During this month of March, I have participated in the Slice of Life writing challenge in which writers blog daily and comment on their fellow challenge participants' posts. I did not "succeed" in the traditional sense of the word because my writing completely fell off around March 17th when I embarked on a 10-day family road trip. And then, upon my return, there were sleep disturbances galore (thanks Daylight Savings, time zone changes due to travel, sinus pressure, chronic pain, and out-of-sorts children) to contend with along with getting the household running back on routine. You see, normally I would view my "failing" in this writing challenge with frustration and shame. I am the kind of person who has spent her life Kool-Aid Man-ning through the walls of all my challenges; but in the past few years I've grown tired of what Darin Johnston, one of my fellow slicers, articulated so beautifully: “I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel.” And, I've spent the past couple of years trying to honor that exhaustion and let myself off the hook a bit. I'm not the Kool-Aid Man: I cannot continue to crash through brick walls with no physical or emotional fallout.
For folks like me that tend towards Type-A high expectations and an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, these daily challenges have the potential to do the exact opposite of their intent if we let them: unleash our inner-critic that is the harshest of them all. I may not have blogged every day this month, but I have not failed in accomplishing my personal goals that were motivations for doing this:
- I have established more of a daily writing habit than I have had in years.
- I have felt encouraged and heartened by others reading and responses to my writing.
- I have connected with fellow writers and gained inspiration from reading their thoughts, including a small group of local friends that I hopefully helped to encourage through my reading and commenting during the first half of this challenge.
All in all, I'd say that's success!
Remember to be gentle with yourselves, friends. You deserve time, space, and lots of hugs.
|Rainbow spotted on the last day of our family road trip; |
a reminder to look on the bright side and celebrate all that you have accomplished
instead of dwelling on that which you have not.