5 Words: The Secret to Not Procrastinating

DISCLAIMER: 

In my blog post, “The time is now,” I mention I was reading through drafts of my unpublished blog posts that at the time did not go live because I was not sure if I wanted to post them. In “The time is now” I hint that maybe I’ll finally publish some of those old drafts.

The below post is one of them.

 

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The Secret to Not Procrastinating in 5 Words:

 

 

 

 

 

Turn. Off. The. Cell. Phone.

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The time is now.

Well, it’s been a minute.

Actually, it’s been many minutes because I took an unplanned blogging hiatus as life continued around me.

I do not regret it…not one bit.

You see, I hadn’t realized this, but I was wearing myself thin. My brain was constantly in “work hard” mode and I mentally succumbed to this thought process that I had no time to “play hard.”

What exactly is “play hard?” You hear all the time this motto many proudly state as their own: Work hard, play hard. However, for me, as a Type-A perfectionist with a tendency to over achieve at whatever I do, “playing hard” does not always come easily, or naturally, to me.

I get stuck in the “work hard” cycle and rarely allow myself to “play hard.”

This does not necessarily mean I am a workaholic. I love my job and I love what I do every day. Coming to the office is not the issue.

The issue is the thought that I do not deserve to step away from whatever is considered “work” to instead, once in a while, focus my attention on spending time on myself.

Unfortunately for over a year that meant blogging was pushed to the back burner, as well as, a few of my other hobbies. I always said, “It’s not the time,” or “I don’t have time today,” or “There’s something else I should be doing.”

I made excuses for all the reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t.

Well, that’s changing. The time is now.

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The other day, I needed a break from whatever I was doing (I don’t remember what). I decided to log onto my website for the first time in over a year. I decided to click “Drafts” and read all of the blog posts I was always scared to push live.

That’s when it hit me.

I missed blogging.

I missed getting my thoughts on paper because I wanted to, not because I was expected to.

I missed making time in the day to write, about anything, to no one in particular. To the digital space in the hopes that maybe someone out there would read it, but maybe not.

That’s when I realized that it was time.

The time is now.

To start again. Maybe not as frequently as before, but maybe. Who knows.

I am fighting against my instincts right now to not create a content calendar. You laugh, but I shake my head. I am not going to make this a “work hard” thing. A content calendar and lists and to-dos are part of the “work hard” mentality.

Maybe one day I’ll switch to that, but for now, I will not.

“Play hard” has no restrictions. So therefore, blogging will have no restrictions (for now).

We’ll see how this works.

Maybe I’ll start by finally publishing a few of the drafts…

Or maybe not.

Whatever happens next, it doesn’t matter. I’ll just do it. No overthinking, no worrying, no unrealistic expectations put on myself by me.

The time is now.

A re-introduction

I don’t know which is crazier…

The fact I haven’t blogged in over a year or the fact that I’ve had less than 16 ounces of coffee today.

For real, though. It’s been awhile. Hello!

Here’s the truth: I’ve tried to blog. Many times, in fact. Over the last year or so, actually. Every time I went to write, I just couldn’t do it.

I write every day for clients, brands and businesses, yet when I sit down to write for myself, I can’t.

Call it writer’s block, or a writer’s lull. The pressure I put on myself to write something valuable, thought-provoking and worthy of your time as readers became stronger than the motivation I had to write in the first place. Each idea I had just didn’t seem to be good enough to post, and so I never did.

So fast forward to over one year later…here I am. The writer’s block is going away (slowly, very slowly), so I apologize in advance if a period of time goes by without a post. I’m practicing and exercising the art of writing again, little by little.

Here are a few highlights to get us all up to speed once again!

I’ve been able to cross a few items off of my bucket list. Instead of boring you with the daily details of my life, let me give you a few highlights (complete with pictures).

I traveled to Chicago and visited The Bean, the Sears Tower, the Art Museum of Chicago and more. I saw Monet paintings in real life, and they are much more beautiful than the versions you see in history books and on Google. One of my favorite moments was seeing The Bean. I’ve wanted to visit it for years!

I traveled to Pittsburgh. My first time! I saw the outside of Heinz field (didn’t go inside sadly) and drank coffee in a fancy coffee shop. I walked across the Andy Warhol bridge. It was stunning.

I disco’d in my church’s Christmas dramatic musical. I wore go-go boots and silvery leather pants. Surprisingly, they were very comfortable and easy to walk in.

I purchased a piano. Granted, it is a Yamaha electric piano, but it does everything and anything. It is not a white grand piano (true piano goals right there), but it is beautiful and I am the proud owner of it!

Okay, let’s make this even shorter:

I saw the Rockettes perform in New York City. The Reach Band launched our first CD and had an album release party.

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I stood by my friend’s side as she became a Mrs. We launched Reach Church with its first church service. I turned 23 and became the new owner of the nickname Kelly (long story made short here).

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It has been a whirlwind of a year (and 13 days), so thank you for being patient as I figure out how to write again…authentically, personally and from the heart. It’s harder than it sounds, trust me.

It’s good to be back.

 

10 Things I Have Learned (So Far) In The Real World

I am not a Real World pro by any means, but I have been out of college for about half a year now. (Mind-blowing.)

Six months, apparently, is enough time for reality to sink in and make one realize that no, you are not, in fact, going back to school. You are done with homework and exams and assigned readings. You are done with college, period.

Now that I have entered this thing called The Real World, learning a new routine has come with several challenges I had not at first anticipated. Who knew not having to work on homework at night would cause a (mini) identity crisis?

I love my job! It’s fantastic!

