I really don’t know where the month of August went. It seems crazy to me that it’s September already, and even more crazy that I didn’t add anything to my book the entire month. (OK, so maybe 1,000 words total, but that doesn’t seem to be too much compared to where I was during the month of July.)
It’s definitely obvious to me that I have been experiencing writer’s block in addition to battling the everyday chaos that comes with all of the hats I wear. (Note: for some reason the “wearing hats” expression really makes me giggle. I have no idea why. I just really like it.) So my main goal for this month is to work past that.
I’m doing that a few different ways. The first is to do some research on a topic that is the main focus of the second part of my story. I think that part of my difficulties in writing lie in that I wasn’t alive during the time period I’m writing in, and so I need to try and get myself into that world so I can better get in my writing mindset. I literally requested 10 books to start my research, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s kind of crazy to think how long it’s been since I’ve done actual research from books with handwritten notes, but I think I will enjoy it. At the very least, I hope it will give me the context I need to keep writing.
I also painted my office and cleaned off my desk. I hope that having a dedicated space away from distractions will help me focus better at home and get some words down. I also hope to include a day a week at the very least that I use to just focus on my writing while Broderick is in daycare. Hopefully planning ahead and breaking that time out will help with that.
Part of my make it work goal would also be to get in a routine to allow for that, so that I am not feeling constantly behind with so many other things that need to get done. Instead, I want to make writing a priority.
Hopefully by putting some of these plans in place I’ll be able to get back into the habits I set back in July. I know it’s a process, but I think it’s a priority for me to get back to my writing routine.
Back in January when we set up our blog, things were slightly chaotic for me. I had just moved, changed jobs slightly and was really just trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life. I had some part-part-part-time work in marketing, which I was really excited about, and was then left to decide whether I wanted to change career paths, work more hours, work full-time, and how to balance taking care of Broderick on top of all of that.
The first part of the year got kind of crazy. I kept Broderick in daycare as I decided so we would have options depending on what happened. He got sick–a lot. A bazillion and a half ear infections and very little sleep later, we got tubes put in his ears and it’s been much better. Back in April, I decided that this goal was done for the time being.
Of course, life had other plans and now, at the end of August, I’m back to my old job that I loved but with fewer hours and a little more flexibility and Broderick is in daycare three full days. He’s sick this week, so it’s been nice to be home with him (though not nice that he’s sick, obviously).
What I’ve learned from all of this is that there’s really no way to “figure it out.” There’s been jobs I’ve seen come up that I would really love to do but I also recognize that there will always be jobs and there won’t always be time with baby Broderick. What we have right now is working for us, and if it doesn’t or changes for whatever reason, we’ll find another way to make it work. I need to stop trying to figure everything out and just let things work out.
So, with that, I will be changing my goal of figuring it out to making it work–putting things in place to help our household run more smoothly and do more things with Broderick and my professional life so that things can evolve as necessary. It’s time to let go of the control-freak aspect of my personality and go with the flow and let it be. (This goal could also be called get your…stuff…together but make it work sounds so much nicer. Plus I can picture Tim Gunn in my head every time I say it.)
When I look at our list of goals, some of them seem huge and overwhelming. Like writing a book (which is probably the biggest goal I have), working on our house (so many projects to do), and even writing a note once a month (which I am failing massively at by the way). But shockingly (or maybe not if you know me well), the goal I am having a really hard time with lately is unplugging.
I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and online TV while I’ve been working on projects and such, and there’s a commercial that keeps playing that talks about missing moments now to check other moments, and something about that really resonated with me. I know that I have an addiction to my phone, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Email, etc., which is why I made the goal in the first place.
So my real focus for now is to figure out how to break those bad habits, and I’m going to start with not having my phone so accessible at all times. I think I am going to stop bringing my phone out of my room when I’m home with Broderick, so I’m not tempted to check it instead of spending time with him. It’s not missing those moments by checking others.
