sk lamont How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You Want

How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You Want

sk lamont How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You WantThis week I’ve noticed that a lot of blogs are chatting about love with Valentine’s Day being just around the corner. I wanted to write about fear this week. I know, not exactly conducive to love, or is it? I was going to write about fear and writing, but fear is fear, so I thought why not write about fear and love? They can go can hand-in-hand, and I’ve definitely had some experience in this department, so why not!

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, but trusting them not to.” ~ unknown

The day I nearly never got married

It all started a long time ago when I was still living back home, in Scotland. Well actually, it probably started way further back, when I was forming my beliefs about love when I was little, but we’ll get to that, in a bit. Anyway, I was minding my own business, living my life; productive, happy, single and free. Working on my coaching business, and traveling the world to attend seminars on how to take your life to the next level.

Then I met a man.

It all started innocently enough, you know how it goes; we connected, started chatting, sharing small details about our lives and the things we enjoyed. Then we got closer, and began sharing deeper parts of ourselves and the things close to our hearts. Next thing you know, we’re spending hours together as time started loosing it’s hold on us—hours slipped past like minutes.

We’d meet each other at various conferences around the world and then spend endless hours chatting on the phone when we were apart. Everything was going great, then my future husband dropped the bomb—he mentioned the M word aka marriage—and that was me running scared and literally running for my life.

He’d call—I wouldn’t pick up—there was no way I was going to marry this man. Yes I enjoyed his company, yes I may even be in love with him, but that didn’t meant I should settle for something as totally and completely final as marriage.

A Fear of Commitment

sk lamont How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You WantThey say men are afraid of commitment, but I was definitely a card-carrying fully-fledged member of the group, and I didn’t want some man clipping my wings.

So I did the best thing I knew how—I hid—for ten days. I know very grown up and mature of me, but it was the best thing that my inner quivering ten-year-old fear-filled kid could come up with at the time.

You see from an early age I was brainwashed that marriage equaled death. Being a product of the seventies and eighties, and watching most of my friends’ moms and dads splitting up and finally getting divorces—including my own parents. And, growing up in Scotland probably didn’t help either, as those around me considered marriage a relic of the 50’s, and as something that would probably be better off being left there.

Without going into it too much, I had an old record that went around and around in my head, that played louder and louder when any man got near that seemed even a little interested. The old record played; you don’t need a man, you can’t trust men, you never want to get married. And round and round it went.

Ten Days Later

I was still hiding; avoiding the phone calls, not replying to emails, and generally falling off the face of the planet. On day ten, I got an email from my future hubby, it had ten songs attached, with the instructions that I should listen to them. Having my interested piqued, I listened to the songs, and they started to melt the ice around my heart. I’m a very emotional being and music can do things for me that words never could. I thought, a man that can love these songs, is a man worth getting to know better—we started to talk again.

We chatted everyday on the phone for hours, this went on for several months, though we never really talked about the M word again.

My Date with Destiny

I was scheduled to go to a conference in the Bahamas, the long away awaited—Date with Destiny—even the name gave me goosebumps! Upon booking my air tickets, my future hubby told me he had managed to secure himself a ticket for the event. It had been sold out for months, but he had pulled some strings, so he would be joining me.

How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You WantI arrived in the Nassau, and he met me off the plane. We spent the week together. Our early mornings were spent playing in the huge waves on the sun-soaked beach. And, our intense days and nights were spent at the conference, helping ourselves and others have massive breakthroughs.

Everything was going great, or so I thought, until the last day. We got up nice and early, which had become our custom for the week, so that we could enjoy a few fleeting moments on the beach before it was time for us to head indoors for the rest of the day. As the next day we would be getting up and jumping on separate planes to return to our own respective countries. And we would not be seeing each other again for months.

On our last morning together we walked down to the beach just after sunrise, and ate breakfast—we shared a tropical fruit platter, on a wooden deck in front of the water. It was beautiful. Then we went for a stroll along the beach enjoying this glorious morning before returning home to rain and buses, at least for me. The turquoise waves crashed relentlessly against the sun-bleached shore, the breeze tugged on my hair, as the sun began to warm my skin. I realized in this moment, I had never felt so alive, so wonderful, so free…

I took my toe and started to write in the sand the one word that had always made my feel so vibrant and alive, it represented everything that I loved and aspired to. The word was FREEDOM, and being the queen of exclamation marks, I drew one, putting my toe in the sand to complete my statement. Suddenly, my future hubby dropped to one knee and took my hand…

“Will you Marry me?”

