Category Archives: Affirmations

Oops, forgot I had this thing…

So, I can’t believe I’ve spaced out so much lately. I thought about this blog this week, loaded it, and gasped when I saw my most recent post on here was from New Years this year.

JANUARY 2019.

OOPS.

I know I said I’d do better, so I’m going to be more diligent when it comes to anything author-related.

That being said, first step was getting into writing again because, unfortunately, haven’t written much since Smoky Writers back in February/March. During which, by the way, I finished the draft to Kinetics #5, the fifth and final book in my KINETICS saga. For the entire story behind my KINETICS saga from start to present day, check out this separate blog post [PENDING POST] for the whole history of it. It’s a long, emotional roller-coaster of a journey, so it deserves its own post.

Needless to say, when I was deciding which project to pick up again, I did what I always do, and review my spreadsheet. For those of you that are unaware, or just didn’t pick up on it, I am a very organized, task-oriented person. My messy room would have you fooled, but when it comes to computers and digital content, I am more OCD than out in the real world. I also work in IT for my day job, and I’ve even had managers in my career that say I am the most task-oriented person they’ve met, and applaud me for it, saying they could never have the persistence to record and organize my tasks and projects so detailed, so creative, and so flawlessly quick.

As example, I will go back to the original point: my writing spreadsheet.

Here’s a few photos of the many tabs that make up this spreadsheet::

Tabs1-As_of_2019-06-09

Tabs2-As_of_2019-06-09

Tabs3-As_of_2019-06-09

Didn’t think I’d be that digital OCD, did you?

I warned you.

Oh, and it gets WAY worse. Just keep going! (*insert laughing with tears emoji here*)

The un-colored tabs are for my productivity records, which I’ll cover in a bit. The highlighted tab colors signify their use/status. I’ll list them in order, skipping the purple one to cover later (and trust me, your brain will explode at what’s in that tab).

Here’s the color guide::

Light green = Current WIP (works in progress, for those of you unfamiliar with that term). These are projects I am currently working on. These could also be projects I’ve just started a bit, presently writing a few words here or there, while getting deep into nitty-gritty research and profiling and mental plotting for the story as a series and as a whole.(Spoiler alert: I can’t do one-off/single books. I’ve always been a series/serial kinda gal.)

Yellow = Projects I’ve started recently that are my backups for if I get writer’s block / LOI for my Light Green projects. (To learn the term LOI that I created, see [this blog post] to see if you agree with the differences). These ones are projects and/or series I’ve gotten a decent amount into, and can still feel a flame of inspiration in my heart; barely there, but waiting for that fuel to truly flame.

Red (both shades) = These are projects and/or series I’ve put on hold for now. Ones that have caused my lack of writing in recent months, or ones that tormented me months or even years back that I still want to attempt someday. Light red projects are hopeful ones to pick up; the dark red tab is the one currently in question on what format to output, due to reasons I will NOT be getting into.

Blue (both shades) = The blues are ones barely started, not touched in ages, and can’t be considered for the Red “Hold” highlight due to the length of time they’ve been on hold. I might revisit them someday, but those can wait a good amount longer without breaking my inner college writer. The darker blue one already has stories published, but there’s 1 or 2 more stories I want to write for it. However, those 1 to 2 stories haven’t been worked on since 2014, and still not urgent to feed my inner imagination and inspiration as an author.

Dark Green = These ones are series in which every book/story is completed. Could be all first drafts, could be all edited drafts, could be partially published works, or a combination of the three.

Now, to really make your heads spin.

This is what is on the purple tab, labelled “Overall Index”. Don’t hurt your eyes trying to read. (Again, *insert laughing with tears emoji here*)

Overal_Index_Tiny-As_of_2019-06-09

flail_kermit

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This tab lists every project I’ve worked on since Spring of 2011. As you can probably tell, there seems to be more projects than what the number of tabs suggest (Just kidding, your brains are already mush by this point; no one assumes that). But, if you are sane enough at this point to think that, you’d be correct. I do have projects on the Overall Index that do not have their own tabs. Yet, at least. Planning on adding them eventually, then hiding them until I might want to pick them up a few years from now. You know three years… five years… twenty years…. something like that.

