In Defense of Baby Steps

I promised myself six months. Six months before I needed to get my life back on track after the upheaval that is the newborn and post-partum stage. I gave myself grace when it came to workouts (ahem, none), sugar consumption (ahem, a lot), writing, blogging, marketing my existing books, research, cruising prep—all of it. I reveled in my baby time and let a lot of things go by the wayside.

But now we are here, at the six-month mark. Damn. The process of getting my life back in working order is daunting. I don’t want to start. There are too many facets I need to improve. My physical being, for one, has been neglected, as has letting my brain rot with Netflix during my ‘down time’ because I am too tired to focus on anything else. I am one of those people who wants to do it all perfectly the first time. I don’t like slow starts; I want to go all in and pick up right where I left off.

Motivation to suddenly improve every aspect of my life, though, is unrealistic. I need to celebrate the baby steps instead and know that it won’t all change overnight. I don’t expect my baby to suddenly learn to eat solids and crawl and talk on the first try. I see his progress every day, so minute that only a parent would notice, and cheer him on. I don’t get frustrated or wonder why he isn’t going fast enough. Why can’t I do this for myself?

I find joy in his baby steps, so here is me taking my own. Last week, I did a mini stroller workout. Walking lunges and squats got my heart rate up to 140. “Wow, that’s embarrassing,” I thought. I used to pride myself on being fit and strong. Now, 15 minutes of body-weight exercises leaves me gasping. But I would never call anything my children accomplished after a lot of effort ‘embarrassing’, so I am trying to do the same for myself.

Baby steps, day by day. This post is one. The 750 words I wrote for my work-in-progress novel draft is another. That was a doozy. I stopped working on it the day before my 30th birthday in July and hadn’t looked at it since. I have never let a story sit so long, and getting my brain working again to put words on a page almost had me in tears. Did you know that pregnancy literally changes the structure and function of a woman’s brain? It also shrinks the grey matter, which doesn’t recover until at least two years after the baby is born. Combining that with hormone flux and sleep deprivation makes me feel so dumb.

I am trying to reframe my thought patterns. I am not dumb; I just haven’t used certain parts of my brain in a while. Things are slow. Sitting around in denial about it isn’t going to improve the situation. I need to put one foot in front of the other and not look too far in front of me for a while. I owe it to myself.

Love,

Taylor (and Conor, W, and R, who support me through it all) 

The sun finally came out today!

SONDER VILLAGE Reveal!

Sonder (n) : the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

I’m proud to finally announce the details of my second book, Sonder Village! It will be published by The Wild Rose Press with a release date TBD. I’d love to hear what you think about the cover and blurb!

SonderVillage_w13307_med

Abandoned for over a hundred years, a small village in northern Spain enchants Remy into purchasing what could be the worst real estate investment of all time. It is located near the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage path renowned for miracles, and the disgraced painter waits for her own revelation while rebuilding the ruins of her village and her life. But this property holds dangerous secrets dating back to a Galician military coup in 1846 that refuse to stay buried.

Bieito is a local fisherman married to the sea, but he becomes enamored with the newly-arrived American artist. His decision to pursue Remy—when he can find her—upsets history’s delicate balance and endangers his family.

Engulfed in a past that no one else can see, Remy must find who—or what—is really in control of her fate, and if she can survive being torn between two worlds.

 

Love to all my readers!

Taylor, Conor, and W