Sunday, January 26, 2020

Stuck in a Rut?

Feeling as if I am stuck in a rut is not a good feeling at all. After reflecting on my situation, I decided that I was making excuses for myself and I needed to break out of that mode of constraints. As a writer, I like to have the freedom of writing in large blocks of time. As a result of this mindset, my book that I have been working on kept getting pushed to the back burner. This just was not acceptable, yet I did not know what to do about it except make the excuses. They were valid. Dogs, one being a puppy,  who requires frequent trips out to do their business, play time, loving and separate feeding times were realities in my life. Therefore, I could write for 30 minutes and stop. Start again, but by the time I figured where I was going with my story, oops, they needed me again. And so it went, on and on and on. It was literally the excuse that I gave myself every day for way too long.

Finally, it dawned on me that there were only two options to working on my book. Make progress or continue to make excuses. The progress may be at a slower pace but it is still progress. These loving responsibilities were not going away. As time goes on, they are becoming less of a disruption and they play with each other more. I just had to learn to break free from the limitations that I was putting on myself. No matter what my ability, energy or motivation is, I need to make progress on my own terms.

Life is way too short to stay stuck and wonder, "What if?" I never want to regret that I wasted time and energy and opportunities to make my dream come true. Just as important as it is for me to have my book published, it is also just as important to share my love with my dogs. They are so non-judgmental. They are so loving. They do not know that they are disturbing work in progress. They only know that they want to please me by bringing me their toys to play with them or to let me know that it is time for them to go out for some fresh air. Truly they are such good dogs and I am lucky to have them in my life.

This was all in my own mind. My attitude is all that mattered to determine how and when I could get my writing done. I was simply making excuses. This was taking the easy way out. The breakthrough came when I realized my current circumstances were inherited from my very own thinking patterns. Therefore, if I changed my original thinking patterns, I could be the change in my circumstances. DUH!

If I continued on my mindset that some day I will become "unstuck" from this situation then maybe it will or maybe it won't happen. I needed to take charge and move forward. I read somewhere, probably from one of Oprah's articles, that it is important to live intentionally. I must be in the driver's seat and get out of autopilot mode. 

Getting back in control meant that I had to choose goals that I truly desired to accomplish. As obvious as that sounds, it is a hard driven mind set that a lot of self-talk and self-care must be used to make it happen. It is a matter of stepping out of your comfort zone and try a new way of doing something. 

It is important to be around and hear the jargon of those who have accomplished what I wish to accomplish. Going to author talks at book stores, going to workshops with others who have the same or similar goals as my own, reading more journals on writing and also just plain reading more is one of many creative ways in becoming unstuck! A way to practice living intentionally is to ask two questions of myself: 1. Why am I going to do what I'm going to do today? 2. What would the future self want me to do today? 

For myself, I know that when I spend time reflecting on what it is that I truly want and whether I am doing the things that will lead me to what I want, I know that I feel less stuck in a rut. Rethinking the possibilities is my way out of my rut.  First, one has to realize that they are in a rut. Luckily, I did. Then, I had to find the change that I could make in order to climb out and move forward. Step by step this will happen. 

The forever optimistic side of me lets me know that it will happen. I will add more excitement to my day. I have one very inspirational husband who helps more than I could ever expect anyone to, just by guiding and suggesting changes. I have children and grandchildren who bring such happiness to my life. Then, there are the two furbabies.

I happen to know that I am NOT a morning person. Who could be upset with a precious little furbaby who wants only to please me so she barks at 4:30 - 5:30 to be let outside so there is no accident in the house? Then on top of that she wants to kiss and cuddle with you for a moment and this morning, I could not get my warm robe tied correctly and so she pulled the belt right off of the robe to play gently with me a game of catch me if you can. Lucky for me, I did and she went right back to bed and allowed me to sleep in for a couple of more hours. That was my gratitude tag for the day.

Making myself a gratitude jar and writing one thing (small things are sometimes the best things) that I was grateful for on each day using colorful post-it notes folded and dated is one of the best things that I have started for the New Year. At some point, I will take them out and read them. The funny thing is that I used a beautiful long neck decanter. Hmmm. Not sure how I will get them out exactly. I will worry about that when it is full, I guess.

I am grateful that I can let some things just go and know that somehow it will all work out. At least I know that I am out of that rut.

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