Day 273 – April 30, 2015

Once again, the Facebook time machine has whisked me away to a far and distant land, full of memories and reflection. Today, as I looked at my post from one year ago today, I was given a life status change: BETHANY W TURNER LEFT JOB. One year. I’ve been away from the bank for one year today. And though in The Year of Blogging Faithfully it is only Day 273, the promise that I made when I began this blog, that “This year is going to change everything,” really began on April 30, 2014.

On Day 250 I mentioned that I had submitted the Abigail books to a publishing company which doesn’t shy away from previously self-published books. Last night I received notification that they had been accepted. Right now I’m doing a lot of praying and thinking and talking to a few people, but I can’t talk about this much more at this point. Not until some things are made official — or not.

The thing is, this year has changed everything. But I don’t think we’re done yet.

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Day 272 – April 29, 2015

I’m so very tired.

Tomorrow, on the one year anniversary of my first day without a full-time job, I will start my fourth part-time job. Not my fourth part-time job that I have had in the past year, but my fourth part-time job right now. #4 is mornings at my younger son’s elementary school. The work will be easy and rewarding – and I have no reason to pass up the money.

I hate than I’m allowing myself to make decisions based on money right now. I’ve avoided that pretty well in the past year, but the reality of life is catching up with me. And again…I really am so grateful. I will take these four part-time jobs over the one full-time job from a year ago any day. No doubt. Even though with these four part-time jobs I’m now up to just barely 50% of the income I left behind a year ago. Hooray!

I hate to even write all of this because it makes me feel ungrateful, and I’m not. God has blessed so tremendously, in so many ways.

But I am tired. So very, very tired.

Day 271 – April 28, 2015

Today was the first day of Rave Reviews Book Club’s Bethany Turner Pay It Forward Week. Yep. That’s what it’s called. Also, I’m the Spotlight Author this week. Also, this is my first week as a member of the Board. Also, I’m now a host of a BlogTalkRadio podcast for RRBC.

I’m overwhelmingly honored by it all. I really am. I love RRBC, I love so many of the people (who have become my friends), and I love the supportive philosophy and nature of the club. I’ve been able to jump in and become involved because I believe in it.

But I have to say…even I’M getting tired of hearing my name this week!

But you know what? That’s okay! Because I’m not the one having to SAY my name! Others are paying it forward and promoting me, and I get to pay it forward and promote others. That’s exactly how I like it.

Day 270 – April 27, 2015

There is so much to talk about today that I scarcely know where to begin! (I’m also torn… If I write about it all today, I can get it all out of my system. On the other hand, I could just hit one point and save some for tomorrow. Hmm… Yes. Let’s do that.)

I went to the doctor today for my annual thyroid check-up. Today was not the blood work day, but rather the day set aside to talk about blood work. Blood work will come soon. I enjoy talking to my doctor, though. His wife’s family is from Cincinnati, and they still live there, so we always have plenty to talk about.

It all started out kind of funny. This was just a check-up, like I said. And not even a thorough one. “How have you been feeling?” “Good.” “Any changes?” “Nope.” “So how are the kids?” That sort of thing. So imagine my surprise as I walked into a room which had been prepped for a more in depth kind of check-up. It was rather comical as I worked to convince the nurses that not only was I not there for that type of exam, I am not even in possession of the particular body part which that specific test is meant to examine.

We eventually got that all settled, thank goodness. And then my doctor came in and I confessed that I had taken myself off of my blood pressure medication a while back. Yes, it had been going down, and yes, I just forgot after a while, and yes, I didn’t want to spend the money – but I also have to admit that, at the time, I think I was rebelling a bit against medication. I do that once in a while. Never with my thyroid medication – that one matters too much – but with other things. I hate that I have pills I will have to take for the rest of my life. Most of the time, it just is what it is, but occasionally I rebel.

