Balancing productivity with doing nothing

Balancing productivity with doing nothing

Balancing productivity with doing nothing does not come easy. There is no question that I could be productive for 6-8 hours a day, working, working and working some more. And looking at my list from yesterday, I managed to record 4 videos for my journal course I will be releasing soon, met with my accountability partner, and decided to launch a Patreon community.

Yep, I veered of my to-do list! I didn’t review my social media nor did I work on the wood-burning. Instead, I chose to honor my own needs and take a nap instead which was followed with a day of chilling on the futon and watching crime shows.

I believe that if you are able to manage 3 things out of 5 that it’s still a productive day. I don’t think you need to be hard on yourself to check everything off on the to-do list.

This morning, I officially launched the Patreon and mapped out a schedule that gives me a bit of flexibility such as Mastermind sessions will be during the first week of the month – and exact date/time are to be determined as we get closer to the date.

I don’t really want to work 6-8 hours a day either unless I am utterly inspired and can’t stop working instead I want to create for 3-6 hours every day and know that I have done a great job checking things off my to-do list. I have 7 days a week to get things done. And while I don’t work on client projects on the weekend, doesn’t mean I can’t work on my own stuff.

My gratitude for today:

  1. Getting a good night sleep. I managed to sleep almost 8 hours.
  2. For Patreon being an option and opportunity to be of service and help to people
  3. Sunshine even if it’s windy as hell outside right now

I am excited about:

  1. Launching my Patreon even if it feels a bit scary
  2. Getting our property cleaned up and looking good
  3. Today’s Mastermind + Co-working Session

And on my plan for the day is to:

  1. Record the content for my journal course – I have 5 more videos to do
  2. Showing up for the Mastermind and Co-working Session
  3. Therapy for Lennon online to check in
  4. Write and send out newsletter
  5. Spend time on my art project

Balancing productivity with doing nothing is no easy feat and it took me a long time to be okay with doing nothing. Not every moment of the day needs to be spend hustling because the mind needs a break from all the doing!



Not a soul awake (in my house) at 4:30 in the morning

Not a soul awake (in my house) at 4:30 in the morning

Thunderstorm came through at 4:30 waking me from my slumber and not a soul awake in my house other than myself. I tossed + turned for about an hour before I said to hell with it and got up to make my first cup of coffee.

And honestly I like this quiet mornings – not that my mornings are obnoxiously loud. Lennon will wake about in about an hour or 2, giving me a bit of time to record some videos for a course I am working on. But for now there’s not a soul awake.

But in the meantime, I sat with my planner this morning and looked at the blank space of my gratitude list and I vividly recall times when coming up with 3 things, let alone one seemed like the biggest mountain to climb. And yet, during this last month, it hasn’t been a challenge at all.

My gratitude for today:

  1. My new futon mattress because while sleeping on an air-mattress has been great, it’s been noisy with a chance of deflation. It’s also giving me a place to chill and work from if I so choose – like right now as I write this.
  2. Lennon taking time out of his busy gaming schedule to learn about the weather and getting a 100 on a quiz. My only request during this time has been to spend one hour learning. I am not a great home-school parent.
  3. Thunderstorms and rain – even though it disrupted my sleep, the rain watered my garden and I don’t have to go out there this morning to do it myself.

The next section in my planner asks me what I am excited about – and again that in moments feels too big and overwhelming but then I focus on what my current life is and the things I am focusing on.

I am excited about:

  1. Getting our home and property cleaned up and decent looking. It’s been a bit of a challenge honestly but I am taking the time and nice spring days to do some proper spring cleaning and organizing.
  2. Today I plan on recording the video content for a new course I am about to release for The Rebels Academy. Since journaling is such a big part of my life, I thought that perhaps someone would be interested in getting started.
  3. Turning this blog more into a personal journal/diary of sort. I like the idea of sharing with you my ways of handling this life and my every day being. I could totally use The Rebels Den for it, but that’s more of a personal development + business blog and while I do get personal there, it’s been shifting to being a magazine and I am good with that.

There’s an advantage for being up early and not a soul awake because it gives me quiet time.

Quiet time to just sit for a moment and feel into my gratitude and excitement.
Quiet time to reflect where I am and what I want to be, do and have.
Quiet time to ponder the plans for the day and map out a few projects.

And on my plan for the day is to:

  1. Brainstorm a few blog post ideas for Create a Handmade Life
  2. Review my social media content
  3. Record the videos for my journal course
  4. Meet with my accountability partner
  5. Work on the train pyrography art project

I hope you have an amazing day and may you find gratitude and something to be excited about.



Staying focused while the world is falling apart

Staying focused while the world is falling apart

It can be challenging staying focused while the world is falling apart. I’ve been intentionally spending time away from social media – with minor exceptions when it comes to my businesses or I had something humorous to share.

I simply can’t handle the sharing of posts without credible sources and it all feels like a bad soap opera with the whole he-said she-said – and then of course conspiracies are rising up like a bad fiction novel that forgot to put the scenes in some kind of order so that it actually makes sense.

We had lab work at the beginning before social distancing was the new way of life and I am happy to say all looks well! And since Lennon’s school been out and we are social-distancing as much as possible – I live with 2 essential workers – I’ve been spending a lot of time outside working in the yard.

Something that tripped me up early on is the bare shelves in the grocery store and I wondered how I would be feeding our family. My past trauma of abandonment and neglect came to the forefront and just how fearful I am about not having food. Staying focused on the lack outside of my home wouldn’t benefit my own well-being, let alone my family.

