becoming an author, daily practices, I Know This Much is True, Personal Organization, personal shortcomings, religious education, Secret Life of Bees, Shopping, Sue Monk Kidd, This Year You Write Your Novel, Time management, tools for effective living, Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story, Wally Lamb, Walter Mosley
A few days ago, a fellow blogger asked her readers to share daily practices that served them well. By my own admission, I struggle with consistency and organization. I’ll get into a routine and not before long, I will be on to something else, tossing what originally worked, not because I want to, but because I haven’t stuck with it long enough to remember what worked in the first place! Blame it on my three darlings, who have an uncanny ability to make my thoughts vaporize before I can get them out of my head and on to paper. Nonetheless, when asked this question about daily practices, I didn’t have to think too long or hard before I could rattle off a list of things. I don’t do these things every single day, but I manage to do them on most days, and from week to week. Together, they’ve become an integral part of my life and are rudimentary to my being, as they ensure that I thrive as a wife and mother, and any other roles in which I am required to be effective. In order, I listed the following:
- I love.
- I eat.
- I find and create the JOY within.
- I post motivational words on Facebook, or quip about an observation that left an indelible mark on me.
- I write.
- I drink coffee.
- I kiss and tell my husband and children that I love them…again…and again…I didn’t hear those words much as a child (making up for ‘lost’ time?).
- I crochet orders for my business, HomeSpun Handmades.
- I workout – 3-5x a week. It’s MY Prozac. (This usually includes some form of cardio, and most definitely jumping rope and dancing, spinning, or teaching fitness, all while listening to some bangin’ beats!)
- I dance…like no one’s watching! Seriously.
Though I’m pleased that I can do these things on a regular enough basis, I’m not so pleased about what I conveniently left out – those practices that I find myself guilty of not doing on a regular enough basis. Undoubtedly, their incorporation would also serve me well. I think that if I am to engage you in conversation about authentic relationships, and owning up to our own truths, I should at least be transparent and allow you to touch and feel me in my wholeness – in my abilities as well as my limitations, in my convictions as well as my fears, and in my shortcomings as well as my successes. I want you to get a glimpse of my fullness as I believe that it is what makes me uniquely designed for this ministry of writing, of inspiring, of relating, of creating.
Therefore, in an effort to present myself whole, balanced, flawed, and human, I’ve put together a list of those practices in which I know I come up short. (Warning: This list is by no means exhaustive.)
- Pray – I would like to pray more…more actively…more fervently…more meditatively…without ceasing.
- Intently study the Bible and the Quran, as well as other spiritual books and principles of thought on the subject of God, his centrality, his universality.
- Read. Allow me to qualify. I read, but I find that I don’t complete enough books. On my nightstand is my nook, as well as a few other books that I go in and out of, all of which require completion. On my windowseat is more of the same, including Wally Lamb’s “I Know This Much Is True“, Walter Mosley‘s “This Year You Write Your Novel“, my leather-bound journal, and a black hard plastic spiral bound notebook in which I also keep my writing. I am often reading more than one book at a time, for different reasons. For instance, I’m currently reading “The Crafts Business Answer Book” by Barbara Brabec, and “Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story“, by Sue Monk Kidd, and Ann Kidd Taylor. (I kid you not! Aside: One of my personal literary goals is to penetrate, explore, and ultimately demystify the mother-daughter mystique through my own experience, while referring to the vast knowledge already written on the subject.) I imagine that the abundance of books, and simultaneous reading of a few, is typical and necessary for burgeoning authors. Let’s hope that I’m right!
- Be a master administrator. I’d like to be more consistent in managing the administrative end of my home-based business. Admittedly, it’s so much easier and rewarding for me to create the products than it is for me to track expenses, enter sales, and build an online presence. Though I quietly acknowledge the importance of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into any business, for-profit or non-profit, I despise the minutia that goes along with it. The devil is in the details, I know.
- Give myself enough quiet time. Ummmm…Namaste. In the hurriedness of my day and managing my household and all that comes along with it, the desire to devour my to-do list whole, not burn daylight, and meet deadlines (many of which are self-imposed), leaves me with little unadulterated, unfiltered quiet time to do absolutely nothing. This is a guilty pleasure in which I need more indulgence, as I’m certain that it will afford me clarity in many areas of my life, but I sometimes tend to override it when it’s within view because somewhere down the line, I’ve been trained to “get it done”.
Whew! Glad I got that all out there! Don’t judge me! LOL! Are there some areas in your own life where you feel you come up short? Better said, are there practices that you’d like engage in more regularly, that you know without a doubt, would make you more effective? Please don’t tell me that this is a one-woman show. Do tell!