Now, to cover the painful proof of my LOI (again, here’s my [blog post] for LOI comparison).

Here’s my current Word Counts for the year 2019 thus far, broken up by project and month:

WC-As_of_2019-06-09_14-40

I know, I know, 64k in less than six months is nothing to sneeze at. However, I made a goal for myself at the beginning of the New Year: a goal instead of a resolution, something to try your best to achieve and not give up when you mess up once. My goal was to write every day, no matter whether it was 5 words, 500 words, or 5,000 words. Wouldn’t matter, as long as I got something written down, some progress, however small, is still progress.

These next two photos show why I’m slightly disappointed in myself.

Here’s a screenshot of a table I made which shows my productivity by week, making an average that compares the number of days each week that I wrote (the “Y” column) verses the days I didn’t write anything at all (the “N” column)::

Yes_No_Comparison-As_of_2019-06-09_14-40

(This is as of today (6/9/2019), and I wrote today, which is why Week 24 shows 100% “Y”, because Sundays are the start of my week counting)

As you can see, some weeks are 100%, meaning I wrote something each day of that week. Some also have partial percentages, meaning only wrote a few times that week, less than 7 days, but at least 1 day of that week.

Then look at the 0.00% rows.

Nine weeks of 23 (still ignoring Week 24), I didn’t write ANYTHING at all.

ANYTHING.

And, here’s the comparison between “Y” days and “N” days for the full year::

Ttl-Yes_No_Comparison-23_Weeks-As_of_2019-06-09_14-40

Nope.

Not good enough.

Not gonna cut it.

So, after looking into all my older projects, I decided to pick up a series I’ve been working on since early 2017; a story saga which released its first 3 stories in 2017, 2 more in 2018, and the first collection of those 5 stories releasing March of this year (2019).

A series I hadn’t touched since mid-2018, when I finished the first draft of the fifth story.

A series I haven’t written new words for since this past April.

A series with an entire TWO more story arcs.

Figure it out yet?

Yes, Vikans, I have picked up THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS short story serial once more! [This Page Link] will take you to the links to all the published stories thus far in this hidden war between the MRC and ChaosBlaze.

The fifth story left off at a slight hangover, with Division 3 promising each other they would regain the friend they lost: a friend who gives himself up for the rest of the team’s lives.

Not spoiling any more than that, but trust me on this::

The story is just beginning.

I’ll be publishing my post on my KINETICS journey sometime soon, and once I do, I’ll link it in the appropriate locations on this post.

Until then, Vikans…

Keep Faith!

-C

 

Looking to the Future: 2016 to 2017

So, Christmas is drawing nearer, as is the end of 2016. I’ve seen so many people who have labelled 2016 as the “Sucky” year. Celebrities dying, elections pulling people apart, so many people becoming violent or ending up a victim of violence. I hate the news lately, because all they do is fill me with terror.

scared-hiding

But, wait.

Why do I feel terrified?

  1. Is it election results?
  2. Death of a famous person or someone close to me?
  3. Christmas plans or moving process causing too much stress?
  4. None of the above.

If you picked (d), you are correct. Then, what is troubling me so?

Answer: What’s in store for my future?

That big question has been hanging over my head for a good number of weeks. If 2016 was as bad as it was, then what does 2017 hold for me? Well, here’s what I’ve decided to do. Below will be a few lists I’m making, both for my peace of mind, as well as for your information.