Huh wha?… I don’t even know what I was thinking, I don’t even know if I was thinking … It was more of a physical reaction … I ran … Yes totally and completely, I took my hand back in a split second, and was tearing off down the beach. Sand under my feet, wind in my hair, running away as fast as I could from the man who had just asked me to marry him.

My husband said he knelt there for a second not knowing what to do next, then he did the only thing he could think of, he chased me.

Finally he caught up to me and grabbed me by my arms. He looked deep into my eyes. “Well, will you marry me?

sk lamont How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You WantI kid you not … I looked over at the freedom I had written on the beach, and a huge wave obliterated it!

I looked back at him and said in a quiet voice. “But my freedom, it’s washed away.”

He looked at me, and touched the center of my chest with his finger tips.

“Honey, your freedoms not out there, it’s in here.”
 Then he repeated his question.
“So, will you marry me?”

Not one for making life easy, I replied, “I’ll tell you later, by the end of today.”

I had a lot of thinking to do. So we left the beach and got ready to step into the last day of the conference—relationship day, of course!

At these conferences you don’t sit to together. If you came with someone, you’re split up into different groups, so you can take part without feeling like you have to act a certain way around a spouse, a sister, or whomever you chose to come with.

My future hubby was sitting near the front, and I was sitting near the back. One of the exercises was to write down everything you wanted in your mate and write a letter to them. All these exercises I had done before having been around the block a few times in the world of coaching.

I knew the man I had found was the perfect embodiment of everything I had wished for—and yet—I was still terrified. I went looking for help, I needed some one-on-one coaching to help me process all the crud that kept floating to the surface.

Getting to the Truth

I found a good coaching friend of mine, and hoped that she could help me clarify my want over my fear. The two questions I remembered the most were these.

Q. Why don’t you stop spending time with him for the next six months, let things cool off?
A. Arrrgh no, that’s not an option I have to see him.

Okay, then she asked:

Q. What was the first answer that you felt in your body before all your BS (Belief Systems) started showing up?
A. Yes, I said to her. Every cell in my body screamed yes, but then my thinking mind screamed back no.”

She said, “that’s your true answer. Go to him.”

I walked back down the isle looking for his seat. The conference was beginning to wrap up when I saw him.

He says that he kept turning back to look for me, but my seat was empty. And he thought. Where is she? Is she even here still? Did she go to the airport?

I made my way across the tangle of legs finally arriving at the convenient empty seat beside him. I sat down and he leaned in close to me.

“Well?” He whispered in my ear.

I wrapped my arms around his neck, and whispered back. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”

sk lamont How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You WantAnd they Lived Happily Ever After

I know this whole thing sounds cheesy and I couldn’t make it up if I tried. But it’s all true. At that moment slow music started to play, and couples got up from their separate seats around the hall and were reunited. We stood up, walked into the isle, and slow danced.

Now I’m not going to say the next few months were very smooth before we finally tied the knot, I did try and run a few more times, but maybe that can be a story for another day.

 

Suffice to say, that fear nearly got in the way, and robbed me of my wonderful husband, and all my completely amazing children.

So the the next time fear tries to stop you, don’t be fooled. Stop. And asked yourself, what is it I really want? Then sit back and listen quietly.

What are you thoughts?

I’d love to know what you think! Has fear ever made you do something crazy? Is it standing in the way of your wants and desires? Or, are you living your dream already, and going after the things that you want? What tips and tricks do you have for conquering fear, and overcoming obstacles?

sk lamont How Fear Can Stop You from Getting What You Want

Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

Oh and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for Neil Gaiman’s 3-Book Box Set: Coraline; The Graveyard Book; Fortunately, the Milk

Is fear holding you back?

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sk lamont Giveaway Neil Gaiman 3 Book Box Set

Giveaway! Neil Gaiman 3-Book Box Set: Coraline; The Graveyard Book; Fortunately, the Milk

sk lamont Giveaway Neil Gaiman 3 Book Box SetIn this week’s blog post I’m giving away the 3-Book Box Set: Coraline; The Graveyard Book; and Fortunately, the Milk, by author Neil Gaimen. Please note these are the British versions! I like this box set in particular because it is the British version and also because of the fun illustrations by Chris Riddell.

