Erotic Journal Challenge,  Experience,  My EJC Responses

Goodbye January, Hello February!

This month’s Erotic Journal Challenge prompts have been mainly about laying a foundation. Looking back, planning ahead, deciding what to focus on and what to let go of, what to say yes to and what to say no to. It’s given us an opportunity to define ourselves and consider what we want most.

A few people have signed on and are doing some awesome reflections. If you are using the Erotic Journal Challenge in any way that you’d like to share, please feel welcome (but not obligated) to link up on the main EJC page. You can link a category/tag or you can link individual posts, whatever you prefer. You can also link in comments on the Instagram page or on Twitter (see the sidebar for links). I’d love to follow your journey, so let me know when you respond to posts in some way! If I’m not already following you in some way (blog subscription, Twitter, IG), reach out and let me know.

And if you have ideas for the EJC that you’d like to share, send them my way. This is truly a labor of love.

The thing about daily journaling is that it exposes patterns. The simple habit of requiring oneself to do something of purpose every damned day is grounding. And the writing that we produce, regardless of its quality, compounds and builds. We find that we write about certain things over and over. That particular questions or concerns or themes keep popping up. We gain and lose ground. And over time, we grow through our reflection and we begin to write our way to answers.

We find ourselves.

 


“The moment one gives attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
Henry Miller


This month, I have managed to respond to almost every EJC prompt in some way…or use it as inspiration for a post or poem or story. I wouldn’t say that I have learned anything deeply new about myself, but what I have done is pare down to the essentials and admit to myself what was possible and what was not.

As is the case every time I begin something, I over-plan and overcommit. And then I do the difficult work of deciding what to say no to and what to say yes to in order to maintain balance and sanity. It’s a give and take process of choosing what matters and what, even if it matters, doesn’t matter enough. Because I only have so much time and so many fucks to give — I have to be careful where I spend them.

So what has survived the cut? I mean, obviously there are obligations I must work around and that must be tended to: work, parenting responsibilities, family. The things that tend to be side-lined, but need to be a focus are my health & well-being, a healthy & happy marriage, and the time to do things that fill my soul (mainly writing/blogging and reading).

 

1. Health and Well-Being

My lofty health goals have been pared down. I simply don’t have enough hours or give-a-shits in the day to work out, so it has to be blended into what I am already doing. Greater activity while I am on my feet at work, a better sleep schedule, more water in-take during the day, some yoga on the weekend to stretch things out, rest when I’m not at work. I’m not giving up my wine or my chocolate. I like them better than the elusive idea of being thin. I’ve hit my mid-40s and I am lucky enough to have a man who loves me the way I am. While it’s important to maintain health, it’s not my main focus to be “hot” by society’s standard. I’d love to lose a few more pounds, and over time, I’m sure I will. But, I’ve got the basic habits in place to make that happen, and even if it doesn’t, I’m content.

 

2. Marriage and Sex

We are slowly deciding how D/s will fit back into our lives and how our sex life and marriage can be prioritized given our conflicting schedules. It’s difficult, because He does shift work (which is year-round and always changing), and I work 9 1/2 months out of the year and have calendared vacation times. This means that as soon as we find our feet, things change, and we have to figure out something new. It’s disorienting, especially since I cling to routines and rituals and plans.

Our progress happens in millimeters, rather than leaps and bounds, but at least there is forward momentum. And awareness. And a commitment to progress and each other’s happiness and desires.

Communication, connection, and consistency were the concepts I chose to focus on in my relationship this year. And I feel like the foundation has been set. We aren’t having a ton of sex (our frequency is about once per week right now), but the sex we have had has been good, and I’ve actually initiated sex more often than He has. We’ve agreed to set aside time Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (when unavoidable appointments and family commitments don’t interrupt) to prioritize our sex life. And Friday nights will now be set aside for Date Nights. It’s not optimal to schedule sex and dates, but…when life is this busy and uncooperative, it’s the only way for now.

