Making Room For Change

Happy New Year! I know, it’s not that time anymore. Here it is, six weeks into 2018 and many a resolution has been dropped in favor of reality mingled with a healthy dose of guilt and promises to do better…later. When it’s a better time to make a change. I know that was me most Februaries. And could have been me this year.

By Halloween 2017, I’d started my usual routine of making detailed, lofty Goals for the new year. Not resolutions. Goals. And boy, can I make some great ones. I should be writing my twentieth novel, bringing in a decent income from writing, sixty pounds thinner, balancing life and work with patience and a Zen attitude akin to the Dalai Lama. If I’d stuck with my meditation and yoga and parenting book suggestions, I’d be killing this parenting a teen thing. Not to mention keeping my twenty-plus year marriage fresh and fun. Don’t forget getting at least eight hours of sleep every night and spending my 40’s loving every minute of life.

Oh yes, Honey, I can make some goals WITH a matching plan that would guarantee success if followed to the minute detail. Daily plans, weekly plans, monthly plans, yearly plans…even a five-year plan. Notebooks full of journaling about what I want and how I should go about accomplishing it.

What I have come to realize is I don’t know the human I was making the plans and schedules for. It sure as hell wasn’t me. Looking back, I’ve made the same goals and plans each of the last five or six years, at least. Probably longer. Now, you all know that saying about doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. The crazy thing is that each New Year’s Day I really felt like it was my year to actually stick with my plan. Amongst the backdrop of my own expectations, any accomplishment felt good but not great. Like I couldn’t really celebrate them because they weren’t as great as they should have been if I had done things better.

This is not a poor me post. I am a published author. I am fully comfortable calling myself a writer. I have much to be thankful for. I don’t live my life depressed because of what I didn’t do. This is me finally learning myself. Maturing and working at this life thing. And I know I’m not alone. To those who have already figured it out, I shout Kudos and You go! Lead the way for the rest of us. To those who are still fumbling around in the dark trying to turn the flashlight on, I say Keep Going. The path is there, waiting for your light.

What changed for me?

I made room for change.

What does that even mean?

I literally cleared clutter from my life. You know that drawer that is stuffed full of junk that you try to ignore. I cleaned mine out. I’m still cleaning them out. (yes, them)

Those clothes that are filling your closet that you know you will never wear. I got rid of them. In stages. I’m still getting rid of stuff. Even that cabinet chock full of plastic containers and lids that seem to multiply and make you cuss every time you have to try and find a matching pair.

I. Cleaned. It. Out.

A lot has happened over the last two years to make me re-evaluate what I want my life to be like. Do you ever just sit for hours and daydream about how you want your life to be? I do. Daydreaming is my favorite past time.

Well, I never dreamed that an autoimmune disease would pop up out of nowhere and throw me and my family into turmoil. I never dreamed that I wouldn’t actually like staying home and writing all day when my kids were both finally in school at the same time. The day I couldn’t wait for. Or so I told myself. I thought I was an introvert. Turns out I’m just reserved but need people and conversation to feel energized. After a couple years of being so isolated, I resented my desire to write. Now tell me that kind of idea can’t come with a whole lot of weird feelings.

For years, I’d been working toward this writing thing. The time and money and effort to learn the craft, write and write and write, finally sell after so many rejections. To want to do it and not want to do it at the same time was confusing and frustrating.

The writing wasn’t happening. The healthy habits weren’t really happening. I was spending too much time procrastinating and making excuses and worrying when the next “episode” of my disease would strike. So, as a present to myself, I made the goal to stop overthinking and try something new. Not at New Year’s. A few months prior. Just to see what happened. Whatever my usual was, I’d do something that was different. So, in that making room for change idea, I started looking for a job. I couldn’t be alone with myself anymore. Clearing the clutter was a balm to my previous procrastination. I put out some resumes. I told friends I was looking. And now I have a perfect part-time job. And the energy I’d been missing.

Could I have overthought the process and declined to take the interview because of the amount of work involved with changing my life to fit a job that wasn’t just about me? For sure. I’d already done it once in the past few years. I let worry about changing my family’s schedule or relying too much on my mom keep me from making room for change. This time, I’m just going with it.

This is the year of me staying loose and ready for what life throws at me, but also getting stuff done without obsessing about every possible outcome.

I have a book out on submission that I can’t wait to share with the world. I’m getting my writing mojo back without making my typical (and automatic) major schedule to write ten books before Christmas. I’m excited about updating my website, getting a newsletter out and getting some of that momentum back that I’ve lost since publishing my last book.

This is the change I’ve been wishing for. I just hadn’t made room for it. I was stuck in my comfort zone of procrastinating so I wouldn’t fail at my impossible goals. I hope this resonates with some of you.

I’m looking forward to future blog posts, sharing recipes I’ve developed from my books, work-in-progress news, and a quarterly newsletter. I hope you will join me.

Much Love!

Kimberly