The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin

The wonderful Caitlin Thomson emailed me recently to let me know about an article in The New Yorker.  The article is “The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin” by Julie Phillips.  Le Guin is a wife and mother and she mentions how these roles played into her role as an author.  Here’s a link to the article.

A big thank you to Caitlin for letting me know about this great article.

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Rachel Jones bring a new perspective

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Jones of www.nourishingminimalism.com.  You can see my previous post about her here.  I love her blog, and I’ve been a follower of hers for quite a while now.  She’s the mother of six children, and she is the author of several books and resources that she offers on her website.

One thing that I did not realize about her is that she is the main breadwinner for her family.  Her husband quit his full-time job to help her at home, and now he works part-time.  This brings an interesting perspective into the mix, as most of the mothers I have interviewed work what most would consider “part-time” and the financial responsibility of the family does not fall on their shoulders.

She mentioned something in her interview that I want to share with you right away.  I asked her if she ever turned down a project or chose not to pursue a project due to family obligations.  This is what she had to say:

No. I have taken longer on a project because I needed to parent though! I have known for a long time that I am a nicer person and better parent when I have projects and goals. I knew that I wanted my children to see a healthy person taking care of themselves, so I determined that that is what I would do. My children have joined me in my life, rather than becoming my life. Getting divorced when my oldest was 5 years old, I had to be honest with myself on what I wanted my children to see as normal and healthy through the rest of my parenting of them. The first 5 years was a toxic example, and I knew I had to change that to be as healthy a person as I could be. I want my children to value themselves and be their own person, and I knew the only way was to be that example to them. 

And generally, my projects are geared towards earning an income, and they all need to eat… so. 🙂

I picked up on two specific things in her answer.

1.  She wants her children to see a healthy person who can take care of them.  We all want that for our children.  I HOPE my children see a well-balanced, efficient, happy mother who delights in their care and well-being.  When you step back and look at the big picture, what do you want your children to see as their example?  No excuses.  Not if the circumstances were different.  Not when they’re older or you have more time or you aren’t so stressed out or you don’t have so much to do.  What do you want your children to see as their example TODAY?

2.  She has to earn an income, and her children need to eat.  That’s pretty good motivation.  I think our children need to see that hard work puts food on the table.  I think (hope) it instills gratefulness and appreciation in them.

Many thanks to Rachel for taking the time to answer my questions.  Even if you have no interest in minimalism, I encourage you to check out her website.  It will change your life for the better.  Look for more from Rachel’s interview in my book.

Productivity for Creative People

This little tidbit is from Gabriela Pereira.  She is the author of the book “DIY MFA.”  I also subscribe to her email list, and this was just one of the things she sent out last week.  If you aren’t familiar with her, please check out her website.

From Gabriela:

Mark McGuinness–an excellent writer and dear friend–has a new book out and it’s available for free! If you listen to DIY MFA Radio, you might recognize Mark as the guest who spoke about motivation for creatives. Whenever I have questions about the creative process, Mark is one of the go-to people I turn to.

His new book Productivity for Creative People is a follow up to his book on motivation and it’s a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to get the most out of their time. If you’ve been struggling to find time in your busy life for writing, this is a must-read. And the best part: It’s not terribly long so you can learn the techniques and then put them into action right away. Go here to grab your copy today!

Permission to make your own dreams a reality

The following is from an email from Ruth Soukup.  I subscribe to her email mailing list, and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I shared her wonderful message with you.  I was first introduced to Ruth through her book “31 Days of Living Well and Spending Less.”  Because of this book, our family just went through our first spending freeze.  We called it “No Spend September.”  It wasn’t exactly fun, but we learned a lot.  She has some really great ideas.  I recommend you check out her website.

From Ruth:

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to connect with a small group of LWSL readers for a special private Goal Crushing Mastermind. As part of our time together, two brave volunteers stepped forward to go on the “hot seat” to share some of the time management issues they have been struggling with, in the hopes that together as a group, we might be able to brainstorm a few solutions.

