Monday, January 21, 2013
A Penny For Your Thoughts.
(I posted this blog on my writer's group blog a few weeks ago, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to repeat it here.)
This time of year is filled with renewed hopes and dreams for a better year, for ourselves and for others. We even swear in a new President today. Resolutions are made, and for the most part, not kept. I know. I do it every January. Weigh less, spend less, save more, exercise more, and write more. Some of those resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. Some already have. Mom, that peach pie was awesome.
This year, I wanted to start the New Year, not with a list of resolutions, but by asking you a few questions. They are tough ones. Are you ready?
# 1. What is your value?
Not what do you value, but what is your value? Think about it. Are you valuable because you are the breadwinner? A grandmother? A homemaker? The better half? An awesome friend? What makes you a valuable person? Are you an efficient worker? Do you have empathy for others? Are you a problem solver? God has given every life valuable. You are valuable. Look inside and see if you can give a voice to that value.
# 2. What is your strength?
What is the most indelible part of you? What makes you tick? It can be more than one thing. Perhaps it's your faith. Maybe it's your children or your husband. Perhaps it is your ability to care for others. Perhaps your strength lies in teaching, fixing things or in the belief that what you do matters. Search your heart. What makes you strong?
Did you think the questions would get easier? They don't.
# 3. What do you enjoy?
Think about this carefully. What do YOU enjoy? Just you. Quiet time or going out with friends?Family time? Traveling? Serving others? The New Year will be dull and lifeless if you don't make time for what you enjoy. Pick a date and mark your calendar for some YOU time this year.
# 4 What is your passion?
Now that you have focused on what you enjoy, pick out your passion. It's the one thing you love above all else. It can't be family. That's a given for most parents. This is about you. You are not just a parent or a spouse. You have a core that goes much deeper. What would you want to do, or to be, if every distraction was removed from your life?
A side note about passions. They change, evolve, migrate, and even disappear completely. What you were passionate about when you are 20 can be a lot different from what you are passionate about when you reach 60. And that's okay. Live in today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. What are you passionate about today?
As romance writers, many of us will say our passion lies in writing romance, but does it really. Are you passionate about weaving a spellbinding story from a simple idea? Taking that word count from 0 to 20,000, 60,000 or 100,000? Or, are you passionate about getting lost in a breathtaking story that someone else served you whole and unblemished and makes you sigh when it's done? We can love books and romance without writing it. We can love horses and cowboys without getting manure on our shoes, too. When you uncover your passion, you won't care what you have to step in to achieve it.
# 5. What is your weakness?
What keeps you from following your passion? What holds you back from accepting your full value? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence? Over commitment? It can't be family, or your crappy job, or anything outside of you. This is about you. This is about finding out what makes you tick. To know and understand youself is the key to finding inner peace and happiness and to follow the path God has chosen for you.
When you have your answers to my questions boiled down to their most simple elements, you may share them here, or not, but write them down somewhere. Then you will have a place to start making the coming year a more productive and a happier one. You will see your value. You can make time for what you enjoy. You will know your strengths. You will find your passion, and you will understand what is holding you back. From there, you can go forward with a clearer picture of who you are and what you need in order to accomplish the things you want to get done.
Blessing to all.