2019 has been a peculiar year. It’s felt both static and rushed. I’ve been pulled in all directions while being completely stuck. I am hopeful yet perpetually flipping the Universe the bird.

My intention for 2019 was to rest and refocus, allowing creativity to flow to other endeavors. To a degree, I’ve achieved that. I’m proud of what the L.A.L.A. Society is becoming and where next year will take it. Meeting so many extraordinary local authors, new writers and fabulous booklovers has been energizing. My super secret app really needs to happen fast, as the wave I felt coming in that arena is hitting others along the same lines, which is fantastic and totally pressurizing. Novel 3 is growing impatient, though. I don’t blame it. I think about it all the time, write down scenes, craft dialogue. It’s all there, but I’m not. To encourage more focus, I signed up for NaNoWriMo (again). Halfway through November and I’m only a couple hundred new words into it, falling very short (again) of the 50,000 I’m meant to write before month’s end. It shouldn’t be that hard. All I need is the time to sit still and a little room to breathe.

I am finding my breath, though. Four days a week, I breathe, sweat and flow. Eighty-five classes in and I can fly my crow, rock my bow and Chaturanga all day (or at least the one-hour class). I’m even attempting to run again, which is sort of a big deal for this asthmatic. Sometimes, you need to push yourself to remind what you’re truly capable of doing.

Like I haven’t had chocolate or caffeine since July. But I have had whiskey, tequila and French fries. It’s all about balance, my friends. I’m making this self-care thing a thing. Permanent style. The fact that I can now discern what it is to feel tired instead of dead fatigued is epic. [Pro Tip: If you feel like crap, it really is what you eat, no matter how healthy you think you’ve been. Like cooking-every-meal-from-truly-fresh-organic-plastic-free-ingredients-and-removing-all-dairy-eggs-grains-and-nightshades-from-the-menu-level healthy. It’s a lot, but totally worth it.]

What it comes down to is making choices. Sometimes we forget we have that ability. Or worse, we go about making them absentmindedly. I’m becoming much more choosy about mine.

This year, I’ve made new friendships, shed some, too, and deepened others. I’m (still) comfortable speaking my mind, even if it makes others uneasy. I don’t feel the need to apologize for being right or being in charge. I also don’t have a problem saying “I’m sorry” or admitting when I’m wrong. I won’t make myself smaller to make someone else feel secure. There’s no need to ring-lead a circus that isn’t mine. It’s possible to be kind and compassionate without being co-dependent. Honesty is everything. But, if you’re going to dish it, you’d better enjoy taking it.

What’s easy to forget is that all of this cultivation and caring for “self” isn’t egocentricly indulgent; it’s nourishing the inner artist. That might sound like a load of crap, but what do you think fertilizer is? One thing that has flourished in 2019 is my sense of gratitude. Sure, there’s a hint of frustration mixed in (hence the grrrr), but I am able to find my center and hold my ground when so much is shifting. I am able to embrace what is unfolding, even when it’s not going to plan. (I am über grateful when something actually does go to plan!) Writers know that achieving one’s goals is rarely (if ever) a linear path. So, as it winds and twists and curls, it’s important to be present. That’s when we need to take in a deep breath and say, “Thank you.” Especially, to yourself.



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