Discovering My Happy Zone

happy zone

The past few weeks have been unbelievably crazy for me. I accepted too many projects and they were all due at the same time. I didn’t want any of them to suffer so I worked like mad, writing and editing on my phone while Tammy was nursing (side lying so I had two hands free). And my hands were forever glued to my phone as I coordinated and messaged back and forth with colleagues to make everything happen. But the most difficult yet most important to me was the short story I was writing.

I hadn’t written any stories (without counting the 300-word mystery puzzles I wrote for K-Zone) since I was pregnant. I had started a story before giving birth, but I could never seem to continue it. I was either too sleep deprived or just too uninspired. But when a friend asked if I wanted to contribute a short story to the compilation she was making, something inside me lit up. Yes! Definitely. Short story, I could do. It wasn’t like she was asking for a novel.

So I got to work. When Addie was in school and Tammy was asleep, I would write. I forced the words and ideas out even if my brain was running on empty. I had Treena egging me on, reading every little thing I had written, no matter how short and insignificant, and because of the deadline and commitment, I was able to do it. Towards the end, I had my laptop on the bed next to Tammy as she nursed. It was not ideal by anyone’s standards but it was the only way I could meet the deadline.

Even Addie knew why I was in this bubble of frenzy. She knew I had a story due and I couldn’t be disturbed.

Then it hit me. Yes, it was insane, and yes, it was heartbreaking that I couldn’t play with my 5-year-old and couldn’t wait for my 4-month-old to go to sleep so I could write some more, but again, I was doing something that made me feel so alive. As if I didn’t need any more affirmation, it became so clear to me how much I love writing stories.

But I also love being a mom. And I love spending time with my girls (and my husband). I missed them all so much, it hurt.

That was when I told myself that enough was enough. I only had enough space in my head and in my life for things that mattered. Everything else was just cluttering what I needed to be a happy zone.

So I made a promise to myself. From now on, I will only take on projects that fit my happy zone. They should only add and not take away from what I have already built within myself and with my family. And now that it’s summer, I have to apply this to Addie’s activities as well and not get carried away the way I always do!

I still have no idea how I’m going to do this, but it’s definitely something very important to me. So we’ll see how it goes. Loads of luck to me!

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  1. Good Luck Ines! Yes, I have to ascribe to ensure I live within my “Happy Zone” too… for a while there, I thought the article was shifting to, “YES. I will do what’ll keep me feeling alive as long as I can, as much as I can!” — till it took a turn when you mentioned about having enough “space” for life for things that mattered 🙂

  2. I’m so glad I was able to help with the short story. I eagerly waited for each succeeding part because I love how you write. I’m so proud of you for finishing the short story, Ines! Can’t wait till it comes out!

  3. I’m glad some of your projects are done! 🙂 And super love how Discover turned out, Ines! 🙂 Hugs! Yes to more happy projects!