 

3. Writing & Reading

I busted out of the gate this year, with maybe a bit more energy than I should have. I was headed on a marathon, but acting as if it were a sprint (a fairly common BP trait – a least for me). I’ve slowed my roll, and now, I’ve begun to fall into a more comfortable pattern.  I’ve got a doable writing schedule that I’ll keep to as closely as life allows, and I’ve committed to reading on the weekends and when I’m waiting (which I do a lot of as a parent). I easily hit my minimum goal of “2 Truths and a Lie” (two personal narrative posts and a piece of fiction…I even managed a poem this week!).

 

Memes & Projects

My projects are finding their places. The EJC has risen to the top. I wasn’t sure this daily business was going to be sustainable, but it has become the thing I look forward to most in regard to the blog. So… that worked out. #BrigitUnwrapped will continue as a periodic photo challenge to myself, here and there, but it isn’t a focus. Flash Fiction Friday is a little unsteady. I’m not getting a lot of play on this, probably because I suck at commentary and sharing others’ work on social media. I’ll work on this during the coming month. Flash fiction is my focus for fiction writing this year (along with publishing in Redemption Magazine and Tantalizing Tales and uploading each weekend to my podcast – Brigit’s Erotic Bedtime Stories).

I participated in Violet Fawkes’s January Jumpstart. Twenty-two posts so far this month.

For February, I’m going to keep things consistent, but small. I plan to do February Photofest. That’s a photo per day, and I know from experience how tough that can be. But if I take several photos on the weekends, I’ll be able to keep up. I brainstormed several theme ideas to use and have selected “Literary Nudes” for this year. Stay tuned!

My EJC responses will continue to either be short and daily or collections of short entries combining several prompts over the course of a few days.

I’ve also been considering getting in on the 100 story challenge. It sounds super fun, and I’m niggling on some ideas for it. I noticed someone who added a 100-word limit for this, and I like that idea. It makes it feel more do-able.

And I’ll probably get back in the habit of writing my #tinypoems on Twitter.

I’ve pretty much whittled my meme involvement down to a few staples. This month I’ve added content to Wicked Wednesday (I did the round-up last week!), 5 Things, Sinful Sunday, Erotic Fiction Deluxe, MMM Monday, TMI Tuesday, and #SWAP. I’ll continue to play other people’s games in February, as prompts grab my fancy, as I have time, and as I can combine it with the projects I’m already committed to.

 

Reading

I’m a super slow reader (actually not so much slow…it’s just that I don’t get that much time to read so it takes me forever to get through a book), but I’ve added widgets to the sidebar to keep you apprised of what I’m reading currently. I thought I’d be able to conquer an audio book per month and two other books, but it’s turning out that I just don’t have that much time. So…I’ve lowered my goal to a book a month (plus an extra 4 over the summer) and an audiobook every two months. That’s a total of 22 books for 2022.

 

What went well this month?

I whittled my way down to a routine and have accepted my limitations in regards to energy, time, and commitment. Every season presents its own new challenges. Work schedules, parenting obligations, weather, health issues, etc. Things get in the way. But I know what matters most: my health, my marriage, my son, my family and friends, and finding time to do things that fill me up. Having work that fulfills me is also important, but allowing that work to take over my life is something I work regularly to avoid. Basically, it’s relationships.

 


 

4. Song of the month:

This is where it is for me. This is what matters. Most.

 

 


 

5. Poem of the month:

 

God Says Yes to Me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

—Kaylin Haught

 


 

So there it is. January 2022 is almost in the books. And I feel like I’m off to a good start. February is a short month, so I’m filling it with small things.

 


 

“Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.”
William James

 


 

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3 Comments

  • Mrs Fever

    I find it interesting that you label yourself a slow reader.

    I find that I *read* fast, but how fast (or slow) I go in *finishing* is a wax-and-wane thing, depending on how (over-)scheduled I am with work. My reading goal this year is 52 books — one a week, essentially — and so far I’ve finished three… So we’ll see.

    Good luck with your February Photofest project!

    • Brigit Delaney

      Probably, if I didn’t watch TV in the evening, I’d finish more books. When Mr. D is on nights, I tend to read more often. But, since He likes to watch TV, I do it to spend time with Him. It’s worth it, but it means, I don’t read as much or as often. I read a lot during my breaks and over summer vacation though.

  • Mark

    It’s great when God says YES to you. But do not overburden him with stupid questions, he will suddenly be offended and start saying No.

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