Chill Out!


This post deals with the third factor that we can have control over to improve our odds of not having cancer or having a recurrence.

There are four areas. They are:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Activity
  3. Stress Management
  4. Toxins

Today my focus is on stress management.

I am all ears.  I seriously need to learn how to handle stress. Many of the times I get sick it was stress induced.  I  tend to stuff it down until things are so volatile I explode emotionally.

 

There are numerous things that you can do to relax and unwind. I’m going to share with you the ones suggested to me, and the ones I have found to help reduce stress.

Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and  a daily devotional were at the top of lists of suggestions. My attemps at yoga were not stress reducing.  The instructor was good,  the moves weren’t  beyond a normal person’s range,  but with a back injury, any pressure on the lower spine caused pain and all floor moves were a strain. I am interested in trying Tai Chi. I have asked at our local YMCA if they offer it,  if not I may look it up on Youtube.

I have a daily devotional, and I journal in my bullet journal.  I find that by writing down my thoughts in my bujo,  I tend to write it down, and not vent to others.  This seems to be somewhat calming because as I write it out, I can often think of how to resolve or  see that I need to shake it off.

Exercise in various forms can be a huge stress releiver. The swim classes that I have been taking are relaxing to me. Walking on a treadmill is not relaxing,  but  going for a walk at the park is very relaxing. OK, maybe not while I am huffing up that little hill on the backside,  but when I am finished and have walked the distance,  there is a satisfaction of accomplishment and a soothing effect on the entire body.  When I was exercising regularly a few years ago,  I would use the elliptical and I participated in a kickboxing class. I really enjoyed the kickboxing,  but then they dropped it.  I didn’t feel like the elliptical was helping in stress reduction, although it was helping me to achieve better cardiovascular fitness so in effect it really was helping to reduce my stress!

A healthy nutritious diet can also reduce stress whereas a high junkfood diet can contribute to additional stress in your body.

Adult coloring books. There is something very gratifying about coloring in those little spaces! My husband bought me a couple different types of coloring books, and I recently purchased a coloring book planner.  My attention lately has been fully devoted to the planner.  If I’m not jotting my to do list, and scheduling apointments, I’m coloring in the margins. The only time this isn’t relaxing is when my eyes are strained, and it becomes aggravating and can actually lead to a headache.

A glass of wine. Red wine has  many benefits,  one of which is to relax you. My oncologist stated that a glass of red wine, three times a week would be  beneficial for my health and well being. Three glasses, not three bottles.

Some  people find fishing relaxing and a way to cope with stress. Others  will paint furniture or landscapes. I am going to try my hand at the rock painting, and leave them around our area. I’ll take a picture of them once I go find some flat river rocks.

Even with all of these options,   I  have a hard time with stress management. I tend to be one of those people who wears their heart on their sleeve and take things to heart. I get wound up when things don’t go as planned, which is most of the time. I get upset when others don’t do their part. I worry about my kids,  where they are what they are doing, whether they are safe. I worry about the cancer –  what if it comes back, what if it spreads next  time,  what if my girls end up with it, what if . . . and then I am so wound up that even the bottle of wine doesn’t help.

My sister’s solution is Xanax.  I don’t have a prescription to Xanax, but I am wondering  how in the world I am going to manage this emotional rollercoaster that I have been on ever since being diagnosed. The medications only contribute more, causing my emotions to be heightened.

While you are reading this, I will be practicing my favorite form of relaxation: toes in the sand.

What do you do to unwind? How do you manage the daily stress? The emotional stress? What form of stress releif do you practice?

I will do everything within my power to never have to go through this again, including changing my lifestyle completely.

Write on my friends, write on.

 

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You’ve Got to Move It!


There are four things that you can do to improve your odds of not having cancer or having a recurrence of cancer. They are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Nutrition
  2. Activity
  3. Stress Management
  4. Toxins

Today my focus is on the second one, activity.

It is recommended that we move 10,000 steps a day and that we are active for at least 30 minutes a day, six days a week. Now, that is the bare minimum.

Coming off the end of radiation treatment,  the fatigue was overwhelming. I had very little energy to do anything more than going to my treatments, walk up and down the hall a few times a day, and slept the bulk of the time.

Now that I am recovering from the fatigue,  it’s still lingering but not nearly as bad.

The first time I went to the park to walk, I had to sit on a park bench after just a few minutes. I ended up doing a half mile but stopping three times because I was so weak. My mind goes instantly to a few years ago when I was diligently doing my cardio, working for an hour at a time on an elliptical, tread mill, or multi-trainer.  But I kept at it.  The next week I was able to do fifteen minutes continuously. The following week I was up to 18 minutes.

I started doing some videos at home with Fitness Marshall. I could barely do one, then rest and do another later. Little by little though I am gaining strength and endurance.

For everyone,  it is recommended that we get 30 minutes of cardio movement daily. For a cancer patient, it is vitally important. Movement increases your blood flow, it strengthens your veins, it strengthens your heart.  You don’t have to run marathons –  thank God or I’d be screwed.

In fact, starting off it is recommended that we engage in a moderate exercise of 30 minutes. Coming off of radiation 30 minutes was overwhelming. Nobody was pressuring me to do more except my own inner drive.  I had to come to terms with the reality of where I was,  what I had been through, and know that if I kept at it,  I would see improvement.

Well, I have. I’m not there yet but I’ve improved.  I can stay on the treadmill for nearly 30 minutes at a time.  I can keep up with the Zumba class for nearly the full 45 minutes. I started an aqua aerobics class today and managed the entire class without having to stop. That may not sound like much to some of you, but considering just a few weeks ago, I had to sit on the park bench after only ten minutes,  it’s progress.

I see many people that set a goal to run a marathon or a 5K. If you like to run go for it. I need to lose a significant amount of weight before I would feel comfortable running.  I think it would be damaging to my knees at my current weight.

I want to be able to walk down the beach to the pier without sucking wind. I want to be able to go  up the stairs without feeling exhausted.  I want to be able to do the things I need to do throughout the day without feeling like I need a nap. Not that there is anything wrong with naps,  but when you feel drained every day after just cleaning the bathroom,  it doesn’t get the house clean.

I know it will be there waiting for me tomorrow,  but when you go in the bathroom and it smells like toilet. . . . .  some things have to be done now.