However, when I come home from work, I often find myself not knowing what to do next. I have been so used to tackling homework or going to extra-curricular meetings for the past few years now, that with that suddenly gone, my evenings are free. No meetings, no homework. Suddenly, I have a personal life again.

I do not miss homework at. all., but I do (in a way) miss the routine I had so strategically created and mastered. For those of you out of college, please tell me I’m not alone, and that I’m normal(ish).

But, that’s not all. Instead of boring you with a long blog post, here are

10 Things I Have Learned (So Far) In The Real World.

1. Finding a hobby you can do at night is a great idea. 

2. Time management is still important. 

3. Packing your lunch the night before is a genius idea.

4. So is choosing your outfit. 

5. Cardigans are the best thing ever. Get one in every color. 

6. Find a podcast series or create a music playlist to listen to on your commute. 

7. Don’t forget about your friends. Stay in touch.

8. Read for fun. It’s not overrated. 

9. Pay your bills, save your money. 

10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ever. 

There is already many more items I could add to that list, and as I keep learning, that list will continue to grow. That’s the cool thing about life. You’re always learning something new!

What about you? What are some things you have learned while entering The Real World?

The Carly Reads Giveaway!

Love to read?

Want to win a free book?

Have an Instagram account?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of the above questions, congratulations. It’s your lucky day. My fabulous friend Carly has an awesome giveaway happening RIGHT NOW!

Head on over to CarlyReadsfind this photo, repost it, tag three friends, include the hashtag #CarlyReadsGiveaway, and include what book you’d love to win in your caption. 

Yep, I know.

It’s that simple.

But hurry! The giveaway ends on Saturday, August 8 at 11:59 p.m., so there are only a few days left to enter.

P.S. Stay tuned for a future interview blog post with Carly to discuss how she started CarlyReads and all the adventures she’s had so far because of it! Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 12.25.09 AM

The Top 5 Songs You Must Listen To Right Now

 

I commute every day and get sick and tired of the radio.

You can only listen to Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5 so many times before you cannot stand it anymore.

In the same boat? You’ve come to the right place.

Three of these are new songs and the other two are oldies, but I cannot stop listening to them and thought you might love them, too.

Here are The Top 5 Songs You Must Listen To Right Now.

  1. Mike Love – Permanent Holiday
  2. Grouplove – Spun
  3. Elon University (cover) – Sia – Chandelier
  4. Sara Bareilles – (Sittin’ On The) Dock Of The Bay
  5. Chopin – Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 35 1. Grave Doppio movimento

Bonus song! One of my favorite hymns sung beautifully by one of my favorite worship bands: King’s Kaleidoscope (cover) – How Deep

What song are you currently listening to on repeat? Share it in the comments below!

Several Months Later

* Several Months Later *Several_Monthes_Later..._

I feel like I am living a Sponge Bob episode where time races forward and the next scene occurs months after the previous scene. AKA I have not written a blog post in several months and a lot has happened since my previous one.

A few months can change a lot of things. For example, my role as a student took its final bow and I received a college degree as proof. My role as job searcher ended, as well, and I accepted a post-grad job with great excitement. My role as Smurf-owner changed, because I bought a new {silver, not blue} car.

If you do not stop to take it all in, life goes by pretty fast. It feels like just yesterday I wrote a blog post about the anxiety I felt before entering college and here I am, * four years later * reflecting on the truth that I left it.

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Life goes on after college. That is one fact I had a hard time grasping throughout the last semester or two. It was difficult to imagine a world without homework, exams, group projects, and presentations. To be honest, it has been challenging to get out of the mindset that I start school in the fall. I’m relieved, of course, and very excited — still, it is bizarre to embrace the idea that I’m actually done. Eighteen years of school and *snap* – it’s over.

Life goes on — a truth, a revelation, a promise.

An adult. A real one. I am a full-fledged adult now, but I still feel {sometimes}
like I am 12. Maybe it is because I have not grown since my pre-teen years, or maybe it is because I do not feel “old” like I once thought adults should feel. Nevertheless, it’s official. I’m a college graduate and a new member of this much-talked-about place called, “the real world.” Ready or not, here I come.

In the beginning of the year, I chose three words to help guide me through the next 365 days: First, Risk, and Joy.

My oh my, how perfect those words have been to summarize the many joys, struggles, difficulties, and blessings I have experienced thus far this year. In just these seven months of 2015, I feel like I have been stretched in ways I did not anticipate. Stretched in patience, faith, love, and joy. Stretched in trust, work ethic, focus, and determination. Stretched, stretched, stretched — but stretched in ways that always pointed me towards focusing on the God who gives me strength.

Without firsts, without risks, and without joys, life is pretty dull. As a girl who usually loves routine and order, the idea of risking a comfort zone to try new things can be a true test of what I am made of.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.42.51 PMI have a lot of adjusting and stretching to do. Obviously, I am not nearly as stretched as God wants me to be. Every day of life stretches you a little more towards Him. I’ve been stretching my identity to be more then just a piece of resume paper. My identity is more then the tasks I perform, the activities I participate in, and the motions of everyday life. My identity is through Christ, in Christ, alone.

A professor said to my class two weeks before the semester ended this past spring. He said to me, to us, “Stop thinking about what you want to do after college. Who do you want to be?” It struck me. Not because of the question, but because I realized how often I think about the things that need to be accomplished that I often forget to stop and really enjoy the moment.

The ironic part of this sort-of epiphany is how often I have blogged over the years about learning to find the little joys in every day life. It is a constant, life-long battle, and one that requires me to be constantly stretched and tested.

All I know is that I’m excited… and ready.

Another chapter has opened, full of new firsts, risks, and joys.

Let’s do this. IMG_1385