Writing Tips: How I Still Juggle my Hats
So I spoke in the past about how I manage to juggle many life roles. I also updated on what COVID-19 had done to undermine my abilities to do so with tips of what I had done to get through it. I discussed how I learned how to delegate, use deadlines and stick to them, drop/postpone goals, and to be easier on myself. Now, just an hour after I finished teaching for the semester--grades submitted 4 days early--I am writing this blog. I want to reflect on the idea of trying to write, work, and parent, and how my altered mentality has changed everything.
In such times, positivity is hard to find, but I've always tried to employ the "fake it till you make it" mentality. When I'm down, forcing myself to smile for others ends up lessening my load. (I'm not talking about severe depression or anxiety; those are whole other battles for many. I'm talking about the average person's level of sadness and anxiety during a pandemic.) Basically, I have a mountain of things and troubles that would fell the strongest of women, but forcing positivity and uplifting thoughts into my life has helped me. My anthem these past few months has been Fat Joe's "All the Way Up." Bit cheesy of me putting it on every time we were blindsided by bad news, but when I throw in some terrible dance moves to boot, the spouse and I would have a laugh. The point behind the exercise is that if the only place left to go is up, then that's where we're headed. The song inspires me that if I continue working hard, I'll rise from these times like a phoenix. I will tackle all my goals and dreams as I have done this past decade before Covid.
Aside from being positive no matter what, I have learned more about trying not to let my ADHD take in everything at once. When I lack focus, I see the entire picture with all the things that cannot be done at once or in a doable timespan. Mind tries to pick each and focus but rotates through them all. Anxiety kicks in, and I lose focus on anything. However, when I delegated child care and house disaster bureaucracy to my spouse and mother, and I fixated on whatever one thing demanded immediacy (son's school, my teaching, grading, or writing--whatever was most prevalent), I was able to cast everything else out of my mind. I was able to grade without freaking out about needing to finish my novel by a deadline; I was able to write for stress relief instead of worrying over contractor-insurance issues. I knew I could take those moments to help myself focus and cast my concerns to others. Prior, I had been willfully independent much to my detriment.
Sometimes you can rely on others. Sometimes you can cling to dreams of a positive time ahead. Neither makes you a weaker person, but maybe a smarter and more resilient one. So to compare my first Covid semester to my second, the first was as a brutal as a hurricane decimating normalcy and mentality, while the second was unifying and enlightening period with some thunderstorms. When the hurricane cleared, I prepared myself work-wise and mentally to go "All the way up" because nothing could stop me (Fat Joe). And that prevented a difficult few months from becoming a terrible year.