Such was the case with the blood pressure medication. I have been on it since I was pregnant with Ethan, I believe, and I fully expected to be on it for the rest of my life. But then I quit. So I confessed that to my doctor who, to his credit, didn’t scold me at all. And then we saw that my blood pressure was 118/82. With no medicine in my system!

We talked about it and I explained that I have been going to REFIT classes. REFIT is an awesome dance fitness class taught by my dear friend, Secily, and I love it. Well, yes. That could do it, he admitted. Then he asked about diet, and I replied honestly that I have been trying to be a bit smarter about diet, but not doing anything with any structure. He was satisfied with that and we moved on to other things.

Several minutes later it dawned on me.

“Or…could it have something to do with the fact that I quit an extremely stressful job that I hated?”

He chuckled a bit and then got very quiet as he seemed to consider that.

“Well, yeah. That could have a little something to do with it.”

Blood pressure meds are gone. I was officially taken off of them. I am running ragged and more than a little on edge about a few things right now, and still…my outlook is so much improved from a year ago that there are actual health benefits.

Not that I needed more confirmation, but…

Day 269 – April 26, 2015

I need to start writing again. (How many times have I said that in the past several months?)

Here’s the thing…

It is very difficult (at least for me) to feel motivated to write when I have completed novels sitting in the background, waiting to be published. Or burned. Whatever. But when I have things sitting there, I have a difficult time feeling like I should really hurry up and finish another one – so it can just sit there, too.

I know that’s not very smart. I should finish as many things as I can, and shop them all around. It would increase my chances, right? I mean, it couldn’t hurt them…

Now, I’ve received a little bit of encouragement. If this publishing house passes on Middle Ground, at least I will know that it was considered by a major Christian publishing house. So maybe another one will consider it. I know now that it’s good enough to be considered – and that’s huge. And that is making me want to write again. I’ve been sitting around for a while (Though, let’s face it…I don’t ever just sit around!), facing rejection and books which never sell. No matter what you tell yourself, and no matter what you know, it’s just unrealistic, I think, to imagine that would never affect someone’s confidence.

My confidence is still shaky – it always is – but at least I don’t feel like an idiot for believing my writing may some day appeal to someone in the publishing industry. It has appealed to someone in the publishing industry. It wasn’t an unrealistic dream, after all.

And that is making me want to write. The irony, of course, is that I don’t have time to write. This time in my life is a product of many dreams, and they’re all keeping me busy.

Yesterday I told Kelly that I feel like there is such a difference between my old mentality of having difficulty saying no, and my current mentality of recognizing opportunities which are too important to say no to. Writing feels like it fits into that category.

Saying no seems unfathomable, but saying yes seems impossible.

Day 268 – April 25, 2015

I am working all day today. Kelly is keeping the boys occupied and out of my way. I mean, not that they could ever be in my way, but…you know…out of my way.  In return, I am going to do all I possibly can to avoid work completely tomorrow. I will try to avoid checking my e-mail too often, I will try to stay off of Facebook, I will avoid Twitter as much as possible.

Of course, it’s important to understand that I’m not on social media all day long because I love social media. Social media is my job. And my other job. And my other job. As I sit here at my desk at home, I am typing on my laptop as two separate iPads sit to my right, each of the three devices devoted to separate careers.

The thing is…I really do love it. Yesterday I think I probably sounded pretty deflated and, truthfully, I was pretty deflated. I’m tired. But I am also so grateful. I can’t believe that I get to do what I get to do for a living. I really am so blessed.

And I really am so tired.

It will get better. I will figure out how to manage my time better, and I will get a routine going. I really don’t believe I have taken on too much. I have to help pay the bills. I also believe I am doing what God has called me to do for this season. And then there is the book stuff, and when it comes to the book stuff, I just can’t let fantastic opportunities pass me by. I can’t. I’ve worked too hard for the opportunities. I’ve prayed too hard for the opportunities.

