A Time to Reflect

Lately I’ve found myself in a bit of a depression. For those who know me, it certainly is out of the ordinary. I’m a quite peppy, cheerful person. I’m usually optimistic, although in recent years I have turned a bit more pessimistic and sarcastic as the realities of people and situations have become more clear.

However lately it’s been a different kind of storm cloud hovering over my head. I haven’t had a great sense of achievement or purpose. I am a mother to two handsome little boys. They rightfully consume the majority of my time and energy; the rest going to my husband, service projects, other family members and friends. But what is missing in all of this is me. I’ve haven’t set aside any time for myself and those around me haven’t even considered the fact that perhaps I too need a bit of time off. Not even “time off,” simply time when I am “off duty” with the normal day to day responsibilities and can sit down to write. I am behind on all the work I want to do. My list of books to write is more lines than this blog post. It’s defeating. It’s the old “too much to do and not enough time.”

Some might say my priorities are out of order. Perhaps they are. I care more about other people than they will ever care about myself or my children. I waste tons of time and energy doing nice things for them, thinking about them, reaching out…only to be used, abused, shot down and vilified the moment I speak up about the lack of effort others make. I love words, they’re my power…but actions really do speak louder than words often can. Especially when spoken from the mouths of those who have achieved stature through lies, deceit and manipulation.

Thus, I am attempting to clear my slate of these people and only focus on the things which really matter; my children, my husband, my work and those who give a damn about all of the above.

Step One: Writing this blog post.

It always helps when you put something in written form. There’s a sense of obligation and accountability with a declaration for the world to see. Plus, I’m making a commitment to begin blogging on a regular basis. It’s therapeutic and gets my mind focused for my “actual writing.”

Step Two: Focused time with those who matter

I spend virtually every minute with my kids. I see my husband regularly as well as some friends and family members. However it’s not all “focused, quality” time. With so many things to do all the time our time is often muddled and overly hectic. I want to spend more “focused time” with my kids where all other distractions are pushed away. I want to have more date nights and quality time with my husband instead of just sitting together to watch television or bathing the kids at night.

Step Three: Schedule “me” time

Whether it be meeting up with a girlfriend for a drink, spending an hour reading a book, getting a pedicure or just sitting outside and doing nothing – I need “me” time to clear my head and feel like something more than just mom/wife/housekeeper/chauffeur/assistant all the time.

Step Four: Write every day

Just what it says. Write every day. More than the grocery list or “to do” list which inevitably is never finished. A blog post, several pages, an outline, a monologue or even just a hundred words of a novel – something productive. I hate to admit it, but for the past couple weeks I’ve hardly written anything. In fact, this blog is the most I’ve written in weeks. Life has overtaken my time and I’m determined to fix that. It feels good to write.

We’ll see how this mission goes. I may fail some days or weeks to keep things in order but I am going to try. I have chosen this career as a writer because it’s something I feel I have some talent for. Although the scope has changed through the years from screenwriting and editing to now, writing my own novels (which is terrifying); I want to do this. I need to do this.

In reflecting on the past and planning for the future here are some snapshots of a much younger me…

monk2

(Working on the show “Monk”)

monk

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