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I’m off today, looked down and realized “Hey! It’s Tuesday!” – I hadn’t written my weekly post.

Today’s list idea didn’t come from my book, but rather my own personal experience of the last few days.

1. Relax

I really struggle with doing absolutely nothing. 

My body, mind, and spirit all crave quiet time, but quietly meditating, observing nature, these kinds of things are extremely hard for me.

My mind never stops. Unless I will it to. And that requires so much effort. Sometimes it’s easier to just let it run around in complete mayhem. Until it exhausts me. And then, I have to take a break. Make myself relax. 

Even as I type this, it’s a vacation day for me. I need to do so many things. Want to do so many things. But I know if I do, this day, these precious hours alone will be gone. So I’m fighting the impulses of “should” to do what I “must” for the sake of my own sanity and wellness.

2. Write

Some days writing comes easily. Some days, like today, it doesnt. It has a lot to do with how I start my day. 

For this reason, I think some of my best work is on the weekends, when I can take my time breathing in some inspiration before taking to the keyboard.

But even today I woke up to no alarm. Had my coffee quota. Read some good stuff. And still…….I’m lacking some inspiration.

Any artistic process is hard to define. I often have no rhyme or reason to when and how I write. Some days are better than others, just like with anything else. The main thing is that I just WRITE, even on days I feel like it’s subpar.

3. Trust

I don’t trust people. I size them up and it can take me a long time to develop a sense that I can trust them.

We all let each other down. It’s about more than those little things for me though. It’s about the big ones.

I’ve had some really disturbing moments of broken trust in my life. Moments where I did the breaking as well. 

Trust is not something I take for granted, because I have learned to value it so much, knowing how hard it can be to gain or give it to someone with whom you’ve lost it.

4. Forgive

Along with trust issues, I have a very hard time forgiving others, and an even harder time forgiving myself.

Therapy has helped me come a long way in this department, as has my writing, and my faith. 

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. It doesn’t mean excusing. It just means showing grace. And we all need it, especially ourselves from…. ourselves.

5. Compromise

There are times where we have to compromise in life. It’s inevitable unless you want to be miserable.

Knowing when you should or shouldn’t is called wisdom. 

Sometimes compromise means a big difference in your own livelihood, or happiness, or both. Sometimes it’s little compromises that build up to become a life you wish you hadn’t made for yourself.

I’ve seen both. Experienced both. 

Learning who I am, being confident in that, is helping me become wiser in terms of what I will and won’t settle for in life.

6. Read

I started my book club for so many reasons, but one of the biggest was because I was struggling to stay in the habit of reading.

I devoured books as a child and teenager. But as life and responsibility and work became my day-to-day, I stopped making time for it. 

It all goes back to that difficulty I have these days in relaxing at all. There’s so much more that I know I should do besides reading. But I need it, so I’m becoming more disciplined about it.

You can’t pump inspiration from an empty well. Reading refills that well for me.

7. Be patient

If you know me very well at all, you’ll know that patience is my Achilles heel. 

Always has been.

Probably always will be.

Don’t know how to fix it other than working through each situation where patience is required, one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

8. Parent

Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Not because my child is problematic, quite the opposite.

I couldn’t have handled a difficult kid.

Reagan has been easy since the day she showed up.

It’s the worry, the concern that every time I screw up, every decision I make – the knowing that I’m impacting her life now and later. 

I’m proud to be a parent. Thankful. Grateful. But it’s hard.

9. Let Go

This is sort of in line with forgiveness, but I have some things about my life that I’ve always regretted. 

Letting go of things I cannot change, people that will not change, is difficult for me. It pains me on the deepest levels of my idealistic heart. Knowing what could have been and knowing that it never will be.

10. Be married

Marriage requires daily unselfishness and sacrifice. Two things that I suck at on a regular basis.

I’ve been married twice and have brought so much of my baggage from the first into the second. 

Thankfully I have a patient partner who has stood beside me and forgiven me and helped me become a better version of myself than I ever thought possible.

When I look at this list, I realize how far I need to go in terms of becoming a better me. 

But my weaknesses are merely an opportunity to grow in strength. I try to remember that. I hope you will as well.