Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why You Will Always Fail, Always

Do you ever feel like a complete failure? (*points to self* On a daily basis.)


Q: What is it that makes you feel like a failure? (Barring clinical conditions.)

A: An expectation that you have not yet or are unable to meet. Does that expectation come from you, from society, from a friend or spouse?

As a mom to 4.5 (see my last post if you missed the announcement), it's easy to fall into this trap. There's a house to keep clean, clothes to mend, schedules to keep, school lessons to plan and execute, food to make... But here's one quick life hack I've learned:

Simplify.

Hate cleaning that self-stirring pitcher? Toss it. (True story. Hubby saved me AGES of sanity.) Can't make it to sewing up the holes in pants? Up the clothes budget and shop at less expensive stores. Struggling to keep up with fifteen schedules in the same house hold? Set limits. (One extracurricular per person, or less.)

And more than that. Cut the guilt. So what if your neighbor's family is always wearing the newest fashions, attends really awesome concerts & shows, goes on AMAZING vacations, has the star kid on the community baseball team AND a future concert pianist AND are 3rd degree black belts AND delivers homemade cookies at Christmas to everyone, and and and...

You are you. You're different than anyone else--in your capabilities, your sanity level, your strengths, etc, and the sooner you recognize that, the better.

So cut back on the commitments and stop trying to be everyone's perfect vision of success. Do what keeps you sane. More importantly, celebrate the fact you are a success.

Otherwise you are doomed to always fail. Always.


This has been an IWGS group post. The question for this month:

Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

Yes to all three. The results were awesome, but I wanted to sleep for a year afterwards.

THANK YOU, CO-HOSTS! Chris @ Madness of a Modern Writer, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

Led by Ninja King, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And now for the FREEBIE of the week...


Two weeks ago, Simone Pond shared HIDDEN SIGHT along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win a PRINT book.

The game:


1. I saved someone's life giving them the Heimlich maneuver.
2. I was baptized in the Pacific Ocean.
3. I'm a hoarder.

The lie: #3.  

From Simone: Huge lie. I actually have OCD and I'm a neat freak! I can't stand any extra clutter or things out of place. I like my house to look like a museum. Sometimes I drive my husband a little nuts with all of my organizing and getting rid of things we don't need, but our home is very peaceful. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Jess!

Congrats, Jess!

And now for an AWESOME epic fantasy:


Once Alaric was a Keeper. He protected the land with his knowledge and his magic. He advised the queen.

Once he was a good man.

Until, in a futile attempt to save his dying wife, he delved deep into dark magic, betraying everything he believed in. But now there is one last chance to save his wife, buried in an ancient Wellstone. With a map from a disgruntled dwarf, and the help of an inscrutable elf and an inept wizard, Alaric just might find it.

Except there are other, darker forces searching for the Wellstone. And if they find it first, they’ll use it to awaken a terrible evil. 

To face this growing threat—and have any chance at saving his wife—Alaric needs the strength and power of a Keeper, not the brokenness of the man he has become.

Can he overcome the darkness in his past? Or will it be the shadows within himself that destroy everything?

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

JA Andrews is a writer, wife, mother, and unemployed rocket scientist. She doesn't regret the rocket science degree, but finds it generally inapplicable in daily life. Except for the rare occurrence of her being able to definitively state, "That's not rocket science." She does, however, love the stars.  

She began writing stories and creating coloring books because these sorts of things need an outlet. And now good markers are a deductible business expense.  

She spends an inordinate amount of time at home, with her family, who she adores, and lives deep in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, where she can see more stars than she ever imagined.


You might stumble across her at The Melting Pot downing their huge fondue pot of cheese on her anniversary. It’s happiness melted into a pot. 


Yup. I totally agree. =)

JA Andrews gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win an eBook of A THREAT OF SHADOWS(Open internationally.) And if you are the selected winner AND guessed correctly, you will receive as a bonus, A Keeper's Tale. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL IT TO crystal@crystal-collier.com WITH YOUR SCREEN ALIAS.

