Memoir Monday, April 17th, 2017

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After a very long winter with several snow storms and many, cold, dark, cloudy days, I’m feeling more confident that spring has finally sprung in Connecticut. I say this because we’ve had several days in a row of abundant sunshine,

Tobey in Sun 2

the snow has melted,

Faith in the dirt

SMudge Fishing

and I’ve started seeing spring bulbs pop up here and there around town.

Purple flowers

I have, however, been cautioned not to put the snow shovel away because that will jinx the weather and then we’ll most assuredly have snow one more time.

The timing of our spring resurgence here is coincidental with the celebration of Easter this year. My husband and I had a lovely Easter celebration yesterday with attending church, eating a delicious lunch of lamb with mint jelly and spice cake for dessert, and visiting a local farm where I got to bottle feed baby goats (best Easter activity EVER!).

Goats Copyright

But now that Easter has come and gone, that means Lent is over and I can go back to Facebook (which I gave up for Lent). Yay! I think.

One of the things I’ve missed the most about being on Facebook is knowing what’s going on with a lot of friends, particularly the ones that I don’t see on a regular basis. I miss reading about what’s happening in their lives and the adventures they’re taking.

I also miss the birthday reminders and without being on Facebook these past few weeks, I completely forgot to send out some birthday greetings.

Here’s what I don’t miss about Facebook at all: how much of my time it sucks up. Since I posted last week about my obsessive email checking, I have gotten somewhat better with it and several hours will go by where I consciously chose not to check my email because I don’t want to distract myself from the work I’m doing.

One of my worries with going back to Facebook is that this will be my go-to time waster when I’m feeling tired and don’t want to work on one of the activities that align with my goals of being a published writer.  These goals currently include reading middle grade fiction, reading Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Want to Write Them, listening to The Great Courses – Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques by Professor James Hynes (I’m up to chapter 5 and thoroughly enjoying), plotting the sequel to the middle grade book I finished writing several weeks ago, and working on a book of writing prompts that I plan to offer for free in the near future as a way to build my email list for when I eventually get published (apparently having an email list is a good way to build an audience).

My professional goals are important to me and then there are my personal goals, of equal, if not more importance: eating healthy (epic fails as of late due to Dairy Queen Blizzards, burgers and fries from Wood Creek Bar and Grill, and Dee’s One Smart Cookie sandwich cookies), meditating (doing good with this one thanks to my Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey meditation app), exercising for 20 minutes a day (also doing good with this one and I only missed a few days in the past 2 months), and being a good partner to my husband (although I think I’m doing quite well here, my husband has yet to give me a serious answer).

You’d think it’d be easy, then, to limit the activities that take me away from my goals such as procrastinating on social media and/or checking my email. The thing is,

goals require hard work and dedication, and that’s, well, hard,

especially when a lot of my goal-related activities don’t result in immediate rewards.

It’s so much easier to like my friends’ posts, add a comment or two, and feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. And maybe it is worthwhile to socially engage with my friends this way to let them know I’m interested in their lives and care about them. Some of them I haven’t seen for months and I be seeing them again for equally long times.

I suppose what it all comes down to is balance. Balance is something I struggle with day in and day out, although staying on track has gotten a little easier as I refine what’s most important to me in my life. I know where and how I want to spend my time and at the very least I am becoming more mindful of my choices.

I think this awareness is why I’m so eager for spring this year. Spring (and Easter for that matter) is a time of renewal and rebirth. This season makes me excited that no matter how unbalanced I let my life get this past winter (or in previous seasons), there is now a new opportunity to start over. I can reaffirm my choices to stay balanced and stay focused on my goals as much as possible.

With every new flower I see blooming or bird chirping I can be reminded to do my best. Even better, I can be inspired by the beauty around me to inform my writing and make conscious choices of how I spend my time. Nature is, after all, the ultimate testament to the success of balance. Now it’s just up to me. As always, I remain ever optimistic. Thanks for your support 🙂

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