Speaking of current weight . . . I haven’t been making weekly posts or anything,  but I am down 32 pounds since surgery on May 3rd.

A lot of that was due to not having much appetite with new medications to take, general nausea from chemo medicines, facing side effects of treatments, learning what foods would stay down and be tolerated because I do not like to puke.

The last ten, however, has been hard fought. I have reached a point where nausea has subsided or I’ve just learned which foods to avoid. My appetite on some days makes me feel ravenous. I have to be careful,  a lot of bread type things do not cause nausea and they are easy to grab. Pretzels, toast with peanut butter, crackers,  are all former go to snacks.

I have to limit my carbs. Whether caused by the stress of all of this or just timing with genetics and being overweight,  but I was also diagnosed with diabetes so I have to learn how to eat differently. As I mentioned last week,  the dietician has been one of the best parts of my treatment plan.  When my primary doctor told me to watch my carbs, he said no more than 15 carbs.

I was very careful not to eat more than 15 carbs for the entire day. That isn’t a  lot.  So, I go to the dietician and she says limit each item to 15 grams of carbs,  but I should have 45 grams a day. Well,  That was also why I lost a few of those pounds.

Exercise can help in weight loss. My goal, however, is not to exercise to lose weight. My goal is to exercise, to a minimum of 30 minutes a day in some form or other to improve my quality of life and prevent the recurrence of cancer.

I have been active at least three days a week for the past month. That is a big improvement from the previous three months. This week starts my five days a week plan.  I don’t know how long it will take me to be comfortable at this level, but I’ve always heard that beyond your comfort zone is when you see improvement.

The important thing is to start where you are.  If you walk to the end of your driveway and back and that is all you can do,  then shoot for doing that every day for at least a week before increasing.  Then, do it twice a day for a while until that is comfortable. Then add something else.

You don’t have to join a gym,   you can walk in your neighborhood.  You can exercise with youtube videos.  You can do jumping jacks in your living room – well, maybe you can.  I couldn’t a few weeks ago.  I didn’t have the energy after radiation. Who knows, maybe next week I will.

Most of us need to take better care of ourselves. I certainly do. This is a hard lesson for me,  to make myself a priority and take care of myself.

As I prepare a lesson for tonight and will have to wear one of those paper hospital masks to protect myself from germs because I will be around people,  I am reminded that this is worth it.  I am worth it.

 

I will do everything within my power to never have to go through this again.

Write on my friends, write on.

 

Proper Nutrition for Preventing Cancer Reccurrence


Last week I posted No Cancer formed against me shall prosper,

today I’d like to address the first of four areas that is within our power to control.

Obesity increases your odds for a heart attack and diabetes, the two most medicated conditions in our society.

Obesity increases your odds for cancer. This is something I never heard before the diagnosis of breast cancer. Certain cancers like breast cancer feed off of the hormone estrogen, which is carried in the fat cells, and the more fat cells, the more estrogen, the higher your risk for cancer.

Don’t believe me?  Go here:  American Cancer Society

Sugar feeds cancer as well.

Let me tell you,  there is nothing that will put the fear of dying into you like CANCER.

Much like diabetes, cancer can be self-inflicted.

There are four areas that we can have control of whether or not we get cancer or get a recurrence of cancer.  Once you have been diagnosed with cancer,  there is always a risk of it returning. You’re always looking over your shoulder.  I want to put as much distance between me and cancer as I can.

IF I CAUSED THIS,  THEN I CAN FIX THIS.

I can at least do everything within my power to improve my odds of survival.  The first major area to help prevent or avoid a recurrence is proper nutrition.

A well-balanced diet, consisting mainly of plant-based nutrients with lean proteins as the best dietary plan that I ‘ve seen prescribed by doctors and the American Cancer Society.  I looked at various diet plans: juicing, (not recommended for diabetic patients) vegetarian, (also not recommended for diabetic patients) Mediterranean, South Beach, and the recommended My Plate diet plan.

The dietary plan that works best for me is a modified MyPlate plan that leans towards Mediterranean. This excludes sugar, soda, processed meats, processed foods, chemical laden anything. Which means  no more: soda, (yes I occasionally would enjoy a Coke, or Mountain Dew) bacon (ouch that really hurts but carcinogenic) hot dogs, bologna, processed meats, smoked sausage, processed cereals,  Kraft mac and cheese in a box (no more powdered cheese sauce mix), alcohol (I’m going to miss my wine),anything soy (soy doesn’t play well with breast cancer), and reduced red meats.  No turkey bacon– have you ever read the list of ingredients to make that? Talk about processed!

Think about the sugar alone –  have you ever checked the labels for ingredients to see if it has sugar? How many sugars? There is sugar in things you would never imagine. Crackers, for instance, some of them contain sugar.

I can have red meats once a week. So if I opt for a burger,  that is my red meat for the week.  If I have a slice of ham for breakfast, that counts for the week.

Just about the entire center section of the grocery store I can bypass. The bulk of my diet – no pun intended – is fresh fruits and vegetables. I am limited on the number of carbs I can have because of the diabetic issues, and I am hoping that over time and by following this plan, as my weight drops that I can lose the diabetic medications as well.

Part of the whole cancer treatment plan is seeing a dietician. Best part of the plan for me! It certainly beats the radiation therapy by a mile!

In all honesty, this has been a difficult change to make. A lifetime of bad eating habits have to be changed. So, I’ve been learning to adapt to a new way of eating because quite frankly,  my old habits were killing me – literally. It’s really easy to say no to the foods I shouldn’t eat,  all I have to do is look at my scars.

In order to give myself the best chance of beating cancer, I employ the top 10 list of nutrient dense foods. These are high in phytochemicals, which contain antioxidants, which help fight cancer. I eat  at least one of these a day.

TOP 10 Nutrient Dense Foods:

1. Salmon

Not all fish is created equal. Salmon, and other fatty types of fish, contain the greatest amount of Omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the optimal function of your body. They’re linked to improved wellbeing and a lower risk of many serious diseases .

Although salmon is mainly prized for its beneficial composition of fatty acids, it also packs a massive amount of other nutrients.

A 3.5 ounce piece of wild salmon contains 2.8 grams of Omega-3s, along with lots of high quality animal protein and a ton of vitamins and minerals… including large amounts of Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium and all the B-vitamins .

