I’m stuck in a story.
The underlying theme is clear, my reason for writing it is clear, but the actual story eludes me, and I’m trying not to stop writing and turn on the TV, so I figured I’d come chat with you for a minute.
I was on “vacation” last week. Really, I spent the week watching Christmas movies during the day and Living Single at night and making time for long moments of silence and reflection. I did not work or write and only entered my office to make sure my Fittonia wasn’t pretending to be dead.
It was nice.
Also, Christmas hasn’t been feeling very good the last few years. I used to love Christmas to the deepest part of my bones. I’d start listening to Christmas music November 1st and not stop until the end of January, I’d constantly have a Christmas movie on, be immersed in decorating every inch of the house, wrapping gifts, and planning our annual Christmas party. It was truly the most wonderful time.
The past few years, though, I may have listened to ten hours of Christmas music, and most of that was as background noise while I was cooking or cleaning. And even then, a lot of that was during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I don’t think it’s because we stopped having the party—I actually prefer not having cook for, entertain, and clean up after fifty people.
I don’t know, it’s just been weird lately.
Speaking of New Year’s… For a while, I’ve battled the idea of celebrating multiple new years’ versus just one, but I’ve finally come to clarity on that front. I enjoy the personal focus that comes with my birthday, and I’ve been sort of using my birthday as a benchmark anyway, but then January 1st rolls around a few months later and I feel like I have to set an additional set of goals along with everyone else even though I’ve already set goals for my personal new year. So, upon further reflection, I’ve decided to skip the “new year, new me” madness that happens at the 1st of the year.
I’ve also decided I want to lean in more to my personal new year. And while I’ve always (since I was a kid) been one to extend my birthday celebration through the entire month of September—and once until October (covers face in shame)—I think I want to really dedicate Septembers to myself. No work; just play, reflection, planning, relaxation, and starting my new year well.
Last week’s reflection helped me solidify some Q2 goals—because I also want to try quarterly goal setting—as well as specifying rewards for reaching certain milestones along my writing and VA business journeys—because, like I’ve said before, I don’t celebrate myself well.
Now, a lot of those rewards involve allowing myself to buy coffee rather than making it at home, but they also include new outfits, celebratory dinners with friends, and a big ol’ party for at least one of the major milestones I’m trying to reach in a few years.
I’m trying to get better at making life good for myself.
For Q2, I’m focusing on getting at least 5 stories done for Book 2 as well as some sample journals. I’ll also be officially launching my VA services and looking to gain some really awesome additional clients. I have one client now who I’ve been beta testing my services with in exchange for coaching, and she’s really fun. Even though I’m a baby business owner at this point, I love being able to choose who I work with.
I’m also experiencing some conflict regarding one of my other projects that I have not yet come to clarity on. I was all in at the beginning, but now I’m not sure where I stand. The thing about tuning out all the other voices—friends, family, social media, TV, etc.—and sitting with myself in silence, is that it allows me to point out the things I’m doing because I want to do them and the things I’m doing because someone else thinks it’s a good idea.
At this point in my life, I’m trying to be very intentional about the decisions I make and the activities/environments/situations/relationships I engage in. I enjoy certain aspects of this project, but I’m wondering if it’s the project itself that I want to participate in or if I’m gaining something from the specific aspects I enjoy that I’m lacking in my everyday life.
Does that make sense?
It’s like, do you enjoy the job, or do you just crave the social interaction at lunchtime because you don’t have much of a community outside of work? The answer isn’t to stay in the job if you don’t like it, it’s to cultivate healthy community in your daily life. See what I’m saying?
I’m still stuck on this one. And I want to make sure my thoughts are clear before I go ripping up foundations.
As for this story I’m stuck at the beginning of, may grace and mercy follow me all the days of my life.
I’ll talk to you soon.