Friday, January 13, 2012

Smile and the World Smiles with You

I've had an admittedly weird and tough week. I tend to go through these every 3-4 months. January is pretty much a guaranteed month of mehness. It's cold. It's dark. It's gloomy. All the hype of Christmas is put up and the expectations of the new year become insurmountable mountains to climb. How can I possibly get all these goals met? Why have I set the bar so high? Why do I continue to do this to myself?

It's like university all over again. I'd see the syllabus at the beginning of the semester and panic. How could I knock an A out of the park with this load of work? I'd procrastinate in fear of not being perfect. Then the fire would light in the form of a due date and I'd manage to squeak out the assignments.

I finished the degree with a 4.0 Summa Cum Laude and top of the Dean's List. Guess my technique worked for me.

So here I am in a mood, unable to concentrate on my writing goals other than judging and reading other people's writing or reading about writing knowing I have a lot of writing to do to keep the momentum going. And what am I doing? I'm redecorating my media room, shopping for pretty baubles, avoiding my writing. Pretty typical mid-January for me!

So today I'm shopping and having fun with a friend. I'm waiting for information that could help me with my queries, and I'm thinking about my writing. I've decided to surrender to this weird state of inertia and share what makes me smile during this lunar phase of my life.


1. Tonks. That kitten has woven her way into my heart and is a joy. She makes us laugh with her antics and her naughty kittenish manners. She's sweet and cuddly or she's wild and crazy. 

2. My writing friends. We laugh. We bring each other up and we manage to make light of this zany writing world. I could not survive being an unpubbed writer if it weren't for them. 

3. My non-writing friends. They show me there is more to the world than writing and help me find a happy heart by doing other non-writerly things like shopping and cooking and gossiping and just being.

4. Walt Disney. I love him. I love his story. I love his vision. I am putting Disney quotes in my media room. He's an amazing and inspirational man who understood that adults are just children all grown up. We still want to play and laugh and sing.

5. Bright colors. I don't have many in the house right now. Taking down Christmas evaporated the cheer. I have a really cool ottoman with fabulous bright stripes. I am shopping for stuff that will pull those colors out of the ottoman and pop them in the rest of the family room which is a tan shade and I thought I loved it when I bought the house, but I don't--too cheap to redo so shopping I go.

6. Reading. I love to read fiction and non-fiction. I go to books and magazines when I am blue. I'm reading a lot this week!!

7. Zumba and Pilates. I know exercise isn't always supposed to make one smile, but the ladies in my classes are fun and I always leave the class in a better frame of mind than when I entered it. I love my classes.

8. Long walks and talks with good friends. I miss my friend in VA. She and I would go for long "jabber walks" and solve all the world's problems in an hour and a half. We'd laugh, we'd vent, we'd laugh again. I need another friend who loves to take long walks and is able to take them with me!

9. Cooking. Cooking wonderful food and being in the kitchen is a creative and soulful outlet for me. 

10. Entertaining. I love sitting around the dining room table with fun people and interesting people. The food is less important than the conversation. 

So I'm doing the things that make me smile this week because I can't move past my inertia. It's okay. By Saturday/Sunday I'll be ready to hit the ground running again. But for this week and really during this gloomy month, I need to bring sunny events into my life or I won't be able to write well. 

What makes you smile? Are you having a blue month? Is January a tough month for you?

By the way, my birthday is in January. The 19th. I'll be celebrating my birthday all week (it's a family tradition). I can't wait to break out the champagne and the dark chocolate and have some fun. You're all invited to share my birthday week starting January 16th. I'll post an extra blog on the 19th to celebrate.

Happy writing and happy living. Smile!


Anne Gallagher said...

Yeah, January is kind of hitting me in the face extra hard this year. But I keep telling myself it will soon be over, the daylight is creeping back minute by minute, and if I get my act together I may be able to finish my latest wip by the end of the month.

Christine said...

Hi Anne: I know--January has been super weird. I've never had a fondness for this month because it is cold and gloomy. I did have a lovely shopping expedition yesterday and I ordered some cool stuff for the media room, but I have not been writing. I usually write every day. For some reason the idea of being cooped up doing something for nothing just isn't appealing to me right now. I know it's just a phase, but there's no point in forcing myself. I need a break, a sunny list of things to do, and as much vitamin D and exercising as possible. So that's what I am doing to boost my spirit. I'll start writing again on Monday. And that's OK.

Hope you get done your WIP and that your January gets better.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

A week long birthday celebration sounds good! Keep your chin up, girl, January will pass soon enough. :) Breaks are necessary, so don't feel guilty. I took an extended one over the holidays, which is why I'm so panicked over this deadline at the moment. Speaking of which.....

Christine said...

Hi Lynn: I worked through Christmas so I guess this was going to happen. Everyone has to pause. I am redecorating the media room and it's because your room inspired me to finally do something (except paint it cause I am a cheapo). I know you'll make your deadline and I'll get back into my writing groove soon/like by tomorrow I'd wager.

Happy writing to you and stay warm!!


Katherine Bone said...

Birthday coming up... Hooray!!!!

You're doing what you need to be doing right now, Christine! No worries. I love your list of things that make you smile.

Guess what? I'm never frowning. Why? Well, the doc put a smiley face in my neck and now I'm smiling (especially on XRay) even when I'm frowning on the outside. ;)

What makes me smile? Your blog!

Christine said...

Thanks Kathy! I'm glad my blog gives you a smile. I hope you have a fantabulous day!


Pam Asberry said...

Good for you for having the sense to take some time to take care of what is most important - YOU!! :-)

Christine said...

Hey Pam: I think your post over at the PFHT blog also pointed to that direction. We should have joy in our work as we pursue this insanity. I'm eager and pumped to get started on my next phase of writing AND I want to do it with simple abandon.