Great post Jodie. This is very topical for me at the moment as I am having a major life overhaul due to illness and reassessing my priorities. I have just started a Gratitude journal where every day I have to write 3 things I was grateful for that day. It’s actually very easy once you get started. Also, I have done a reverse bucket list – a list of fabulous things that I have done. This is great to look at when you are feeling a bit down or stagnant. Goals are and dreams are incredibly important for the soul – even silly ones like ‘to marry Johnny Depp’ are fun to have on the list – even just for a giggle.
Since a hospital stint in May left me feeling invigorated and inspired to make changes in my life (I know, hospital is kind of a weird place to get inspired), I have commenced an organisational frenzy in my house.
Now I have always been a big believer in the ‘to-do’ list – but I only really ever used it professionally in the office environment. After a couple of sessions with a professional I have had my eyes opened – lists are cool!
I am not good at slowing down. For those of you who don’t know I have a couple of pesty chronic medical conditions – Behcet’s Disease (or Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia. Both these illnesses stink and are the real pain the proverbial, often leaving me exhausted and needing bed rest for days on end. On good days I tend to overdo it – I am so excited that I have some energy that I go crazy with activities, which of course flares symptoms up again. ‘Pacing’ when you have a chronic medical condition is really important, but I often felt guilty ‘resting’ when I felt ok. Stupid I know. It is vital to build up some energy stores and to put them aside for a rainy day, or flarey day 🙂
So here is where the lists come in. As I respond to ‘to-do’s’ so well I schedule rests into my daily planner. If it’s in the planner it is ok! No guilt because it is there in black and white.
It is also important to have some empty spaces on that daily planner. It really is ok. You don’t need to fill up every hour of the day.
Now the other thing you may or may not know is that I am a writer by education and by trade. I have mostly worked in Public Service departments writing speeches and reports but have always tinkered away with little works of fiction and non-fiction on the side. I decreed that 2014 was going to be the year I concentrated on my creative writing – well hey, I’ve started a blog, that counts. As I cannot work at the moment due to my health I am studying a Masters of Literature and Writing via distance education. One subject this semester will hopefully not be too taxing, and I do enjoy the subject matter – Young Adult Fiction.
So what do lists have to do with this outpouring of information you ask?
Firstly – when I was discharged from hospital I made a list of all the things I would like to do with my life – frivolous or not. This was for my eyes only so it didn’t matter if it had ‘marry Johnny Depp’ on it.
Then I made a list of all the fabulous and exciting things I had already done and achieved. That turned out to be a great list and made me feel like I had achieved a lot and had some wonderful experiences. I highly recommend you start a ‘have done’ list – it just might surprise you.
Really good tips that I hadn’t thought about. So often we think of doing promotional aspects after a product is completed. It’s really good to get some anticipatory energy out there!! Great post
This looks really interesting and I am keen to participate in this program down the track. I have been plodding along with bits and pieces for ages and have not treated writing as a ‘career’. Saying you’re a writer somehow seems to invoke a fair bit of eye-rolling and a belief that you sit and watch daytime TV every day. I am in the middle of an organisational frenzy so finding this blog couldn’t have come at a better time! Looking forward to seeing more of these ideas.