Healthy Writers Club: Getting Real & Moving Forward

Photo Courtesy of Shallee McArthur
Happy New Year, everyone! I must admit, I definitely strayed from my healthy choices this holiday season. (I suppose everyone does...) This year it was different for me, though. I didn't fall off the wagon because I was happily surrounded by friends and family. I WAS happily surrounded by friends and family, but my poor decisions came from a different place entirely.

I stopped living healthy because I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by uncertainty and sadness.

Let me get real here. Social media is such a limited platform, because we usually only share our 'best of' moments and milestones. But we all have so much going on behind the curtain that perhaps honesty is sometimes an undervalued trait here.

"Wizard of Oz" Photo Courtesy of Out.Of.Focus
So let me be honest: December was one of the hardest months of my entire life. It highlighted the fact that I had just undergone one of the biggest changes I will ever undergo, and my Decembers will never, ever be the same again. (Read more here: Once There Was a Heartbreak.)

I find that when my life is out of balance, I purposefully find ways to make my body and space out of balance. How can you possibly have an immaculately clean house when your insides are falling apart? And how can you possibly have a strong, healthy body when your instinct is to curl into a ball and go to sleep?

I have gone through similar funks before--haven't we all?--but this time I decided to be gentle with myself. Instead of becoming frustrated and making myself feel even worse, I simply set my healthy goals aside and said, "Okay, you really want to go here, then? Fine. You have until the beginning of January to dwell on whatever it is you're dwelling on, and then you better be ready to hit the ground running in 2013."

Wow. It was like getting a free pass, but you know what? The knowledge that it was OKAY not to be okay was all the inspiration I needed. I took those last few weeks of December, and I drowned in my uncertainties. And then the moment that ball dropped to usher in 2013, I found myself filled with hope. I was out on the beach watching fireworks explode over the Gulf of Mexico with some friends, and those beautiful flashes mixed with turquoise water felt like salve to my soul.

My inner voice became strong again: "All right. That's enough. It's time to begin again."

Photo Courtesy of PhotoOptik
Weekly Healthy Writers Club Milestones:

1. BODYTwo bike rides (21 miles total), two arm workouts, two balance training workouts

2. MIND: I got a new job! Starting on Monday, I will be the Admissions & Graduate Services Coordinator at Southeastern Guide Dogs, an amazing non-profit that trains service dogs for visually impaired people and disabled veterans. Talk about good karma!

3. SOUL: A shared birthday party with a good friend in downtown Tampa, a wicked fun Surfrider Foundation benefit concert at the St. Petersburg Pier, a few fun lunches with friends, one beach visit (complete with sunset watching)

How did your week go? Any healthy milestones or set-backs? I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs, and I hope you have a great weekend!

New Year's Lesson: This Shit is Hard

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Pardon my French, but the beginning of 2013 has inspired me to look back at my 2012 and see what lessons I have learned.

Wow. My life has taken so many twists and turns in the past year that it's hard to keep track of them. I parted ways with my first literary agent and tearfully shelved my first novel. I wrote a new (better) novel, and I scored a new (better) agent. I became an aunt, and I felt my life shift so profoundly in response that I made the decision to say goodbye to the relationship, friends and job I loved in Colorado.

What do I have to show for it? Right now, I'm in the foggy, transitional time between here and there. My life in Colorado has drawn to a close, but my life in Florida has barely just begun. I am surrounded by friends and family and people I care about, but I have no idea what lies ahead of me.

Will I score a book deal this year? Will I find the perfect day job?

Most importantly, will I rebuild the pieces of my life into something I can be proud of?

I don't know. I sure hope so.

Which leads me to my post title: this shit is hard. The writing, the living, the loving... The thriving and not just surviving. The blazing of trails, the pursuit of our destinies. Because at the end of the day, we may have NOTHING to show for it.

But, you know what? Maybe we WILL have something to show for it. And we will never, ever know if we are too afraid to take the plunge and surrender ourselves into the hands of fate. Because as the quote says:

"We all go through rough times and disappointments in our lives, but realize that we are all in the midst of creating our own story of triumph through the decisions we make and the actions we take every time life knocks us down. 

It is in attempting to reach our dreams that we develop the necessary skills and mentality to overcome any roadblocks that lie ahead of us. 

Never let a moment of defeat define your life's outcome. 

No matter how many failures you've had, you still have it in you to create the greatest comeback story of your life. 

Until you run out of pages, there is still room to write an epic ending."