It is a good idea to eat fatty fish at least once or twice a week, to get all the Omega-3s that your body (and brain) desperately need. Studies show that the people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, depression and a plethora of common diseases.

Also,  salmon tastes awesome and is fairly simple to prepare. It also tends to make you feel full with relatively few calories.

2. Kale

Of all the super healthy leafy greens, kale is king. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and various bioactive compounds.

A 2/3 cup portion of kale contains:

  • 200% of the RDA for Vitamin C.
  • 300% of the RDA for Vitamin A (from beta-carotene).
  • 1000% of the RDA for Vitamin K1.
  • Large amounts of Vitamin B6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.

This is coming with 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and only 50 calories.

Kale may be even healthier than spinach. Both are super nutritious, but kale is lower in oxalates, which are substances that can bind minerals like calcium in the intestine, preventing them from being absorbed.

Kale (and other greens) are also loaded with various bioactive compounds, including Isothiocyanates and Indole-3-Carbinol, which have been shown to fight cancer in test tubes and animal studies.

BOTTOM LINE: Kale is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you can eat, with large amounts of vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting compounds.

3. Garlic

Garlic really is an amazing ingredient. Not only can it turn all sorts of bland dishes into delicious treats, it is also incredibly nutritious. It is high in vitamins C, B1 and B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and Selenium.

But garlic is also loaded with another incredibly important nutrient called Allicin, which is the active ingredient in garlic. There are many studies on the health benefits of allicin and garlic. It has been shown to lower blood pressure and total and LDL cholesterol, while raising HDL… which should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease down the line.

It also has various cancer-fighting properties. Studies show that the people who eat a lot of garlic have a much lower risk of several common cancers, especially cancers of the colon and stomach. Garlic is also very potent at killing pathogens like bacteria and fungi.

BOTTOM LINE:Garlic is both tasty and extremely healthy. It is highly nutritious and the bioactive compounds in it have known disease fighting properties.

4. Shellfish

Out of all the wonderfully nutritious organisms found in the sea, shellfish may be the most nutritious of all. This includes clams, oysters, scallops, and various others.

Clams are among the best sources of vitamin B12 in existence, with a 100 grams of clams supplying over 16 times the RDA! It is also loaded with other nutrients, including Vitamin C, B-Vitamins, Potassium, Selenium and Iron.

Really, shellfish are among the most nutritious foods in existence. Unfortunately, people rarely consume them.

BOTTOM LINE:Shellfish are among the most nutritious organisms found in the sea. They are very high in important nutrients like Vitamin B12 and Zinc. Really,  who needs encouragement to eat more shellfish, right?

5. Blueberries

When it comes to the nutritional value of fruits, blueberries are in a league of their own. Although they’re not as high in vitamins and minerals as vegetables (calorie for calorie), the antioxidant content is where they really shine. They are loaded with powerful antioxidant substances, including anthocyanins and various phytochemicals, some of which can cross the blood-brain barrier and exert protective effects on the brain.

Several studies have examined the health effects of blueberries in humans. One study found that blueberries improved memory in older adults. Another study found that obese men and women with metabolic syndrome had a lowered blood pressure and reduced markers of oxidized LDL cholesterol, when they added blueberries to their diet.

This finding makes sense, given that eating blueberries has been shown to increase the antioxidant value of the blood. Then multiple studies in test tubes and experimental animals suggest that blueberries can help fight cancer.

BOTTOM LINE:Blueberries are very nutritious compared to most fruits and are loaded with powerful antioxidants, some of which can increase the antioxidant value of the blood and have protective effects on the brain.

6. Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.

It is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. But the biggest factor is its amazing range of antioxidants. In fact, a study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate scored higher than any other food they tested, which included blueberries and acai berries.

There are multiple studies in humans showing that dark chocolate has powerful health benefits… including improved blood flow, a lower blood pressure, reduced oxidized LDL and improved brain function .

 

Make sure to get dark chocolate with a 70% cocoa content, at least. The best ones contain 85% cocoa or higher. Eating a small square of quality dark chocolate every day may be one of the best ways to “supplement” your diet with additional antioxidants. Permission to eat chocolate!

7. Spinach

Popeye knew what was up: Spinach is one of best sources of potassium and is also rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, and iron. One cup raw provides over half of your daily recommended value (DV) for vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy vision, immune system, and reproduction. Want even more? Cooked leaves provides over 100 percent! Sauté in a little olive oil and garlic to accompany your dinner or add to a salad.

8. Brussel Sprout:

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap, but their nutrient profile will set the record straight: One cup cooked provides 195 percent daily  of vitamin K—crucial in helping your body absorb calcium—and 125 percent of vitamin C, which plays an important role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of skin, which helps to reduce wrinkles. Plus, they offer more than 10 percent of your vitamin A, vitamin B-6, folate, potassium, and manganese needs for the day. Try roasting brussels sprouts with olive oil and then tossing in balsamic vinegar to enhance their flavor.

9. Almonds:

We might not always think of almonds as produce, but remember they do come from a tree. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, biotin, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They’re the perfect afternoon snack to rack up nutrients and help hold you over ’til dinner. Just be sure to stick with a one-ounce serving (shot glass size) or you’ll wind up consuming too many calories.

10. Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes are, of course, best known for being a great source of beta-carotene (hence the deep orange color), which may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, decrease heart disease, protect against asthma, and slow down the aging process. But one medium sweet potato also provides over 100 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A, 37 percent for vitamin C, 16 percent for vitamin B6, 15 percent for potassium, and 28 percent for manganese. You’ll also find small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate in the bright veggie.

I have had either spinach or kale nearly every day. Brussel sprouts makes a good side with salmon. Half of a sweet potato with a little salt and pepper is very satisfying. Blueberries are one of my favorites.  I like to have blueberries with cottage cheese, with a little lemon zest.

There are more nutrient dense foods, but these are my fast go to foods to ensure that I get the nutrients I need. I hope this helps some of you,  it’s sort of my go to cheat list when I am pressed for time,  haven’t thought out what to cook for dinner or what sides to have. It’s super simple to throw together a salad that includes either kale or spinach.

Any excuse to add shellfish to my diet is a good one.  Since I have to eliminate red meat from my diet most of the time, shellfish and fish have been staples. Plus, a light meal of crab salad replacing that burger is much more satisfying.