You have until Tuesday, April 18 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on April 19, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I have aphantasia, which is the inability to make pictures in my own head.
2. I hate aluminum foil so much that I refuse to touch it. Or anything it’s wrapped in. 
3. I have a degree in rocket science.

So sleuths, which is the lie? Have you met JA Andrews? Do you like epic fantasy? Do you feel like a failure? What is your greatest success or most unique talent?

171 comments:

  1. A couple of those gifs look painful...
    Sometimes it's the little things that can just drive you batty.
    I'm guessing the second one is the lie. Which means aliens will be able to read her mind.

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  2. Yes, I so agree with simplifying. And being realistic on what we can do and what's too much that makes life stressful. I'm still a work in progress on that too.

    Love the cover for J.A.'s book.

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    1. I think we're all a work in progress on that front.

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  3. Love this post, Crystal! I used to get down on myself a lot for not doing more, being enough, etc. The older I get, the better I am at letting more of that kind of stuff go. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm working on it. :)

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  4. My challenge is having so many others force their schedules on me. Makes me nuts.

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  5. If you're doing too much, you're just setting yourself up for failure. Better to simplify--as long as everyone's happy, it doesn't really matter what the people next door are doing.

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    1. Spot on. Except we always forget that nugget of truth, eh?

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  6. Yes! Just that, Crystal. Be yourself, and own it like nobody's business. Took me a long time to learn that. Totally changed my life.

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  7. I've recently been coming down on myself for not working every day on my memoir. I'm still not sure how much longer to go. And if the word count is really necessary. I've been feeling I don't have as good a story isotherms who have written memoirs have had. Do you really need a Harvard education or a rare condition just to have a lot to say?

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  8. Loved your gifs in the post. It's a good question you pose today. I think from time to time, we all feel like failures. I become less productive during these times. I've found what helps is to schedule just one hour a day every day of the week, one new task to work on. Eventually, I start getting more work/activities done and tend to spend more than an hour on each task. This results in making me feel more productive, and less like a failure.
    The trick is, to get myself motivated to do this.

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    1. I hear you! I've totally been on the hourly schedule before...and that works when you aren't prone to run out of energy. ;)

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  9. Congrats again. You've got quite a gang! And you've got the best attitude. Being yourself is the best option in the world.

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  10. Hi, Crystal.... Some GREAT suggestions and advice here. We ALL beat ourselves up. It is time to be KIND to yourself. After all, aren't we always trying to be kind to others? That should include US, too!

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  11. That just became another regret of mine: I can't conclusively say anything isn't rocket science. ;) I feel like a failure on the daily, but I also have moments of brilliance in those days. I tend to think they balance one another out. :)

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    1. We'll take it! Balance in all things is the key, eh?

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  12. All great advice in times when everyone's perfect life is blasted all over social media. Take a load off, relax with hot chocolate and a banana split (extra whipped topping).

    Life is all about happiness, not checking off a list of all things that make us great. :)

    You are awesome!

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    1. Should I depress you by saying I can't tolerate ice cream in this pregnancy? *sigh*

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  13. LOL Now I know why I don't tumble like that in the house.

    We can't be perfect, just the best we can be.

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    1. House tumbling: big no-no. (Or so I tell my kids.)

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  14. You give excellent advice to busy people, especially parents. Our children never had everything or got to do everything, but they're grown up emotionally healthy and successful. They know they have to work for what they want but also that nothing is more important than family.

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    1. Awesome! That definitely what matters most.

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  15. Yes! Do what keeps you sane. :) And who knows, Mrs. Perfect from across the street may be losing her mind. Most of the meals I make myself come out of a crockpot. It's easy to clean, and all I have to do is throw stuff in it in the morning. I can do that. Lol!

    JA makes coloring books! ^_^ Awesome. I'm going with #2 for the lie. I've never heard of #1, so...it's gotta be true, right?

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  16. I agree with your assertion that we need to simplify. I don't always remember it, or live by it, but I totally agree with it. lol. X

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  17. Crystal! I <3 your hubby's attitude! Mine is supportive too. He takes me out to eat with I don't have the energy to cook.

