(Or…”How I Spent My Unintentional Christmas Vacation.”)
Give Yourself Permission
To be slow to forgive…but only for a moment
To be angry…but without hurting yourself or anyone else
To be transparent and honest…with only some regard to the consequences
To fail…with resolve to succeed the next time you get up
I can’t remember what spurred me to write that. It has been sitting in my EverNote for several weeks. All I do know is I intended this for my personal blog and not for my business one.
So why did it end up here?
Because my personal and professional readers deserve to learn how to fail, the right way, for 2014.
For the past month, I’ve allowed myself to wallow. For someone like myself who regularly suffers from anxiety and depression, this is an extremely dangerous habit.
Wallowing means not moving forward. Wallow implies mud. Muck. Stagnation. It doesn’t mean digging in and standing your ground. No. It’s covering up and hiding.
It’s putting yourself behind enemy lines, when the enemy on the other side of the field is really just a negative version of yourself. The field is littered with those circumstances beyond your control, and instead of getting up and walking forward to finish off your enemy, you sit. Entrenched. Weaponless.
Greatly impacting negative circumstances put myself in a position of wallowing, and I allowed myself to be there. Because instead of constantly worrying about the enemy and the explosive mines that lay before I reached her, I celebrated.
Liken me to the lonely soldier who enjoys a good drag on a cigarette or gleefully pulls out old photos from home to reminisce.
Ever been there? Ever just sat down with worries, real and imagined, encircling you and you just stay?
In order to prepare for the New Year, I did something crazy.
Nothing much at all.
I recently purchased Amber McCue‘s Planathon workbook, dedicated to reading a beta copy of a book, had a couple of writing assignments and I had some follow-up appointments. Two of my clients were gone. Other than some light editing and blog posting for a client that I do weekly, I’ve spent my days doing very little else business-related.
It allowed me a lot more mental and emotional space for my husband and time to spend with family over the holidays. Nonetheless, I did start to feel bad about the state of my business. I wasn’t even looking for work outside of my job.
Then I remembered I had to give myself permission to take a break. Even if things fall by the wayside for a while.
What was great about the Planathon is it allowed me to handle some goal-setting for my business and look back on some of the accomplishments I’ve achieved. It was extremely satisfying and fulfilling. I can’t wait to dig in even further.
So my goals for 2014 are yet to be defined: I do have two e-books in the works, a potential services career shift, and (hopefully) making travel a bigger part of my business. But I’m also remembering to permit myself to fall down and not immediately get back up.
What are you allowing yourself to do in 2014 without judging yourself too harshly? Talk to me in the comments.
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Oh Williesha! I had no idea you suffered from anxiety and depression too! Thank you for sharing this blog post today. What am I allowing myself to do without judgement? Probably just sticking to writing/blogging WITHOUT the worry of “branding” myself. I am going to concentrate on creative nonfiction, short stories, and essays in the beginning of the year and if I get back to my novel by June, then so be it, if not, that’s okay too. Thank you and you are greatly appreciated.
Yes! If you search for “anxiety” you’ll see another post about it. You’ve really got me interested in creative nonfiction. Can’t wait to read more about it.
Thanks Carol! You are appreciated too. 🙂
My permission for this year is to relax if I don’t get my posts out “on time” (3rd, 6th, 9th, etc.). If I don’t get it out on the right day, the world “ain’t gonna” end.
My second permission to my bipolar self is to coast and do untaxing things when I’m having one-of-those days. I know how easy it is to hide and whimper, as well as go over the top. Thankfully, the bipolar is now (mostly) controlled, but I still have one-of-those days on occasion.
Wow you’re bipolar? That’s awesome to hear it is under control. Congratulations. I love your goals.
Thank you. I’m told bipolar isn’t curable (for now), but I finally found the med that makes mine controllable. Because of that control, I’m able to finish things – like creating a website and writing the blog posts to go on it and seeking clients – AND not beat myself up when I make a mistake.
That’s amazing and inspirational.
Oh boy…I have been doing some wallowing this last year. Back in 2009 (remember that?) when the economy started tanking, I thought, oh I can weather a year of bad sales. Then there was another year and another year, each one worse than the last. One gallery closed, another one said, gee, sorry we haven’t been selling your work, time to part company, and then another did the same. After 10+ years of stability in my art career, I was unprepared for a sustained downturn, and worse for the brave new world of fine art ways of choosing artists and approaching galleries was something I hadn’t had to do for more than a dozen years.
So, by the 5th year of “the New Normal” I was depressed and couldn’t see beyond wallowing (mostly on facebook) So this is the year to get organized, get back to work and make things happen. No more wallowing. It’s the year of the panda.
YES YES and more YES! It is brave to be an artist during an economic downturn. Your enthusiasm is infectious.