was MONTHS ago.

dark fire time paper
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Apparently, life got in the way yet AGAIN!  School started up and my schedule is insane. My son has been sick more than usual for the first two months of school. My mother, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, has deteriorated so much lately….it is just heartbreaking. I just got caught up in the lows of life.

My recent visit with my mother was the worst ever. There never seemed to be a moment where she recognized me as her daughter. At one point, she asked me “Who is your mom?” It was so hard to say the next two words:  “you are.”

It broke me.

After that visit, I became determined.

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Determined to make myself write again. Determined to exercise and take care of myself more. Determined to be a good example for my son. Determined to truly live life to the fullest because life really is crazy short.

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So here’s to livin’ life to the fullest.  ❤