Feeling 22 & Other Miscellaneous Updates on My Life
Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted something just about me. Oddly enough, I don’t really feel like I’m in a good mood to do that with any reasonability 90% of the time, and even if I am, I’m too busy to do so. It feels so much more pressing to post about practical concerns … especially when, truly, the point of having a blog in the first place is blessing YOU, not simply rambling.
But I digress.
A little over a week ago, I turned 22, which does not seem so grown up anymore. I think even last year, it seemed like the first date where you could truly be called an adult (well, everything after 18 is technically an adult, and I have high standards for all ages, but 22 is not a NEW adult, at least, from my perspective).
However, conveniently, ages get younger and younger as I reach them. I think I’ll keep that up until I’m 92, thereby never growing old at all. What do you think? Shall I be immortal?
Anyways. Today I’m hopping on to discuss my progress in my 2023 goals, some updates to my life (including some big! things! that! are! going! on!), and just in general POST ON THIS BLOG because APPARENTLY I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE (whoops, not my intention).
2023 Goals (updates)
Here’s my goals (bolded) and the updates (italics).
- Write at least three books. We’ll see how this goes! So far, I’ve written one novel, a short story, and a novella, I think. I’m in the midst of two other novels and a novella, so we’ll see what all gets finished first. I think my main goal here was to write more, but I don’t feel like I really have achieved that goal … yet. There’s time.
- Publish one book. Springtime in Surrey technically counts, plus I am about to do so with my own novel! Like a Ship on the Sea comes September 5th! (If you’d be willing to help me launch, please join the launch team.)
- Complete the launch of Wild Blue Wonder Press. Check!
- Publish two anthologies with Wild Blue Wonder Press. Not happening. We’re opening submissions for our next anthology in November, and we published one. If you’re interested, here’s the link for info about the upcoming anthology!
- Have a successful NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMos (April/July). So far, we’ve had both Camp NaNos, and I don’t feel like they were super successful for me. This is all a part of my desire to write more, and hopefully this autumn will show better results in that area.
- Successfully host a writing conference (YWW 2023!). DONE! And it was so fun! I also spoke, which was fantastic.
- Pitch my Regency romance novel. Kinda? I have some big pieces I need to get in place before I do more submitting, though.
- Progress in the Author Conservatory. I think so! Plus, um … well, more about that later.
- Exercise regularly. This has been hit or miss. I’ve gotten some more exercise in, but it’s not great.
- Learn to cook. Not so much? I don’t think? Granted, every so often I learn a new dish, but it is such a challenge to feel like I’m making progress in this area. Plus, this is not really a SMART goal, which is kind of bothering me. Next year . . .
With all that said, the things I have accomplished this year ARE pretty big, even if I face the constant temptation to pretend they are not.
The YWW (Student-Led) Conference. Wild Blue Wonder Press and Springtime in Surrey. Balancing multiple jobs and side hustles. Trying to balance chores with relationships with work with work 2 with work 3 … It gets to be a lot.
Fortunately, I’m slowwwwllllyyyy learning to give myself grace. SLOWLY. That doesn’t mean I’m there. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect. It doesn’t mean that as I write this, I feel like a large gorilla is sitting on my chest pressing all the air out of my lungs. 😛 But hey, life is a growing process, right?
Which brings me to a random thing I wanted to discuss …
A Note on Holistic Living
I honestly didn’t know the definition of “holistic” until recently. I thought it meant like … vaguely natural? Non-traditional? But then as I was typing up a reel caption on Instagram the other day, I realized I had no clue what it meant.
Without Googling it, I figured “holistic” probably had a root word in “whole.” I’d heard people use it with the phrase “whole body,” and it clicked for me that’s probably what it means.
The actual definition of holistic is:
characterized by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole.
That makes sense, right? So basically, it’s the idea that you can’t, for instance, have a healthy body if your spirit is crushed. (Ask me about that some time, lol, because I ignore it, and it’s very true.)
This concept is kind of echoed in the Bible, more or less:
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26)
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:44)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own … (1 Corinthians 6:19)
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
And it’s in general a Christian thought, though of course it’s been applied to a lot of different schools of thought. The Emersonian Oversoul comes to mind (*spits and hisses at Grapes of Wrath*), which is a sort of extreme version of this where not only are the mind and the body connected within the individual … but within the world.
As always, we Christians must hold the line … and that means in the MIDDLE, not to the left or the right (even if the middle becomes an extreme to one side or the other by virtue of how WILD people be getting, but that’s another conversation altogether).
Remember, it’s “straight and narrow,” not “the ditch the looks most Christian.”
Anyways, all this to say, when it comes to taking care of my body “holistically” and with balance, I am … not the best at that?
Random Thoughts on My Thoughts
I push myself way too hard. I fall into wild extremes. I have highs and lows that are far from unhealthy. I am on the neurodivergent spectrum (lowkey, but I’m noticing it more and more as I am less and less depressed … and I’m also super proud of myself and of my parents who must’ve done something right, because I cope very well once I recognize my “symptoms”), so that does complicate things, but only in the sense of needing to be very intentional about noticing my patterns and responding well to them.
Also, it legitimately does help to just say, “Okay, God, what’s going on?” Doesn’t have to be anything but that. Just an acknowledgement that He knows, I’m under His control, and no, I’m not going to vibrate until I explode. 😉 I’ll get off my soapbox now, but that’s one of the better tools I have when I’m buzzing with a thousand emotions and thoughts that I can’t pin down.
