Wallowing in Karmic Self Recrimination

Sensational Saturdays

my new once a week blog for whatever I feel like


That’s right, it’s karma day. A day to seize your comeuppance and enjoy it for what it is, justified.

Whenever I get extra time in my life I think I can do it all. So I sign up for things. And then them come around and I’m handling it. I’m handling my family and my house and my writing and my volunteering. And then I start to work. And then something falls apart.

Then I fall apart.

And I realize that I did this to myself.

Stock Image - CamelI over loaded based on the fact that I was healthy, everyone else was doing great and I could do it all. But when you are at the tipping point and a fat camel comes and sits on your scale, somebody’s back has to break.

And it won’t be the camel’s.

I’m lucky. Okay, I had a rough week. Okay, I’ve had it rough since 2012 began, but none of it is debilitating. None of it will truly set me back for long. And none of it is truly insurmountable.

So what do you do? What am I doing? Well, you already know that! I’m cutting back. I’ve already cut down this blog to once a week. Oh, and I’m forgiving myself. I missed posting yesterday. Why? Well it wasn’t because I didn’t have time, and it wasn’t because I forgot. It was because I just quite plainly needed a day to not do any of this stuff. I needed a day to recover from this H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS week. And I stole it.

I stole it from myself, and it felt good.

I’m hoping that this week goes better, but facing the last two weeks, I’m not sure. So I need to set the second part of my plan in motion and that is do what I can ahead of time, drop what I can, and not sweat everything else. Because karma has come to kick me in the butt and there ain’t nothing to do about it but hang on and survive.

So that goals sheet I set up at the beginning of the year, this week I’m ignoring it. And I’m facing the fact that come next month it may need total revising. My social media frenzy that I’ve been working on for over a year, this week I’m ignoring it. No Twitter, no Facebook, and thanks be to the heavens I already gave up on Linked In. Anything that makes me feel like I’m having a panic attack is getting ignored.

I’m in survival mode and that’s just the way it is. I should have done this months ago, but I avoided looking at the signs. I kept hoping (because as you may know, I’m an optimist) that my life would get whipped back into shape if I just tried harder. But I got hit on the head this week and I’m listening.

I know many of you have done this to yourselves, over-estimated your time, over-committed your time, or over-estimated your capacity for stretching yourself to the bone. Tell me your stories. Share with me your coping strategies. Did you forgive yourself and move on? Or did you wallow in the mud of self-torturing recriminations? 

Free Stock Photo - Pig


Filed under Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's, Writer's Journey, writing organization

12 responses to “Wallowing in Karmic Self Recrimination

  1. Elizabeth Haysmont

    Jessica, you do so much. I’m glad you’re rewarding yourself for all your hard work. And I look at it like this, if you burn yourself out, you’ve got nothing left for the things you REALLY care about.
    Take it easy, girlfriend. 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth. It may take hitting me over the head a couple of times, but I think I’m finally getting it. I have some commitments I am seeing through, but I will be once again winnowing down what I say yes to. I’m hoping if you leave a hole someone will fill it. Because I am ready to leave some holes!

  2. I keep telling myself that I will make it through April. I don’t even know if over-extended can properly describe what I’ve done. I’ll still be running during May, but I hope to slow down in June. I have a week of vacation then. I’m tired. 🙂

    • You must be fried. June is coming!

      At least with the commuting you get to squeeze some reading in! BTW I am completely enjoying Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Match Me If You Can on audio. It’s a contemporary, but it is fun and the dialogue is snappy! Here’s to reading while driving! 🙂

  3. Jessica,

    If you really must wallow, I give you permission–a good mud bath can be good for the complexion. But stop the torture. Now.
    Unless you have a time-travelling de Lorean parked in your garage, there’s nothing you can do with the past other than learn from it.
    Stop beating yourself up. Even a master juggler drops a ball now and again, and good as that juggler may be, there is a limit to how many balls she can have in the air.
    BTW, love the fat camel…
    I applaud your decision to cut back on social media and blog posts. Your job is to write books. Not blogs, not tweets, not comments. BOOKS. It is easy to lose sight of that. Draw valuable lessons from this experience:

    *Equilibrium is always better with both feet on the ground
    *With your eye on too many balls in the air, you can’t see where you’re going
    *You can take the scenic route to your destination, but don’t expect to get there in the same amount of time, with the same amount of fuel reserve in your tank.

    In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of your labour. http://bit.ly/HY5PYb

    • Thanks Sherry! And your blog post was excellent timing. How did you know that I would need a pick-me-up this weekend?
      Great truisms too! I can always count on you to come up with something apropos. This week I am going to hopefully finish up this AOE business, and someone else can do it next year. I’ve discovered that some volunteering is not my forte and this is it. I seem like I’d be good at the organization of this stuff, but the truth is I’d rather be a peon then a leader. Much more time to write!

