June Month in Review

juneinreview

June went by in a flash.

It always starts quick with a weeklong venture to the Americade Motorcycle Rally in Lake George. Luke, friends, and I rode motorcycles back and forth to Lake George each day. We demoed bikes from manufacturers, walked around, and met other bikers. It’s always a cold and rainy week, but we plowed through and had a great time.

We rode bikes by day and roller coasters at night that week, because our annual Gillette Carnival fundraiser was the same week. It made for lots of goodness and by the end of the week, I was wiped out.

Because I habitually have so much on my plate, I had to get the eighth draft of The Puzzle Quests: Saving Atlantis done, so my illustrator, Danielle LeBlanc, knew the page count for the spine and another set of readers could look for those nitty gritty mistakes. There are still quite a few, so you know what I’m doing in July.

By mid-June, I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and emotionally spent. Yet I was determined to find balance and self-care. In my adult journal workshop, we worked on setting goals and tracking it to support our purpose. Doing this with everyone clarified what I wanted to focus my time on, who I wanted to spent time with, and what I needed to do to make it happen.

If there is one think I have learned, it’s to ask for help. Volunteers, friends, and my wonderful husband joined in to help with fundraisers, get me to yoga, and simplify the rest of my summer.

Balancing work, play, and self-care has always been a conundrum for me, and I think many people feel the same way.

balanced rocks

I took this picture of three balancing rocks while I was with my husband for a soccer tournament in the middle of June! It reminded me of what I juggle in my life. In order for these rocks to maintain balance, there has to be a secure and firm foundation.

The three rocks represent my purpose, family, and life. My purpose is what I’m passionate about, my higher calling, which is to bring hope through my books and teaching writing. In order to do this, I need to take care of myself, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The next rock is my family. I am extremely family oriented. I have my husband, sons (one here and one in my heart), siblings, my mom, nieces, nephews, and and friends who are my chosen family. I love to spend time with all of them and have to balance how often I can see them and how I can help them when needed. Love is the ultimate reason why I’m here, and I express this to my family as often as I can.

The most precarious rock is life. It’s what happens along the way as I try to take care of myself, fulfill my purpose, spend time with my family and friends, and be the best I can be. When life throws me a curve or throws me off a cliff, I have to trust my foundation of family, friends, and purpose.

Then I can rebalance and start over.

July will be a month of simplifying, clearing space in my life and my physical space, in order to create in a more positive atmosphere. Completing the ninth draft of Saving Atlantis, and enjoying my beautiful family. Reflecting back on each month keeps me on my path and makes me grateful for this practice.

How was your month of June? Review, reflect, and do what serves you best!

Taking Responsibility

This summer Dakota and I have gotten into the habit of taking an early morning walk while the rest of the family sleeps on. It’s become sort of a meditation, because he is a meanderer and forces me to slow down.

I thought about this post and what I wanted to write about. The idea of responsibility came to mind as I had been journaling about others taking responsibility. In order to understand what someone else is going through, I try to put myself in their place as much as I can. Even if I cannot completely understand what they are feeling or going through, I can at least empathize and appreciate their feelings.

This idea of taking responsibility for our own actions, past digressions, and happiness keeps coming up. So in order to walk in someone else’s shoes, I thought about my own life. Am I truly taking responsibility for what happens in my life? Do I believe outside forces are responsible for my happiness? Do I blame others wrongfully when something doesn’t go my way?

That’s a lot to think about. On Shark Tank last night (Luke loves this show), one of the investors refused a woman’s product, because he felt she was all over the place. She worked out a lot, had three kids, was trying to market this paleo bar, and also carried another job. He said she put so much effort into everything, that she wasn’t good at the one part they were interested in. She was spread too thin. Now it’s a bit hard to focus on only one aspect of your life when you are a parent and still want to be successful in a career. But she seemed to have a few careers going.

rocksandwater
Photo by Alysia Thomas

My husband and I looked at each other. We both pointed our fingers at me. Very often I blame my lack of time for my inability to get work done. But if I really look at it, I have so many projects on the table, it is hard to be successful and not feel harried. Instead of blaming the 24-hour day, I need to look at my priorities, my purpose and goals, and cut out what isn’t serving me anymore. That’s hard to do when I feel responsible for others.

There’s that word again. In a sense, I’m not taking responsibility for what happens in my life. I’m letting others or situations dictate it. And I’m also taking responsibility for others when it’s not my job. But I’m a fixer and a nurturer, so it’s very difficult for me to let others fall. In the end, however, I’m making it worse for them. Everyone needs to grow by failing and getting up on their own.

On a positive note, I know I am responsible for making myself happy and so surround myself with those I love and who love me. Those who empower me and make me laugh. The hard part is making those changes when we aren’t very happy. Knowing what it is and making small changes may be enough, but sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and follow our own path, not others.

As you can see I have a bit of journaling to do about this responsibility topic, but it can wreak havoc on our lives if we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, own it, and move forward.

Are you taking responsibility for what is happening in your life right now? Do you feel you are responsible for your own happiness? If yes, what do you do to create that happiness? If no, who do you feel is and why?

Do you blame others when things go wrong or do you accept your role, take action, apologize if necessary, and move forward? How do you feel either way?