You can enter here or scroll to the bottom.

Bedtime Stories

In the fall last year I decided that it was time to bring back bedtime stories to our family. It’s such a wonderful time for us to connect and be together. It used to be part of our regular bedtime routine but managed to slip through the cracks, the year before last, when our newborn baby became deathly ill. Our baby boy had to go through thirteen surgeries including two liver transplants in 2014–he was not expected to make it–but remarkably he did! You can read a little about his story here.

It was enough to flip our family upside down for the last couple of years, so I was extremely happy when our life began to settle down once more. I loved bedtime stories when I was a kid and I wanted to make sure that all my kids could experience the magic that my older kids had, before life got in the way! So we began with Serafina and the Black Cloak to enrich our new bedtime routine. I even got the chance to interview author Robert Beatty, the article was featured on Writers Digest, you can read it here.

A Bit Spooky

Serafina and the Black Cloak was rather creepy and scary, and I could never of handled a tale like that when I was a kid. But my kids asked me for it repeatedly until they finally wore me down, and they they loved it. So I decided to pick up this lovely Neil Gaimen box set as our next set of bedtime stories even though they have the creepy factor too. There is a wide diversity of reading ages here–I’d say, five through eight for Fortunately, the Milk; Eight through ten (or older) for Coraline, though watch out this one is a bit creepy, especially if you have a sensitive child; and The Graveyard Book, is probably about ten and up, my 15-year-old snatched this one out of my hands and devoured in a matter of hours.

My daughter loved it, and it renewed her interest in reading again. Having spiraled into the world of all things teenager, her love of reading had been put on hold for months, so I was particularly excited that The Graveyard Book inspired her thirst for reading once more.

Here is what my daughter had to say about it:

“It was a really great book! I enjoyed the characters, all the different elements, and how everything tied together. I loved the plot twists and turns throughout the story, and overall it was an exciting ride. I just wish there was more!”

Our family has been enjoying these books immensely and I think they’re fun for adult readers too, Fortunately, the Milk, may be a little on the young side, but it is stuffed full of fun and interesting illustrations.

From the Back Cover of the Book Set:

Giveaway Neil Gaiman 3 Book Box SetAn exclusive box set containing three Neil Gaiman classics, including the Newbery Medal and Carnegie Medal winner The Graveyard Book; Coraline; and Fortunately, the Milk, all illustrated by acclaimed and award-winning artist Chris Riddell.

These editions, containing the British illustrations—which are both hilarious and moving—have never before been published in the United States.

From the back covers of each individual book:

The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives, and he has already killed Bod’s family.

Coraline

There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, or the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house—the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. Forever. She knows that if she ventures through that door, she may never come back…

Fortunately, the Milk

Mum’s away. Dad’s in charge. There’s no milk. So Dad saves the day by going to buy some. Really, that’s all that happens. Very boring. YAAAAAAAWWWN. There are absolutely definitely none of the following inside: Globby Green Aliens! Intergalactic Police! Pirates! Angry volcano gods demanding human sacrifice! And most definitely NOT a time-traveling hot-air balloon piloted by the brilliant Professor Steg…

To Enter

Use the Rafflecopter widget below!

    • You get an entry for every item you complete in the Rafflecopter widget (up to eight entries!)
    • You can also come back once a day and ‘tweet about the giveaway’ (for extra entries!).
    • You also get two entries, if you leave a comment!
    • If you already follow or friend any of the items listed, please help yourself to free entries in the Rafflecopter! Just click the appropriate checkbox in the widget.
    • You must have a US postal address to enter.
    • The winner will be announced here February 16th, the winner will also be contacted by email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run till February 15th at midnight (EST).

Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

sk lamont Giveaway Neil Gaiman 3 Book Box Set

Who has been your most memorable character or characters, and why?

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Do You Use All Five Senses — Do Your Characters?

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go Wrong

Goals and Planning – When Things Go Wrong

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go Wrong

Okay, so I thought I would just throw this blog post up because of my ridiculously silly, January 1st, start to the new year!

Spending the last month planning my New Year’s Goals, having everything worked out in minute detail- I know I was already asking for it at this point- somebody get a big soft pillow and hit me over the head with it please. And being completely excited about getting going, my morning got of to a great start. My plan was set in motion with only a few small bumps, but generally I was feeling pretty happy with my progress.