So I give and I take. I write everything down because I literally forget where I am and where I’m supposed to be at times. My brain is so scattered right now, and I cry at the drop of a hat. (Of course that’s not extremely unusual.) But I will push through and remember how wonderful it all is, and how blessed I truly am.

Day 267 – April 24, 2015

Okay…if this doesn’t give you an idea of how insane my life is at the moment, nothing ever will…

I’m sitting in the ladies room (though not USING the ladies room…don’t worry!) at church, typing my blog entry for the day. I have no internet connection here, so I’m just typing it to post later. This is the first moment I have had to do this all day, and I am in the ladies room to make sure the moment lasts long enough to get this done.

The day has included promotional stuff for my books, a brief period of time in the offices of both my church job and my tourism job, a visit to social services to try and figure out if we can get a little bit of assistance with medical insurance for the boys, and then a day full of decorating/preparing for the marriage ministry event which begins in about an hour. By the time we have the event, tear down, and clean up, I have no idea what time it will be, but I know I will be exhausted.

So I’m blogging now.

At what point do you start to wonder if you have a little too much going on? (Don’t answer that. I already know…)

Day 266 – April 23, 2015

Yesterday, I had my foot in the door. The chain was still keeping it from opening more than a few inches, but there was just enough space for me to squeeze my foot in.

Today I was invited inside.

I’m not too far in yet. In fact, they’re keeping the door open in case they need to abruptly ask me to leave, but at least I’m inside, out of the rain.

Yesterday a representative from a major publishing house contacted me and asked for the full Middle Ground manuscript. Today, less than 24 hours later, she notified me that she had read it in one sitting and really, really liked it. She got the green light to take it to the next level for review.

I am still quite a few steps away from publication, and at any moment the whole thing could come crashing down, but it does feel nice to be invited inside.

Day 265 – April 22, 2015

Day 265. Only 100 days of blogging left! (Only?)

Today I would like for you to step back into the Facebook time machine with me. On April 22, 2014, I posted this:

Ariel jpg

“Four chapters into writing the next book.” One year ago today I was four chapters into writing the next book. The next book was Middle Ground.

Today I was contacted by a major Christian publishing house, asking for the full manuscript to review. They discovered Middle Ground through the manuscript submission agency I blogged about a while back. Remember? I was worried about the money and feeling like I needed to step out in faith, but also scared that nothing would ever come of it and I would have just spent money I didn’t really have? That one.

Now, let me perfectly clear…the odds are that absolutely nothing will come of this. Obviously I hope that’s not the case. I hope that they fall in love with Middle Ground and I get signed by this major publisher. I believe that could happen, but I also realize that chances are it won’t. But regardless, the money was worth it. It got into pretty big hands — now we just have to wait and see if they are the right ones or not.

It’s a year later, and this time in life still feels important… I still don’t know when, and I still don’t know how.

Hang in there, Ariel.

Day 264 – April 21, 2015

K&B2001

2001

I had intended to write romantic, lovey-dovey things about my husband this evening. And I may still. But right now all I can think about is how old we’ve gotten. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I kind of love that. I don’t love that we’re old…I love that we’re old together. I love that we’ve gotten old together.

Of course, we’re not really old. But we feel it. Life is busy and we’re tired. We have kids and a mortgage and stresses and concerns. None of that seems too romantic.

Until I really think about the fact that they’re our kids. Kids we created and have raised together. And it’s our mortgage, which allows us to have a home in which to raise those kids and hopefully grow old together. The stresses and concerns? Well, they have come from a life together which isn’t always easy, but is always worthwhile.

So…lovey-dovey will come another day, I’m sure. But today, I want to celebrate the two kids who got married 14 years ago today, and the old, boring married couple with kids and a lot of debt that they’ve become. That’s what marriage is. Lovey-dovey moments are nice, but lovey-dovey doesn’t get you through when things are tough.

We may be tired, but we’re also happy. I love that guy more and more every single day, and there is no one else I could imagine being growing old with.

2015

2015