30 days

Positivity Challenge Day 4: Finding My Flashlights

Yesterday brought some bad news and good news. The bad news is that hubby did not get a job he had applied for that we’d spent about 6 weeks waiting on. The good news is that now we can go ahead with planning our regularly scheduled lives again, and not wondering “what if” he gets that position. Which got me thinking about all the things we haven’t yet done this summer, and it’s already more than halfway over…

Day 4:

Something I'm Thankful For:  Escapist TV. When I first heard about hubby’s contract not being renewed, Game of Thrones was weekly my savior. Now, it’s Bachelor In Paradise. Heck, anything #BachelorNation related. I’ve realized that watching others’ dramas is something that allows my brain to completely shut off, and maybe even make me feel good about the smarter decisions I’ve made in my life (such as not appearing on a reality TV show). For the last few weeks, a girlfriend has been coming over on a weekly basis to make every episode a total party, and it’s been so wonderful having her around for fun, support, and in-person empathy. (Thanks, Kelsey!) It’s really fantastic having a regularly scheduled gals’ night in, and it’s helped fill the horrible void right now I have missing all my close girlfriends in NY, whom I did not get to see this summer.

Challenge O' The Day: Figuring out something fun for the summer. We scrapped our original summer plans to visit our families on the East Coast in search of jobs, and not only is there still no job, but no big summer fun has been had. The only getaway we had was a 2-night stint in San Diego for Comic-Con, which believe me, was no picnic with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old in tow. I realized yesterday that the outlook right now for the rest of the summer is on par with:

…The final shots of LOST:

…The final shots of Season 5, Game of Thrones finale:

…The final shots of The Sopranos:

I also realized that unless I start planning some fun things to look forward to, I was going to be lost to all sorts of depressing blackness while hiding under my bedroom covers. I've been so stressed and focus on finding an immediate solution, I've been depriving myself of planning any fun. I now have to figure out how we can have fun without breaking the bank, but I do need something that will give us/me a much-needed boost right now. Growing up, I always LIVED for the summers, and the big family vacation at the end of it. My parents purposely planned that so we’d look forward to something even as the summer was about to be over. I look forward to the day that we can plan an annual elaborate escape, but for now a minor escape would be nice, even if it’s just for the day. My son is off from school for a couple of weeks, and I’m determined to figure out some fun activities to do during that time.

Lesson Learned: If the road ahead looks really, really dark, figure out what kind of flashlight you can use to help guide your path until the lights come back on.

Daily Insight: I’m really glad to be doing this blog. It’s giving me a game plan on how to tackle the days, even if I’m not entirely successful. Yesterday brought some more heavy, unexpected disappointing news, but it made me feel better to know that I had an outlet to express it all at the end of the day. And some of my friends have really been coming out of the wood works to text, call, or message me, and I truly appreciate it. Plus, I stuck to my schedule about checking my social media/e-mails only periodically (I set my phone alarms for 8:55 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, and 9 PM) and modified it to the nearest scheduled break. Even with the continuous parade of yucky news, I at least feel better that I took charge of something, and removed something that was definitely bringing me down. Baby steps. <3  

When Life Gives You Lemons...

So, it's that time in every young cartoonist's career where life gets real. My freelance career is gradually becoming more steady, but is not yet fruitful enough to pay the bills. With my husband now out of work, and two little, incredibly energetic and incredibly exhausting kiddos running around the house, it's been more than easy to let the stresses take over.

So I'm just going to stop. No, not stop drawing, Heaven forbid. I'm just going to focus on being as positive, kind, and good as I possibly can. The world is pretty crazy right now, and I want to control the one thing I can: me. I'm also working even harder than that to balance my freelance work as well as focus on finally developing a storyboarding portfolio to transition into working in a studio. It's time. And I feel like I'm finally ready.

Perhaps it's the Positive Parenting class I've been taking that has given me some inner strength, or knowing that my mom is coming to town this week to help out for a couple of weeks, but I'm not going to lie. The last number of months have been a tough, exhausting battle. There have been many tears and are many days that I just want to curl up and do nothing but sleep. Which of course, is totally impossible, because, kids. And it's a difficult, lonely road that's being traveled, with both of our families living on the East Coast.

So I decided to challenge myself. For the next 30 days, I plan to post a few highlights of my day: something I'm thankful for, something that was a challenge, a lesson learned, and maybe some insights. Something short and sweet. I will also try to post a drawing to go with it. Lemons into lemonade and all that jazz, right?


I have no idea if anyone will read this, but as always I love to hear feedback. Sending hugs and happy vibes into the world!

And so it begins:

Day 1:

Something I'm Thankful For: My husband. Corny and utterly cliche I know, but he cheered me up and made me laugh so hard over the weekend, and took care of the kids last night so I could attend my monthly cartoonist meet up. He definitely earned a gold star or two over the last couple of days.

Challenge O' The Day: Exhaustion. Utter exhaustion. Submitted a proposal at 4 AM (#LifeOfAFreelancer) and am now paying for it all day.

Lesson Learned: It's easier to deal with exhaustion when you're proud that you spent your Sunday night at a fun meeting with your peers, ate dinner at 11:30 PM, spent an hour continuing an online course about Storyboarding, and knocked out a proposal for a potential client before the deadline. It's even easier knowing that if you can just survive the day, at night terrific friends are coming over for dinner to catch up.

Daily Insight: I always put too much pressure on myself regarding all my failures and "wrong decisions" that I've ever made. I'm determined to go with the flow more, and am working extra hard to forge a new path (both personally and professionally). I'm also making sure to set up plenty of rewards for myself along the way, such as a dinner tonight to catch up with friends we have not seen in far, far too long. After all, no work and all play makes this gal feel like an exhausted zombie who just wants to Hulk Smash everything in sight. And nobody loves THAT gal.