Stats for 2016 (before this posting on 12/19/2016)::

  • 1,181 views on this blog
  • 357 visitors to this blog
  • 19 Likes on Blog posts
  • 25 Followers on Twitter
  • 20 sold/freebie copies of The Protektor’s Reality in the hands of new readers
  • 13 free short stories downloaded (all off the iBookstore)
  • Only 2 new reviews on Amazon of The Protektor’s Reality
  • Only 1 patron on Patreon

Things that were horrible in 2016::

  • Mono (yes, the illness plagued me for most of the summer)
  • Having to see a cardiologist in my early 20’s
  • Losing a lot of weight, but gaining 2/3 of it back again…
  • Struggling physically from anxiety
  • Being so far away from my pucky doggies

Things that were good in 2016::

  • Smoky Mountain Writers retreat for another year, and cranked out 38,000 words in 6 days! (Love ya, guys! Can’t wait for February!)
  • My first Ravencon AS A WRITER GUEST/PANELIST!
  • I celebrated a year of being with my loving Boyfriend.
  • I started (and revamped) my Patreon page, in hopes of staying motivated.
  • Boyfriend and I took our first vacation together, went to Las Vegas and Arizona to see his Mom (Front row seats to KA, the Cirque de Soilel show!)
  • [Last week] Kicked off my new Youtube Channel, ChrissyTalks

Things I hope to accomplish in 2017::

  • Stay consistent with my blog
  • Upload to my Youtube Channel regularly
  • Try and gain more Patrons, reviews, and fans by ‘putting myself out there.’
  • Keep writing!
  • Ravencon as a Guest/Panelist AGAIN!
  • Exercise more and drink more water
  • Feel more confident in myself

So, here comes the biggest goal of all.

I WANT TO PUBLISH ANOTHER BOOK!

Unfortunately… I am so in debt that I cannot currently afford to publish one right now. I’m hoping, with ya’lls help, I can raise enough to publish this one, Children of Destiny, which would be the first book in my Trials of Terrara Vikos trilogy, the series that The Protektor’s Reality precedes. In this trilogy, about sixteen years have passed since The Protektor’s Reality, and Lucian has just made the difficult decision to bring his daughters back into the fray. Trouble is, neither of them know about the Realm, as Lucian sent them elsewhere to be protected. Now, with the girls getting slammed with their destinies so suddenly, the tension starts ratcheting up. The Seeker is close, and all the time spent trying to figure out the Seeker’s new identity is coming to a close. However, when the truth is revealed, how will they all decide to react?

I started writing my ToTV saga in 2011, starting with the trilogy (all of which are completed first drafts), with the short stories after, and the most recent being The Protektor’s Reality prequel, published in November 2014. (Two years, yikes!!)

So, I’m posting this here. This was originally supposed to be a surprise for patrons on my Patreon, but I’ll give you readers of my blog the scoop. When you pledge to my Patreon page (even just a dollar), the thank you note for becoming my Patron has a coupon code for Smashwords that will allow you to download The Protektor’s Reality for free in any digital form! How cool is that?!

Also, my first novella for The Chaos Accounts, titled “Accounts of Anxiety”, the saga which is what my Patreon is meant to influence, is well underway. I’m almost half-way through it, maybe just a tad under the halfway point. If you want more details on this writing adventure, or if you (maybe?) want to pledge to get that free ebook, I’m linking to my Patreon [here].

If you don’t have money to spare, DON’T PLEDGE! Like I said above, the debt struggle is real, and I am now twisted into it, so I understand lack of funds. If you can’t pledge, at least share links to my stories or this blog, so maybe the word-of-mouth technique might actually work. You know, hopefully. J

Also, if you are one of the few who has read The Protektor’s Reality from cover-to-cover, PLEASE (and I cannot stress this enough) LEAVE A REVIEW! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, or anywhere else. Reviews are the biggest gift I could be given this holiday.

Below this post is my first video on my new Youtube channel, ChrissyTalks. Oh, and since I know he’s been on this website already, shoutout to Chad at 2nd & Charles. I filmed, edited, and uploaded this below video last Thursday night when I returned home from that store. If you want to know the impact of that trip, watch the video below.

I wish everyone Merry Christmas. Stay safe on the roads, eat a lot of candy and sweets, and enjoy the joy the holidays bring.

Keep Faith, everybody.

Affirmation #2.5 (Interlude): To Pace or Not To Pace?