  4. Everyone who has ever set a goal can relate, Jessica, as that is life. The alternative? Don’t set goals, just drift along, don’t chase your dreams, leave that rainbow on its own, and definitely don’t even think about the pot at the end. The only one you’re likely to reach is around your middle.
    And isn’t all of that just depressing? The hardest thing in my life is struggling to be happy with doing what I can do joyously, and letting the driven life pass me by. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m still working hard on my writing and my life, but I’m forgiving myself for taking longer than I originally planned. As they say, the journey IS the destination, so let’s smile and enjoy it.
    My brother died six years ago and prior to that we four (spouses included) joined a less-than-successful venture. It failed. But we got to travel all over North America and spent countless positive hours together that never would have happened if we hadn’t taken that turn. Now that he’s gone, I think often of the joy of that time. Is there something similar you can pull out of your first three months of 2012?
    I wish you well, friend.

    • MMM, I have had some successes this quarter. I started a group of motivated new writers at our local chapter and we meet before the main meeting and work on getting to that next step. It’s called Go-Pro, in honor of getting them all into RWA’s PRO by the end of the year. They are very excited and I’m learning a lot. Margie even came and helped out with query letters last month. That’s been very rewarding.
      I guess what’s been hard is I already did this. I already took stuff off my plate that was not feeding me and replaced it with volunteering and activities that did feed me. And then other things happened. Life happened. And my stuff that was feeding me started sucking the life out of me. And suddenly I was over-committed and struggling. And when that happens my body does not cooperate and I go down hard. But I agree completely with you. Life is short and should be enjoyed. Thanks for the well wishes and it’s the support of all my friends that keeps me going!

  5. Yay Jessica! I’m glad to hear you’re putting your well-being first. As a women, that’s not always easy to do. You had tons on your plate.
    My mind is full of things I want to accomplish. One of which is starting my own blog, but at the moment I just don’t have the time to spend on it, so it’s going to have to wait until the fall, if I have time then.
    I imagine we’ve all had serious health scares. I had one last year and it’s not an experience I’d like to repeat. I believe much of it was stress related, so I’m trying to make changes that will keep mind, body and soul healthy. It’s not easy at times when there are things around you, you just can’t change. Bravo to you for changing the things you can change!

    • I truly am not sure if you even need your own blog. Maybe just an update on your site once a month would do it? I love Romance and Beyond and I know from personal experience that blogging every week (or more) is tough. RWA just had a survey and while writer sites were important, I’m not sure how having frequent blogging affects your getting published or your sales. That is something you have to figure out how to track with those darn analytics. I hope you are now feeling better and your health scare is over. I thought I’d figured my health out, but even though I know it’s stress related and I thought I’d managed that, somehow other people managed to pile more on top of what I already had. Oh well, it will very much impact my decisions going forward. From now on we can pledge to take care of ourselves and definitely only do what can be slowly added to the plate. (And only juggle one plate at a time!)

  6. Jessica! Sherry and I recently had this conversation about me, me, me, and I’m not juggling nearly as many balls as you are. Only you would think of a fat camel plunking itself on your scales. LOVED that metaphor or simile or analogy or word play. Pick one. I’m easy.

    I had to have a serious chat with myself. Yeah. I know. It was tough to maintain that serious bit on one side of the conversation. Imagine what it was like with both sides. *shudder*

    Other than the yadda-yadda take care of my health, be nice, perform random acts of kindness, the one thing that measures my success as a writer; the one thing that I look back on with regret or pride at the end of each day is progress on my book.

    Sadly, it’s been sitting on a stool in the corner waiting for me to clear all the other clutter. Know what? Life clutter seems to multiply in direct proportion to the amount of time I give it. So. I, too, am in cut-back mode.

    You have my support, my friend. Take care of yourself.

    • I love that! “Life clutter seems to multiply in direct proportion to the amount of time I give it.”
      That is so true!
      I don’t know why it takes a major event to knock some sense into me. I wish I could use my crystal ball more appropriately and say, Hmm if you take this on you will regret it in three months time.
      And the sad thing is I think I’m doing better! I believe that I’m not taking on too much. But I’m not putting down enough when I pick new things up, so my juggling is getting frantic and those balls keep hitting me on the noggin! I am impressed that you are re-evaluating and getting serious. It is a very difficult thing to do, especially with writing. Writing is hard, getting distracted is easy. So good luck with the juggling!

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