Living Authentically

50 Resolutions Before I’m 50: Number 14 Slow Down

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There’s something sweet outside right now. A floral, citrusy perfect scent that has no manmade substitute. My quest to inhale the perfume of spring pushes me outside on every non-rainy day. Why? Maybe because I can only find it when I leave my house, my work, my daily chores and breath it in.

For the past year, I’ve been in a hurry. I wanted to fix the problems with my career, my family, my fitness.

ASAP.

Yet change doesn’t happen overnight and where exactly am I trying to get to anyway?

I love my family, I love my ever increasing careers, I love my friends, I love my house, and I love life itself. So why am I so stressed out?

My next resolution is to slow down. To enjoy every blessing I have in my life and I have a lot of blessings. Some I’ve worked relentlessly for and others came to me as a gift.

What’s the point of my kids going to a million activities to better them if they’re miserable?

Why do I need to publish a bazillion books in a year, or bill a hundred hours per week if I have no time to enjoy the view my husband and I worked so hard to find?

How do I keep friends or connect with family if I never see them?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still climbing the mountain, but now I want to enjoy the hike, smell the sweet flowers, and remember why I started the journey in the first place.

50 Resolutions Before I’m 50: Number 13 Being Happy with Me

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I had new author photos taken this past weekend. I found the most amazing photographer, Lori Mann, who looks at photos as art and helped me show the exact feeling I wanted to portray. After having more makeup on me than I generally put on in week and my hair curled into something closer to Veronica Lake than my normal flyaway frizz, the photos showed me that nearing 50 is sexy, and fun, and a place where I can be me without apology. Yes, it would be awesome if I could keep Aleks Ambrose, the brilliant makeup artist with me on a daily basis and have someone expertly “shade” away some of my lines, but let’s face it, going into that fantasy world is better when you arrive from an everyday life.

Was there airbrushing? Ummm, yes. I’m excited by what I look like now, but let’s be realistic. I don’t exactly have my 17-year-old daughter’s perfect skin. So I’ll allow my aging to appear to the photos, only a bit softer.

My resolution this week? To embrace my external appearance as much as I embrace my internal essence. They are both me, and they both affect my mood and well-being, for better and worse. And with the help of my friends- I’m even better!

50 Resolutions Before I’m Fifty: 12 – More Meditation

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Does meditation work? For me, yes.

My mind runs in circles. It’s not gathering amazing bits of information for future books. Not generally. Most of the time, the focus of my thoughts involve a lack of time, too many body aches, deadlines, dinners, family dynamics, a need to be alone, a need for friends, a need for family, a desire to be in nature, to find comfort in my own home, an urge to help others outside my circle, and total exhaustion when I can’t reconcile everything.

When I’m in sync with a current activity, everything flows together and creates milestones in my life. A finished book, a painted room, a planted garden, or a stack of bills being paid. At other times, when there are too many issues to think about and too much emotion and pressure piling around me, I fade into nothing. I can maintain basic tasks at these times, but the quality isn’t top notch and my overall feeling of accomplishment is empty. Those are some of my toughest days. Going through the motions of life without passion.

Meditation has changed that. Each morning I take ten minutes. I’d like to brag to you and say I’m in the zone for an hour, but for now, ten minutes is all I can spare. I sit on the sofa in my office. It’s one of my favorite rooms in the house. I get comfortable, which for me involves clasping my hands together and tucking feet under my legs. Exposed hands and feet freak me out and I can’t relax. It’s my quirk and I refuse to fight it.

I listen to the guru from Headspace guide me through a breathing exercise and an ability to separate from the crush of ideas and thoughts in my head. When I emerge ten minutes later, I still feel a bit crushed (it’s not a miracle cure), but the intensity of life dies down so I can find my focus for the afternoon, whether it’s spending time with my children who need someone to listen to them, staying clear on my clients’ need and wishes, or writing a story where I can be present with my characters’ thoughts and actions.

The new resolution? To embrace meditation even more than I had. During emotionally draining situations, if I have a chance, I’d like to take an extra ten minutes and clear my head so I can handle what ever life throws at me with clarity and calm.