Recently, I’ve been thinking.

“A dangerous pastime-”

“I know.” #DisneyReference

Unlike Gaston, we are NOT idiots, and know the values of thinking about things.

And BOY, have I been thinking!

Being positive has become a part of my life. I’m not Miss Super-Peppy, Captain Positivity, but sometimes I wonder if that’s a good thing… 😉

That being said, I know I’ve got a long way to go. Depression and negativity are a struggle to get over, especially when they’ve pulled the strings my entire life. To me, taking things one step at a time isn’t cutting it. Slow and steady isn’t a viable option. One foot in front of the other needs to be a sprint rather than a  casual stroll.

You are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Now you’re gonna say taking your time to ensure perfection is a bad thing.”

Well, yes and no.

 

I see I’ve got a few mouths dropping open. Alrighty then, explanation time.

Yes, in some cases, taking the time to make sure every piece is in place is essential to success. In those instances, details pile up, and need to be double-checked to make sure not a hair is out of place. Even the slightest deviation or slip-up could result in catastrophe, Armageddon, or the apocalypse (whichever you prefer), and nobody wants that. For those plans, yes, take your time.

For other times, when details are fuzzy, duration to goal is indeterminable, and the want to succeed is only overshadowed by the obstacles in your way, DON’T SLOW DOWN. If you go full press toward your goals, you won’t have time to look back, or second guess. Distractions will lessen or vanish out of conscious thought completely.

Consider this idea from a story-telling POV. I’m going to give you two similar stories. Both involve same characters, setting, plot. The difference is in the story I am telling. Read on:

**

Narrative A:

Before leaving her room, Sariah grabbed her sheath and her cloak, throwing the latter over her shoulders and yanking up the hood. She dashed down the halls of the palace, making sure to peek around corners to avoid guards. Then, she reached the servant’s entrance near the kitchen. Once inside the large tunnel, she met the eyes of her best friend from the outside, Korbin.

“Sare, you ready?”

She nodded. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

The two checked outside to ensure the coast was clear before dashing out of the entrance toward the crowded streets of the city. Right before she got to the safety of the travelling citizens, a hand grabbed her wrist. A sharp gasp shot from her lips as she was jerked back. Her body slammed into the chest of another, and a cool blade was placed to her neck. She met Korbin’s wide eyes at her capture, but the boy did nothing but clench his fists at his side and grind his teeth in worry and fear. Huffing an annoyed breath, Sariah somehow had the guts to ask, “What do you want?”

*

Narrative B:

While she was excited to sneak out, Sariah worried it might not go off without a hitch. For protection, she took her dagger off the dresser. In order to hide from her guards, she tied her cloak around her neck and pulled the hood over the top of her head in the hopes they wouldn’t recognize her. Right as she dashed out of the room, she skidded to a halt. She realized that her door being open and unlocked without her in it might set off some bells. She quietly shut the door and locked it with her key. With a confident smile, she made her way quickly down the hall. At each corner, she slid to a halt, looking down each crossing hallway to ensure no guard’s awareness of her escape. Occasionally, she saw a single guard or two, but waited until they turned away before dashing across. She took note of the noise of her sandals against the palace tile, and tried to minimize it as much as possible. Her hood kept sliding down too, which annoyed her slightly. Finally, she made it to the servant’s side of the large, ornate, pristine palace. Ducking into the entrance tunnel, she saw her best friend Korbin standing there, waiting on her patiently. As she approached him, she readjusted her hood and checked to make sure her dagger was still on her belt.

“Sare, you ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”

They hid in the shadows of the doorway for a few moments, making sure no one of importance was watching. Then, they bolted for the city streets. Sariah felt her adrenaline pumping with every step she took. Before she got to the safety of the bustling streets, a hand wrapped around her wrist. She jerked to a stop, and then was tugged backward into the chest of another. Her eyes met Korbin’s worried but angry ones as the cool feel of metal touched her throat. She huffed, clearly annoyed with this turn of events. Blowing hair out of her face with a quick breath, she snapped, “What do you want?”