It’s kind of like standing in a swarm of mosquitoes, and all around you everything is BUZZING, and you’re stuck in swamp mud and can’t run, and they’re also way to fast to swat, so you’re just HELPLESS, until you realize that you have bug spray in your pocket, and it might not immediately kill them all, but it sure does calm it down enough to figure out what’s going on with the swamp mud and how to remove the shoes that are stuck in it.
All this rambling aside, I struggle with living in a way that I’d consider balanced and holistic. I push hard on one thing, abandoning another. I fall into obsessions that cause a major topsy-turvy effect on what does and does not get done.
Granted, I’ve gotten great at managing it for the sake of my various jobs, but in my personal life, and in particular my personal health, I have struggles aplenty.
I would love 22 to be the year that I focus more on being healthy, balancing relationships, and pursuing the lifestyle I’ve always wanted to pursue. I need to stop my endless side quests and focus in. And I need to stop pausing my life as I wait for things I can’t control or influence to happen.
In particular, I have a hard time focusing with the knowledge that we’re not likely to conceive without intervention. We’ve gone through some fertility testing, if you didn’t know, and we may be looking at treatments or at something like IUI to conceive.
Yet the constant desire, as a Christian, to just have a miracle happen. I don’t know when I’ll wise up and stop believing that maybe, just maybe, it could happen anyway.
I mean, it’s not like it’s IMPOSSIBLE for us to conceive, after all. God would just have to make it work. And there’s not really a day that goes by that I don’t think about what might happen if this were magically the month … or the next month … or the month after that. Which is fine, as long as I’m having these thoughts without wasting time and energy planning my life around pipe dreams and what ifs.
The thing is, having a baby would be a major change to anyone’s life. I knew this going into marriage, so I kind of set up my life with the understanding that everything needed to be flexible in case I got pregnant in the first year (which I very much assumed I would based on just my own medical history).
But the thing is, my timeline is so thoroughly botched now that I simultaneously am super prepared and feel like I’m drifting in an uncontrolled wasteland in which I have no influence. (That’s a lie, by the way, but feelings often lie to us.)
God knows what’s going to happen, and no amount of worrying will make me any less or more prepared if He decides we’re equipped to handle a miracle at this point.
Which brings me back around to my thoughts on moving forward with life.
Accepting Changes & Exciting Opportunities
I don’t think I’ve talked about this, but I now work for the Author Conservatory as an administrative assistant, so primarily working with Kara Swanson and Amy Williams and anyone else who needs help in any capacity I can, which is great. I’m also in training to become an admissions advisor, if all works out (it depends on if I’m suited for the role, so we’ll see!), which I’m really excited about, because I already love telling people how great the Author Conservatory and The Young Writer’s Workshop are.
By the way, be sure to check out The Young Writer to watch a free online summit next week with lots of famous authors and lots of great encouragement! That’s when enrollment opens for the Young Writers Workshop, too! And I’ll be doing enrollment calls if you’re interested in joining, along with some other amazing advisors. You won’t want to miss it! Click here to register.
This is an incredible opportunity for me and will allow me to mostly stay home (with, of course, the exception of visiting my bestie Matthias, but that’s basically like a second or third home to me, anyways) and work on writing-related stuff. Which kind of brings me back around to what I was saying with the sort of balanced and whole life.
Back to That Balanced Life Thingy
If I’m going to be married and have a man providing my main source of income, and what I really want to do is work in the writing industry (both as a teacher and an author) and be able to stay at home either with my own children or with the ability to bless other people who do have children, why am I off on side quests?
Why aren’t 90% of my endeavors aimed at being faithful to the Lord, building up and maintaining my household, loving my husband, working with children and mothers, and of course all the myriad of tasks that come with the writing side of things.
That’s enough for anyone. More than enough. It’s a very full life. So I’m trying to figure out ways to refocus and bring those priorities back into mind. Which just means, I think, submitting myself to God, because I do strongly feel like I’ve been called to these areas, and the first step in that case is always to give Him control!
I’ve been brainstorming some ways to include my audience in this kind of mindset shift I’m working on, but we’ll see if I actually get around to it. As you know, I have a tendency to want to do everything, but I’m actively trying to remove that temptation, so if I end up realizing that, for instance, posting updates on my blog would IMPEDE rather than AID my progress, I won’t do it. We’ll see what happens.
But this also kind of loops back around to my point with the goals. I’m not sure I’ll be setting goals in quite the same way in the future. Oh, I’ll get more ambitious, but in my mind, a holistic approach would mean not getting stuck on the minutia (like whether or not I write 3 novels this year) but instead keeping my focus on the bigger picture (like whether or not I’m actively pursuing whatever the Lord tells me to pursue).
Anyways, I just found all this interesting, and perhaps you will, too. If not, well, you’re the one who read something you’re not interested in. That can hardly be blamed on me. (Get a life!)
Hey folks! How’s life? I haven’t talked to you in a while. I wish I knew a better way to ask people to tell me about themselves than ‘how’s life?’ but it’s what comes most naturally. Let’s try this instead: what’s one thing you’re glad happened to you in the last few months? And what’s something you’re looking forward to that’s happening before 2024?
Are you interested in getting to know me & my books better?
I want to invite you to my super secret club. I mean, it’s not really a secret, because I’m telling you about it now, but here goes.
Join Mrs. Roth’s Society Column, my street team! We’d love to have you along for the ride!