When Silliness Strikes:

Sitting down to begin my two hours of slotted work-in-progress edits, I opened up my file to the sound of my daughter shouting from down stairs.

“Mom.”

“What’s up?” I called.

“I think there’s something up with the stove.”

Hmm, putting my computer to sleep I headed downstairs, little did I know at this point that my computer wouldn’t be waking up again till much later that evening.

Walking into the kitchen, my daughter’s two semi-runny unfried eggs stared up at me from the pan with their big sad eyes.

“How long they been in there?”

“20 minutes”

“How about we slide them out of there and we can finish cooking them in the microwave.”

Sliding the gooey mess from the pan and onto a plate, I popped them into the microwave to show off my prowess in the kitchen. I hit the button and watched in horror as the microwave light dimmed like some late 1800’s invention, as the plate slowly turned in the flickering light.

Goals and planning - When things go wrongPulling out the eggs one minute later, it appeared that the eggs may have congealed a little more, but they were definitely not cooking.

Being a determined kind of soul, I put the eggs back in and hit five minutes, staring desperately through the window, I watched them turn, as the lights over head flickered in unison. Being from Scotland I never grew up with an Easy-Bake Oven, but watching that plate turn slowly, I imaged this must be what it’s like hoping that a 40 watt light-bulb will produce beautifully baked delights.

“Go get Dad.”

“Daaaad!”

By this point I pulled out a kitchen chair and watched my intelligent husband play with our new Easy-Bake, as the enormity of the situation hit me, how I was going to have my next cup of tea, I boil a kettle on that stove, I thought. It’s my life blood.

About thirty minutes later, after trying various appliances around the house, and watching the kitchen lights grow dimmer every-time we hit a button, (though the toaster, worked a little too well for some bizarre reason, burning my last piece of rye bread too perfection!), my husband called the power company to discover that the most likely source was a voltage problem.

As we waited for some poor soul to be dragged into work, on his day off as it turned out, to assess the problem. I decided to go back to my computer determined to not let a little thing like loss of power stop me, as I sat down at my desk and hit the keyboard, hopeful since the toaster was apparently still in business, I discovered that my computer was selected as one of the lucky appliances in our house, to get New Year’s day off too, with the rest of the country. Fantastic.

I looked at my perfect writing plan printed out on my desk beside my keyboard and sighed.

So most of January 1st turned into sitting around waiting on a power company crew to turn up on a holiday and dig up our yard, whilst I proceeded to help my little boy build his Legos. Later I lay under the covers in bed reading a book, as it started to get colder and colder in the house, thinking, why didn’t this happen a couple of days ago when it was 70 degrees outside!

Anyway not one to miss an opportunity to learn something, here is what I learned, as far as planning and goal setting goes:

What I learned:

  • I’m not half as smart as I like to think I am.
  • I can easily fall into my old patterns, thinking that they are a great idea!
  • That I don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water and start all over.
  • I have the ability to be flexible, if I bring lightness to the problem.
  • That having fun and building Legos is sometimes just what I need.
  • That leaving room to be spontaneous has its benefits!
  • That sometimes I just need to be reminded that being with my family, is more important than any silly plans I make.
  • To go with the flow and not let bumps in the road ruin everything, and look for opportunities to embrace the day anyway.

I still plan to forge ahead come Monday, but after having my plans messed up today, I took it as a sign to do some quick edits on my 2016 plan.

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go WrongSo I grabbed that meticulously printed out plan laying beside my dead keyboard and with a few quick strokes and listening carefully to that small still voice inside, I slashed everything before 10am off my list and everything after 8pm and felt the sweet ease of freedom slide in.

I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, but I also realized today that it’s important to have room to breath. So, these are my ‘no rules, do whatever I want to do’ times. I can work if I want, but I’ve giving myself the permission to be flexible.

I can be a bit slow sometimes! This ain’t the first time I’ve banged my head against this particular wall, hopefully this time it’ll stick!

Have you ever found yourself making great plans only to find them dashed against the rocks moments later? Or have you found a way to plan and follow through on your goals, that offers the flexibility to still get things done when your day goes awry. What is your experience with goal setting or planning?

sk lamont Goals and Planning - When Things Go Wrong

Why don’t you share some of your ideas in the comments box below, along with any other suggestions, or anything else you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

How do you plan?

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These are a few of my favorite things- what are yours?

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yours

These are a few of my favorite things- what are yours?