**

Both decently-told stories, right? Same scene, same characters, same plot.

“What’s the difference, and what’s your point?”

The difference is in the pacing. Narrative A was written to be a quicker, suspenseful scene, telling just enough detail to entice the reader, but keeping the ball rolling. Narrative B took its time, giving more details than are necessary to the main actions of the scene.

I’m not saying one is better than the other. Not saying that in the slightest. The point I’m making is the difference in reading style here. If you want the action to go by at, what I like to call, a “Patterson-esque” pace, then Narrative A is your ticket. You want to reach that goal with no distractions, with the confidence that you’ll eventually reach a huge plot twist or exploding conclusion. If you want to know every miniscule point on your journey toward your goal and ensure the details of your story are accurately told and nitpicky to a fault, Narrative B is more your cup of tea.

Like I said, neither is better than the other. It just depends on the kind of story you are trying to tell.

So, here’s wishing good luck to me, as I switch from soda to water and attempt an exercise regimen, in the hopes of looking semi-presentable.

Who knew I could go to the bathroom so much?

Until my next real Affirmation, Keep Faith, everyone!

Affirmation #2: The Internal Conflict

(#2 in an 11 part series of posts about change, perseverance, and being a better you. Though personal to help myself, I’m posting these here in hopes I can help others who are struggling and wanting to make a change)

**     *********

YOU! YOU THERE!

YOU are AWESOME!

Here’s your button! 🙂

 

That awesomeness also spreads to your companions all over the world. “Wait, what do you mean? I don’t know anyone across the ocean/continent.” That could very well be true. However, I wasn’t talking of personal relationships that you have cultivated as you’ve been alive. I meant like-minded companions; the people out there go through the same type of life that you do, with the same problems and stressors you have. Stage fright? Anxiety? Eating disorder? Self-harm? Depression? Broken families?

The list could go on and on.

It’s so much fun to write about internal turmoil in fiction, but when it creeps into your personal reality, it becomes extremely hard to bear.

Most people have at least one thing that makes them want to hide in a dark corner and shrink away from people who might help. They look around and think, “How can everyone else be smiling? They must never have this problem.” Or, “No one understands!”

Both of those statements are completely INCORRECT. I will admit to have thought like this on numerous occasions, and I’m definitely not proud. The truth is, nothing you’re going through is the only instance in the history of the world. I’m not saying that to belittle it; trust me, I know some upsetting things can be really difficult and unbearable, and are by no means easy fixes or minor issues.

Feeling upset is universal, one which has touched every being on this planet (Yes, animals included; you should see my Sammy boy when I try to take him to the V-E-T). Understandably, we can easily agree that upsetting instances make us want to cry or curl into a fetal position. THIS IS NORMAL! We all have fight or flight instincts in us, and when we can’t comprehend which one to pick, we feel conflicted, and panic.

As of right now, I’m personally in this conflicted mode, from an email this week. I’ve talked various times before about how to handle this particular instance, but won’t bother you with the details. My struggle right now is taking my own advice when all I want to do is quit.

I’ve come up with a quick little regimen to combat this feeling of isolated fear:

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Stretch your muscles.

GO DO SOMETHING!

That’s right, you heard right. Do something. Anything. Go for a walk. Ice-skate. Hang with friends, family, pets. Sing. Draw. Write. Take your mind off your problems for a little while. Any time you feel yourself getting upset again, repeat. Do this until you feel you are stable enough to tackle the problem head on. This could take hours, days, weeks, maybe even months, depending on the problem. Before delving in to confronting the problem, tell yourself this, in-between deep breaths:

I am not alone.

Others have fought and won.

This is normal.

I can do this. I can definitely do this.

I am a strong, intelligent, amazing individual… who’s about to kick some serious @$$!

Then, stretch your muscles again, take a few more deep breaths, and open your eyes.

 

And say:

“Bring it on.”

That’s all it takes.

