Remind me . . . Why am I doing this?

Well, I did it again. Got myself all tangled up in other people’s agendas. Got caught up in all the things others say need to be done in order for my book to be a success. Forgot why I wanted to publish my story in the first place. Forgot what was most important in my life.

I’m a frazzled mess. And, looking back at the last two weeks, I see why. I’ve spent day and night, including a good chunk of the weekend, holed up in my office feverishly trying to get through the interminable list of e-books, audios and videos from all the marketing gurus offering their expertise on the internet.

There’s lots of great information. I’m learning tons. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the hype, believing that it’s all important and it’s all got to be done RIGHT NOW! (If you want to be successful you must do this, this thing that I’m promoting, this thing that needs to be done TODAY.) This thing that needs to be crammed into my already-full schedule. Because I didn’t stop being a mom or a wife or the CEO of my household or a volunteer in my community just because I decided I wanted to publish my book.

I got sucked into the urgency whirlpool. Throw in the need to do it right and perfectly the first time and it’s not a pretty picture. I want so much for Leaf to do well that I’ve stopped the usual practices that ground me in my day. I’m not stopping to eat lunch until my blood sugar starts screaming. I haven’t taken a walk or done any yoga for weeks. Yes, I come upstairs to greet my sons when they come home from school, but I’m not really there with them. My attention is still in my office researching, comparing, mulling over information.

What happened to the part about this being fun?

I went to visit a friend yesterday whose got some major health challenges. I was going to pop in for a few minutes (just in and out, drop off some soup, say hello, got things to do you know) but as I sat with her I realized the place I needed to be was right where I was. The most important thing on my agenda was the person in front of me. Two hours later, I sauntered home in the sun to greet my boys as they arrived from school. Really greet them. Really be present with them.

Not many of the urgent things on my list were crossed off my list that day. But all the important things got done.

Balance – sigh – my lifelong challenge. Guess I need to start writing a few pages of Vimala S’s.

Big breath.

Another one.

And a third.

Now – back to the basics.

I want Leaf to be a success (and me, too, by extension) AND I want my family to come first. In six years my sons will both be gone. Six short years. It feels like I just got them. Why would I want to waste even one precious moment of this small sliver of time I have left?

And then there’s my husband. Always waiting patiently, ready to take whatever is left over once I’ve taken care of everything else on my list. Too often, there’s nothing left over to give.

So I will return to my basic plan of doing my writing in the morning and my marketing work in the afternoon. I will do my best to work efficiently in the time that I have and when my sons are home from school I will close my office door and be fully present with them and available to them until they walk back out the door the following morning. And evenings and weekends are for family.

I may not sell as many books as I would have had I immediately followed all this amazing marketing advice, but at least I won’t sell out on what’s truly important to me. If I want to, I can change my modus operandi in 6 years time. For now, this is how it needs to be. This is how I want it to be.

So be it.

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8 Responses to Remind me . . . Why am I doing this?

  1. Yvonne says:

    Beautiful Maxine. It is amazing how one person’s realization is so very valuable to others. I have tears in my eyes and I have set the intention to not just look each person I meet in the eyes, but be fully present in their presence. Thank you.

  2. kgbusco says:

    Wow! This sounds like me in a nutshell. I can tell you that as the mother of a 2 year old, I often find myself struggling to balance the time that I spend working on my business and spending time with my son. Then of course there is spending time for me if there is any left in the day. I struggled with this problem for some time until I realized that it was counter productive. The quality of the work that I did for my clients was not as good as it should have been. Someone told me once that it was like taking a long road trip in a car that needed lots or repairs and upkeep. You may keep telling yourself that you need to keep driving and get to your destination, but the car your driving may just break down on you. After I put my life in balance, everything improved. I take time for me every day. Your doing the right thing just like I did.

  3. Linda says:

    I love it Maxine! I am so envious of people who can write, I mean really WRITE! Something meaningful and poetic. Thank you for sharing this. It touched my soul and reminded me of what is important, and why I stay up until midnight most nights visiting with my daughter when the house is finally quiet and we get some girl time. Soon she will be gone and I won’t have many of those evenings. So I stay up too late and am too tired in the morning but it is all worth it, isn’t it?

  4. maxinespence says:

    Yvonne, I always thought you were good at being present, but I’m glad if this served as a reminder.

  5. maxinespence says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Kimberly. (AND leaving a note. I love mail!) I’m glad you’ve been able to find a way to bring balance into my life. My biggest challenge now is to remember this aha moment when 5 things come at me at once tomorrow.

  6. maxinespence says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Linda. And you are so right. Sleep deprivation is worth that connection. Gabriel is so NOT a talker but I’ve discovered that when he comes home from his monthly youth outing at a local church he is very chatty. That’s usually long past my bedtime, but it’s worth it to stay up and visit with him.

  7. Laura says:

    You’re talking to me, Maxine. And I’m listening.

  8. maxinespence says:

    I’m thinking we’re two peas in a pod these days, Laura. What do you say we transform that pod into a hammock every now and then?

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