If you find this interesting,  then leave  a message.  I’m considering sharing recipes for this new eating plan.  It may not be a big deal for most of you,  but growing up in middle America, in a large family that celebrated with food, it’s certainly a deal for me.

Let me know what you think.  Would you like to see recipes?

Cancer took a big part of my peace of mind and has left me with a compromised immune system.scars, I am determined to do everything within my power to never have to go through this again.

Write on my friends, write on.

 

No Cancer Formed Against Me. . .


My husband recently bought me a tee shirt that states: NO Cancer formed against me shall prosper.  A take on the scripture:

 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; . . . 

Isa.54:17  – King James Version

The fight against cancer is like no other battle that you will ever face. The doctor can tell you, you’ve got high blood pressure, it could lead to a stroke.  But many people go right on with what they have been doing until the day it happens and then everyone is shocked that  Uncle Joe had a stroke.

You have a family history of diabetes, chances are you will get it too.  I have three generations of diabetes in my family –  maybe more but I don’t think medical practice documented anything prior to that, and they didn’t live long either. OK,  I know I should make some changes.  I don’t want to be taking insulin.  Then I go right back to devouring sugar laden brownies, and a bag of cheetos, and fast food fries, and, and, and.

You will see all over the news,  the tv commercials for hospitals supposedly to help us as a nation improve our health that obesity is linked to heart disease and diabetes. Statistics puts 2 out of 3 adults in America today as overweight or obese.

This is scary: Obesity increases your odds for a heart attack and diabetes, the two most medicated conditions in our society.

I’ll tell you something even scarier: Obesity increases your odds for cancer. This is something I never heard before getting it. Cancer is far scarier than heart disease or diabetes because we know people who live with it.  “Oh yeah, my dad takes heart medications. My sister has diabetes, I don’t know how she administers her shots every day.”

This is something I never heard before getting it. Cancer is far scarier than heart disease or diabetes because we know people who live with it.  “Oh yeah, my dad takes heart medications. My sister has diabetes, I don’t know how she administers her shots every day.”

Certain cancers like breast cancer feed off of the hormone estrogen, which is carried in the fat cells, and the more fat cells, the more estrogen, the higher your risk for cancer.

Don’t believe me?  Go here:  American Cancer Society

I don’t think it’s any secret to anyone here that I am overweight.  I am obese. My whole family is large. I contributed it to my genes, upbringing, yes and learned habits. We all ate wrong foods, too large portions, and lots of sugary desserts. (My mother was an excellent baker!)

Sugar feeds cancer as well.  I have dabbled with going sugar-free for a few years, but then at Easter or Christmas there would be a dessert table laden with scrumptious sweets and I would indulge.  I have been sugar-free since May 3rd, the day of my surgery.

Let me tell you,  there is nothing that will put the fear of dying into you like CANCER.

I’m not ready to go yet. I want to live to be a pain in the butt for my girls and hopefully, some day have grandkids. Therefore, I have been reading everything I can to keep from having a second bout with cancer. I count myself as blessed to have been given a second chance,  I don’t want to waste it.

It is with mixed emotions that I share this next bit – because a part of me wants to claim the victim role.

Breast cancer? Why me?  What did I do? I don’t have any family history. 

Much like diabetes, cancer can be self-inflicted.

But how? 

There are four areas that we can have control of whether or not we get cancer or get a recurrence of cancer.  Once you have been diagnosed with cancer,  there is always a risk of it returning. You’re always looking over your shoulder.  I want to put as much distance between me and cancer as I can.

So, logic would dictate:

IF I CAUSED THIS,  THEN I CAN FIX THIS.

There are four areas that we can take control:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Activity
  3. Stress Management
  4. Toxins

Over the next four weeks on Monday I will be addressing these. I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do, or what to eat. The fact is, these past four months have scared me witless in a way that the doctor telling me I need to lose weight never could.  NOT ONCE did anyone ever say, being fat can cause cancer. I was told, ‘You need to lose weight’ (Tell me something I don’t already know.) ‘You have a family history of diabetes.’ (I know, I really need to watch my carbs and sugar.) ‘Being overweight is hard on your joints.’ (Ya think? You try carrying around this extra weight all the time!) It can lead to heart disease. (I need to get back to the gym.)

But not once did anyone ever tell me, You know, I know you feel like you’re a victim in this but if you continue in this lifestyle, obesity is linked to breast cancer and you could get cancer.

I’m pretty smart about most things but when it came to my own health, I was a moron. I knew I needed to make changes just like everyone knows that pizza isn’t on the biggest loser diet plan. I knew I needed to get back to the gym but . . . . and then the excuses begin. Cancer, however, got my full attention, woke me up out of the stupor I was in. A sugar laden processed food lack of movement Michelin man stupor.

Cancer took part of my breast,  part of my dignity,  a big part of my peace of mind, and has left me with a compromised immune system, scars, and a determination that I will do everything within my power to never have to go through this again.

Now, having said that. . . you can do everything right and cancer isn’t selective. But I want to do everything I can to decrease the chances of it returning.

What about you?  How would you react? Do you think I am overcompensating? Do you think I am irrational?

Write on my friends, write on.

 

New Year, New Plan


man-looking-up-at-stars-milky-way-and-galaxy

Just when you thought I had fallen off the face of the earth . . .

Between colds, flu, and a bout of food poisoning December took it’s toll on me. I”d like to say it was reflected on the scale,  but I can’t. That would have been a desirable side effect so we can’t have that, right? That’s how it seems at times.

I fully intend to get back on track with my blog, with writing, with my fitness goals . . . which brings us to that time  – the New Year – when I make my new list of goals.

Three things that you should know about me if you haven’t already gleaned this info:

1. I’m an overachiever. I know it and yet I find myself compelled to continue in my overachieving way. Doesn’t mean I always accomplish them, in fact, it’s often to the contrary.

2. If I don’t plan, I will drift aimlessly along never accomplishing anything, then beat myself up mentally over my lack of focus.

3. I’m seriously ADD and find it difficult to focus on much of anything for very long, hence why I change my themes regularly, digress in the middle of a five hundred word post, and am easily distracted by the next shiny.

So I have multiple categories,  varied topics, and the most consistent stream of conscious seems to be random madness. I didn’t do so well on this past year’s  goals. 2016 was not my best year in any stretch of the imagination. On to the new year, right? It isn’t going to do much good to keep pondering my failures. Learn from them and move on, which brings us to the present. A new shiny!

