People often ask me how I do everything I do. I'm an author, an editor, a homeschooler, a wife, a media reviewer - how do I do all that and stay so organized?
The answer to that question? I'm not.
Anyone who comes to my door early in the morning knows that they will either be greeted by me just out of bed, with smeary mascara and my hair sticking straight up, or I won't answer at all. Anyone who steps into my house will instantly notice the laundry on the couch, the toys on the floor, the dishes in my sink, and the papers on my table. Anyone who looks inside my bedroom closet will be buried in an avalanche ... but let's be honest. If you come into my bedroom and look in my closet, you pretty much deserve whatever happens to you.
I'm not organized, and I'm not Super Mom, or Wonder Woman ... although, there are days when I do feel like The Incredible Hulk. What I've done is to pick and choose those things which mean the most to me, and that's what I do. The rest of it ... not so important. It's awesome when my bed gets made, but it's not crucial. It really rocks when I can get all the trash out of my car, but it's not mandatory. I had to make a choice - clean house, or writing? I don't have the time or the energy to do both all the time, and so they take turns. And I'm sure you can guess which gets the most turns.
I used to get really caught up in what other people thought. When you're first married, you try to live up to the expectations of those who have gone before you. You want your living room to be as clean as your mother-in-law's and you want your kitchen to be as decorated as your mother's, and when you have children, you're worried about putting their clothes on right and you freak out about teething and potty training and playing them classical music before the age of six months so they'll grow up to be geniuses, and then when you get geniuses, you worry that you're sending them to the right schools (years before it's time to send them to school) ... and then, one day, you take a deep breath and come to one of the most important conclusions you can ever reach: This is your life. It's your family. These are your decisions. You can take good examples from those around you and utilize them, but you don't have to stress over it as though there's a rule written in stone - four green leafy vegetables to every treat - and that you'll be struck by lightning if you stray from it. Once I decided what worked for me and my family, and stopped worrying about what other people thought, my stress went down considerably.
Life is about finding joy, even in the midst of struggle. It's about finding what works for you, and not worrying about what works for someone else - we're all individuals. I happen to be a writer, and an editor, and a mom, and a whole lot of other things that I now wonder what on earth I was thinking when I became them. And I look at every other woman on earth with the same awe I see on their faces when they look at me, and I think, "How do they do that?" Regardless of where we come from, how we fill our days, the choices that we've made when it comes to raising our families, we're all awesome, and we should never forget that.
Tristi Pinkston's 5th novel is being released next Tuesday. You are invited to stop by the launch party at:
Tuesday - 16 March 2010 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.You can also pre-order here.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
6 N Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1184
Tristi is launching a new project called "Operation Sock Hop" to encourage people to donate packages of new socks to homeless shelters all over the country. You can read more about that here. She can't take credit for it, though - it was her character Arlette's idea.
You can visit Tristi's website here, follow her on Twitter @TristiPinkston, or check out her Facebook fan page here. You can also read her blog by clicking here. Or her website HERE.
Thanks for being my guest today, Tristi. I absolutely love your philosophy. I was chatting with a friend about this very subject tonight. She's depressed because she's been comparing herself to someone who seems to have that perfect house, perfect kids and perfect writing career. I tried to offer her some advice, but you've said it so much better here. She'll appreciate your words of wisdom, I'm sure.
My guest blogger for next week will be Carolyn Frank.