As I promised yesterday, I spent today tackling Challenge #3 from the SCBWI MD/DE/WV blog: As the Eraser Burns. This challenge was another "easy" one that turned out to be not quite so easy. (Are you noticing a trend here? I'm starting to suspect there might be a reason my dear, sweet hubby always accuses me of making everything more complicated than it needs to be.)
The challenge was to take a moment to give yourself a "Woo Hoo!" for all of the things, both big and small, that you've accomplished recently. Too often, when we're doing well, we only focus forward on the next big hurdle. "I'll stop and celebrate after..." But we never stop to celebrate. Once we clear the hurdle, we're looking forward to the next one, and then the next... and the only time we ever stop to look back at what we have done is when we stumble and fall. Then, we only look back and see what we should have done better.
That's the idea behind this week's challenge. We were supposed to take some time to make a list of everything we have done - all of our recent accomplishments - and then take a little bit of time to stop and celebrate. Simple, right?
I set aside the whole day for this challenge!
First, the list:
In the past month, I have:
* Written a new first draft of a middle grade novel - in 72 hours!
* Done a full revision on my young adult novel... then sent it to a friend for critique... then started another revision
* Revised one of my picture book manuscripts... submitted it to my critique group... had a brilliant brainstorming session with the critique group, where they totally helped me fix my flat ending... revised the manuscript again and sent it back to the group for more feedback
* Figured out how to add comments and a search feature to my author website... and figured out how to link my blog and my author website together!
* Developed two new patterns for the Recycle Knit book I'm writing (pictures of the finished products to be posted soon - probably early next week, but maybe sooner)
* More consistently updated my website and blog
* Signed up to attend the regional SCBWI conference next month
... and that's just my writing accomplishments! On top of all that, I have:
* Knitted 2 tote bags, several necklaces, four bracelets and a hat from recycled plastic bags
* Made 3 wooden decorative signs as end-of-the-year teacher gifts for my daughter's favorite teachers
* Coordinated all of the medical paperwork/appointments I need to do before we can get clearance for our next assignment
* Chaperoned an all-day (6am to 10pm) field trip to the Eastern Regional Music Festival with my daughter
* Attended end-of-year awards assemblies / picnics for all four children (2 of which happened in the middle of my 72-hour middle grade madness challenge!)
* Volunteered to serve goodies at the elementary school 5th grade farewell
* Started sorting through things to get ready for our move
... and that doesn't include all of the every day accomplishments, like making dinner, folding laundry and playing referee when the kids are at each other's throats.
I've accomplished A LOT!!
To celebrate, I set aside most of the day today to relax. I went to the Temple this morning (I try to go once a week - it really helps to rejuvenate me and give me the strength I need to get through the busy days), and I planned to spend the afternoon baking bread with my daughters before settling down to watch a movie with the family.
It was a great plan.
Unfortunately, I was running late this morning, so I didn't get to the Temple as early as I'd planned. This set my schedule back a bit, but I wasn't concerned. Still plenty of time to get in lots of relaxing - and I enjoy my time at the Temple so much that I really don't mind when it takes longer than I plan.
But then I got stuck in traffic (all 4 lanes of highway completely closed for some reason for more than an hour) on the way home, and by the time I got through the mess, there was no time for baking bread. And I was planning on using the bread for sandwiches to eat for dinner while we relaxed together with a movie!
I was tempted to grumble and complain and grump about the kink in my plans.... And, yeah, I admit it... I gave into temptation. I grumbled quite a bit before I realized this is NOT what Challenge #3 was all about! The point was to have fun and acknowledge the things I've done, not to have some perfectly coordinated moment I could brag about later!
So, we made whole wheat waffles (with the homemade mix I threw together on Sunday afternoon) instead of bread, and we still had yummy chicken sandwiches for dinner while we watched "Pure Country" - one of my favorite movies from when I was in high school.
(And one more Woo Hoo! for the fact that I am now ALL CAUGHT UP on the pre-conference challenges. Now, I'm ready to tackle challenge #4 when they post it tomorrow!)