These are a few of my favorite things – what are yours?

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yoursIn last week’s blog post, I talked about gathering my goals and getting ready for the new year, I also talked about reflecting on my life currently- what could I have done better, what’s not great, how am I missing the mark? I started thinking of ways that I can improve.

This week I am doing the opposite, before finishing up the year and creating a brand new set of goals for next year, I like to put together a list of what is great in my life.

It’s all too easy to see what is wrong with our life- at least I think so anyway. We can easily be dissatisfied thinking we’re missing something, or how we can improve or where did we fail and miss the mark. As we draw towards the end of the year, I do like to put my life under a microscope and seek out areas in which I can improve. But it is also just as important to figure out what is great in my life. I like to slow down for a couple of days, take stock, put on some great music even, close my eyes and think about my life and what I love about it!

What is great about my life?

Here is some questions and exercises that I use to focus on what’s great:

What do I love about my life?
Who are the special people in my life?
Special pets?
What is a particular meal I love, or color, or outfit, (I’m a bit partial to fuzzy socks myself! )
How much I love tea!
What music really inspires me or makes me weep?
What movies have I fallen in love with this year, or old favorites.
Or great stories I’ve read?

What do I love?

I grab a journal and start jotting down all the things I love or have a special affinity for.

Oh you might say I’m grateful for nothing, I love nothing, nothing good is in my life. Well if that is the case, think deeper. You’re able to read this aren’t you, be thankful you can read, and write it down. I’m sure it’s been less than 24 hours since your last meal, if so write it. You probably own a pair of shoes I’m guessing, put that down! If you have to start small, start thinking about what you could be grateful for, maybe eventually your learn to love these things too.

These are a few of my favorite things

So I made my children watch The Sound of Music last Christmas, it was one of the movies I loved growing up, it used to get shown every year in my country around Christmas, so my brain has filed it a Christmas movie, along with all the classic James Bond movies

Anyway, I don’t think anyone was that impressed with my choice of movies! But I do love that song.
Here’s the link if you need some inspiration!

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yoursA few of the lyrics as a reminder:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…

…When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

When I feel bad, out comes the list of memories and they help bring a little sunshine into my day. Then I go and enjoy some of the things on my list.

Here’s a few of mine:

My husband’s bristly beard

The soft touch of my two-year-old boy’s little cheek against mine

My first cup of tea in the morning

Walking in the woods, when the dappled sunlight filters through the leaves

The swirl of the ocean around my ankles, stealing the sand from under my feet

A good storm picking up around me and electrifying the air

Watching the rain rush towards me over the mountains, that moment right before it touches my face

Being cozy in my bed whilst a storm rages around the house

Coal fires crackling and the sound of rain outside the window

Okay so maybe I like storms a lot!

Then I write a list of magic moments

What has been a special moment today, this week, this month, this year.

Close your eyes and think about those special moments now, think about the people in your life, how do they look when they’re happy, when you’re playing around, think about special moments that put a smile on your face. When you just cuddled your pet, or went for a run, or danced this morning with wild abandon, or cozied up on the sofa with a good book.

Here are a few of my magic moments from this week:

This morning my little two-year-old son peeked around the door at me, looking sneaky- like a little pixie, expecting me to chase him, I did and he fell onto the floor giggling as I covered him in kisses.

Last night I enjoyed our wee Jack Russell as she ran around the bed doing turbo time, which basically means she goes crazy, running in circles, flying across the bed and then darts back under, before she attacks once more.

The other night I had fun in the kitchen, playing around and joking with my fifteen-year-old as we made dinner together.

Curling up in bed yesterday morning, with a good cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other.

These are a few of my favorite things - what are yoursI’m making a list and I’m checking it twice.

(actually I’m making two lists!)

What do I love?
What are some magic moments from this year?

One list is more general, the other more specific.

I want to make sure that I bring more of what is on my list with me into the new year, after all, these are the things that make my heart go pitter-patter and my spirit soar. Doesn’t have to be big things, in fact I find the smallest of things tickle me and bring me delight, and they are pretty easy to experience on a regular basis.

I like to think of it as soul maintenance, I think we can get all crumbly and dry on the inside if we don’t leave much room for the things that delight us in life.

Oh you might say, but they don’t contribute to my big goal this year or what I’ve decided is important. But the tiniest dose of joy is like rocket fuel and will give your purpose more drive, so don’t rob yourself of the things that make you happy.

