Excuses I tell Myself

Writing takes discipline and over time it becomes a habit. However, I have lost the habit. Last year I was in a groove while we traveled through OZ. Beyond writing and traveling, I had very few responsibilities and spent most of my time reveling in that. Yes, I cooked, I shopped, I worked out and I paid bills, but writing was built into my day. Since my injury last November, attempting to write while just sitting at a desk, with my feet on the floor – it has been terribly difficult. Sitting or spending too much time on my feet means swelling and pain – both which just get worse the longer I do either.  With limited time to be active or seated, I wanted to use it to walk around, go places, drive somewhere, take a yoga class, etc. So I allowed myself to get out of the habit of writing daily. But this was really just an excuse.

When I was a marketing consultant, I used to tell clients that it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit. I know this from personal experience. This was how I quit smoking in 1984, how I finally lost 55 lbs. back in 2010-11 and how I reclaimed yoga in my life 2 years ago: one day at a time.

I made the decision to quit smoking and to stop overeating so as to welcome what I wanted in my life on a daily basis – I chose to create the habit every single day. This is how I mother myself. It isn’t always easy. It takes discipline. On days when I don’t feel like writing or eating healthy or working out, I take a moment to remind myself to look at the big picture and it smooths the way just enough for me to get my butt in gear and to move forward.

My latest excuse, on top of my foot pain, is our new adventure: we are moving from our suburban home to one in the city. For the past two weeks, I have been packing up, throwing out unwanted things and getting our current home ready for market (this link will take you to an electronic flyer for our listing). I have been telling myself that all my standing time needs to be spent sorting through our things, thinning out what is in our home and then storing what we want to keep. But this is just another excuse I tell myself.

The excuses I used to tell myself when I was fat and wanted to eat something that wasn’t good for me was that I had had a hard day (or night or week or month) and that I deserved being able to eat that muffin or drink that mocha or have a 2nd or 3rd helping. Or how unfair it was that my friends could eat [fill in the blank] and still look great, why shouldn’t I? But when I turned 50, and I started thinking of my life at 80, I realized how lame those excuses were. I started to accept who I am and what my body needs. So the reality is that while working on getting our home ready for sale has been hard work, it hasn’t really prevented me from writing. I prevented me from my writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been writing up a storm in my head. There have been posts about moving, about decorating, about empty nests, about Alzheimer’s, about loving and forgiveness and about healing. But that isn’t what I want. My hope is to be able to create short blog posts that touch other people in ways that motivate them to share my posts and/or post comments about the pieces. Having beautifully written pieces in my head won’t get it done. And they don’t mother me. Actual writing does.

So while I still have many distractions and way too many excuses, I will find a way to post more regularly. And hopefully those of you reading my posts will want to engage enough to share your thoughts and your comments.

As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

8 thoughts on “Excuses I tell Myself

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you Kim, I appreciate your comments. It is very gratifying to have readers, like you, who comment regularly!

  1. Lisa Owen

    It’s very easy to get distracted with so much going on in life. I’m sure that you will get back to it. I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thanks you Lisa. I give myself a hard time because of my distractions seems so much less distracting from when I kids still living at home. But I guess no matter what we allow to distract us it is all a matter of priorities. And I want to make my writing a priority!

  2. Lorrie Goldin

    I can so relate, Heidi (though I don’t have your excuses). I love how you put it: “it hasn’t really prevented me from writing. I prevented me from my writing.”

    Do you know about the A to Z Blogging Challenge? A writing friend recommends it to increase both the practice of blogging and readership. I may just do it . . . but then again, I’ll probably come up with good excuses not to! But check it out: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thanks for the reference Lorrie, looks like a great challenge. I would also love to participate in the BlogHer challenge, NaBloPoMo: someday, someday! My excuses for not doing either now: I’m spending 12 days on the east coast in early April and then moving at the end of the month. Too many moving pieces in my life! For me to participate in a writing challenge, I need to be a bit more grounded. I have added reminders to my calendar to prepare for upcoming ones in the future. But for now I will happily support other bloggers in their challenges by commenting regularly.

  3. Merrilyn Heazlewood

    Heidi, I totally understand.
    Our minds think we can do everything at once, but in reality we can’t.
    I have spent our summer working on my 1st childrens book and 1st needlepoint book, both small, but ‘boy oh boy’ do they take some time.
    Instead of fighting what my creative mind wants me to do, therefore making a self inflicted pressure on my life, I now realize I have to do what is practical.
    Weeks ago I realized I would not get my needlework newsletter out as frequently as last year.

    Accept the most important ‘things’ to do, and the pressure is lifted.

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Can’t wait to see information about your books in your future newsletters. What a great vehicle to get the word out about your upcoming publication(s). When I wrote my book I found I had to clear my calendar from everything from 9 am to 1 or 2 pm Monday through Friday and just write. Really forced me to focus because I cleared all my distractions. I worked with clients after 2 pm and scheduled around my kids’ activities. And as you well know if can be very hard to ‘schedule’ one’s self to be creative like that, but it was enough time on a daily basis that I felt I was able to call upon my creative mind to show up more often than not!


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