re-refocusing (or, how to still not go crazy) Part 2

I wanted to get back into the swing of things. Sometimes I berate myself for not blogging consistently enough. (I’ve never held and illusions that my blog will, as they some did in the 90s, and even still today–attract a manifold readership and lead to a book deal, soon after followed by a movie deal and even greater pressure to blog more regularly). I even have a reminder to “Blog More” on my iPhone Lift app–a goal-setting app that, let’s face it, I don’t really utilize as effectively as I could, but it does keep me accountable when it comes to a few things…

When you have an app on your smartphone to help remind you of your goals, and one of them is to, ostensibly, “work” (aka, blog more), maybe it’s time for you to take a step back. Which is when I started asking myself, “Why do I need to be held accountable when it comes to blogging more regularly?” and, “Who am I accountable to?” The answers, I’ve found, are as follows: Because I arbitrarily decided that it’s something I should do, and, Me.

Where I should go with that bit of knowledge is, I’ll admit, something I don’t feel like tackling right now, mostly because, it’s been a busy year-and-seven-months (since my original March 2013 post about 40 Things in 2013) and it’s not highest on my list of priorities. In the past year and a half-plus:
– I organized and ran a poetry festival, nearly alone (thank you, thank you, to those dedicated friends, family and volunteers who helped me in the ways you could. You know who you are)
– my mother and father were both hospitalized twice (mom: broken shoulder, kidney stones/blood clot; dad: medically-induced coma after contracting H1N1, various health issues coming out of previous illness, implications of which are still being felt)
– I moved in with my boyfriend, subsequently got engaged and will be wed in Spring 2015
– which brings me to planning a wedding
– crashed my beloved car, replaced it with something that I don’t love nearly as much. No one was injured, thank goodness
– lost three beloved family members. On my mother’s side: my cousin in an unforeseen tragedy, and my uncle to a viscous cancer. On my father’s side: another uncle
– gave up The People’s Poetry Festival, which was simultaneously more and less painful than I was expecting, and has resulted in a bit of a hole–in my time, my life, my projects–I’ve not yet figured out how to fill
– watched several friends and loved ones suffer significant, deep losses

There have, of course, been some great joys, amongst them the aforementioned engagement and coming wedding. In addition:
– I was Maid of Honor at a dear friend’s wedding
– two good friends were also engaged and will marry one another next fall
– one of my closest friend’s, and her darling husband, welcomed their first, beautiful child
– I got to lend a hand and hand out with some awesome people for Calgary’s third annual Mini Maker Faire, as well as Calgary Reads and WordFest
– my soon-to-be in-law family is beautiful, loving and welcoming, and I’m blessed because not everyone gets two wonderful families
– I started blogging for Huffington Post Alberta, and my first venture into writing about politics was much, much, much better received than I could have expected
– my best friends (even many of those from 10 years ago) are still my best friends, even when they don’t live here and we don’t see/talk with each other often
– I’ve recently been asked to host a creative expression/poetry writing workshop for Elizabeth Fry Society. That’s an honor I never expected to receive
– I finally have winter tires

So have I completed my 40 Things in 2013? Absolutely not, though a quick glance at the list shows that I’ve completed more than I first thought. With lists like the above, I’ve been finding new ways to actively be less engaged in all of the things going on around me. For starters, I say no now. Not to everything, but more often than usual. To things I would otherwise really, really like to attend/do but shouldn’t because, I don’t know, I should sleep or read a book or sew a stupid-looking rabbit. Simple things that have less-than-simple results.

I've recently picked up a new hobby--sewing. It all started with an idea to make a dopey looking rabbit (the purple one) and has ballooned from there! It's so relaxing and a great outlet. Love it.
I’ve recently picked up a new hobby–sewing. It all started with an idea to make a dopey looking rabbit (the purple one) and has ballooned from there! It’s so relaxing and a great outlet. Love it.

While I was running around doing All Of The Things, people would tell me it was a choice to just scale back, to take on less, to say No more. But it didn’t seem like a choice. Not when I had myself convinced that I could and should take on everything I wanted, and even some things I didn’t want to. Now, with hindsight being 20-20 and all, I look back and wonder, In the midst of everything I was doing in 2013, why the hell did I think reading Shakespeare’s Histories was a priority? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to prioritize great literature, to make time for Shakespeare. And while I didn’t read the Histories in 2013, won’t read them in 2014 nor likely in 2015 or 2016, I will read them. Someday. And right now, that’s good enough for me.

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