Have you ever been in a situation where you are stressed out because you’re trying to do too much? It keeps you awake at night and has your brain doing somersaults during the day, as it jumps from one idea to the next. Yet you keep on plowing through because you believe that everything you’re doing is important and will help you achieve your goals. Then one day, you wake up and you’re just plain tired. You don’t think you can focus on one more new detail that you need to learn in order to be a success at that thing you do so well. But wait! You’ve come so far. You can’t stop now. There is still so much work to do. You’re driven to succeed on this journey you’ve set for yourself. Yet you know, you’ve got to do something if you’re going to make it to the end of the line.
At the end of 2016, this is exactly where I found myself – Overextended in my efforts to be a published author. Yet, I didn’t see any way out. If I was going to find even a modicum of success with my newly published book River of the Stick Wavers I knew I needed to keep going. This means another year of learning new things: putting myself out there through numerous social and media outlets. The best way, I’m told, to get my name, and my book, out there is through social media. No small feat for someone who is a computer nerd. Good Lord, I can remember when computers first came out and I had to learn how to use Word. It was a very painful process for me — full of tears and frustration. I’ve come a long way since then, but things change so quickly that I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. Thank God for my son, Simon, and my tech guy, Matthew. But now everything’s coming at me all at once. Got to set up an Author page, not just on Amazon, but on Goodreads too. Got to have a website. More learning. Got to plan a workshop to get your name out there. Got to contact this person, that organization, and so on and so on. Where am I going to find time to write? Such is my dilemma.
IT’S CALLED PRIORITIZING:
After sharing my struggles with my family over the holidays, they could see my heartfelt frustrations. I was clearly overwhelmed. Then my husband said something that made me sit up and take notice. He said I needed to prioritize. Easier said than done. As a newly published author, it feels like everything I’m doing is necessary in order to get my name, and my book, out to readers. And yes, it is all important. But the fact is, I can’t do it all. Nor do I want to do it all. So I had to sit down and think about what is possible, what is realistic, what am I willing to do and what am I not willing to do? I had to take a hard and honest look at myself and how I was managing, or not managing, my life. It was time to make some tough choices.
JUST DO IT:
It wasn’t easy because, as I said, there was value in all the things I was doing. I even enjoyed doing them. But there was no getting away from the fact that something had to give if I was going to have any peace of mind. I vacillated back and forth for a while – was this the right decision? Is this what I really want? Well, no, not really, but it needs to be done. You can always come back to it later when things settle down. And even when I did decide to back off from some things, and limit myself to what kind of online media I am willing to keep up with, I’m still not sure if I’ve done the right thing. Only time will tell me that. One thing I do know is that I can’t go back to juggling too many things at once. In the end, the most important thing to prioritize is “ME”.
No matter what others think of me and the choices I feel I had to make, I am an important part of the equation. If I want to keep doing what I love, some changes needed to be made, of that I am sure.
As you can see, prioritizing isn’t always an easy thing to do. Sometimes it is so clear, you wonder why you couldn’t see it before. But other times, everything feels like an important and necessary part of your life. But if you are honest with yourself, you will know what is necessary in your life and what isn’t. What can wait, and what can’t. I think, in the end, everything can wait.
Have there been any difficult choices you’ve had to make in your life? How did you make them? Why not share them with me. I’d love to hear from you.