Power Word: Serenity

As we plunge into the full throes of Summer, this power word holds much more significance than during other parts of the year. Serenity doesn’t mean to be surrounded by peace and a zen-like atmosphere, although I would really like that right now. Serenity means to find that peace within regardless of what’s going on around you.

Which is why I’ve chosen it as the power word for July, when school is out.

Photo by Amanda Flavell on Unsplash

Like many people, I find great comfort in predictability. So much in life is unpredictable – the weather, the news, the rampant mouse issue in my backyard – that finding parts of my day that can stay the same, brings with it small amounts of peace. Having a schedule and routines take the guess work and stress out of the mundane things needing to be done.

Don’t get me wrong. I seek out joy in the unpredictable. I smile in the rain. I laugh at butterflies and bumblebees. These things are pleasantly unpredictable.

It’s the things I can’t predict, but must manage regardless, that cause amazing amounts of stress. While I hate to say it, that’s the definition of having multiple kids at home and trying to get work done. At any moment, a fight will break out, something will break, someone will need help, something will be lost, and I’m the one who has to fix it.

There’s a word for it – hypervigilance. It means even when you are relaxing or doing something you enjoy, you’ve got a huge part of your brain constantly monitoring for any unrest among the natives. And it’s exhausting.

Back to serenity. Deep breaths. I totally didn’t just have to leave in the middle of writing this post to deal with an argument about computer turns.

Having serenity as a power word means every time I see the word stuck to the bottom of my monitor, I take a few seconds to breathe and remind myself to find peace in the now. Every moment there isn’t a crises to be dealt with, is a mini zen moment. The more this practice is performed, the more the mind will auto regulate to seek out and acknowledge these moments of calm.

What helps you find your serenity?

Do you like routine or do you prefer to let your heart guide you?

Let’s discuss in the comments below!

If you want to read my other power word posts, head over to Power Words of 2019.

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Don’t forget! Stonebearer’s Betrayal is eligible to win a Dragon Award. The deadline for nominations is July 19th. If you’d like to help me reach my goal, head over to the nomination page, and vote for Stonebearer’s Betrayal in the Young Adult/Middle Grade Category. Anyone can do it!

A Case of Too Much Fun

When school got out the week before last I didn’t imagine that we would end up doing something big nearly everyday. Somehow between family, friends, and the 4th of July holiday, we’ve been to the water park twice, the dinosaur museum, camped in the backyard, had a sleepover, gone to lots of playgrounds, watched a parade and a firework show, and attended a luau.

It’s been exhausting.

I can’t deny that the kids have had a great time. We don’t normally do as many fun outings in the course of a week.  All that fun comes at a cost. As much as they deny it, I can tell that they are getting pretty tired as well.  Late nights and long days will wear anyone down , and kids have shorter fuses. Yesterday my youngest had a meltdown at church. He was mad at everything and we couldn’t figure out what he wanted.  I ended up having to take him from his class. After he had a snack, he curled up in my arms and fell right asleep. He has never done this before. In fact, the only way I’ve managed to get him to nap for the past 5 months is taking him on a car ride.

As parents we’ve had to deal with the other dark side of too much fun.  If my youngest gets too tired during the day or takes too long of nap then he wakes up in the middle of the night and it takes anywhere between 10 minutes to over an hour to get him back to sleep. We’re already getting less sleep because of everything going on, losing that much more is the proverbial kick to the head.

As for me, I’ve tried to set up that holy grail of a summer routine that allows for both fun and work. Late nights paired with trying to wake before the kiddos has caused all sorts of issues with my sleep rhythm and now it feels like I’m waking up half zombie.

It’s the beginning of another week. My shoulder aches from hauling around my youngest and my head is already throbbing.  Thank heavens at least for today we don’t have anything big planned!


Losing Momentum, Finding Balance


I can’t believe it, I’ve done it to myself again. I’ve been drawn in by an illusion and have become lost in a false sense of reality.  It’s a vicious cycle, I’ll start a new project or get a terrific idea and find myself obsessing over every detail and spending every last moment possible working and tweaking and fixing and whatnot.

Currently, I’m coming down from a brief obsessive cycle of trying to keep up with all the blogs I follow.  I want to read everything and comment on everything and be a presence in the blogging sphere. Problem is, I follow dozens of prolific blogs.  Reading and catching up with what everyone is doing takes a huge amount of time.

The obsession before that (which I’m a little ashamed to admit) was playing Sims.  My little digital people needed me to take care of them!  It took about two weeks to realize how pointless it was spending time playing a game that ultimately didn’t go anywhere.

Before that I learned everything I could about the use of essential oils.

Somewhere before that I spent endless hours attempting to create a following on Twitter.

Before that, while it was still cold and miserable around here, I fixated on what I would plant in my garden.

Earlier, I experimented with freelance writing jobs from text mills such as Textbroker and Copify.

Now I’m seeking balance.  I really want to finish writing this book, it’s been hanging over my head for way too long.  But, I also want to build up a strong fan base here using the blog and other social media.  I used to suffer from the delusion that all it took to become the next big thing was to publish a decent book.  After a few years of working the field, attending conferences, and rubbing elbows with other writers, I know that dream is like playing the lottery.  Sure, some people will strike it big right out the gate without all the hassle of building a fan base; but, the rest of us have to work to succeed.

When I started blogging back in 2010 I worked my tail off trying to get a post up every day and managed to do it for nearly a year.  I spent so much time on the blog that I didn’t realize that I was no longer working actively on my WIP, it was always in my mind but meeting my self-inflicted deadlines for the blog took priority.  Now, three years later, I know I don’t have time to post daily and still make progress on my book.  Three posts a week is still plenty.

I don’t nearly tweet as much as I should, but I do tweet the important stuff.  If I’m stuck somewhere with nothing better to do I’ll go over and interact with whoever is tweeting items of interest.

There’s Facebook in there as well. I’ll admit I prefer reading Facebook to Twitter because the things my friends post there are generally more interesting.  While I’m not nearly as active on my author page as I should be, I’m ok with it.

It’s important to have priorities or the things that matter most don’t get done.  My writing priorities start with working on the book, then blogging, then everything else.  That is, until the next obsession rolls around…