Have you ever heard that quote that says something along the lines of “We are our own worst critics”? I think this is especially true for women. Nothing we do ever seems to be good enough…at least in our own minds.
I always go to bed determined to be Wonder Woman the next day. I wake up motivated to get everything on my To Do list done. I’m going to write, exercise, clean the house, make my kids a nice, hot, homemade dinner, and still be alert enough to spend some time with the hubs after the kiddos go to bed.
But somewhere between going to sleep and actually getting out of bed, my motivations trickle off into the unknown. I’ll freely admit, exercise is the first item to fall off the list. I used to exercise. A lot. I loved it. I still do…theoretically. I’ll get back to it one day. I swear.
Cleaning the house is usually the next thing to go and heck, the hot meal thing is totally my kids’ fault because they LIKE eating cereal every night. I do usually get writing in but that’s often because I’m under a legal contract to do so. Legal contracts definitely help. But I still rarely get as much done as I want. So inevitably, no matter how much I’ve accomplished during the day, I go to bed feeling disappointed with myself.
This might be a reason why I love to write. When I write, I can disappear into another world for a short time. I can spend a few precious minutes with dangerous bad boys with hearts of gold who are madly in love with feisty heroines. I can forget my To Do list while I try to figure out how Lucy and Finn from A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart will overcome his dark past and her false murder accusation and find their happily ever after.
I can ignore that ever-growing pile of laundry and experience the exhilaration of stolen kisses during a treasure hunt with Min and Bryant in To Trust a Thief. Or set my heart pounding by accompanying Brynne and Richard from A Bandit’s Broken Heart on a raid to get back stolen medical supplies. Or forget about the batch of burned cupcakes and focus on Cilla and Leo in A Bandit’s Stolen Heart finally admitting they love each other. Much more fun than paying attention to my real life failures.
Unfortunately, I can’t live in my make believe worlds all the time. Eventually I have to unbury myself from my manuscripts and get back to the real world. A world in which I’m entirely too harsh on myself.
I finally figured out the problem. NOBODY can be Wonder Woman. Even the actual Wonder Woman. Yeah she does okay balancing being a working woman and a super hero but her love life is a mess and try throwing a couple kids into the mix and I guarantee she’ll be showing up at the next bank heist with her boots on the wrong feet and her “mystery goo” smeared bustier inside out.
I’m slowly learning not to judge myself so severely. I mean, sure, it’s easy for the characters I write. They are usually motivated by life-and-death situations, or undying love, or an honorable nobility that I’ll never possess, especially if it means getting another five minutes of sleep. They are in situations that I put them in and can write them in and out of at will.
Real life isn’t so easy. And it took me awhile to realize, but I’m actually doing okay with the real life stuff. No, I don’t accomplish everything I want to do every day. Who does? But really, my house isn’t all that bad. Ready to be photographed for a magazine? No. It never will be. But you can navigate from room to room with minimal bodily damage. I call that a win!
Yes, the kids might have sucked cereal for the third night in a row but their tummies are full and they are happy. And they’ll get something homemade and nutritious tomorrow. No, I didn’t get on the treadmill for thirty minutes today, but I did go up and down the stairs twenty times chasing kids and dragging laundry baskets. That’s got to count for something. And I was able to stay awake long enough to watch an entire show with the hubs before we both passed out under a pile of cats (who have decided our bed is the most comfortable in the house).
So, my New Year’s Resolution – give myself a break and a little credit for everything I do manage to accomplish. Because you know, I’m really not doing as bad as I think I am.
Romance and non-fiction author Michelle McLean spent 98% of her formative years with her nose in a book indulging in her love of reading and research. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, insane eclectic tastes, and tends to be a bit of an organized mess with an insatiable love of books.
When Michelle’s not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.
You can find more information about Michelle and her books on her website. Michelle loves to connect with her readers so come visit her at her site, on Facebook, or on Twitter, or email her at email@example.com.