Resolving To Let It Go

Summer is in the air, which means the year is already half over. Summer has always given me a sense of urgency, a deep stirring I can’t quite shake (or maybe Vivaldi did that). This feeling is full of want and drive. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to do with all of that yearning, especially when you’ve conveniently forgotten all your New Year’s resolutions and intentions.

Resolutions? What resolutions?

As the year progresses, I often lose track of my well-meaning intentions, which means productivity turns into a mythical creature and flies away on newly minted wings. But I want to be better about spending less time trying to wind down on Instagram after my kids go to bed and more time producing work. Which brings us to revised goal #1, which may seem a bit counter-intuitive.

Let it go.

Hear me out.

For me, being my best self means being the most perfect mom possible but also someone who cares for herself, which means quiet reading time, keeping my body strong, and writing. This is a feat when I’m just trying to keep my cool with kids at that age where  controlling any aspect of their behavior requires dabblings in the occult–they’re extremely selective eaters, they tantrum daily, and they get into these manic moods where they just dart around like very large, very loud squirrels. I’ve been reading How Toddlers Thrive, which has helped me understand that letting a little of my control go can go a long way toward happy, healthy children. This will make for a happier mom and human being, which will ideally result in divine creative inspiration (right?!).

So the goal is to stop striving toward perfections, and let it go. I’m learning this with writing too.

Submit work

I have achieved a couple things on my list in 2017 in Review; 2018 Goals. I have already beat my number of submissions from last year. After one bout of divine inspiration for a flash fic and some serious work on a couple other projects, I have some stuff I’m pretty confident about. Problem is, all those polished pieces are out right now, and I’m in that purgatory of WAITING. Maybe someday in the near future I’ll have some good news to share on this front.

I also finished draft #3 of The Space Between Me and You, and I am 5 chapters into my current WIP and pretty dang happy with them. Despite these achievements, I wage a constant battle with the negativity that seems woven into the very fiber of my being telling me ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you’re raising your kids wrong’, ‘you can’t even get anything published when writing is what you do‘.

But like with loosening up on my reins in parenting, I’ve realized that every day, you have to make a choice. And sometimes, that choice involves letting go of your best laid plans. You have to embrace things the way they are, and no matter how strong that inclination is to control everything, you may never be happy if you don’t loosen up your expectations just a little.

Deadlines

I work best when I have deadlines–the distant memory of working on research papers down to the wire, procrastinating and then pulling off my best work when the time was nigh. Or the flash fic I wrote this year in response to a contest, which had to be submitted by a deadline. When I plan a critique meet-up with my partner, I make the words happen. And sometimes they are pretty good. However, when there is no goal, I exist in a pudgy, lackadaisical state of ‘maybe I’ll write tonight’, ‘after I finish cleaning the entire house, I’ll write’, or, my personal favorite, ‘maybe I’ll be inspired’. Therefore, I will be better about giving myself a time frame to have a chapter plotted or drafted by and keep track of my progress for motivation. It will also help me structure my free time better, so it isn’t all spent winding down on Instagram. 😮

Get active, stay active

  • I’ve been working out at least 3 days a week for 2 months now, and 5 days a week for 3 weeks!!! I also kept true to my goal to go on more adventures. Today, I encountered this handsome fella (coyote or kit fox? We may never know. Unless you do, then tell me, please), and also a piece of wood shaped like an Edvard Munch depiction of a lizard monster in agony. But you know, I was like whatever.20180625_070911
  • 20180625_071731
  • I will be participating in Pitch Wars this year, so I’m getting my submitting goodies together (query letter, synopsis, and pitch) for The Space Between You and Me. Follow me on Twitter to watch me be awkward–digitally!
  • Plot and write Chapter 6 of my WIP; maybe outline the dang thing? But let’s not put the horse in front of the cart. Wait. That’s exactly what we want to do? Oh…

READ

Keeping myself buried in stories ignites all the hodgepodge stacks of kindling in my brain for my own stories. I am five books over the halfway mark to my goal of 40. It isn’t so much about the number, as it is about the goal to let myself revel in this almost completely indulgent pastime (hey, it’s research like 20% of the time at least) and to read widely.

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Some books I’m excited to read (be reading) this year: Contact by Carl Sagan, rereading the Harry Potter series so I can undertake The Cursed Child, of which I am wary, but I need it because it goes with HP, therefore it goes in my soul (Look, I don’t own a wand or a Dumbledore beard or anything, so I think we can all agree this obsession is safe). Also, mysteries! I have so many mouth-watering mysteries waiting for me to feast my very dry eyes upon.

So that’s my biannual checkpoint on my year’s intentions. My goals for the rest of the year are modest, but even taking the time to document them is an achievement in and of itself for me. 😉

How have you done on your resolutions or intentions for the year? Does summer make you productive or lazy?

 

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4 Responses to Resolving To Let It Go

  1. 1. I loved the “let it go” goal. I think I need to adapt it too.
    2. I can’t believe how much you’ve been exercising! I’m so impressed and jealous! Can you make me do it too??? My goal was 4 days a week this summer and so far I’ve been doing like 1 and a half.
    3. I’m going with coyote because of the tail, but I really don’t know. And I totally see the anguished lizard creature!!!
    4. I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale and I know you will too. I loved In the Woods, and I think you will but I’m not sure. Tell me what you think of Possession. I keep putting it on and taking it off my to-read list.
    5. I wish you owned a Dumbledore beard. 😀

    • Your comments have my laughing heartily, friend! Specifically ‘anguished lizard creature’ and ‘Dumbledore beard’. I don’t even know how to help with the working out thing, honestly. It is a struggle to get myself to do it, but part of what helps is it’s like a program, called BodyBoss, with the work outs your supposed to do all laid out. It has a food side of it too, but….yeah….Anyway, can’t wait to get to those books!!! Thank you for bearing witness to my goal-making, Juettner.

  2. dremadrudge says:

    Great post!

    Now that it’s August, I’ve had to realize I’m going to have to let go of some (if not most!) of my year’s goals. I think it’s great to have goals, but it’s also good to realize when it’s time to let go, when they’re just not going to happen. Thanks for the reminder.

    Congrats on your progress with your reading, exercising, and writing, though. It sounds to me like you’re hitting it just fine.

    P.S. I’ve read The Cursed Child and I don’t have a wand or any other Harry Potter clothing and/or accessories, so I think you’re safe reading it. 🙂

    Sorry it took me so long to comment — I enjoyed reading it when you first posted, but lost track of it. Your post made me feel less guilty for letting my bone-up-on-geography goal kinda go by the wayside.

    • Haha! Thank you for the Harry Potter reassurance, Drema. I grapple with this.

      Yes, if anything, I hope this post helps remind people that goals are good, like you said, but oversetting them and beating yourself up for not sticking to them is just as harmful as being a goal-less turd. 😉

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Drema!!!

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