One Bourbon...

Friday, 31 January 2014

So, tonight I had to tell Bug to put the Jim Beam back on the shelf. She's only little so there was a good chance she'd drop it.  The sad thing was that I couldn't decide what would be worse-- her breaking the bottle or me licking it off the floor.  It has been that kind of week.



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

This week, I have battled. Well, not just this week, really. It all started last Tuesday night and has carried on for a week. Unfortunately it has not just been one struggle. There was one with my real job, five with my volunteer coaching (one of which may still have serious repercussions), and one massive one at home which may prove to be my undoing. During it all, the only time I felt truly at peace was while I was writing the measly 815 words of fiction I wrote this week.

I had forgotten that when things got really bad when I was a teen, it was the stories in my head that I turned to for solace. Sure, my characters had struggles, but they always won out in the end. It gave me hope. Back then, I would have rather been writing than doing pretty much anything else. That hasn't changed, really. I certainly would have rather been writing than taking care of sick kids while also being
 sick these last few days. 

So, I suppose the lesson learned is that when things look darkest, I can escape to a world where everything works out in the end. I can choose the hardships my characters face. I can make them similar to mine
 or completely foreign. Most of all, I can help them overcome their struggles. And if I am strong 
and smart enough to find ways to get them out of their dilemmas, 
I am strong and smart enough to find ways to get out of mine.


Friday, 17 January 2014

Seriously. Thank God. I really need the weekend right about now. It has been an incredibly long week and I fully intend to' 'nap when the baby does' tomorrow. That really has to be the best advice I ever received as a new mom. The whole sleep when they sleep thing. Of course, these days the only time I can get anything done is while the little miss is asleep. If she's up, she's in to something. Guaranteed. But I am going to give it a shot since I have been fighting my sinuses all day. I feel like poo.
I haven't really looked at my to-do list for this weekend, but I will step out on a limb and say I don't think this will be the most productive weekend. DH has to work all weekend, so I'm playing single mom. I intend to spend most of tomorrow in my pj's. If I am feeling ambitious, I may attempt to make funnel cakes. I do plan on squeezing a little writing time in, though. 
It is high time that I get back to my writing. I just wish I had a writing group to go to. Now that I have cleared up so much space in my week and made sure to stress the importance of mommy time to my family, I wish I still had a group to attend. I used to. There were three of us who met up once a week or so to talk writing. The group kind of dissolved while I was pregnant with Bug. One found fame. The other moved on.
I keep wondering if I should try to sort out a new group. If I remember correctly, I was the one who suggested that group on my university forum. The only thing is, I would love to meet with writers who are writing in a similar genre. I remember doing a critique on a manuscript which didn't really interest me in the least. The same woman returned the favor. If one thing was clear it was that neither of us understood the others' work. If I go the group route again, I want to find people who understand my genre  a bit better. I think they would be able to give me more insight and I could return the favor.
What do you think? Are you a member of a writing group? Is it genre specific or varied and do you think it makes a difference?

Watching The World Go By

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Today has been a long one. Little miss has been hell on wheels all day. I had a committee meeting tonight. I have worked non-stop from the time I got up until now (and I kind of am still working since I have answered about a million texts from work in the last hour.). I am exhausted. As usual.

And as usual, I still haven't written a word on my WIP. I did receive a bit of good news, though. I may be paying off debts sooner than I could ever imagine, so I might have a chance to give up the articles I hate writing and focus more on the fiction. Until then I seem to only be able to spare minutes to think about my writing. And during those minutes, I keep going back to Facebook. Not for distraction, though, more for inspiration. Seriously, nothing lights a fire under my ass more than seeing everyone's shiny new covers. I want a shiny cover of my own :(

So, it is way past time to get to it. I may not get loads done tonight, since I am already tired, but I am going to try to do at least a little. Wish me luck! (By the way, I am typing this on my brand new blue tooth keyboard for my tablet and I must say I am in love! It is awesome!)

Mommy In Control

Monday, 13 January 2014

Everything they say about exercise is true.  Honestly. I have been struggling to get up early to get on the treadmill,  even though it makes me feel amazing throughout the day, so today I went after work.