2017 Goals for Ellie:

  1. Publish 4 books. I’m not restricted by any small publishing house’s  whims or schedules. I have multiple files sitting in my folder with finished projects that are ready for an editor. Valkyrie’s Curse was finished  – so long ago I don’t even remember when. I went back over it in April of last year, making revisions and realized that I hadn’t really wrapped the story, which led to expanding it into a series. Revisions put it’s completion in July, and I was supposed to hand it off to Eclectic Bard at Penned Con before my contract ended.  I am really going to try to focus on one project at a time until completion so the order of release will be: 1)Roxy Sings the Blues, 2) Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening, 3) Eerie Isles Chronicles book 1, 4)The Piano.
  2. Blog 12 Times per Month. Goal 1 transitions into Goal 2 because after discussion with other authors, one of the  ‘hits’ of my categories was shared snippets of current writing. ( To include revisions as well.) I’m planning to be back on a regular blogging schedule and do NOT plan to be sick for five weeks straight ever again if I can help it.  But that’s just one topic, right? I mean there are so many other things –  bujo, food, fitness, current events,  and a myriad of things that may pop into my head from time to time. (Trust me, it’s better if you read them one at a time instead of the rapid-fire barrage that  exists inside my cranium.)
  3. Read 30 books. Down from my usual 50 but I still have to read. Consider it research and a job requirement.
  4. Lose 50 pounds. I hate where I am. I never wanted to be here, and yet here I am. This goal is the top priority and if I accomplish nothing else this year,  this one is a MUST. Fifty pounds doesn’t even get me to my goal weight,  but that’s  nearly a pound a week. If I lose more great, but I am currently not at any semblance of a healthy weight.
  5. Build my author’s website and integrate my blog there.
  6. Get our house ready to sell and move. This is a major undertaking as we’ve lived in the same house for 23 years and my husband is a packrat. I tend to procrastinate and avoid dealing with the stuff. We are surrounded by stuff and I can’t take it anymore. The austere living is becoming more and more appealing.
  7. Get my office set up. We’ve been over this so many times. Last time I shared pictures of the area that I worked my butt off ( unfortunately not literally) clearing out only to have that area filled with more stuff. It was disheartening. I haven’t made a lot of headway since then. It’s like getting your feet cut out from under you. Not just having the rug pulled,  but someone hacking your feet off and then having to continue. How can I make myself focus on a writing career as a business when I have to keep moving my laptop off of the table every single night? I need certain writing tools and stuff when I am writing. I need my reference materials, resources, notes, planner, and my to-do list. These end up stacked on the shelf that tops the short wall of our stairwell. For a visual, it’s a stack of clutter in the kitchen of an open floorplan home. This sets off my OCD-ness every day.

Seven goals for 2017. Streamlined tremendously from my 50 a couple of years ago. Should be simple enough to accomplish right? Simple but not easy.

It’s going to take a concerted effort in order to accomplish each one. It will require effort, a great deal of effort. I could use some encouraging along the way. I’ll make you a deal – I’ll cheer you on with your goals if you help me with mine. Deal? So what are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish in 2017?

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

Unceasing


It’s been a while since I’ve made one of my Monday Mojo posts. I’ve thought about it,  debated over it, let the time pass me by, but it’s come down to a case of necessity.

Maybe it’s just me,  maybe it’s  a common thing, I really don’t know. What I do know is this: vacation time is a necessity. I’ve said before that I thought vacation time was essential and I’ve even made my case for it. However, coming off of the backside of vacation the necessity is crystalline.

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This was my morning view for a week. Coffee,  my bullet journal, notebooks, and  ocean waves. The stress and strain slowly melted away. It didn’t happen the first day.  I was up at 5 am, not by choice.  Hotel mattresses aren’t the best and my back was hurting, so . . . up at 5 am  it was.  YES, on vacation. It sucks. Sort of.

So, up at 5 against my will, I started the coffee pot and donned the sweat jacket. Most mornings I was out on the balcony before sunrise. I never thought I’d ever say that. Sitting in a hard plastic chair, with a hot cup of joe, staring out at the ocean under  moonlight and listening to the waves caress the beach in its rhythmic cycle worked its magic in chipping off the stress that had built up over the past year.

The pressure builds slowly,  so slowly that it doesn’t register with us until it’s relieved. That’s how I was.  That’s how most of us are.  Maybe if you are an adrenaline junkie and you go do wild and crazy things on the weekends like base jumping,  then you don’t have that built up pressure. For the less adventurous of us, we work on a regular schedule,  knuckling through the day/week/month over and over not even realizing that it’s building.

Life has stress. Family gives us stress. Relationships give us stress. Our jobs give us stress.

I had been looking forward to a vacation, because it’s always nice to get away. I couldn’t even think about anything before Penned Con was over. My husband couldn’t take off before now because of production deadlines at his work. As adults, we don’t always get to do what we want when we want to do them. Sometimes we have to do unpleasant things because they are the responsible things to do and we have people depending on us.  Then, we get the chance to get away and somewhere between the first day and the trip back home,  you realize just how wound up and stressed out you’ve been.

Clarity –  it’s one of the side effects of being refreshed. 

During those early morning sessions on the balcony, yes it happened every morning except one, I breathed in deeply and exhaled the stale air of daily living. I shook off the tension that had built up over time and had been weighing me down. I have pages and pages  in both my bullet journal and story notebook that I logged in those early morning hours.

Time. Time to think, examine, search, ask questions. I realize that I am probably the last one in the boat on this but bear with me. In the words of Ferris Beuller, life moves pretty fast. Sometimes you get carried along life’s highway and find yourself at a spot where you aren’t really clear how exactly you got there, if you want to get back to point A or move onto point C, D, or Xeta.

I know for a fact that I don’t want to continue with how things have been in my life prior to this time away. My fitness level is at an all time low,  my self-esteem falling rapidly back to a low spot, my confidence withering, and the  home environment has not been a place of peace.

When you reach those types of crossroads,  you can either accept  life status quo or make changes towards the direction of your dreams.

I was at a point of feeling like why am I bothering trying to make a career of writing. I had someone close to me say just before penned con that it was a ‘glorified ego trip’, an expensive hobby. They quickly apologized for expressing it so bluntly but  things like that don’t come out of your mouth unless that is what they are thinking.  It always starts with a thought.

