I'm in awe of my writing mentors who write and post blogs every single day. Sometimes I feel as if that's what I should be doing as well. If I want to significantly improve my craft, then consistent practice is what it takes, right?
To an extent, I completely agree. However, I then think back to my coaching days and sometimes my athletes just needed a couple of days away from the sport. Away from the weight room. Away from training. Both their minds and bodies needed a break.
Sometimes it would be hard for them to recognize this. They were so passionate about their sport that they wanted to keep pushing onward. I could see the bigger picture though. I could see the fatigue setting in causing mistakes to happen that usually didn't and bodies becoming worn down. Even though the death stares were tough to ignore, there were days when I simply said, "Enough is enough. Take a break. You're done for today."
The breaks weren't long mind you, perhaps a couple of days. But it was enough time that it created a deeper hunger, desire, and motivation to get back at it again. In the end, they appreciated the break even though they wouldn't necessarily admit it verbally. The spring in their step and rejuvenated attitude said it all.
I took a page from my coaching notebook for myself the last three days. I took them off and completely took a step away from writing. Mostly. I still completed my daily journal and took some notes from reading material, but as far as blog posts, newsletter writing, my writing class, and book writing, I took a break.
It was much needed. Even though I was in a pretty good flow, I could tell that I was wearing down a bit. I didn't feel as sharp with my writing and it was a little sloppy. I didn't have the same energy.
It was good to get away from it for a few days. I wholeheartedly spent my time with family. I went to a concert, got together with my son-in-law's family, and celebrated my daughter's and mother-in-law's birthdays. I sat around and talked and got caught up on what's happening in others' lives.
What it did was allowed me to be in the moment with family, recognize and reflect upon the sacrifices so many have given for the freedoms I have every single day, and to appreciate that I love what I do.
As you can probably imagine, I was practically giddy when I knew that I would get back to my writing today. I outlined the rest of the week for Get To It, and then I got to it!
Sometimes it's imperative to take a break from what we are deeply passionate about cultivating so that we can come back better than ever.
Listen to your body, your mind, your soul. They will let you know when it's time for a rest. They will also let you know when it's time to get back after it.
...do it anyway.
You knew that was coming, right?
And yet, if you're like me, you might have been holding out a little hope. As in
...let it go.
...don't do it.
...just say no.
There is definitely a time and a place for those responses, but not for this piece. This is all about doing the stuff you don't want to do, but you know deep down you need to. You might even feel compelled to, or you might feel like you can't take the next step until you do this one.
Earlier today I posed a question on to our Facebook group, The May Minimalism Game. I'm going through boxes in order to get rid of and consolidate before putting them back into our storage closet. I have two more to go, and honestly, I'm sick of going through stuff. My question was, "Should I go through the boxes of my memorabilia or just toss them since I haven't looked through them in years?"
I hoped the responses would be along the lines of "just let it go," but alas, it was not to be. The consensus was to go through them and get the items down to one box.
The progressing minimalist in me wants to ditch them, but it would be selfish of me in a way. Really, the memories in those boxes aren't about me anyway. They're about what my kids and future grandkids might enjoy looking through someday, kind of a legacy so to speak.
I have to admit that I have come across pictures of my parents when they were younger, pictures of me surrounded by puppies when I was around one-year-old, and pictures of my grandparents. They have allowed me to pause and reflect, and those such warm emotions.
I totally get the memories aren't in the pictures. The memories are inside of me. However, those pictures trigger the memories more clearly. And yes, I could save digital pictures, but it isn't the same as holding the physical picture in my hand. There's something about the musty smell and feeling the slick black and white photos that aren't comparable to looking at something on a screen.
So, yes, even though I'm not excited about going down the rabbit hole of those memories in terms of the time it's going to take, I'm secretly glad the group nudged me in the direction of going through those boxes.
Even when I didn't want to...
Get To It...
What is it? Is it a business? Is it a hobby? What do you do with it?
These are common questions as Get To It has continued to evolve over the last three years.
It first started solely as a life coaching business with a little writing on the side. I had a few clients and they were amazing, but as time went on I continued to be bitten by the writing bug. I started asking myself whether or not I should keep the life coaching part of the business intact or let it go. When my last two clients hit a point where they were in a good place and there were no new clients on the immediate horizon, I took the jump into rebranding Get To It.
It is evolving into writing and consulting, with a heavy emphasis on writing at this point. So, how do I define what I do? I write. I cultivate my love of writing with my intense desire to add value to others' lives through sharing simple life experiences. The blog, Everyday Life Uncluttered, is all about taking a snippet out of my day and expanding on it in a positive way.
I share these posts, because all of us can find something positive in each day. Sometimes it's easy, and other times it's a challenge. We can always find something though. It's kind of like I'm taking something out of my day and sharing what I learned. That's my voice.
In addition to the blogs that appear here, I'm also posting them on Medium. If you like articles on all kinds of topics, this is the place to go. Plus, the founder was born and raised in Nebraska, which I also find totally cool. And, within Medium, I have submitted posts to four different publications with some success. I'm finding my footing one post at a time.
I have a cool little newsletter that comes out once a week called GTI Wednesday. Can you guess what day of the week it comes out? It is a midweek positivity boost. It's a quick five-minute read: a positive quote; something to read, listen, or do; a health, fitness, or productivity tip; and a link to my latest blog post. It's free to subscribe, and I honestly believe you will get something out of it each week. Subscribe here.