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    1. That rocks. Here's to the great men in our lives!

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  18. Love your solutions, Crystal. I need to put some of them into practice.

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  19. I have never trusted perfection. Show me a perfect life and I'll show you a lie or a hidden clinical condition.

    Congrats on the half!!! There is no better blessing in this world than children. I mean just imagine...God trusts you with a life! That's pretty awesome and sad that we don't appreciate it more.

    I'm going with the foil as the lie. I mean most people hate to chew on it, but they can still touch it.

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    1. Thank you! And I agree 100%. If you met my Sera, you would belive in angels on earth. Kids are amazing.

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  20. I totally agree. When I stopped working outside the home, people were quick to tell me what I should be doing. I tried for a while and I was miserable. Luckily I have a great hubby that was quick to say just don't. Realizing that I didn't have to do some of the things any good 'self-respecting' stay at home mom 'should do' I was a lot happier and so are my kids.

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    1. I hear you! That's a decision we made a long time ago, and we've made sacrifices to hold to it.

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  21. Good post on keeping it in perspective. Are we failing because we are trying to much? Simplify. Good advice indeed.I wish my day job would let me simplify. *grumbles*

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    1. Lol. Sometimes you have to force it into compliance, eh?

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  22. Fantastic post. You are so right. I can't meet someone else's idea of perfect. I have to meet my own. Thank you for reminding me.

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    1. Well perfect...yeah, I don't think that term is ever really on the table.

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  23. Hi Crystal - well being busy ... something has to go - but not the growing bump! Getting the kids involved will teach them great team work ... if you don't need it - don't do it, or get rid of it ...

    I think I'm going with #2 ... cheers to one and all - Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/d-is-for-ducks-dabbling-diving-domestic.html

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  24. I learnt this lesson a while ago. Who says that neighbour with the latest fashions and black-belt kids is even happy?

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  25. we do like epic fantasy, we like to translate it too, and thanks for the blond god in the first photo as well!

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  26. I felt the same way after the A to Z challenge! Sleep deprived. But very fun times indeed. The lie?? I'm going to guess 3.

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  27. Oh Crystal. Have I ever told you how much I adore you? Sometimes I feel like we are the same person, but I might just wish I was as cool, smart, awesome as you. If you can't tell, I live my life by your advice. I heartily agree with it.

    Okay - I'm guessing #1 is the lie because I can't even begin to imagine writing without SEEING it in my head. WHA...????? Beautiful book covers, Ms. Andrews!

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    1. Kai, you rock! Lol. Here's to you, my spirit twin. ;)

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  28. Simplifying is a wonderful feeling. It can be empowering.

    All I have to add now is...OMG THAT KID! And...THAT TV COULDV'E KILLED HER. OUCH!!!! LOL

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    1. Look really close and you'll see that second one was doctored. ;)

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  29. It's taken me a long time (and I still haven't perfected it) to stop judging myself by others. Most of the things I felt bad for not doing aren't things I even want to do. I just felt like I ought to. So, whatever. I do what I want (as long as it's legal and moral) and give my kids the experiences we want and that will benefit them. Not just the things other people do. Hooray for being different.

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    1. Yes! You go! I tell you, that was a hard lesson to keep believing when we f6started home schooling.

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  30. Love your post today! I am always amazed at the humor you bring to each and every post with such a great point. Thank you. I needed to hear these words today :)

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    1. Glad to be of service, Erika. Thank you for your kind words.

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  31. I salute you and all you do! You're amazing!

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  32. Asking yourself what exactly is it that makes you feel like a failure is an important part of overcoming it. Some days I just feel like I'm drowning in failure, but if I stop to evaluate what is making feel this way I can take steps to either overcoming it or check marking it off as a stupid reason. ;)

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    1. Agreed. You can never address a problem until you've identified the issue.