Are they right? Am I chasing a dream that I don’t have the talent to achieve? That was something else they said a few years ago.

Sitting on that balcony alone before the world began to stir, I asked myself questions. What if they are right? What if I never try? What if they are wrong? What do I WANT to do? 

I have to admit, and this is no secret to anyone that knows me or tunes in here very often.  I struggle with time management,  I struggle to stay on task with a project.  I have multiple books in my files that haven’t been published. One canceled contract,  another withdrawn contract, and very soon a contract ending. Maybe they are right. But my best work isn’t out there.

I feel good about some of the things I’ve written.  The Faere Warrior,  does anyone remember that one? It is actually book 2 of a Fae series, set aside to work on book 1.  I got discouraged and set it aside.  Kiss of the Dragon, remember that one?  I worked my butt off writing that and even had part of the second one, Embrace the Dragon written, then some critical comments and a withdrawn contract and I shelved it. Valkyrie’s Curse, started as a serial on Storytime Trysts.  I expanded it, revised it, and it became a series, planned for six books. Then there were differences with the publisher, it was put off,  pushed back and I shelved it.

Do I just give up too easy?  Do I not have the right stuff?  

The waves continued against the shore. Some crashed against the sand, others rolled in gently, some curled back outward to meet the next one.

Why do I push myself to write, then give up on myself?

I have this self-sabotaging cycle that I seem to be caught in.

On the third day of vacation, we were sitting on the deck of the hotel, overlooking the ocean. The waves were gentle, the water became crystal clear. Just like that,  you could see the shells and fish in the water from 100 yards away. In that moment, clarity also came to my mind. The waves have not ceased, they still came in, but they were gentle. Unceasing, never ending, relentless.

What did I want out of this life?

For me. What goals do I have for just me, not my marriage, not my kids,  not my parents or friends,  but for myself?  It’s not wrong to have aspirations.  It’s not wrong to have ambitions.

Why did I want to write?

Because I feel that it is something I can do and do well.  I want to inspire someone else the way that Tolkien inspired me.  I want someone to connect the way Twain did for me.  I want someone to be entertained and laugh the way that Louise Rennison made me laugh.  I want to inspire, encourage, entertain others.  I am an encourager.  Inspiring or entertaining others is part of being an encourager. I’m your biggest cheerleader and my own worst enemy.

Then why would I consider giving up my dream?

Words that someone else says to me? NO

Their fear or lack of confidence in me? NO

Because it’s too hard? NO

I had no good reason to give up but I had every reason in the world to keep at it,  to relentlessly, unendingly, unceasingly pursue my dreams.

I may fail but I’d rather try and fail than to never try at all. At least I will know that I gave it my best effort.

My best effort –  well that was a different matter. My best was far from what I’ve been doing lately.  There needs to be several changes occur in order for me to do my best.

That’s where I start. Get my house in order,  clear out the clutter of our house and my mind.

I don’t expect everyone to get aboard my dream train. In fact,  I rather expect some resistance and maybe even some sabotage.

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The plan is simple. That’s part of the clarity.  I need simple in my life.

Step 1 – WRITE! Step 2- See step 1.

Write on my friends, write on. I know I will.

Ellie

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Sass


"Times past count I done the Tell. But it weren't me that tumbled Walker. 
It was Savannah. So it's only right that she take the Tell."
"This ain't one body's story. It's the story of us all. We got it mouth-to-mouth.
You got to listen it and 'member.'Cause what you hears today you got to tell 
the birthed tomorrow.

I'm looking behind us now. . . across the count of time. . .down the long haul,
into history back. I sees the end what were the start. It's Pox-Eclipse, full of 
pain! . . . but some had got the luck, and it leads them here. . . Time counts 
and keeps counting.

And they does the pictures so they'd'member all the knowing that they lost. 

'Member this?" (dialog excerpt from 'The tell of Captain Walker; Mad Max Beyond 
Thunderdome.)
14123536_10155172587680031_1888954358_o (2)'Member when I said I was so excited I could hardly 
wait to share?
30 Days

Well, today I get to share! WOOHOO!

The countdown is ticking towards hitting my 500th post! Can you believe it?  Wow! That seems nearly impossible. This is a good example though of how a little each day adds up. Which is a good lesson to keep in mind for the overwhelming task of making a full-length

Can you believe it?  Wow! That seems nearly impossible. This is a good example though, of how a little each day adds up. Which is a good lesson to keep in mind for the overwhelming task of making a full-length novel.

pennedcon (1)

Penned Con is  coming up as well, September 23rd and 24th. I wanted  to have something new, something fresh. Many of you know that I have multiple irons in the fire. First, I had to decide which project I was going to focus on. Valkyrie’s Curse was waiting to be read by Eclectic Bard Books. As I had listed that as the next book to follow Red Wine & Roses,  I had to focus on that one. I am not good at waiting.

So . . . news on that front, as of November 18, 2016 I will no longer be with Eclectic Bard Books.

What does that mean?

First off,  all rights to Red Wine & Roses will revert to me  on that date. Eclectic Bard Books has relinquished their first rights to any of my future work as of November 18, 2016. Valkyrie’s is mine. Kiss of the Dragon is mine. Faere Warrior is MINE!

Secondly, I wanted to do something to  benefit Action for Autism, the charitable organization that Penned Con supports. After much urging on my husband’s part and encouragement from  several others, I took their strong urgings to pursue this project, which is more like the opinion column I used to write for the local newspaper, Suburban Journal. Apparently, there are some people that appreciate my delicate sense of smartassness.  My sagacious wit is what landed me the gig on the column years ago, and seems to be one of the reasons that many come back to read my posts on here.

Sometimes our talents take is in a different direction than what we intend. I  envisioned myself as writing a series of romance novels but my writing is less about romance and more about other things.

So here it is . . . . drumroll . . .

14139147_10155179714160031_296446251_o

TADA!

Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass is now available.

This collection of daily musings combines edgy, funny, practical, everyday reality with a dose of personal sass. There are life-lessons in the words that are applicable for everyone. I hope they will put a smile on your face and brighten your day!

Genre: Nonfiction, humor, encouragement.

This collection is taken from the top 50 posts on ‘Quotidiandose, revised and expanded with additional commentary and . . . well I’m not going to candy coat it, a lot more sass. *shrugs*

A portion of all print copy sales will go towards Action for Autism.