Subscribers get some cool perks, and there are currently 121 who receive it! I'm so appreciative to all who have joined so far through this grassroots effort. And, the new goal is 500 by October 1. Let the fun begin!
As a sidebar to Get To It, there is a group of us playing The May Minimalism Game on Facebook. Our goal is to get rid of as much clutter as we can throughout the month. It's a place where we cheer each other on, share ideas, and work toward having less so that we can enjoy more. Even though the end of the month is near, we may be morphing into the Junk It June group. If you're interested, look up the group on Facebook and request to join. We would love to have you!
Last but not least, I'm writing my first book!! I'm converting blog posts I have written into essays on what really matters in our lives. I would love to hear from you if there are posts in my archives or categories at Get To It that have resonated with you that you feel should definitely be included in this collection.
Whew! I think that's it for now!
I hope that this gives you a better idea of what's going on with Get To It and my vision for my brand. The sky is the limit and I'm looking to bust through clouds!
I had another, "Duh!" moment this morning.
As in, "Duh, why didn't I think of this sooner?"
I had just finished reading John Zeratsky's article, "Eight Health Habits You Can Use to Build Energy and Get More Done Every Day." (You can read the full article here.)
One of the habits he talked about was having a standing desk. I've read articles all over the place about how sitting is the new smoking. Sitting too much is a health hazard, and I agree. Most of the time I don't have to worry at all about sitting. As an elementary school counselor by day, I get a lot of exercise and not a lot of sit down time. It's the nature of the job.
However, now that summer break has arrived and I can spend a lot more time with cultivating Get To It, there is the danger of sitting too much. I do a tremendous amount of work on my computer. I'm participating in the Tribe Writers course with Jeff Goins, (check out his blog and podcast if you're into creating) and he suggests having a space where you work each day.
I have that space. It's my little blue desk and it's where I do all of my writing, editing, and creating for Get To It. Even though I have the space for my writing endeavors, I'm sitting down a lot. And then it hit me as I read Zeratsky's article.
I looked at the top of my desk and thought to myself, "Hmmm, that's about the right height for me to stand and type. I wonder if it will work." I closed the drop down desk door, put my laptop on top and started typing. Low and behold, it worked! (Picture proof above!)
Now, here's the rub. I've had this desk for eight months. I've read many articles about standing desks and the health benefits. And, yet, today was when the solution to sitting hit me front and center.
It hit me today, because today I was ready to see the answer. The answer has been here the entire time I've been working on my writing, but I was absorbed in what I was doing. I wasn't pondering the need for a stand up desk.
The answer comes when we're ready for it, and today I was ready.
I think that's a lot of what life is about. When we're ready the answer comes. Have you heard the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears? Well, it's the same idea. I could berate myself for not thinking of this easy solution earlier, but what good would it do? I can't go back in time. I can only move forward.
The next time you have a "duh" moment, don't sweat it. Just know that when it happens, it's a sign that you were ready for it.
Sometimes I will read a piece of advice that is such simple common sense that it reminds me of those old V-8 juice commercials. The ones where the person has something else to drink and then hits himself in the forehead while proclaiming, "Duh, I could've had a V-8!"
This falls advice falls under that category:
"If you don't want to slip, don't go where it's slippery." (Alcoholics Anonymous Maxim).
Duh, right? It's simple, common sense advice. So easy and yet sometimes a challenge to follow. Sometimes I struggle with Facebook and Instagram, and it's because envy (or even jealousy) seeps in when I see pictures of friends and colleagues out doing activities or going on trips. I feel happy for them in general, but then there is a part of me that wonders why I wasn't included.
And then I ask myself, "Do you really want to be included or do you just like the idea of being asked and saying no?"
Oh. When I step back and ask myself this question, the answer is easy and humbling.
The straightforward solution would be to stop looking at Facebook and Instagram. If I don't want to slip into envy and jealousy, then I shouldn't go where that could happen. This is precisely what the quote above means in black and white terms.
Or, we can look at it another way.
While I know I won't stop social media, I can definitely do a better job of limiting when I go and framing what I see.
I think it's important to set a time limit. My goal is 30 minutes a day. While that might seem like a lot of time, it isn't when I'm spending part of that time using social media for Get To It. I update my status, go to my groups that I'm actively involved in, add a picture to Instagram and scroll through, and then check out Twitter (increasingly becoming my overall news source).
I generally do one segment in the morning and then one segment in the evening for 15 minutes each. And yes, sometimes I set a timer, because otherwise I will get sucked into the black hole that is social media.
In addition to using social media for my business, I do use it for personal reasons. It allows me to keep in touch with friends and family far away. I remind myself that when we all post our statuses and pictures, generally we're sharing the best side of ourselves. It's nothing to be envious or jealous about when we reframe it in this way. It's an opportunity to celebrate the successes with them when we can't be there in person.
So, if we want avoid slipping up, it takes a change in attitude. If we feel ourselves slipping into the envy and jealousy mode, it might be time to take a break cold turkey and then come back into it slowly. If we still find ourselves feeling negative each time we check out social media, then we definitely have our answer.
We can only slip when we're going somewhere slippery.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.