 

Leaving you with this cover by the always-amazing Evynne Hollens. She and her husband Peter have impacted my life in more ways than anyone knows. Whenever I’m down, or doubting myself or my dreams, I listen to their music, and remember they are just like us. They have struggles of their own, and yet are able to get past it to live their dreams. Click on their names above to check them out on Youtube; they are amazing singers and awesome, caring, wonderful people.

Affirmation #1.5 (Interlude): Here for a Reason

(NOTE: If you do not want to scroll through a post about a religious viewpoint to a common doubt, then do not continue reading. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, and definitely don’t want you guys to judge me based on the contents. If you are interested to see my view, read on. If not, don’t color my books based on my beliefs. While they are connected by me, they are separate entities, with different motivations and meanings. Your choice.)

*************

 

“Every time that you wake up breathing, Every night when you close your eyes, Every day that your heart keeps beating, There’s purpose for your life.”

Above are the lyrics to a song called “Here For a Reason” by a Christian group called Ashes Remain. In case you haven’t picked up on little details in my blog posts in the past 3 years, I’ll answer truthfully: Yes, I am religious. No, I don’t judge others based on their faith, whether it’s different, weak, or nonexistent. To be honest, I’m not super religious anymore, but I still “Keep Faith“. At one point in my life, I fought a huge struggle with my faith. Between a family member being overseas, struggling with life in high school, and trying my hardest to not bang my head in with a frying pan when writer’s block attacked, I didn’t understand why.

Sound familiar to anyone? (The tough things happening, not necessarily the faith struggling part).

If so, then you’re one of the many. There are so many people that go through so many hard things in their lives that they can’t understand the reason for it. No matter what omnipotent entity you might believe in, we’re led to believe that He has a plan, and we don’t need to know it; it’ll happen when He wants it to happen. That just doesn’t seem right, does it? What happens when we work our butts off, and feel we’ve built up so much good karma and energy, and then things still spiral downhill? Doesn’t take a lot to lose faith (in a general sense, not necessarily religious sense), and want to give up.

You might feel like this:

 

Or, like this:

 

In any case…

That’s how I’m tying together Affirmation #1 post from Tuesday and my Affirmation #2 post that will be coming out early next week. In #1, I addressed having to work towards your happiness, because only you determine what makes you happy and what it’ll take to achieve that happiness. #2 will be about tough moments of despair that we all share, and how to know “You’re Not Alone”.

This one is about pushing through the common struggles to make yourself happy, and things will turn out the way they were meant to.

Now, what do I mean by that? It’s simple. Life, fate, God, other deities, positive or negative energy… whatever you believe affects our universe – they already know how your life turns out. Now, I don’t mean you don’t have free will. Of course you do! You control your thoughts, your actions, your words. How you treat others, how you solve problems, how you work, relax, have fun. You have complete control of what you do. They’ll give you obstacles to leap over or bust through, in an effort to make you a strong individual. There’ll be sad moments that will strengthen your soul and test your heart. There’ll be joyful moments where your heart is jumping up and down, but your body is exhausted from the adrenaline or excitement as a result of said happiness.

Each moment that happens in your life shapes who you are.

 

(Here’s where I get deeper into the religious side. Continue at your own risk)

 

For me, God does have a plan. When he put me on this earth, he gave me a purpose – a reason for existing. In my opinion, that’s pretty cool to think about. Even if it’s as minor as giving a dollar to a homeless person once a week, to starting a small business that might give work to struggling single parents, in-debt college graduates, or those unemployed for months at a time (For the record, my mother was unemployed for 16 ½ months at one point, and it was a rough time. Obviously, we got through that just fine.), to a struggling writer whose stories encourage a child to pick up a book and start reading.

We don’t need to know our purpose right off the bat. When the time comes, we’ll know. If we just continue to do what we’re doing, feel what we feel, and just BE OURSELVES, we’ll be led there, whether by parent, mentor, friend, or stranger. Not all angels have wings, you know. 😉

One of the things I absolutely love about modern religion is the abundance of music. When I met one of my best friends (who I am still friends with seven years later), she introduced me to a few artists. I went on to research more on my own soon after, and came across Ashes Remain. I fell in love with their music instantly, and so did my friend when I played some for her, so much so, she bought the album a few weeks later.