In addition,  I have 4 tickets available for Penned Con! These tickets cover the 2-day event and includes:  signing rooms, panels, & keynote speakers. Travel, hotel, & meals are NOT included.

If you are thinking about going, which I highly recommend, or are in the area and want to swing over for a day of author madness…inbox me on my Facebook account! Ellie Mack Author 

First come first serve!

Thank you to every one of my followers for reading my words of wit and wisdom, or sarcasm as the case may be more appropriately stated. Thank  you for encouraging me!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

Tacking


homeslide1Sailing is one of those activities that I dream of . Maybe it’s  being landlocked in the midwest, but I love the ocean and all things nautical. Except octopus. (Hence the decor ideas for my new office space – more about that later.)

In one of my speaking engagements,  I talked about goal-setting. I used nautical terms to get my point across along with images and youtube videos. Granted, most of the audience didn’t care about sailing and I knew that but by the time I had finished, a few simple terms stuck in their mind and several people sought me out at the end to share with me  that they appreciated it.

Tacking is one of those terms.  Tacking is the heading of a sailing vessel, when sailing close-hauled, with reference to the wind direction. . . one of the series of straight runs that make up the zigzag course of a ship proceeding to windward. . . to change the course of (a sailing vessel) to the opposite tack.  It is a zig-zag course as opposed to a straight line. It is the constant readjustment  of your vessel to reach your chosen destination.

tackThere are 2 ways to accomplish this, through several small zags or fewer larger zags with greater impact.

Small zags would be akin to my monthly adjustments when I evaluate where I am compared to where I want to be. Larger zags would be changing careers, taking a new job.

Life will carry you downstream if you let it. Stuff happens. Disappointments happen. If you let the current carry you along, you will end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Way back when I chose my first career as a cartographer, I had a fascination with maps, mapping, exploring, charting unexplored lands. Still have the fascination,  just not the job. By the way, for those who don’t know cartography is the study of maps, a cartographer is a map maker.  I made maps. I wished for the days of the large sailing vessels and to be an ancient mariner creating those magnificent maps that are adorned with sea monsters and forebodings such as “here there be dragons”. The career choice landed me a profitable career with our defense department with a tidy income and numerous perks. Until the point when I decided to pursue an alternate career choice that turned out to be the biggest blessing and the biggest source of stress. What are you going to do, right? I wouldn’t change it for the world, though.

If you don’t adjust your compass heading,  tack starboard or tack port, you’ll end up dashed on the rocks.

I find myself diametrically opposed however, to certain individuals who  believe –  make a plan and stick to the plan. Keep working on THAT plan.  But what do you do when that plan is snatched from your grasp? What do you do when the company that you have  worked for twenty years decides  they need a cutback? It’s nothing personal, they just need to cut their workforce by 15% and you happen to be on the list? How does that figure into THAT plan?

It doesn’t. That’s when life  has dealt you a bad hand and you can’t even bluff your way into a winning round.

So you adjust, overcome, improvise. Pull up your big girl pants, put on the  steel boned corset and chart a new course.  It’s far easier to make minor adjustments on a regular basis than end up in some strange land where you don’t speak the language and discover that you have lost your way.

Today is that day for me.  I evaluate where I am on my projects and determine my plan of action for the coming month. Last month I started on the massive project of  caring out an office area in our basement.  I shared pictures of the unfinished but mostly clean area. Another project moved into top priority and I lost some ground. The temptation to put stuff in an empty space is too great for some people to resist. I’m not going to name names as I am guilty myself. I don’t even have an office yet,  but I have shelves of my writing related stuff moved in. It would have been so much easier to  get flooring, walls, lighting, and all that painting business done first but it didn’t happen that way.  I needed it out of my kitchen and living room where it was in the way.

Anyway,  tacking to the starboard. The plan for June  on the office front is ramping up  this project and  focusing on existing writing projects. I’m not taking on any additional editing jobs until I get the ones I have completed. I hate falling behind and these will go back to the author  with no charge.  I’ve edited her entire series and I can see growth and improvement in her writing from the first one to this one. This is encouraging to me as a writer and as an editor because it means that my own writing can improve. It also means that it doesn’t have to be perfect to release my babies into the world.  It’s not like the old days when  the only means of publication were the big seven.  It provides a moment of opportunity to tack starboard or port in my writing as well and adjust my course to reach my destination.

Take a few moments today to check your headings. Where are you in comparison to where you want to be? What adjustments can you make in the coming month? year? What goals are you working towards? Do you need to set a new course entirely?

I plan to start  tomorrow on the right foot, the right headings, and make every day count.

Write on my friends, write on!

Til next time,

Ellie

 

Conflicted Much?


Let’s see . . . where was I? The past few weeks have  had me in a whirl. Life is like that at times,  but then at others, it slows down for a moment or two.

I went back through my planner for the previous month and this month evaluating where I am in my goals. I discovered back in April that I wasn’t doing so well on my yearly goals as I would like to  but,  my daily goals were getting marked off the list.

I have a long way to go before I can boast about my pages, they are for my use not for the beautification of the internet. I am pleased though that I  have made a modicum of success in productivity. I know that I have too many irons in the fire.  I think it goes with my personality.  But the secondary part of me protests at every opportunity.

The  hard driving task master Type A over-achiever barely allows enough time after completion of one task before pushing me to the next while the Party Princess  gets excited about an achievement!  Do you realize what an achievement means?

It’s an opportunity for celebration   .   .   .

“YAY! Party! Party! Party!  I can make a cake. We’ll fire up the grill,  barbecue, and have some people over. Corn on the cob, potato salad, chips, margaritas, mac & cheese . . .  or maybe watermelon!” *Party Princess is lost in thought deciding what to do for decorations, appropriate celebratory foods, games, activities, who to invite*  

“Stop! We don’t have time to arrange a party. We need to move onto the next task at hand.” Taskmaster states firmly before purchases occur.

*Party Princess pouts while giving death glare*

“Well, maybe a small celebration. Just the family.” Taskmaster back pedals to avoid a halt in production and appease the Party Princess as she recalls the last halt lasted several days.

“No party? No decorations?” Party Princess’ jaw clenches tighter.

You can decorate a cake.  Keep it simple. We need to move on to the next project or rather get back to the office downstairs.”

