The Present Moment
The point of Mindfulness is being present in the moment. Experiencing and being aware of the "now" in life. If the moment is an uncomfortable moment, staying in the now and knowing the discomfort will pass is key. If the moment is comfortable, then all that is required is to enjoy the moment, but be aware that it, too, will pass.
Since working on being more Mindful in my everyday life, it has become easier to let go of anxieties and worries, and embrace the good in every moment. It's also become easier to see each moment for what it is. When I began to realize how my work stress was carrying over into my home life, I tried to be more mindful about leaving it at work, but to be honest, it's a lot of stress and compassion fatigue hits social workers hard for a reason. At the same time, I noticed my husband was having difficulty leaving his stress at work. Over the last several years, entirely without meaning to, we had joined the "rat race."
In November we began talking about what we needed to do to become more balanced as a family. We decided that downsizing and moving to eastern Nebraska to be close to my mother was the best solution. My boys have missed her terribly, and the cost of living is much lower there. It would be the only way I could work year round. Otherwise, if I were to just change jobs, we'd have to pay for childcare and it wouldn't be worth it. If we live where my mother does, then the boys get their grandma and we have free babysitting!
So, long story short, my husband has finally found a position in eastern Nebraska, and will be changing jobs accordingly. The boys and I'll finish out the school year, and then we'll be joining him. I have no idea what I'll be doing for a living. I'm hoping to work part-time, and who knows where that might be.
Now I'm using what I know of Mindfulness and meditation in a whole new way. I periodically freak out about moving us all from the stability and security of what we know. I think it's because I have children. When I was in my twenties and childless, I'd move around frequently. When I was nineteen my sister and I wanted to live in New York, and so on a whim became nannies. I get wanderlust pretty regularly and love seeing new places. But, the thought that my choices might make my kids miserable has kept me stable much longer than ever before in my life.
So, I breathe, and practice yoga regularly, and I let the calm I find in meditation and yoga fill me with faith that this will be a good adventure. I let go of my momentary fear, and remind myself that, even if it isn't, we'll get through it just fine, too.
What this means for writing
There are two ways this move impacts my writing. The first is that we're trying to get this house ready to sell, and also get us all ready to move. While it doesn't really affect my writing time during the week, it definitely does on the weekends. I'm not using social media as much, either, because I'm packing or cleaning, and then writing with whatever time I can find, because I really want to get this book done!
The second is that I don't know what a greatly reduced income will mean for self-publishing. Through the Fairy Ring is set, because I've been saving money to publish it. I had grand hopes when I published Finding Meara that I'd sell enough to pay for publishing the next book, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I'm one of those self-published writers who basically has a very expensive hobby, apparently.
Maybe all the reduced income will mean is that it takes me longer to be able to save up the money to publish. Since it seems to take me two years to even write a first draft, I imagine that's plenty of time to save up for the publishing costs. Some day I may have to evaluate if self-publishing my books is really worth the financial investment, but right now I just enjoy writing stories and all the stuff that goes along with publishing them.
Please bear with me if I am not around as much, or if I miss a post here or there.
One plus for packing is that I found my old photos, and found the one of the butterfly on my drumset I talked about in Moth Memories. I've shared it below, just because it's such a pretty butterfly, and transformation is the name of the game right now around our house! If you look carefully, you can see that February is on the calendar behind the drums.
Have a wonderful week!