In the two years I have been working in the children's book business and adult blogging, I never felt so overwhelmed as I did last week. Not to mention, I am currently working overtime while my boss is away. The pressure came caving down on me and had no where else to diffuse itself... and then came the ketchup.
As I was running an errand, there she was... that beautiful, big smiling, freckled face, red-headed girl staring ME DOWN like IT WAS ABOUT TO GO DOWN.
My knee had been finally feeling better as I submerged myself back into my early morning workouts. Yes, people, instead of writing, I was cheating on my passion by making love to my other passion, exercise. I defeated every machine in the gym last week as the sweat dripped from my determined arms, legs and abs to the cold, rubber gym floor. I am steadfast on losing the 15-20 pounds I gained ever since I hurt my knee in August.
So after a week's worth of countless calorie counting, I was entering a new war zone; the Wendy's quarter pounder with cheese, ketchup, pickles, lettuce and tomato battling my bottomless hunger for not only carbs but an end to the exhaustion and stress I had been feeling. From working at the day job to networking and juggling two brands while setting up school visits, and most importantly, trying to find time to WRITE... this gal was defeated.
Now when I say defeated, by no means do I mean I gave up on my goals of losing weight or continuing to extend my marking in the world of writing and storytelling. But what I do mean is that I had been defeated in the moment. I threw my hands up and said, "Bring it, Wendy." And by this, I meant pulling up to the drive thru, ordering my burger and fries, and then pulling off to the side to stuff my face with fast food and ketchup.
So what's the point, you say? The point is we all need a break sometime. I was so consumed last week, I had almost forgot the most important part of this journey is getting to spend time with children and inspire them as well as to make amazing new friends and connections through our blogs and adventures. Yes, social media can be a real pain in the ass, however, it can also be a blessing because of the friendships we create with one another. And the support we provide for each other is quite rewarding.
Someone once asked me if I would retire if I ever became a bestselling author or rich from my books. I didn't even have to think twice about this answer. Writing makes me feel alive every single day. And when I am not writing, I am thinking about it, morning, noon and night.
As authors, we are given this incredible gift. It's a gift which we have no other choice but to share with the rest of the world since it lives and breathes inside of us. We have the gift to help other escape into worlds where they live through our characters... where they can see through their eyes and sense everything from the words around them.
I had an author visit last Thursday. It was my first visit of this year and a day after I went on my Wendy's binge. Being in front of those kids made the stress and my overwhelming feeling of the workload disappear. I was quickly reminded how much my presence and books means to the world just from observing their smiles, questions, and enthusiasm for storytelling and writing. My heart was filled with joy knowing I could help change one of their little lives by telling them anything is possible. And on the drive to work that same day after my visit, I felt the stress had lifted even more. My visit had lit up my entire week and took the pain of wanting to be able to do it all away.
And then I had an even bigger surprise! My children's book made it to Amazon's bestseller list for Fiction and Imagination last week. Now, I know some people might not think this is a big deal but to me, it means someone out there is hearing about my book and wanting to have it in their homes to share with their children. Seeing my book at number 65 sent me over the moon. Ahh, the littlest things in life... they truly do bring you up when you are feeling down. And God always has a way to remind us about our mission here. Mine is to spend time with kids and encourage them to celebrate their uniqueness and imagination.
And to also finish the edits for my suspense/thriller novel! I have a story which will give you chills about this project and how it came to me. But that will be saved for a different blog post.
When your mind and body need a break, give it to them. It might be a day, a week or a month... whatever it takes to help you discover who you are a little bit more. Our souls yearn for self-reflection and it is up to our hearts and minds to provide them with this.
How often do you take breaks from social media and writing? Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you didn't know what to do with yourself?