Princess sighs.  “I don’t want to work on the office. You pushed all of my ideas aside to focus on cleaning out the daughter’s room and said I can’t paint.”

“Yet.  I said yet.  We still need to get the wiring done, the  light fixtures installed before the drywall can go up.  Then you can tape, spackle and after that, paint.”  Taskmaster enunciates the words in irritation as she glances  over the  long list of things yet to be accomplished.

Princess  opens her Kindle and begins playing Aquarium game. “NO. I don’t feel like working. NO party. NO work.”

Task master’s head sags in defeat. 

(This is the part where the task master debates the consequences of giving in to the inner child and allowing a bit of celebration. Without the party, the princess will pout, mope and not cooperate with anything productive.  The balance of  time lost in production opposed to time lost due to pouting and the latest shiny make the decision an analytical decision while the Princess solely operates in the emotional realm.  If not resolved, it quickly can cause  the chakras [I know I may not be using that right, but I hope you understand what I mean] to be out of alignment and chaos will ensue. This is a delicate situation.

For those who are new here, I am not truly bipolar or split personality. I am not making light of those things either. Within everyone’s personality are dualities and traces of sometimes a third minor aspect to make you who you uniquely are. My personality goes back and forth between these two.

This was  an easy way to share why I don’t  get more done. Not making excuses because sometimes the Taskmaster wins, sometimes the party Princess wins and sometimes on rare occasions when the moon is waning, the  stars are in alignment, and the jet stream is flowing in a general west to east direction without a major trough, they work together happily.

The rational parts of my brain are screaming to  the task master that if she allows celebrations for the small steps,  the general morale of Party Princess will  be at a higher level thus, production rates will increase.  Party Princess is a fast worker when motivated.  Hence the importance of deadlines!

Meanwhile, while I am  working on a truce between the two I am going over my planner. Some adjustments need to be made for the coming month.  This month has looked like one of my old planners with appointments, meetings, daily tasks and not much else.

The inner child must not feel oppressed while the adulting task master must feel like something is getting accomplished. Take some time to celebrate your small victories because life is a journey.

One step after another, along the path that leads to your destiny. Enjoy everyday life along the way to  get to where you want to be and don’t wait until you’ve arrived because tomorrow is not  a guarantee.

Write on my freinds, write on!

~~~~

Ellie

Procrastination Station


How many of you are procrastinators?

 Oh, come on don’t be shy. 

I admit,  procrastination is my arch nemesis.  Has anyone ever  visited Wait But Why blog?  Tim Urban  states it succinctly. He is quite brilliant but difficult to  follow at times.  I imagine that many of you probably think the same about me when I change directions without signaling.

There are a couple of truths that hit home with me.

  1. The 11th hour push. The deadline is 6 weeks away – I have time.  The deadline is 4 weeks away – I have time.  The deadline is 2 weeks away –  I should get on that, . . . right after  the YouTube  video, then the next one, and the next one . . .ooh, shiny!  The deadline  is  HOLY CRAP IT’S 2 DAYS FROM NOW – Work like a madwoman, writing 65000 words in 48 hours skipping meals and sleep, contemplating depends as a means of cutting down on interruptions. I’m just joking.  About the depends anyway.
  2. Procrastinators are ingenious at inventing ways in which to procrastinate. Like, making a blog post about being a procrastinator instead of writing that next chapter in my current WIP, or doing that online class that I must have to renew my  MLO license but instead going down the rabbit hole of Pinterest.  Here’s a short list of  procrastination vices: YouTube, Google, Sudoku, blogging, bujo (ironically both a tool for procrastinating and keeping me on task to avoid procrastinating), Facebook, crafting, binge watching TV series, shopping, planning – just about anything from writing an outline to planning the menu, to planning projects.*
  3. Whatever the THING that is most important, now becomes the least fun. Think about it, it’s true. a) I am an author. Top priority should be writing my books, yet when I sit down to write my mind races with the NEXT book idea. It’s not a matter of writer’s block for me,  it’s a matter of focus on the project at hand. b) I made the commitment  to rent space at our antique mall to sell some of the many  things we own and sell some of my handcrafted items.  Making the stuff is far more fun than tagging, logging and tracking the stuff. c) Much needed housework is not fun and becomes  an easy to put off task resulting in clutter until the point that I can’t stand it and it’s all out war. these are just a few examples.
  4. Being an authorpreneure  leaves an open-ended schedule.  I need deadlines. (Refer back to item 1) I try to set my own deadlines, really I do. But it just isn’t the same. My deadlines are more like guidelines, like the Pirate’s Code – more of a guideline. OOH, maybe we could watch that this afternoon since it’s rainy and . . . NO, I must have stuff ready  for the booth by Friday! See?  I have a deadline.  This isn’t a self-imposed deadline, which is a guideline. This is a hard date deadline set by someone else, in a business that I have paid  hard-earned money to. 
  5.  I had a Fifth point, really I did.  Otherwise known as the squirrel, the rabbit, the shiny. Distractions are a procrastinators kryptonite.

So what do you get when you combine a Creative, a writer, an idea person, and procrastination?

ME, you get me.  You get a creative person that struggles with time management needing a firm deadline in order to stay on task.

The good news is that procrastination can be  overcome. YAY!  IT’s not easy, but it is possible.  Breaking the procrastination cycle  takes hard work and constant vigilance.  I haven’t achieved that yet, just so you know.

  • I mentioned the planning projects as means of procrastinating. This is where the bujo is a double-edged sword. I will elaborate more in a post about  my bujo, but briefly : I am in a group on Facebook for bullet journaling. In this group, many of the people share pictures of their gorgeous planners. I look at my planner which is mostly writing and I get journal envy. I have to remind myself that it’s a tool, not a plaything.  Many of the women in this group (there may be men that this applies to, but I have only seen women.) spend hours decorating their bullet journals, working on their  writing, tracking everything  you can imagine. I found myself trying to decorate my bullet journal to make it prettier, and falling behind on my to-do lists. So the very thing that I began using for  the purpose of keeping me on task became a distraction to accomplishing those items on my to-do list.  It only took me about a week to realize what I was doing and get back on track.

Procrastination enables us to waste valuable time on things that don’t move us towards our goals, but instead keeps us in a waiting station on the ride to nowhere.

Make a choice today to move towards your goals!

Write on my friends, write on.

Ellie