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  33. Yeah, it feels like you’re somehow lazy or less if you’re not supermom. You’re only one person and you can’t do everything. Can only live up to your expectations. You have work, children and helping with HW, cleaning and cooking, etc. It’s too much and you’re bound to tire yourself out that you’ll fall dead on your feet. Too tired to cook, order out or stick something frozen in the oven. There should be no shame or guilt for not keeping up with other’s ideas of success.
    #2 is the lie.

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  34. Wise words, as usual. After I left my Librarian job to become a stay at home dad, I fell into this trap of feeling like I was never doing enough (housework, kid stuff, pulling my own weight), even though my family never said or implied anything like that. I'v learned to let that go, most of the time. On those days when I feel I've not done enough or could do more, I have to make myself give myself a break. That isn't always easy, but when I succeed...yeah.

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    1. So you know first hand the constant Rollercoaster of motherhood!

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  35. Well I was a complete failure today! German lesson. Take note I've been living in Germany since 2002 and am only just taking lessons. Yes I have picked up a lot of German (especially the rude words - I worked in a school)but I'm finally, or so I thought, getting to grips with the grammar. Oh no! In today's 3 hour lesson my head was spinning and it was as if I'd been plonked onto a different planet. Just one of those days :)

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    1. As long as you can laugh about it, tomorrow will be a better day, eh?

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  36. I always love your posts and I think this is my favorite yet. Thanks for the inspiration!
    And congrats again on your upcoming new family member!!

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  37. Simplify, yup. And thinking about how to simplify in the terms you listed—brilliant. I say the new lie is #1!

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  38. I need to do more to simplify.

    Congrats to JA! I'll guess #2 as the lie.

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  39. Yay for other Montana authors! :) I'm going with #1 as the lie.

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    1. Go Team Montana! (and yesterday was the day the last bit of snow melted from our yard!)

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  40. I think I've decided not to attempt the A to Z challenge until I finish at least one book. No more commitments from me until I publish.
    I'm guessing #1 is the lie.

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    1. There you go! Laser vision and onward!

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  41. That last gif was just sad. I think that girl's cursed. Fall and a tv drop? So wrong, poor thing. Simplifying and redefining success is very important. I made some new decisions recently and this post is a reminder that not over extending yourself is the way to go. Thank you Crystal! :)

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    1. ;) The last gift was doctored. Feel better now? She simplified.

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  42. Congrats on .5! :)

    This is a great post reminding what's important. I like a clean house too, but the world won't collapse if the dishes aren't done. The biggest thing helping me with productivity lately is to pick a To Do List Takedown day where I aim to get as many little, hanging To Dos out of the way. I use a planner for this. It's less stress to think of 1 or 2 days to take care of the little things than have the list hanging over my head all week. the other thing helping me with writing is to disable internet for writing sprints. I wrote 18 k in a 3 day weekend that way.

    Here's my IWSG for April Stephanie Scott YA Author

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    1. Routine definitely makes things easier.

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  43. I absolutely loved this post, Crystal. You are so right, you are you and I was guilty about comparing myself and my family to those around me and ended up disappointed that we did "live up" to them. The problem with that is everyone has something that they're dealing with behind closed doors. I had to learn how to appreciate what we had within our four walls and that was a family full of love, even with our flaws. I found that as our family improved ourselves, our love grew even more and I stopped trying to keep up with Joneses. I was happy within.

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  44. 'Do what keeps you sane.' Words to live by.
    Congrats to JA and Simone.

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  45. Excellent advice. I gave up keeping up with the Joneses when my children were young--and I only had two! How do you do it with 4 (.5)!

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  46. Yep, I'm failing today. Forgot to post for IWSG. The A to Z has fried my brain and it's only the fourth day. I think the lie is #2.

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    1. Hah! That okay-not the frying, the missing.

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  47. Love the advice--and the gifs--and have recommitted to simplify. I have no interest in ending up with a tv stuck to my head. ;)

    I'm guessing it's #1, since I can't imagine writing without seeing pictures in my head. Thanks for the lovely post and giveaway! Can't wait to hear which one it is.

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  48. Great encouragement and sound advice!