The quoted song at the beginning is one of my favorites of their’s, and, if you don’t feel awkward or annoyed by the idea of Christian rock/pop music, then they are definitely a group to check out. I’ve linked this song below. To finish, I’ll leave you with another lyric from this song, continuing the chorus from the top:

“So don’t give up, Don’t lay down, Just hold on, Don’t quit now, Every breath that you take has meaning, You are, Here For a Reason.”

 

 

Affirmation #1: The Happiness Factor

(#1 in an 11 part series of posts about change, perseverance, and being a better you. Though personal to help myself, I’m posting these here in hopes I can help others who are struggling and wanting to make a change)

*     **********

Happiness. Depression. The infinitely-lasting struggle between the yellow ball of sunshine jumping around and the little blue sweetheart that can’t help but grab your heart and twist hard.

It happens to all of us. Yes, every single one of us. Even you, Mr. Johnny Positivity, over in the corner. We’ve all struggled with this before, even if you don’t want to admit it. We lose trust in others. We get separated long distances from friends, maybe in completely different time zones. We mess up a project with only a limited time to fix it.

Worst of all…

We’ve doubted ourselves.

You don’t have to say it out loud if you don’t want to. Just think about it for a second or two. Think of a particular moment in your life where something went wrong. How did you feel? Angry? Upset? Scared, maybe?

Now, think forward a little bit until where you fixed it. You remember that moment? Great!

Wait, some of you don’t? How could you not remember feeling excited and energized once again, ready to take on the world in a giant mecha-robot suit, taking down giant aliens with advanced technology, while you rescue people running in fear of their own doubts and-

Well, you get the idea.

But why? Why wouldn’t you remember? That moment that caused so much pain, so much doubt, so much negativity; how could you forget when it changed?

Think a little harder. DID you change it? Did you actually work hard and go the extra mile to fix that time of despair and worry? Or did you just let it get pushed to the wayside, only to be remembered years later and get depressed that you never made it better?

That’s the key to happiness. It’s just not drinking a margarita poolside at a beachside resort. It’s what led up to it. How did you get to that point? How did you end up in a lounge chair on white sand catching some rays while listening to the sound of the-

Gah, getting lengthy again.

Let’s get back on track. How were you able to relax like that? You would probably have had to rack up vacation time from work, pay for travel expenses – hotel, airfare, food, gas, etc –  take time to pack everything, and then deal with the crying baby three rows behind you on the airplane.

You ENDURED. You imagined sitting on that beach, and now you get to, because you worked for it. When you saw that flier for a five-day, four-night stay in Hawaii, you wanted it badly. It ate at you on and off. You normally come home exhausted from working 8-10 hour shifts, sometimes have to cook dinner for yourself or your family. You look at your wallet to find little fruit flies flying out and nothing more. You look at your body, and want to look good in a bikini/trunks, but it seems too hard.

You wanted that trip. Every day that passed, you worked towards it. Taking on extra hours at work. Running two miles at the crack of dawn before the sun even rises. Resort to small, healthy lunches and easy-to-prepare dinners (such as the glorious invention of the microwave). You turn away from that shirt or purse or POP! Figure you’ve wanted, in order to save money.

This makes things more difficult to live by. You start feeling disheartened, worried, doubtful, that this could ever pan out.

And then…

You look at your bank account.

You look at your reflection.

You look at those boarding passes you are handing to the flight attendant that say  “Flight #XXXX to Hawaii”.

And you smile.

That’s the happiness factor.

You wanted it, you WORKED FOR IT, and you got it. Happiness isn’t free. Either you or somebody else had to work hard to make it happen. Every road to happiness is a rough one. There will always be obstacles, hurdles, hills, and barricades in your path.

Just keep pushing onward.

Only YOU can do that.

It’s YOUR happiness.

Work for it.