Janet Sumner Johnson
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Permission to Be

Apr

20, 2020 |

Filed in:

Encouragement,Family

My kids pre-coronavirus. Ready to take on the world.

I have fallen off the earth, it seems. Like the rest of the world, I’ve been adjusting to a new life where my kids are on the computers all day attending zoom classes and doing homework in virtual classrooms. Posting on my blog has dropped in priority. However, I’m beginning to think we need another computer, because I really miss my writing time! (Actually, I’m making 10-yo late for her class which starts in two minutes, so I guess this will be short.) 😬

For many, this has been a great time to hunker down and write. For others it has been a time of anxiety and fear, and zero writing is getting done. For even others, it’s a time of adjusting schedules and finding a way to get in writing again (like me!). Times like these can mean a lot of guilt for some. Guilt for escaping from the realities of life. Guilt for NOT escaping from the realities of life. Guilt for having time and ability to write when others don’t. Guilt for not writing when you feel like you should. So. Much. Guilt.

I can’t be productive in any way with guilt, so I gave myself permission to take a break. If I write, great! If I don’t write, well that’s great, too. Right now, my focus is on my kids. Helping them cope in a time that is pretty stressful. They worry about school. They worry about friends. They worry about the world. They worry about their dad who still goes in to work everyday in a high risk environment (he’s a physician). I perhaps can’t fix the world right now, but I can make my home a little spot of peace for my kids. Give them some stability in a world that seems to have very little of that.

I hope that you will all give yourself permission to be the person you need/want to be right now. No guilt. We’re all doing our best. Big hugs, and stay safe!

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Finding Motivation

Jan

27, 2014 |

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Uncategorized


Middle child at 5, proud of his piano skills,
and oh, so motivated.
Growing up, we had a rule at my house. When you turned 5, you took piano. Hard and fast. I couldn’t wait for my turn . . . until it actually came.
 
Then I hated it.
 
Hated that I was forced to waste precious daylight hours practicing the piano when I could be doing something much more important such as playing in the ditch with my friends.
 
I was 9 when I convinced my mom that I was wasting my time and her money (and I believe my piano teacher told my mom the same thing). I got to quit.
 
Which I appreciated until I found a piece of music I really wanted to play.* Suddenly I spent hours at the piano learning how to play it.
 
And then there was another song I loved, but the sheet music was terrible! I wanted to play what I heard on the radio. Next thing I know, I’m begging my dad for lessons on playing by ear.**
 
The point of all this is that when I wanted something, I found the motivation to spend time learning and practicing a skill. And it was FUN.
 
So let’s get to the point. I love writing. I do. I love creating a new world that I (and hopefully others) can get lost in. I love meeting my characters and discovering their secrets. I love that feeling of satisfaction at having gotten the words just right . . . of having made someone laugh or cry or think or whatever it is. I love it.
 
Even so, sometimes I lose my motivation. I want to write. I want to immerse myself in that world, but I struggle to make myself actually do it.
 
So the question is why? Why do I struggle to make myself do something I love?
 
Honestly, I don’t know why . . . but I have some theories.

So I could go on.*^6 But the point is, there are plenty of excuses we can use for why we didn’t write. We need to find that one thing that keeps us going. We need to find that one song that motivates us. That one challenge that has us begging for more writing time. Because isn’t that why we started on this road in the first place?

What is your motivation?

*It may or may not have been “Part of this World” from Little Mermaid, and I may or may not have sung this song incessantly at the time. But you’ll never know for sure. 😉

**My dad’s an amazingly accomplished musician and I don’t mind bragging on him a bit.

***This is actually the reason that I doubt my ability to live in Alaska or anywhere way up North. How do you people do it?

****This it a totally true thing, too. 😉

*^5 That would refer to every season. So you can see why I really need to catch up.

*^6  Seriously. I swear I didn’t just stare at the screen for five minutes trying to come up with a fifth theory.

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Thoughts on Peer Pressure and Caves

Jul

27, 2009 |

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So yes, after years of resisting, I have caved. I have started a blog.

It’s not that I dislike blogs, of course, or even the idea of blogging, but rather a question of where my time is best spent. Do I clean the house (not if I can at all justify otherwise), play with my children (and frustrate them by my inability to make believable weapon sounds with my mouth), work on my book (that is running through my head anyway), call someone I haven’t spoken to in ages (but how to choose among so many?), play solitaire on the computer (which really isn’t an option, but sounded funny), finish unpacking (so many boxes, so little time), or do I bag it all and start a blog?

I’m sure you can see my dilemma.

However, after weighing my options, and considering the sound advice of several friends, I have come to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, a blog is not a time vaccuum, but a way to keep friends and family informed on my life. Then, I can let go of the guilt for not contacting them all more often, and accomplish more (like mastering the art of making shooting sounds with your mouth).

Only time will tell (no pun intended). 😉

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