I left the kids a little longer at nursery & link club and went to the gym. I broke my record of 1.6 miles. Oh yeah, I did 2.52 miles! And it felt awesome. And I was in a better mood all the way home. Even when the kids were obnoxious. I celebrated with a 90 minute yoga class tonight ;-).

Now if I can just keep this up. I hope to hit the gym again tomorrow and use my own treadmill Thursday and Friday (I have a committee meeting at my gym Wednesday night). I think it's safe to say I achieved something towards two of my focus points today-- fitness and family. I worked out (lots) and didn't feel the need to raise my voice even once. Yay!

Now I have to get to work on the other two-- finance and fiction. But hey, two isn't bad. In fact, it's a damn good start.

Blocked Or Bleh

Thursday, 9 January 2014

I am still struggling with my writing. Not desire as much as energy, but then this is the first week of the new schedule and it is NOT going according to plan. The desire is there, just not strong enough to beat out the exhaustion. I killed myself to get those SOPs written and as it turns out, they won't even be looked at until next week. If then. So all of those staying up until 3am to drain myself of any creativity was largely unnecessary. Of course if I hadn't done them they would have been reviewed on my first day back. Murphy and all.

I need to get my inspiration back for my fiction. I should be writing now, but I'm not. I'm not sure that I am actually blocked,  more like bleh. I just have little drive. I know, you are probably thinking I should just write anyway,  but I have never been able to do that. I wait for the muse, and when she comes she stays for quite a while.  As it's getting late tonight, I think I will just curl up with some inspirational reading and maybe stare at a couple of my favorite authors web sites. That always makes me jealous and fuels my desire.

What do you do when you've lost your drive?

Mindful Mommy

Monday, 6 January 2014

It is the eve of day 7 in my quest to focus on four areas of my life-- family, fitness, finances, and fiction. How am I doing?

I have started reading some books about being a mindful parent and today I did pretty well. Even when it was obvious that Hunter was trying to wind me up, I didn't cave. In fact, the only shouting I've done today was when Scarlett decided to climb out of her high chair to stand on the tray-- in my defence, fear was behind that one. An awesome day for my focus on family, I'd say.

As for fitness, I started the day with 1.6 miles on the treadmill at 6am. I even tried to go to yoga. Sadly,  it isn't back on until Wednesday. I'm in the gym, so I'll try again Thursday. But, since I had braved the cold, wind, and rain to get to the leisure centre (instead if being at home in my pj's drinking chai), I decided I had to do something. So, I did 15 minutes on the bike and 5 on the elliptical trainer. I would have done other stuff, but I was in Converse (I had planned on doing yoga barefoot, even painted my toe nails :D). The bike was okay,  of course, for the first 7 minutes I thought I was going to die, but otherwise okay. The elliptical was not ok. I won't be doing that again without my knee brace. On every down swing my left knee joint separated. I had to give up after 5 minutes because the pain was making me feel sick. Nonetheless, I have done more exercise today than I did in all of December! Which I think makes up for the six chocolates I just ate. Mostly.

Finance is a harder one. I have to concentrate on making good decisions and avoiding impulse buys. I didn't do so well on that today. I bought lunch at work-- even though i had taken the time to make a shake. But, I did make a big meal for supper tonight, which means leftovers tomorrow night. That will save some money. My financial planning book should be here any day now, so hopefully that will help, too.

Finally, fiction. This is the area where I need the most focus but have the least. Mainly I struggle because this is genuinely the first chance I have had to write all day and I am exhausted. It may take a week or two to get used to working out and getting up earlier. Hopefully soon I will find it easier to write at night. But since this is my first week of this new schedule, I'll forgive myself. And if Scarlett decides to let me sleep (she was up at 0330, my alarm went off at 0545 :( ) I might fall asleep before midnight for once and maybe even stay asleep.

Overall, I have had two strong areas of focus and two not-so-strong. It's not perfect, but neither am I. And it's a start.