What’s been helpful to find my balance again is to plant our vegetable garden and keep at least 2-3 weeks worth of food in the home. It’s keeping my anxiety at bay and I feel tremendously better as I am acknowledging just what causes me anxiety and what I can do to heal it and alleviate it.

In the meantime, Lennon has been perfectly happy in his room with only stepping out when he needs to use the bathroom or get some food. I pondered taking him on trails to get exercise but with his immune suppression and past health challenges, I am just not comfortable in doing any of that. As of now, he’s not complained about missing school as he actively video chats with his friends.

And it go me thinking, we’ve been here before – maybe not in the scheme of things with the whole world participating. But after his transplant we limited the places we went and stayed away from people who were dealing with a cold or anything like it. I think we are able to find comfort in this knowing we came out of it on the other side – but also still worries and concern for Lennon – or anyone in our family – to get infected with Covid-19.

And so here we are, Lennon is in his room video-chatting, gaming, reading and doing some school work, while I am taking care of clients to help them manage their business online and achieve their goals. And I am able to spend a ton of time outside and creating art.

Every morning, I sit down with my planner to review 3-4 things I am grateful for, 3 things I am excited about and what my focus is for that day – because staying focused on my own dreams + goals is pretty important to me.

We celebrated Christmas with anxiety and success

We celebrated Christmas with anxiety and success

We celebrated Christmas with anxiety and success but every year it’s the same! Lennon gets anxious about what he will receive. In the past, Christmas was met with shutting down and tantrums. The challenge we face every year is that he has expectations because that is how his brain works. And when those expectations don’t happen, he struggles.

He doesn’t mean to because, at the end of the day, every Christmas is the best Christmas ever.

celebrated Christmas with anxiety

This year, this year was different.

This year, he had the forethought to know he may need help with his emotions when we open presents. And I give thanks to therapy and his therapist to help us maneuver this.

This year was different because he was able to receive at least one thing he wanted (and expected) but also one thing he didn’t even anticipate but had in fact talked about for a long time.

Just before opening the presents, he looked at me, fidgeting in his seat expressing that he was nervous. It was visible in his face too. He was:

  • Nervous about what he was going to get
  • Nervous about not getting what he wanted
  • Nervous about all the people in the house

And let me add that the people that came over, he knows them, they were not strangers but we are also having new members in our family as Lennon is gearing up to be an uncle for the first time.

I sometimes find myself still looking at him as a little boy in need of help from his mom but then in the moments when he’s sharing his thoughts and feelings and is asking for help, I recognize how much he’s grown.

celebrated Christmas with anxiety
Why mom? I’m eating!

And even though this year, we have celebrated Christmas with anxiety and success, I can see the support he will continue to need.

But for this moment in time, I am going to just acknowledge his growth and celebrate the milestones he’s achieving no matter how small!

Why I’m writing about Lennon again

Why I’m writing about Lennon again

If you have been hanging around my world, you may know that Lennon is doing incredibly well healthwise. We’ve not had any setbacks since 2014 or any other complications.

What has happened however is that at the beginning of this year (2019) he was officially diagnosed as autistic.

And that he just started 10th grade and we are getting closer to adult transitions and it’s a bit daunting to think about what that may look like for him, for us.

We don’t really know.

So currently we are in therapy to gain some skills to maneuver social settings, advocating for himself and learning other independent living skills.

In a few years, we will be deciding on power of attorney or guardianship an I am slowly learning what it all means, what we can or cannot do.

The main goal will be to help him live on his own, work a job and all that adult stuff and yes he’s capable of quite a bit but also still needs a lot of support and I want to make sure we are giving him all of the tools and resources available to him to transition from teenager to adult.

This is me going to share another part of our journey!

I still worry about my adult children

I still worry about my adult children

I recently read an article that has made the rounds stating that it confirms parents still lose sleep about grown children. And I still worry about my adult children.

I didn’t read the article because I don’t need a study to confirm this for me.

I always worry about my children – adult or not – and perhaps I worry about the adult ones just a little bit more than my youngest one.

While I may have faced foster care, moving to a new country and being a rape survivor among other challenges, I do believe that parenting as a whole has been by far been the biggest challenge in my life.

I’ve cried a lot over the years because of it because part of me feels guilty. I had to be semi-absent for two of my children while my third was fighting for his life. During times that they may have actually needed me the most. And it felt like my hands were tied and no matter what decision I made, one or more of my kids would be hurting.

There are parts where I now reflect back and think perhaps we should have done things differently, bring them to the hospital more while their brother was hanging onto a thread. And we were merely protecting them but I also get that dying and all the crazy things we experienced are indeed part of life.

When I get into this feeling of guilt I have to remind myself that in every single moment I am doing the best I can with what I know. I can’t do more than that. I totally could do worse but not more.

And as I am watching from the side-line how my adult children maneuver life, there are times, I want to sweep in, give them a hug and let them know it’s going to be okay.

It’s tough, and I mean really tough seeing your children struggle with all things life and that you feel like you can’t do a damn thing about it.

It’s like a teeter-totter because part of me absolutely wants them to struggle, to figure out what they want and how to make it happen while the other part of me want’s to kick them in the butt and tell them to get their shit together.

My heart aches as I watch one of my kids struggle with his life and he’s losing his footing again after just having found it not so long ago. I know he’s hurting and I know that he isn’t going to reach out for help, at least not any time soon. I hope he knows that his family will have his back no matter what.

And in the meantime, my youngest is transitioning to high-school and we are facing a new challenge as he’s venturing into a different playing field.

Parenting at any level isn’t easy when you know you have to allow your kids to experience life, make the mistakes and hope will all your might that they can see the lessons.

My heart feels heavy today as I continue to watch and worry about all of my kids.