My Month Shock and Relief on Repeat

My month of shock and relief on repeat is almost a continuation of our 2020 trials and tribulations. But not quite. While shocks came, relief came soon after. Of course, the insurgency at the Capitol was an enormous shock. It remains the top shocking and horrifying event for the month. But there were personal shocks as well. And enough relief that I made some progress on my monthly intentions.

image of open laptop with pen and journal, cup of coffee and a smart phone. Ready to write despite my month of shock and relief on repeat.


Wish I could say I made substantial progress this month. I wrote a lot of words. I cut even more words, hopefully improving the manuscript. The second draft has reached the midpoint. Finally. *Smile*

I improved both the number of words written and the time spent on writing over January 2020, but my husband was in rehab a year ago.

I published twelve blog posts this month. Even gained a few new subscribers. Hello and Welcome! **Waves**

Editorial calendars are great tools, I’m told. But I have struggled to use one for my blog. This month I had a lightbulb moment that may be my way of using an editorial calendar. I won’t say more about this until my first quarter progress report. It’s not truly a success unless I can repeat it for three months. (Something that has not happened for me in the past nine years.)


image of a cartoonish tree with bubbles instead of leaves and the bubbles are labeled goals, ideas, strategy, marketing, etc.  My goals or intentions met a month of shock and relief on repeat.

This is a vast grouping of activities that I spend the least amount of time. I need to improve my focus on these things but am not yet in a position where I can.

That means I’m continuing not to be on social media much. I’m also not reading as much as I wish.


In my role of marketing my books, I learned a lot this month. Mostly I learned how impatient I am. *Rueful smile*

Analyzing my book, sales markets, and my ad campaigns is finally making sense to me. In part because I have had mentors who’ve pointed me toward meaningful data. Plus, I’ve had more meaningful data to analyze.


Image of the Christmas tree in my living room still--it's been my month of shock and relief on repeat.

Optimism is my middle name. While watching the U.S. Presidential inauguration this month, my emotions took me by surprise. My optimism was shaken more thoroughly than I’d realized. Relief? You betcha.

Besides the events in D.C., we had a couple of scares here at home. For a few days, we thought my husband would need surgery again soon. Fortunately, it’s not nearly as serious as it sounded at first. It’ll be a wait and see situation. Shock and relief.

My son was exposed to COVID-19 at work. He had to quarantine for two weeks. Fortunately, the exposure was minimal. His employer was being extra cautious. My son is healthy and back to work. Shock and relief.

Is it any surprise that I got very little done on my intentions list under Home? Sigh. My Christmas tree is still up. And my poor dogs have shorter hair on only parts of their bodies. Yes, I didn’t finish grooming them. They look very strange, but cute.

What I Learned

What I learned is that while toward the end of last year I started scheduling some personal down time, it wasn’t enough. Like everyone else, I need time to process the events that affect me.

Marie Forleo reminded me that when I believe I’m not getting enough done to tweak my approach to scheduling—not to goal making. “Simplify to amplify.” Thanks, Marie.

Intentions for Next Month

Making: Much will remain the same. I hope to get the second draft of the next section of If I Should Die done. Publishing a blog post three times a week remains an intention.

Managing: I’ll be moving forward on some early book production items.

Marketing: Hopefully, I’ll continue to get meaningful data and learn how I can tweak my approach to advertising my books.

Home: I’ll finally get the Christmas tree down and finish grooming the dogs. And I’ll schedule regular me time to reflect and recharge.

Shock and Relief on Repeat

Hopefully, the rest of the year we’ll have nothing but more relief for everyone. COVID-19 will stick around for many more months, which means I’ll remain in self-quarantine. I’m supposed to hear from the county health department soon about receiving our vaccines. I hope each of you are remaining safe—wearing a mask and social distancing and washing your hands. Please get a vaccine as soon as you can.

Even though this has been a month of shock and relief on repeat, it’s ending on a strong relief note. How has your month been? What are you proud to have accomplished? What do you have planned for February?

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