I love reminiscing about the good times way back when. I love looking at old pictures of me and my brothers and sister when we were little. Recently, I found a bunch of old videos and pictures I had no idea I had on my flashdrive and downloaded them all onto my computer. I had a great time looking through them, laughing and smiling at many of the silly, crazy videos of my brothers when they were younger. I love swapping stories with my brothers about the past, just talking and remembering the good times. But, like with everyone else, there are some parts of the past that isn't so fun to think about. Some things you'd rather just not think about at all. And then there are other things that takes time to heal and accept and when that finally happens you don't even realize it until you think back on that particular situation and realize you don't feel so awful about it anymore. You can remember the good times without focusing on the bad. I've learned to do that a lot with the past and I try not to hold grudges, especially over the past couple of years I've grown in that. Letting go of both big things and small things that people have done. As a writer, there are plenty of old stories that I cringe at when I reread them and yet it's also an encouragement. I do like to look back at my old works and see how far I've come.
Right now, the future is a big thing for me. I've found myself thinking about the future a lot over the past couple of months. My plans for tomorrow, for next week, for next month, for next year. What classes I'll take, what work I need to get done to accomplish particular goals. How many words I need to write today, tomorrow, the next day to get my book done at the time I have planned. Goals, goals, goals. I love goals. I love accomplishing things. That all stems from my time with depression. It's my coping mechanism, my way to ward off negative thoughts, self-doubt and anxiety. If I don't have a goal to aspire to, something that I can accomplish then depression starts to creep back in. So does anxiety. I like being busy. Not socially busy. I'm not a big fan of a full week of going places. No, I like being mentally busy. Always focusing on something, looking forward to something, planning something. That's one of the reasons why I am so thankful I'm a writer. As a writer I have like five ideas floating around in my head that I can think about or work on or just mull over whenever I want. I have a few projects in the works that I can pick and choose which to work on that day or if I want to work on several I can. More recently though, I've found myself thinking a lot about my future. a lot because of all of the uncertainty and not knowing what's going to happen next.
Out of the three, the present always feels like the least exciting to me. Mostly because my day to day life isn't all that thrilling. I don't travel tons of places or do tons of fun stuff all the time or hang out with tons of friends every week, and I'm OK with all of that. Doing all that would burn me out. I like having my two or three friends to hang out with every once in a while, going to see a movie here and there and just writing and living a pretty unexciting life compared to other people's. This summer I have no classes. It's been kind of nice... but I feel like my brain is still trying to process the fact that there's no classwork to do and I suddenly have to fill the many hours a day I usually spend on classwork doing something else. But I guess, back to goals for a second, I've fallen into the habit of measuring how good my day has been by how much I've accomplished. If I felt like I didn't get enough writing done that day, then I would feel like it wasn't as good of a day, that I hadn't done a good job. If I didn't get that particular thing I wanted to get done that day then the day wasn't as great as other's. I realized this habit while writing in my journal. Every night I try and write in my prayer journal and I realized that almost every night I would measure how much I got done and if it held to my standards then I would say it was a good day. If not then it wasn't as good of a day.
So, I've been trying to be more present. To live in the present. Over the Winter and early Spring I was so swamped with work and when I wasn't doing classwork I was writing and I didn't go out anywhere. I didn't see our neighbor friends or other friends like at all. I just felt like I had to get that stuff done or the day was a waste. But I'm realizing that it's OK if I don't get to the word count that I had planned to get to. It's OK to take a break every once in a while. To go out to the zoo, to parks, to be present with my brothers and my family and not worry so much about whether I got everything I wanted to get done that day done.
Of course, I know there has to be a balance. I'm working on that too. If I want others to take my writing seriously, if I ever want to get traditionally published, then I need to take my writing seriously. I need to be scheduled, I need to take those few hours every day to work on my books, to grow in my craft and to get to that target word count. But while keeping to realistic goals, getting those target word counts down and being serious about my writing career, I also want to be present and not measure my day on whether or not I got all my writing done. Sometimes there are just off days! Sometimes you just need to take a break or you'll burn yourself out! And I shouldn't get frustrated or measure what I finished that day and what I didn't just because it was an off day or I needed a break so I didn't burn out.
I guess right now, I'm just learning to be more present and finding that balance between having goals and being scheduled and having a plan for my future, while also living in the present and enjoying where I'm at right now in both life and in my writing.
Anyways, have a great week everyone! I'll be over here trying to beat writer's block and getting through Golden revisions!
|And here's an extra Doctor Who gif cuz this was too good to pass up|