To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:
Ever since I was a baby, I struggled with BALANCE.
Taking my first steps.
Learning to ride a bike.
Now I try to BALANCE a full time career as a Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor and Program Director of our martial arts school while juggling the demands of being a Children's Book Author.
Some days it's a piece of cake and other times I just want to crawl under my bed and hide. But no matter how challenging my life can get, it'll never be as rough as the day I lost my BALANCE in fifth grade...
I was an extreme introvert and always lived just outside any social circle existing in my small town elementary school. I was too smart for the dumb kids, too awkward for cool kids, and too straight for the druggies. But I desperately wanted to fit in, so I finally decided my best chance to fit in somewhere would be to dress like the cool kids. The only problem is, my family was dirt poor. The only item I owned that could possibly capture their attention was a super cool pair of white wedge sandals.
The shoes had a three inch wedge under the toes and a seven inch wedge under the heel. When I put them on, I stood well over six feet tall...in the fifth grade...and imagined I looked like a graceful swan strutting around in those high heels.
In reality I looked more like a drunken flamingo and BALANCED like one as well.
I remember walking past some cute boys one day. I thought I would sashay gracefully past them and go around the corner of the school building. I don't know if maybe it was the higher altitude, being on those stilts, but just as I got in front of them and tried to turn the corner, it happened.
I lost my BALANCE and fell off my shoes.
Yep, you read right.
Fell. Off. My. Shoes.
In front of those cute boys.
Who immediately split a gut laughing as I struggled to get back on my stilts and slink away in mortification.
I still struggle with BALANCE these days as a writer. Deadlines, Revisions. Even the simple act of finding enough time to work on new projects. But I've learned a thing or two since losing my BALANCE back in fifth grade:
1. It's not the falling down that gets you. It's the staying down... so get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.
2. Losing your BALANCE won't kill you. Might bruise your ego but you'll live. All you need to do is take a moment to catch your breath and refocus your efforts on reaching your particular goals.
3. Learning to BALANCE the different parts of your life or career takes time. Time that is important for you to make time for or all the various things in your life will never BALANCE themselves out.
The days are long gone where I challenge my poor feet to walking on wedges. Now I look forward to the day when I can learn to BALANCE my checkbook...;~)
Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennessee.