Some people are professionals at their job. You know, like doctors and lawyers and professors. They went to school and wrote papers (really big ones like dissertations) and studied their brains out for years. All the letters behind their names prove this, and they command respect and credibility for achieving this accomplishment.
I think I have enough credits on over-scheduling to earn some sort of degree. There might not be letters that I can add after my name, but there is this:
I am a professional at over committing. I want to do everything all at once. But alas, I am learning that I cannot do everything – all at once – if I want to do any of it well.
Today is October 1st and there is thing called the 31 Days of Writing Challenge. I did it last year and yes, it was challenging. It was also super fun. I stretched and grew as a writer. I even kept it up while I was on vacation. I reread some of those posts and was proud of myself for what I managed to churn out daily. I was INTO it, y’all.
For the past several months, I have been kicking around some ideas for this year’s challenge. I made a commitment to tweak my blog and to continue working towards this goal of being a serious writer. Sometimes writers use the October challenge to jump start their books. And since I committed to working on my blog / my book for 2 hours a week, it seemed like the perfect thing to do.
The crazy was about to pounce on me. Because here’s what else I have going on (in no particular order of priority):
- Microeconomics – 2 assignments due by next Sunday
- Applied Calculus – class twice a week and a major test on Tuesday
- Toastmasters – giving a speech on Wednesday morning
- Working FULL time – yes and it’s 6 days a week
- A watercolor class on Mondays
- Working on my blog / book for a minimum of 2 hours each week
- Volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters – just 1 hour a week (more about that later)
- Social life (dinner party for 5 last night)
- Beach time – this is non-negotiable
- A girls’ weekend out of town with my hero Jen Hatmaker in 2 weeks
- Daily yoga and meditation
- Keeping my house in some kind of livable state
- Family time – it’s the last year that my youngest child will be living with me (let that one settle a minute, I’m about to have an empty nest)
With that being laid out, I realized that I just cannot add the October writing challenge to this list. I’m having technical issues with my blog address and I didn’t make a button thingy and I don’t know how best to tackle the book content in a 31 day post.
So I’m just not going to participate this year, and you know what? IT’S PERFECTLY OKAY!
I surrender the letters behind my name that qualify me as a crazy person doing everything. After I finish this post, I am going to study for my calculus test while the laundry dries. Then I’ll work on my speech when taking breaks from derivatives. Also, I am going out for a beer after work tonight. And I’m hoping that tomorrow the weather will cooperate and I can stick my toes in the sand. And those things are all totally manageable.
Life is full and rich and glorious and I am beyond happy in the season in which I’m finding myself. The last thing I want is for the one thing that I love – which is writing – to send it all spiraling down into a stressful disaster. I am not doing that to myself or those around me. I can work towards my writing goals while maintaining my sanity.
For those of you that are participating in the writing challenge – I will be cheering you on and reading your posts. Digging in and doing the work is hard (no kidding, it’s called a challenge for a reason). And for those like me who are opting out this year, there’s no shame in recognizing crazy when you see it creeping up on you. Banish that bastard and carry on. Let the joy flow in all the things you must do – or for crying out loud, don’t do them.
Unless it’s derivatives. Or babies. Or cooking. There are some musts in all of our lives, some of us have more than others. But if the extras, the fun things, tip us over the edge of sanity, then perhaps it’s not the right season.
Do what you must, and do it well my friends.
Thanks for reading, until next time (which will not be tomorrow)…