After you’ve written your list don’t just file it away, keep it somewhere important, put it in a treasured place and pull it out frequently, when your feeling sad or when you just need to remember what is most in important in your life, when you feel truly alive.

It’s so important to stop and cherish what is great in our life, we’re always moving onto what’s next and sometimes forgetting what is now. If we don’t slow down from time to time to smell the roses, or the sweet fragrance that is already in our life, we might miss it all together. Then it is too late. When all we really do have left is memories, having missed the moment completely, where you can no touch and feel and taste and savor the richness that might be in your life right now.

Even if it’s an amazing cup of coffee or a smile from someone at the grocery store. Enjoy!

What are you grateful for? What are a few of your favorite things? What do you savor, enjoy? Who do you love, who loves you?

sk lamont These are a few of my favorite things - what are yours

Why don’t you share some of the items from your list in the comments box below, along with any other ideas or suggestions, or anything else you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

What’s on you list?

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont

 


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Gathering my Writing Goals- Getting Ready for the New Year

sk lamont All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy - What Do You Do to Relax?

All Work and No Play – What Do You Do to Relax?

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy – What Do You Do to Relax?

sk lamont All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy - What Do You Do to Relax?I felt myself turning into to Jack Nicholson from The Shining this week. As a dark cloud of insanity engulfed me, I had visions of Jack sitting behind his typewriter in that huge great room typing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over again. I knew then it was time to pull the plug.

Staring at my screen in my own Overlook Hotel, getting angrier and angrier, I knew I had to stop.

Working Hard This Year

I’ve been working hard this year, probably harder than I have any year, and just like Jack Torrance who thought it would be great to go to the Overlook Hotel and write his book, as I sat and began my sixth 1st draft manuscript this year, rolling that first sheet of paper into my virtual typewriter, I felt the big black crow of insanity alight on my shoulder.

After a couple of days of typing away on my latest draft, the kids playing in the next room. the Christmas tree was running into its own problems of being erected. I just knew I had to slam on the breaks and do something radical, which wasn’t easy. You see, I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. I’m either all in or all out, I don’t really do the grey area in the middle. It’s hard for me, I loose focus all too easy if don’t commit fully and give it all I’ve got. It has its advantages. If I set my mind to something I can usually make it happen, but it comes at a price, and that is that I shut everything else out of my world till I complete my task. But if I don’t stop and have fun and schedule in play dates for myself, my once fun work can get the better of me and I start becoming dull. And I know with my writing if I don’t take a break in-between projects I end up looking like this:

sk lamont All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy - What Do You Do to Relax?So I pried my gnarled fingers away from my iMac, iPad and iPhone, I had to shut it all off at least for one whole day and sever the cord that kept dragging my back to do the next writing related task.

Writing Related Tasks:

Writing my 2,000 words a day
Editing a manuscript
Reading the next book on writing
SEOing my site
Coming up with the next blog post
Checking social media

As much as I love this stuff normally, I knew I had to take a break and have some fun. I told my husband how I was feeling and he asked me when was the last time I danced? Hmmmm probably over a week ago, I thought. Then thoughts of Christmas loomed over me knowing that I have a lot of work ahead of me in the coming weeks, so that Santa can show up for our five kids! I was starting to crumble under the pressure of it all.

Time to Relax

Not wanting to just swap one task for another, I decided to set up my pottery wheel in the garage that’s been collecting dust for months, and at least set down my writing for four days to give my creative self a different outlet!

sk lamont All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy - What Do You Do to Relax?As I sat behind my potter’s wheel and felt the clay begin to mold beneath my fingers, I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy at first. As I wrangled with that mud, trying to center it, doubt started to creep in around the edges. As I wrestled with the clay in front of me and the idea of getting back to my real work. I kept coming back to it day after day, and eventually I started to sneak glimpses of the peace I was seeking. When the clay finally complied and slipped through my fingers effortlessly, I let out a long low sigh as my wheel began to sing to me. Relaxation seeped in and the pressure began to ease.

I have decided to take my foot of the gas a little, to allow space for my other creative pursuits that feed my soul in different ways. This ultimately can only help my writing, so that I can bring a more playful and creative spirit back to the page. And I definitely know I have to take breaks between drafts. I already had this as one of my writing rules knowing that I need a break between projects, but I broke it anyway, knowing I had one more draft to complete by December 31st. That was a mistake, because instead of lessening the pressure I was feeling, it was only increasing. I still plan to ‘do my best’ and finish my manuscript, trusting that by taking a few days off, I will bring back my old fun-loving playful self and the work will be easier!