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  49. I have been learning the importance of positive self talk and how much more productive it can make you because you using selective positive language in your inner talk. If I had not tried I might not believe it but it has helped me a lot.

    Happy IWSG.
    ' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. It's beyond important, and so hard sometimes, eh?

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  50. You're right. If we judge ourselves by others' standards then we will fail. Especially as they usually just show what they want you to see (step forward Facebook). I think #1 has to be the lie!

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  51. Keeping up with the Jones's is no way to live. You're probably going through the busiest stage of your life, Crystal, so it looks like you know how to prioritise. Still, wouldn't it be lovely to have a self-cleaning house!

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  52. Simplify is a great solution, and being kind to oneself too.

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  53. Yeah, nothing worse for morale than comparing yourself to others. Funny thing is, though, half the time all that "success" comes at a cost and they're likely looking at you envying your simplified life.

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  54. There must be something in the air/ether about stressing oneself out or trying to do too much. Your advice is right on. That's a very healthy attitude. Congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family. Stay strong. Best wishes.

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  55. I'm guessing the lie is you have a degree in rocket science...but I could be wrong on that! Simplification sounds like a good solution.

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  56. I've often wondered how families deal with kids with a ton of extracurriculars. My SIL is constantly driving her 5 (well, the twins are only 3, so not really them) to things. I don't know how she does it.

    I'll guess the lie is #1.

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  57. Good Post. Learning to simplify can keep a mother from going looney-toony...

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  58. Simplifying has been a life-saver for me. I can't function effectively in chaos or clutter, and I have struggled with that forever in a world that thrives on obnoxious consumption. I want experiences, not things.

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  59. Excellent advice, and some I needed after today. :) I think the lie is #2.

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  60. Yes, if you expect too much of yourself, you often destined to fail. Lowering your self-expectations is the ticket to feeling better. Not competing with anyone helps too. We are what we are and we are doing the best we can - that should be enough.
    I think #2 is a lie.

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  61. As a reformed people pleaser, I'm a big fan of saying NO! (And I need to do that more often.) I vote for #1 as the lie!

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    1. Me too! I still want to say yes, but I also don't want to die.

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  62. Great advice about simplifying! Limiting our activities, even though no one else does, has been a huge a sanity saver for us. The best thing you said is that we have to stop comparing--so true!

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  63. I don't know how you do it Crystal! You are amazing! Simplify and cut the guilt ~ great advice. I'm doing better now at cutting the guilt, but simplifying hasn't been working too well. LOL I hope you and baby five are feeling well. It must be such a thrill to anticipate a new member of the family. Take care!

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  64. Best. Post. Ever. Those of us who're hard workers and rather competitive often also think we can control our lives, others' lives, and basically everything in the world if we only think intelligently and work extra hard. When we miss a deadline, something unforeseeable happens, or we simply don't get the "payoff" we expected, we berate ourselves. We are at fault because we didn't succeed. It took me a looooong time to realize I can't control the world. Things happen. Stuff doesn't work out. Sometimes chaos rules, and I can fail. But like you wrote here, I'm still me and I am (mostly) a success as long as I keep going but stop being such a control freak! My mantra now is just trying to be happy and letting the little stuff go. :)

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  65. That's a great tip about not focusing on Keeping up with the Joneses (an expression that is actually about the creator of hedge-funds, but that's irrelevant). It is important to focus on ones own happiness and passion.

    Those are good book covers.

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  66. I’m sure the lie must be #2 it is very easy to hate aluminium foil – I’m not overly keen on it myself!
    I hadn’t met JA Andrews until today, but I’m glad I’ve met her now, her quirky style of writing about herself made me smile.
    Greatest success or most unique talent? I couldn’t possibly say – I’m such a failure at this kind of thing! :)

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  67. i like the covers. Congrats to J L Andrews!

    Excellent advice.

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  68. Great advice there. I need to cut the guilt thing out and stop comparing myself to other people. Not all the other moms are also the primary earner in the family, so of course they have more time to help with school projects and bake sales.

    And I think # 3 is the lie...