This past weekend, Nathan and I took a quick trip to Missouri for a dear friend’s wedding while Broderick had some time with Grandma. It was my first night (and then night and night) away from him but I think we both had a really good time. He got extra time with Grandma, and Nathan and I got to spend some time away with friends.
We left on Thursday afternoon and drove to Kansas City. We stayed downtown and had an amazing dinner and drinks at the hotel. It was gorgeous–I kind of wish my whole house looked like the hotel.
After sleeping in, we went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in KC, which I had not been to. What was amazing and awesome about this is that they had one of Monet’s water lily paintings, which I have always wanted to see. It was amazing.
We drove down to Springfield that afternoon, where we started our super-fun weekend with our friends.
The next day I got to go see “Inside Out,” which I had wanted to see for a long time and it was really good. Not the best movie to see when away from Broderick for the first time, but that’s OK, I liked it anyway!
We had the wedding that night and it was really fun to stay out late and hang out with people we don’t always get to see too often.
We came back on Sunday, and were definitely glad to be home. It was nice to be away and spend some time together and with our friends, but we definitely missed B. He missed us, too, and by us, I mean Nathan. 🙂 I also meant to write and work on some of my other goals while we were gone, but really just appreciated the time to relax.
As you may remember from earlier this month, I have been participating in Camp NaNoWriMo during the month of July. I set a goal of 20,000 words and I am happy to announce that I did it! It was the first time o have been able to meet my goal during one of these months so it feels extra exciting.
Not only do I have 20,000 words down for my book, but I also learned how to incorporate a writing habit into my daily life. Once I sat down to think about it and plan for it (and let’s be honest: make it a priority) it felt great to actually write. I also think 20.000 words a month is a good goal to shoot for every month.
I also learned that it’s important to just get words on the page. After talking with Laura many times during the month (writing with a friend made it extra fun) I have come to equate this draft and the overall process like buying a fixer upper house. Right now, I’m working on my fixer upper words, getting the structure and story in place so that later I can go back and put a cosmetic touch on them so they look better. You know I love houses, especially fixer uppers, so this has really helped me get my writing done.
Nathan jokes that I only married him because of his last name because I am obsessed with the water. I grew up on a lake and spent the summer in the water pretty much every day. And one of my favorite places is Lake Mac in Ogallala, which my parents took us to a lot as kids.
Last year, my two dear friends from college and I planned a trip to Lake Mac as it was a great meeting point for the three of us. It was a blast and with our second trip this year it has become an annual tradition.
Last year Broderick would sit in the water and seemed to like it. This year, he seemed to like it in specific situations–he liked to stand in it but not get to deep and loved spending time floating around.
This year the lake was so full that there was hardly any beach but we still had a blast. It was great to spend time with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places.
In terms of our future family trip, this was a great preparation for when we decide to go somewhere on an extended trip. We have learned that Broderick does OK somewhere else, just not at night. He slept really well the first night but not great the second or third. It could be that he doesn’t like the pack and play or just that he didn’t like sleeping in the same room as us, but either way, he didn’t sleep much…
I have to admit I not only have the travel bug after this weekend but also still am craving the water, so hopefully Broderick and I can get some pool time in before the summer is over!
Today’s post is a compilation of all of the things I have halfway completed lately:
- Basement wet-bar cabinets. The top cabinets are painted and ready to hang up, the bottom cabinets need to be painted still. Here’s a before:
- Nathan’s closet. We have started building the shelving for one side of the closet. We used PVC pipe and spray painted it silver to look like metal. Our shelves have been cut already and now I am painting them, so hopefully that will be ready to put in this weekend.
- We are half a month away from our first weekend away from Broderick and time with friends.
- Halfway packed for family vacation getaway this weekend.
- Half a month of not having any Diet Coke. Whoa.
- Hope to be halfway done with my NaNo goal by the end of today.
- Halfway through several books from the library and halfway decided on whether to read “Go Set a Watchman.”
- Halfway through watching “Parks and Rec” again.
- The house is halfway clean-ish.