While the challenges each of the two women were facing seemed quite different on the surface, it soon became clear that there were some common threads to both.

First, both women were struggling with the overwhelming feeling that there wasn’t enough time in the day to get done everything that needed to be done. There were simply too many things to do, and not enough hours to do all of them.

But as we dug deeper, it became clear that this wasn’t just a problem of having too much to do, but of constantly feeling torn between those tasks that they felt had to be done and of longing to make time for those tasks that they really wanted to do.

Can anyone else relate?

As we talked, I realized just how common this feeling really is! As women and moms, we tend to put SO much pressure on ourselves! There’s the pressure to be a better mom and a better wife and a better cook and a better homemaker, the pressure to be more organized and make more money and to create more work-life balance. There’s the pressure to lose weight or to wear nicer clothes or drive a better car or have a bigger, more impressive house. There’s the pressure to have a healthy, organic, homemade dinner on the table every night, and to somehow always magically keep the laundry done, and to keep the house perfectly clean and to have kids that are smart and talented and always well-behaved.

There’s so much pressure that we put on ourselves to live up to someone else’s ideal, that we forget it’s okay to make our own dreams and goals a priority too.

The reality is that we can’t do it all. None of us can. And I promise you that even the perfect mom you are watching from afar, the one you’ve convinced yourself has it all together, has her own set of struggles too.

And that is exactly why it is so important to stop comparing and to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to live up to a standard that doesn’t actually exist!

Instead, we need to be brave enough to spend our time and energy doing the things that spark our passion and make us feel most alive, even if that means letting the laundry pile up or choosing takeout over a home-cooked meal sometimes.

Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Along those same lines, Mae Jemison once wrote, “It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

In other words, give yourself permission to go after your dreams.

Your goals and the things you are most passionate about are worth making time for, not just because they’ll bring more joy and fulfillment to your life (which they will), but because giving yourself permission to live in your sweet spot will make a difference in everything else you do. It will make you a better wife, a better mom, a better friend. You’ll have more energy to get things done. The world will seem brighter and clearer and more alive.

And so, my challenge for you this week, is to stop being so hard on yourself and to start giving yourself permission to make your own dreams a priority. Stop putting pressure on yourself to live up to an ideal that isn’t real, and instead be honest with yourself. What secret goals have you been pushing aside because you’ve convinced yourself there’s no time? What are the things you wish you could be doing that fill you up and spark your passion and make you feel like the best version of yourself? Make time for them, friends, before it’s too late.

I dare you.

That’s all for now–have an amazing & joy-filled weekend!

xoxo, Ruth

P.S. Have you grabbed your 2016 Holiday Planner? Right now you can get it FREE for a limited time–get it HERE!

New e-course from Meagan Schultz

I’d like to take just a moment to share a link with you from Meagan Shultz.  Meagan has launched her new e-course Healing after a Miscarriage.  I’m so proud of her for having the courage to reach out to women who are grieving this loss and helping them to heal.  I personally think that miscarriage is a topic that most people just don’t know how to deal with.  We don’t know how to act or react when it happens to us, and we certainly don’t know the right way to handle it when it happens to someone we know.  So, thank you to Meagan for seeing the need to help women who are dealing with this and caring enough to create this e-course just for them.

I will be talking with Meagan later this month, as she has agreed to be a part of the interview process for the book.  Looking forward to getting to know her better.  In the meantime, please view the link above.  If it is not for you, please pass it along to someone who might benefit from it.

Caitlin Thomson writes for joy

I contacted Caitlin Thomson today regarding an interview for the book.  I happened upon her article “Writing for Joy” on Literary Mama today.  (Here is my previous post about Literary Mama.)  Judging from this one piece, I think she would be a great fit for the book.  It’s really about how it all collides:  motherhood, chores, being a wife, that need to create, and work.  She describes it so eloquently as though it is this beautiful mash-up that just works out.  I was definitely left wanting to read more.

You can learn more about Caitlin on her website at www.caitlinthomson.com.