My word for this year is CONSISTENT. It’s not a terribly creative word. Not very touchy-feely either like my last one…Vulnerability.
But it’s where I’m at.
I have a tendency to cycle, in pretty much ever facet of my life. I start things and don’t finish, I commit to things and give up.
Sometimes, that is honestly okay. Not everything in life must be completed. In fact, sometimes it makes good sense to drop things or walk away.
But a few areas in my life deserve more from me. And those are the places where I need to apply a more dedicated mindset.
Never confuse action with movement. -Ernest Hemingway
I’ll keep it simple here. Those areas are: my marriage (most notably, intimacy), my health, and my creative life.
The building block for maintaining consistency, for me anyway, is planning, which starts with identifying what I want and planning the simplest, most effective and direct ways to get there…and then systematically, through careful reflection, cutting the “fluff” that gets in the way and complicates matters.
I often start out with big plans, knowing I will slowly whittle them down until I get at “What works for me,” in terms of genuine effectiveness and what makes me happiest.
I do this at work, as well, and thankfully, I have the freedom to choose how I do my work. I’m building a position from the foundation, so I’m defining it, shaping it, adding, subtracting, and changing as I learn what works and what does not…trying to find the most effective ways of meeting my WHY.
Currently, in our marriage, the complication is finding time to just be together, especially for sexy time. While He is no longer on night shift, His new shift is days, but He works weekends. So, we basically have no days off together, and very little time without a kid around. #parentingproblems
We have 5 am before we get ready for work, or 5 pm when we get home. Or we can wait until bedtime. We aren’t morning folks, so getting up even earlier wouldn’t likely spark the itch, if you get my drift. And at bedtime, we’re exhausted. That’s not to say that we don’t ever feel like have sex when we go to bed. We’ve even been known to get up to some middle of the night antics. But the best time seems to be right after work, if it’s possible. So I guess the idea is to make scheduling sex “sexy.” Or at least not confining. It isn’t optimal, as we both prefer late morning or day sex, but…not having it all is worse, by far.
My health goals have been simplified to: move (10,000 steps or 20 active minutes) on work days, hydrate (92 oz), sleep (in bed before 10 on work nights).
And creatively? Well, I’ve done a good job out the gate of 2022. But…I know daily posting is not sustainable. So…keeping up with the EJC and Flash Fiction Friday, posting on Medium and uploading a podcast once a week, and participating a meme or two here and there seems manageable. I’m going for “2 truths and a lie,” (2 confessional narrative posts and a fiction post) each week on the blog. It’s pretty easy for me to merge a meme, or 4, into my confessional posts. Especially if I just use them as themes for sections of my posts. So, staying involved in the blogger conversation (which is a goal for me) will still be possible this way, without over-taxing me or diverting my content away from my regular path. I also take several days to write a post, usually, so incorporating a few different topics or prompts is easy.
All of this is what I’d call action. This is the stuff I’m doing to move myself in the direction I want to go, toward the life I want to live.
I want an intimate marriage that feels like a safe haven. I want a close relationship with my son. I want a meaningful career that is rewarding and makes a difference. I want to be a part of a larger writing community to makes me feel like I belong and that feeds me creatively. And I want to feel healthy and energized and positive.
So these goals are not just goals. They are pieces of a very important puzzle.