Where The Grass Is Greener

You know that saying that goes something like, the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence? We’ve all been there. We’ve all watched what other people have or their position in life and life for them just seems so much better. We all do that. It’s become something I do even more since becoming an author. They say don’t compare your journey to others, but it’s hard when you feel like so many are passing you up and being successful, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t keep up and get there too. You work and work but you’re just not doing something right.

But the truth is, you are doing something right. Hard work never goes unrewarded. It may not give you the rewards you thought you deserved or that you were aiming for, but you do get rewards. As long as you keep pushing in the direction you want to go, you’re doing it right.

Let’s go back to this idea of a journey. When we take vacations, none of us goes the same route, stops to see the same things, notices the same stuff, or makes it to the destination in the same amount of time. The same goes for our journeys through life. You can do the exact same thing as someone else (like me and a friend had a release at the same time and we had pretty much the same release plan and she soared right past me) but have different results based on so many things. Sometimes we don’t even know what those differences are. Sometimes it’s all luck with our hard work or their hard work.

But it all boils down to making your grass greener.

So first, stop staring at everyone’s grass. In today’s society with social media, that’s super hard to do. It’s always in your face how amazing everyone’s life is (or for those who constantly complain, how miserable they are). Unless you avoid social media altogether, this false view of everyone’s life only gives a partial view of what their life is like. Very few people actually post about the bad in their lives. This, my friends, is what we call AstroTurf. It’s not real. It’s a false concept of their grass. The grass may look green from a distance, but up close, you can tell it isn’t real. Stop drooling over the AstroTurf. You don’t need it.

Next, once you’re no longer looking at other’s grass, you can focus on your own. How much time do we spend fawning over the every so lucious grass of our neighbors’ and neglect our own in the process? This will never help us. Creating real green grass in our lives requires not only hard work, but our time. If we refuse to put in the time, it’ll never be as we’d like it to be. We all have brown spots in our grass, but how often do we take time to work on those spots to make them green again? Old habits you wish to change? Focus on that over watching others do it, or appear to be doing it. That brown grass is yours and only you can fix it, and you can’t fix it watching someone else’s grass grow greener.

But what if we’re putting in the hard work and spending the time on our grass but it just doesn’t seem to help? There’s a lot to consider when pondering this question. Even in our every day real lives, no two lawns are the same. You and your neighbor can treat it the same way, and one will still come out better. It’s a fact of life. The terrain may play a part, the amount of weeds to be removed, or what time you run your lawn sprinkler. The same goes with our lives. There are so many variables from the challenges we face to our personal circumstances. What type of job we have, how we manage our finances, where we live, our background and education. That doesn’t mean that our grass can’t become as green as we’d like it to be. It just means that it may take longer.

I often struggle with this and too often forget to remind myself of it. But the above quote always seems to ground me in remembering where my focus should be. Are other authors where I want to be in my career? Have they had those successes I’m dreaming about? Are they so far ahead of me on this path that I feel I can’t catch up? Yes. You bet they are. They work hard for it, just as I work hard to get there, only our grass is different. Mine obviously needs a lot more TLC. It can be frustrating, but there’s nothing wrong with it.

What I try to remind myself of is what am I learning on this journey and what steps am I taking to make sure my grass is actually getting greener instead of spinning my wheels. If we do nothing to change how our grass is looking, or just keep up the same maintenance of it, we can’t expect a change. Unless we’re extremely lucky, it will not happen. I’m trying to take the time to study more about what I can do to make those changes in my life and in my business to make sure I get that greener grass as a result of what I’m putting into it. If I’m constantly watching others and become jealous of their grass, I’m not putting enough effort into my grass, and after all, if I have to look at my grass more than my neighbors’ grass, why am I not putting more effort into it?

So, if you take nothing away from this save one thing, it’s to keep your eyes on your own grass. Forget about the AstroTurf on the other side of the fence.


Crafting Tuesday: Glitter Ornaments

This year my mom has started crafting again more, which is something that I inherited from her. My favorite craft to work on is making Christmas ornaments. I make them out of anything I can find.

Saturday I arrived at my parents’ house for Christmas and Sunday night Mom and I were looking for something fun to do. I suggested ornaments, and she had a great idea to replicate an ornament she’d made her sister earlier. I couldn’t wait.

So, we got creative. We pulled out the clear bulbs, the glitter, and the cricut. And a few other things.

Pause on our project: my mother has so many crafting supplies. I love it, and one day I hope to have as much fun stuff as she has! I’m slowly making my way into building my crafting supplies, but it’s nowhere near all of her cool stuff she’s gathered along the way. I also need to organize mine better because she has hers all nice and organized.

Okay, back to the project.

So, we gathered up our supplies, and here’s how to do it:

Items needed: clear glass ornaments, floor polish, glitter, cricut, stick on vinyl.

Pour a little floor polish into the glass bulb and swirl it around gently until the inside is coated. Try not to make any bubbles. You won’t need that much force. Also have paper towel on hand as you’ll probably have to plug the open end with a finger, so you’ll want to clean off your finger so it doesn’t leave sticky residue on the outside of the bulb.

Next, pour glitter into the ornament. We used Dixie cups so we could make it more of a funnel shape to pour inside. You’ll need more glitter than you think you do, but do bits at a time. Empty extra glitter back into the glitter container.

Finally, choose your words, vinyl colors, and fonts for the cricut and cut out the lettering. Stick the letters onto the bulbs, and you’re done! It’s really quite simple, but a fun little craft.

We’ve created glitter ornaments before, but never placed the vinyl letters on them. They turned out wonderful. I think I may have to bring more bulbs and glitter with me the next time I visit so I can make more, but for now, four is enough. Though, you can never have enough ornaments!

Music Monday: Dec 7

In the past, Mondays have been reserved for books and indie authors. I’m currently working to revamp the blog a little, so Monday is now switching to a Music & Books day. Why the change? Well, I was just sitting here at my desk staring at my TV playing Pandora and the song playing reminded me of one of my books. In fact, I think it was one of my books theme songs, so I thought it’d be fun to have a day to talk music and books. Either one or together.

Music plays a large role in many authors lives. Some can’t write with music on, some have to have music but with no words, and others can listen to anything. I’m in the last group, but I tend to listen to the current work’s “playlist”. Whatever songs put me instantly into the mood for that book or who make me feel what I need to for the book (this year’s Christmas book didn’t have any Christmas songs in the playlist.

With this being said, I’ll go through the different books and their playlists, but also talk music in general. I like to listen to a broad range of music (with a few exceptions). What do you like to listen to?