Over-committed. It is the story of my life these days. I’ve realized that something has got to give, but what do you give up when you feel everything you do is important? Yes, I know all of the “appropriate” answers. I know that I need to prioritize and learn to say no and all that jazz. There’s nothing you can say that I don’t say to myself about 50 times a day. What is that saying about insanity?? I’m pretty sure it might pertain to me right now. So…that being said, and really not wanting to be insane, I am deeply looking at my life and the commitments I have made and starting to prioritize. I think, for some, this might not be as painful as it is for me. I’m not sure what type of personality that is-those that can say no or let go of things easily-but I know I am NOT it. I am not a people pleaser really, so my over-commitment does not land in that category. What I AM is extremely driven and a dreamer. I don’t want to think I can’t do something. I don’t like limitations. I don’t like being told no when I really want something. Actually, I hate all of those things. I like to believe I am wonder woman, or something along those lines. Unfortunately, what I am finding is that more things are suffering than being mastered because of it. Yes, I’m 35 and should have already learned this probably, but… apparently I haven’t. Truth is, I know all of this in my head. I would say it’s my heart that gets in the way, but I don’t believe that is the truth. The truth of the matter is that it’s my PRIDE that gets in the way. So, I am cleaning out things in my life, and as scared as I am of looking like a stupid head (that’s my official term), I’m more scared of failing in the things that are REALLY important to me. You know, those little things like being a healthy wife and mom…an excellent educator…a focused worshiper…and a rockin’ writer and reviewer. These are my priorities. Anything else is getting sliced and diced out of my life.

And that brings me to how being over-committed affects my writing. Well, it affects it negatively of course. Why? Did you just ask me why?? Sure, I’ll tell you…BECAUSE I get no writing DONE!! And that is unacceptable to me. Completely and utterly unacceptable. I told you earlier that I am a dreamer. I dream big things. Really, HUGE. And while I am dreaming, I expect big things to happen at the same time. For me, I believe there is nothing wrong with that. What I am having to do now is streamline those dreams. What do I want the most and the quickest? To be a published author. I want to see children and young adults with my books and stories in their hands smiling, crying, laughing, and even angry. Out of all of my dreams (besides those I have for my family) the ones that deal with my writing feel the most urgent. And now, I am to the point that I don’t want anything getting in my way. I want no more excuses or reasons of why I didn’t get my writing done. Because just having the dream isn’t enough. You have to work at it. You have to put in the time when you have dreams, and hit or miss does not make you the best you can be. Just ask any Olympian, superstar musician, or New York Times bestseller. I know this firsthand with my own music. I’ve been singing since I was little. I started being classically trained in voice in the 4th grade. Hard work and dreams is nothing new to me. This is just a new avenue, and I’m not taking any excuses anymore.

Now, I’m wondering about you and your priorities. Where are you at within your life? Are you over-committed? Do you have a dream but other things are getting in your way? Do you need to slice and dice some things out of your own life and schedule? This week is Banned Books Week (did you know that??). In honor of it, I am banning all things that get in my way of my most important goals and priorities. My most important dreams. One of those is to have a book on the banned books list. I know that’s probably weird to you (unless you’re a writer). Seriously, it’s where tons of the best books ever written are at. Join me in banning over-commitment (and pick up a banned book and read it!). If you’re a writer…see you on the New York Times bestseller list someday…

Staring Up,

KP

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