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  69. I'm feeling particularly rotten this morning. It is so difficult to please everyone and do everything for everyone and I constantly feel like I'm letting someone down, and sometimes I think it may even be in my imagination, so I make everything worse for myself. Breathe. Give yourself a five minute break to sit in silence, to read, to stare out the window. Sometimes I just need a tiny break to breathe. Christy

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  70. Success? Failure? Depending on whose yardstick we use to measure ourselves, any of us can fall into either category. Comparing ourselves and our accomplishments to anyone else's can lead to despair or an over-sized case of self-satisfaction, neither of which leads to contentment. Appreciation and gratitude lead to contentment, which is my personal yardstick. For example, have I gotten rich from writing? Nope. Do I expect to become rich with my writing? Nope. But that isn't why I write, and that has never been my goal, so I'm happy, and feel like a success for having done it and continuing to do it... and for every positive review and comment I receive. Ergo... success. Those who would measure success with dollar signs ($ucce$$) would deem me a failure.

    I'll pick #2 as the lie.

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  71. That gif with the man and the balloon is hilarious! :) I have so felt like that before.

    Great tips on today's post for not getting overwhelmed. It's so easy to commit to too much. :-/

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  72. Thank you for this reminder as many people could share this feeling. But sooner or later people would come to think of this; our life consists of constant choices and consequences, so one failure couldn’t end as failure finally depending on how you deal with it. I think there must be a reason behind my failure I don’t know that will make myself better. I can imagine how it’d be as a mother of 4 children and of 5 soon. You don’t have to be perfect or better than others but you are “only one” to your loved families and even to the world which is the most important. Have free, happy days ahead.

    Yoko

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  73. Yep and yep. I'm at the bottom of my barrel and its not a good place to be today. You're post helped... a little. :-/

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  74. I'm making a lot of changes this year and hoping to save my sanity. ;)

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  75. Wow. 138 comments. Make that 139 with mine. You go, girl! I think your entire post was in response to my whiney one about doing too much for others. We can only do so much. We also need to look at our strengths and limitations. Cheers!

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  76. Who needs sanity anyway? ;) I've chopped down a lot over the years on what's really important and what isn't. It's amazing how many things drop out of the 'must' rank, when one thinks about it. congrats on all the comments!

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  77. If I could find my guilt button I would disconnect it. It gives me nothing but grief and adds nothing positive to my life.

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  78. I'm going to say 1 is the lie because I don't see how JA could write such imaginative stories if she couldn't make pictures in her head.

    Thank you for the inspirational post, Crystal. It seems like the trouble begins when we use other people's measuring sticks on ourselves.

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  79. I love the practicality of your tips. They're great.
    I've never done the A-Z but I bet it would definitely boost sales if tide to book promotion.

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  80. Those are very helpful points! I know I feel like a failure a lot, and the source of that insecurity is comparing myself to others far too often.

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  81. Yes! Love and accept yourself! :)

    Congrats to Jess! Woo-hoo!

    I think the lie is the one about aluminum foil.

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  82. Did you write this post for me? I really think you wrote this post for me. I don't compare myself to others, though, so that's a benefit. And this year will be the first year in six that I'll have to really pay for clothes for my kids (the owners of the second hand store I shop at are retiring). It's just the little things that pile up on me that get me feeling like a failure.

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  83. Simplifying things always helps - especially with chores and schedules.

    Hope you have an awesmoe month and CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby bump!

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  84. Love, Love, Love your post Crystal!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Sending you Big Hugs!

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  85. I love that you tossed the self-stirring pitcher. Also, how does it stir itself?

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  86. This is a great post, especially the "don't compare yourself to others", which is applicable to writing, parenthood, and pretty much life in general. The thing is, even with the people who are "successful" or seemingly "have it all" you really don't know what they're struggling with behind it all, or what they might have sacrificed to get where they are. Definitely best to focus on oneself, and do what makes you sane. :)

    Also, congrats on your new addition! 5 kids! That's amazing!

