I started the month repeating Margie Lawson‘s Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviours Course. After the rollercoaster ride of last year, I’d lost a grip on my DSDB toolbox. Not only had I lost the key but I seemed to have misplaced the toolbox completely. Very hard to use the tools when they’ve been banished to the back of your mind. Very early into the course, Margie talked about the negative spiral, and it summed up the last 6 months of 2010. Then when my beautiful fur-friend left me, I found myself spiralling even more. I could deal with practical stuff like getting my car fixed and paying bills, but anything creative I just didn’t want to know about.
One good thing I managed to do during that time: I entered Beyond Happily Ever After into RWAus’ STALI contest (Single Title and Loving It). I finalled, which almost managed to pull me out of the spiral. It was very exciting, and during Nanowrimo, I managed to write new words, but not 50ks worth. The results are finally in: Cindy came 6th in the contest, and it was a pleasure sharing the podium with my fellow writers.
So…back to January (because I really do not want to dwell on 2010) – Margie’s mention of the negative spiral resonated with me, and I knew that’s where I’d been, and that’s where I would continue if I didn’t take control. I wiped Bejewelled Blitz and a couple of other games off Facebook. I now delete any mention of them from my feeds when friend’s scores pop up. When a friend starts playing a new game I hide all posts about that game from my feed, so I will not be lured away from what needs to be done.
I slayed the dragon of procrastination. He tries to take other forms, and sometimes I succumb, but I no longer succumb to the games on Facebook.
My dragon is two-headed:
I also gave the self-doubt dragon a couple of fierce jabs during the month. I refused to let him breathe fire when I received the final judgments for the contest. I worked through the comments, and accepted what I needed to, and let go of the comments that I did not believe, and my beta-readers’ feedback contradicted.
But the biggest jab to my self-doubt dragon came with a trip to Ballarat, to train a new team for work (all strangers). Strange town, strange people, travelling alone for work. A huge leap out of my comfort zone.
I turned up to the training on Monday and by lunchtime I’d received the news that I’d be flying back home the following day. Due to the floods, my new team was more urgently needed in a different capacity.
With just one night left in Ballarat, I had no idea what I wanted to eat and I was surprised to find so many restaurants open. I settled for a drink in Craig’s Royal Hotel (the first photo), followed by a takeaway pizza. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to return to Ballarat, explore more of the town and do the ghost tour.
My goal list has been a little skewed by the flood situation. I’ve been spending a lot of extra hours at work, and I’m not sure when that will change. So I need to priorities and make sure that I set goals each day that fit into the time I have available. Which means that the goals I set at the beginning of the year are out of reach for now. But that’s okay.
And I will give myself a visual cognitive kick: A reminder of Beyond Happily Ever After, and to put my writing first! Do I dare defy the command of a Prince? Especially one as sexy as Prince Henry here:
While I was there, I cleaned up a whole section of the shop by reloading a cleaner ‘writer’s mantra’ image, and added the ‘write to go’ section. It was constructive procrastination, much better than the destructive procrastination I’d engaged in so often.
And last week, I joined a belly-dancing class. Something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. It feels totally unco, but that’s okay – I’m having fun and getting exercise.
So that’s January for me: almost done and dusted. And now I have the keys to the toolbox and I even know where the toolbox is.
No more feeding dragons.