Friday, 3 January 2014

At this very moment, I am reading up on mindfulness. I had a rough day. One that included getting a busted lip from a fight between my kids with a surprisingly heavy flashlight. I need to look into ways to reduce stress and be more 'in the moment'.

Part of the problem was that I was talking on the phone to my mom. Anytime I am on the phone or otherwise distracted, get ready for world war 3. It's like they will do anything to have my undivided attention. But then, they seldom do have it. Thanks to my circus-style life, I rarely just sit down and hang out with my kids.

That is the first thing I am looking at in my focus on Family. I need to ignore distractions and be more mindful of my time with them. God knows, I love them to death. I know the yoga classes I plan to start next week will be a good start, but I am also looking very seriously at meditation and keeping a journal.

Off I go to find some guidance. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Well, it's here. 2014. I have so many hopes for this year that it is almost terrifying. 

In years passed, I have made elaborate resolutions-- at least 10 at a time-- and kept none. That's right. None. Most of the time I didn't even make it past January 3rd. I think it was because they were too specific. I never just said I wanted to improve on something, or accomplish it, I am way too obsessive for that. Oh no, I had to go into great detail about how I would achieve each and every one. I did achieve a few over the years, but not many.

I have always prided myself on my flexibility. Of course, that only meant that I could still do the splits. I have never allowed myself to be flexible in pursuit of my dreams or goals. It's always been all or nothing. And that is the problem. Strive as I might, perfection is an illusion. If there is one thing I did learn in 2013, it was that I need to do what I want to be happy. Not in a selfish way, I just need to stop putting myself last. The days leading up to the new year have been less that enjoyable, but one thing kept me going through the drama was the thought that 2014 was going to be great. And I wasn't going to make any resolutions.

Instead of resolutions, this year I have chosen to focus on four areas of my life. I'm not really setting specific goals, just highlighting areas which could use some attention. I started this quest in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I took a look at my life and found that, honestly, I am not happy. I need less stress and more sanity. Less frustration and more family time. I have chosen four areas of my life to focus on-- Family, Fitness, Finance, & Fiction. I do have ideas of what I would like to accomplish, but I'm not making grand claims like 'I will...'. I used the gift card my mom sent me for Christmas to purchase things which will help in each area, sort of as an incentive.

Family: My son has been given a preliminary diagnosis of autism, ADHD, and depression. My daughter is going through the terrible twos a bit early. I struggle to enjoy time with them in light of all of the stress, tantrums, and tears that we regularly face. In 2014, I am hope to find ways to manage the ups and downs and enjoy my kids more. I also hope to find more ways to connect with my hubby. The stress often separates us. I bought a family-themed charm for my Pandora bracelet to remind me to shout less and share more cuddles.

Fitness: I always feel better when I work out, but I seldom make time for working out. This year, I hope to make more time for me. I even signed up for a membership at the local leisure centre to get back into yoga. I met a neighbor on Facebook who is going to go with me. I also hooked up with a group of women from my neighborhood who want to start power walking once a week. And, of course, I still have the treadmill. From my gift card I also bought a new yoga mat and bag.

Finance: I have less than £2000 worth of debt that I really need to settle. I also have no savings and no excess in my paycheck. This year I hope to change that. I hope to pay off my debt, or at least have a target date of when I can, and start some savings for emergencies or retirement. I bought a book about how to get my finances under control.

Fiction: My writing is always the last thing that gets my attention. That much is obvious based on the number of stories I have 'in progress'. This year I will type 'The End' on at least one of them. I know, I said that I wasn't going to say 'I will', but this is the one exception. This year I hope to put my fiction a lot higher on my list of to-dos. Now, I'm not delusional. I know with everything else going on in my world, it will never be number one-- besides, that spot is reserved for my family-- but it certainly deserves to be bumped up a lot higher. In an effort to spark some motivation, I bought a handful of new craft books and joined the 100k in 100 days challenge again.

So that's it. My 2014 divided into four areas of focus. I hope this will prove to be more successful than my years of resolutions. What about you? Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them?

Latest Instagrams

© Christy Kate McKenzie. Design by Fearne.