My goals for 2016 are going to look a little different, I plan to make sure there is more play and less work!

I would really love to hear from you this week, seriously, I need to! What do you do for fun? How do you change things up? What do you do to kick back and relax? What’s your work / play balance like?

I’d love to know, please share your stories, suggestions and ideas in the comment box below!

Oh and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of Serafina and the Black Cloak

What Do You Do to Relax?

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Why I Write

sk lamont What are you Grateful for

What are you Grateful for?

What are you Grateful forWhat are you Grateful for?

As I sit here typing on my iPad in the car on our way to the transplant clinic I am overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude. Looking over at our little cherub in his car seat, wearing his little boy shirt, sleeping soundly, I couldn’t be more happy.

This little man has been through so much since he was born and there were points where I thought I may not be allowed to keep him.

He was born healthy and well, weighing in at an impressive 9lbs, everything seemed to go perfectly. He came only eleven days before Christmas and our family overjoyed, had a wonderful time over the holidays, celebrating and enjoying the latest addition to our family.

But as Christmas faded I began to sense that something was wrong, our little bundle of joy had turned yellow and he wasn’t getting any better, on his third week with us, he started bruising. When touched, a bruise would a appear, change his diaper, hold an ankle, another bruise. The bottom fell out of my world, I knew something was terribly wrong and images of little baby coffins started dancing through my mind.

As we What are you Grateful fordrove to the doctors a sense of dread filled me as it choked the air out of my body, I watched the doctor’s face carefully and I did not like what I saw there. The doctor left us alone in the room and I looked at my husband at a complete loss, this was not good.

Five hours later, I mean five minutes, the doctor came back and chased us from her office with a clip board, telling us to drive to the hospital as fast as we could, they were waiting for us there.

When we got there, my tiny little bundle was wrestled from my arms, as he was pinned and pricked trying to retrieve some blood from his tiny veins. This was only the beginning of a long road ahead. My little boy has given blood hundreds of times and now he doesn’t even flinch. Thirteen operations later and two liver transplants, he lays here beside me, snoozing away like a little kitten.

It was an up hill battle and every step of the way he was not expected to make it. It has been the toughest year of my life and believe me, my life had been pretty rough before. But here we are fifteen months after his second transplant and he thrives, he is a joy to behold, I am so grateful and life will never be the same again.

What are you Grateful forThis story barely scratches the surface of the journey we have taken, but only captures the glimmer of joy we are left with.

I remember seeing a bumper sticker once on the way to the hospital…

It resonated so deeply…

“Don’t take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here.”

It is such a bitter sweet emotion to live with, knowing that someone’s child had to die so that yours may live.

But then 30 years ago my little boy would be long gone by now.

So we weep with tears of joy and hold him tight.

I would love to hear what you are grateful for today? Doesn’t matter if it was the cup of coffee that warmed you this morning or a smile from a stranger in the store. Gratitude is gratitude. Please share what your grateful for in the comments box below.

What are you Grateful for?

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Too Much to Do

sk lamont too much to do

Too Much to Do

Too much to do

It’s my daughter’s birthday today and as I sit here and think back through the years, I realize I may have missed too many magic moments by being too busy!

She is eleven today, I remember her still as a chubby cheeked little three-year-old with blonde ringlets, pottering around the house. It seems like only yesterday.

I had another epiphany a few months ago, when I realized my fifteen-year-old daughter was no longer the ten-year-old tree climber I remembered. Nature girl, as she used to call herself. I wept.

I realized I’d let too much time slip by already, too many magic moments lost forever. I decided I would do what I could to make up for all those lost moments that slipped through my fingers.

I am a very busy person by nature, always on the go, always creating, I like to get things done! But I realized that in this moment, none of that matters, if I miss this time with my children, it will be gone forever… Too much time has passed already!

Too much to doDon’t let your ‘to do list’ get in the way of the ones you love today.

What are some of the ways, you have put your loved ones near the top of your to do list? Or what will you do now, to show them how much you care?

I’d love to hear from you, share your stories, suggestions and ideas in the comment box below!

Follow me on twitter @sk_lamont

 


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Why I Write