I haven’t been reading much lately. To be honest, I’ve been a bit out of sorts. Since Easter, the television came back on, junk food showed up in the pantry and a battle with anxiety began. I’ve started running again, knowing the exercise pumps endorphins and helps clear my head. I’ve been watching ridiculous comedies with my roommate until I can fall asleep on the couch and crawl off to bed leaving the nagging worry of insomnia in the living room. But the oddest thing that’s happened in the last month is I am not hungry. I’ve been cooking beautiful meals with  herbs and tomatoes from the garden only to sit down in front of a plate and not want a bite.  It part, it’s the heat.

It’s funny that the more determined I am to have something, the less likely it seems to happen. When I’m exceptionally focused at working out and eating right, I rarely notice a change. The frustration fuels me to continue, convinced the next workout will get me back in those jeans in the back of the closet. Then, for whatever reason, I just stopped. I started eating cheese  and real ice cream and having a glass of wine with dinner without worrying about running another mile the next day to right the balance. Of course, once I walked away from the pressure of eating a perfect 1500 calories and getting an hour of cardio, my body responded gratefully to the end of torment. My clothes fit better. I’m not perpetually sore. I’m not ravenously hungry and eating like a maniac between grueling workouts.

The same thing has happened, oddly enough, with this novel of mine. Once I stepped back, looked at things a bit differently and decided to stop beating myself up with the stack of rejection letters from publishers, I found a way. I asked a friend to take some back-cover portraits and look over the manuscript for grammar errors. I called a colleague who successfully self published and asked for advice. I emailed a book publisher at a self-publishing house and asked if he’d take me as a client. If he didn’t, it really didn’t matter. I wrote my novel as a gift for my father several years ago. He’s read it and understands how much he means to me. Mission accomplished. Of course, the publisher was excited to take me on as a client. The portraits are way better than I could have hoped for. The editing is complete and she liked the story! We’re moving forward. With this pattern, my vision of having a signing  in October will come to pass too.

I’m finding the less I stress over money, the easier it is to take my lunch to work and save. The less I push to be  “a good Christian,” the more I find myself naturally reaching out to help others. The less I force myself into the lives of others, the more time they want with me. The less I burden myself with being crisply ironed and always cheery, the more I am sincerely happy.

I suppose I should have listened to those years ago who told me to stop taking everything so seriously.