Fifty Resolutions in Fifty Weeks Before I’m Fifty. Resolution 11

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Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes, goals remain out of reach even though you want them so bad and you try with all your might to grasp them in your hand. My habit for the past few weeks has been to focus on all that is wrong with my life in my journal. I complain and whine and declare how unfair life has been to me. Then I head out on my day and things become brighter. The sun is shining, my children are happy, and my circumstances are not nearly as bad as other people’s. In fact, it becomes almost embarrassing to have complained at all.

This week, I’m adding a twist to my journaling resolution. I have to start each journal page with a blessing, something in my life that provides me with joy. My goal is to leave the negative behind and find something positive in everything that affects me. If I can’t change something, I can lament that fact on the pages, but then I need to move on. If I can change something in my life to make it better, I can begin my plan right there. Ultimately, my happiness is my own to make and there are so many things around me that foster joy, I’ve just been overlooking them.

Until next week!

Resolutions so far.

  1. Journaling
  2. No television after 8pm
  3. Exercise everyday
  4. Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.
  5. Meditate everyday.
  6. No sugar.
  7. Finish the meditation, the exercise, the journal first thing in the morning.
  8. Look over my ToDo list before I go to bed.
  9. Write at least one blog post per week.
  10. Watch something in French once per week.
  11. Add gratitude into my journal.

 

Fifty Resolutions in Fifty Weeks Before I’m Fifty. Resolutions 9 and 10

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So I missed blogging last week and therefore, I’m throwing a resolution at the problem. My ninth resolution is to write at least one blog post every week. Perhaps the power of the resolutions will keep me on track. I am in the middle of writing a new novel and most of my writing time is spent making sure my word count stays consistent so I’m on track to make my deadline. I’m happy to say that so far, I am 100% on track for completing the book with time for several rounds of edits before sending it to my editor.

As for my other resolution? It’s one of my personal pet peeves. Once upon a time, I could speak French. Now? Not at all. So my tenth resolution is to watch a movie in French once per week. It should help me remember the vocabulary and the cadence of the language. I thought I’d start with Harry Potter. My children speak French much better than I do, so maybe I can convince them to join me.

50 Resolutions In 50 Weeks Before I’m Fifty: Resolution 8

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It’s week 8 and time for a new resolution to add to the first 7. Somehow, I have not miraculously lost ten pounds or even a inch on my waist. My bank account is not fuller, and I’m not magically a better mom. I am, however, a little bit more centered in the chaos that is my life. That counts for something.

This week, I was going to try to stop swearing, but I need to keep swearing to calm my frazzled nerves, so I’m trying something simple. I’m going to look over my ToDo list every night before I go to bed.

Journaling

I’m better with journaling now that I force myself to do that in the morning.

No television after 8pm

I watched Law and Order the other night with my Oldest, but otherwise, I don’t watch television.

Exercise everyday

I’ve been exercising every morning and feeling better.

Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

I have not been doing this as well as I could because I’m out of the house so much and tend to grab things at drivethroughs.

Meditate everyday.

I have been decent with this. If I meditate first thing in the morning, I’m on for the whole day.

No sugar.

I ate my daughter’s birthday cake. A mother’s job!

Journal, Exercise, Meditate first thing every morning.

I have been okay with this, but generally only do two out of three in the morning. I’m pushing myself to get all three done.

I’m running around and traveling this weekend. Let’s hope I can stay on track. Any suggestions for next week’s resolution would be welcome.

50 Resolutions in 50 Days Before I’m 50: Resolution 7

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I’m at the 7 week mark and my resolutions have been swallowed up by my busy life. Excuses abound. I have to go to a meeting or be in court, I have to drop off or pick up the kids from school or another activity, I have to get a manuscript to my agent or write a synopsis. All a bunch of BS excuses.

It was Katy Regnery who kicked my ass into realizing that saying I’m going to follow my resolutions and actually following them are two different beasts. So I need a resolution that brings the first few weeks all together.

My resolution this week is to finish the meditation, the exercise, the journal first thing in the morning, before my day fills up with my ToDo list or my mind falls into my stories and I refuse to come up for air. I’ve got this!

Journaling

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

No television after 8pm

I’m really good with this one.

Exercise everyday

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

I am force feeding myself a salad a day. It makes me feel better after I eat it, but I’d prefer French fries.

Meditate everyday.

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

No sugar.

Surprisingly, I am handling the no sugar thing pretty well. Although if you offer me a brownie- I may have to kill you.


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