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  87. The worst thing we do to ourselves is compare to someone else. I think number #2 is the lie. I've actually heard of people who don't like tin foil. I don't think cats like it either.

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  88. Learning to simplify and not try to keep up with the neighbors is a great life lesson. Personally, I can't imagine how you do all that you do, even keeping things simple. Hats off to you for managing the family and household as well as writing. Very impressive :-)

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  89. I am so excited to have won Simone's book! It looks and sounds amazing. :) Can't believe I got a lie right- I am usually wrong.

    Great post about not keeping up with others and decluttering our lives. I sometimes get overwhelmed when I hear how much other writers write in one day or a month, but I try to remind myself that I am doing the best I can.

    I can imagine that having 4.5 kids would be even busier than my life! :)
    ~Jess

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  90. That is all good advice. ^_^ Granted, part of me feeling like a failure is clinical, but I'm learning how to deal with that. But a lot of it is simply not living up to my own expectations, since I can be ridiculously hard on myself. Though I'm learning how to deal with that as well.

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  91. This is so true, Crystal! It's all about prioritizing.

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  92. I've learned to say No, and that's freed up a whole lot of my time and energy for other things. Congratulations on your announcement in the last post--wish you all the best !

    Damyanti



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  93. But there's so much more to accomplish!

    Yeah, I know the feeling. :)

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  94. Excellent post. I think moms in particular have this ridiculous sense that your supposed to juggle a million things and do everything well. Well, you just can't. It's better to do a few things, and do those few things well. And don't worry about perfection. It's too stressful!

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  95. These are good tips. Balancing everything can certainly be challenging.

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  96. I guess it's normal and "human" to feel inadequate at times. Especially when we fail on something.

    This is rather inspirational. Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone! :D

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  97. You have 4.5 kids. They are not only surviving, they're thriving. Plus you write books. Hell, woman - you're not failing, you're a superhero.

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  98. I feel like a total failure with Camp NaNo this month, since I'm so far behind my usual productivity rate. I had to lower my wordcount goal to only 20K, after already lowering it to 35K. With any luck, a change of scenery might help my overall mood and writing mojo.

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  99. I'm trying to keep up with A to Z. Visiting, posting, commenting, returning comments, posting, checking this, making sure of that... April is crazy! But I love the challenge... and it IS the A to Z Blogging CHALLENGE, not the A to Z blogging picnic. ("Mr. Hunt, this isn't mission difficult, it's mission impossible. "Difficult" should be a walk in the park for you.") I did work in a funny cheese reference though, which I'm glad you enjoyed.

    Love the Threat of Shadows cover!
    I'll say 3 is the lie. (I'm fairly certain that's not the actual term for that degree.)

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  100. I really liked this interview. I don't have 4.5 kids. I just have four. But I'm doing it mostly by myself and there is no way I could juggle all my kids being in extra curricular activities and having designer clothes, and baking cookies for everyone in my neighborhood at Christmas. Simplifying is fantastic advice and exactly what I needed to read today.

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  101. Not judging our success by other people's is sensible - there's always someone doing better but that doesn't make us a failure.

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  102. So true about simplifying. That's something I actually needed to force myself to do recently, despite how much it scared me. I do think it'll help reduce stress, in the long run. (I'll probably continue to feel like a failure, though. LOL.)

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  103. "Cut the guilt" is the best piece of advice for ALL of us. I'm not perfect at it, but the more I put it out of my mind, the happier I am.

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  104. Excellent way of looking at it. I'm usually not someone too fussed about failing because I believe it's part of the process of living and being creative.

    But for me, I'm finding it seriously frustrating that I just can't seem to make any progress to speak of. So I guess that's a failure that keeps needling me, which I should let go of because to a large extent, there's nothing I can do about it.

    But I hate that.

    A lot.

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  105. I definitely have to cut back sometimes, and sometimes I can go full throttle. I always managed to be a little disappointed though. :)

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  106. Yes, fail and fail often! Drat your overachieving neighbors! Courtney - Maui Jungalow

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Hit me with your cheese!