Kindness to ourselves is highly underrated....

Expand full comment
Jan 3Liked by Ramona Grigg

I actually plan to be harder on myself this year. I have impending dementia, and there are some things that need to be done before I go away (mentally, not physically). So less moving ToDos to tomorrow (or next month, AGAIN) and more trying to get the important stuff accomplished.

Expand full comment

First of all, great afghan! Bet your mom was proud of that and cherished it.

Second, what a great topic to start the new year for writers. We are some of the most brutal folks on the planet when it comes to our own work, remembering and replaying the details of every slight and discounting every word of encouragement ... (see? I can't even type "praise" without cringing. Praise. Yes, there was praise and awards and pay--and it's okay to say so. Maybe here would be a safe place?).

But you asked how I intend, as a writer, to be kinder to myself or harder. I've been kicking around the phrase "Stand up straight" as my writing mantra. I like the edgy mom-energy in that (she was right: as women writers, we tend to slouch). So that's what I'm going to do this year. Stand up straight. And write.

Expand full comment

I thoroughly loved this piece.

That afghan is gorgeous. I would never know what the mistake was, and if that was on my sofa, I wouldn't look at the mistake but take pride in such an accomplishment. That is, if I was you!

I'm sorry you are without Ed's hugs now.

I know he is with you, watching you, sending you love bites and kisses, hugs, and encouragement from nearer than you can believe. I lost my baby brother in 1993 when he was 31 and I was 33. Our communication, which had always been deep and more meaningful with each passing year we had on the planet, has become even stronger than when he was in his body.

I'm completely serious when I say this. I have written about it here and will continue to do so.

I had wanted to write columns and use my Type-A overachiever skills which served me so well in high school and college, but it was my brother Steve who told me I didn't have to do what everyone else was pressuring me to do (if I wanted to be a writer and the woman I truly am).

I could decide who I truly wanted to be.

I listened to that during my 24th year... and started a rebellion (others had a year or two early on but since I didn't rebel in my teens, I extended it until I was 38). It's funny now. I'm glad I took the time to completely get to know who I am, and not deliver what others needed of me.

Steve, unfortunately, didn't follow his own advice for me.

He became what others told him he should be. It was a constant release of all that made him who he really was.

Thirty days after his second baby girl was born, he passed away.

He didn't take his own life. It wasn't his life anymore.

My mom had an issue with me not falling into line. At the end of her life, she said angrily, "How should I know what I want to do? I always did whatever Dad or the family wanted me to do."

I hope this time going forward becomes a delicious adventure for you.

We are all so deeply personal and yet few of us ever take the time to discern what specifically are the traits we most want to unfold within and with others.

Please, take your time.

Don't push yourself.

The adventure is to listen to your SELF.

To me, that is the kindest thing any personality can do! I'm doing it better and better, with each day that passes.

It's become second nature to me because the results are so deliriously cool and comforting!

Expand full comment

Love this. My paternal grandmother used to thread/sew beanies and booties for premature babies. Self love and self acceptance are seen as weak in America. This is sad.

Expand full comment

That's an amazing afghan!!

Thanks so much for writing this. You always seem to write what I need to hear. I love writing and do it to avoid other things, but last year was the first time I gave myself permission to really spend a lot of time at it. It's been so great to find like-minded and encouraging people like you!

Happy New Year!

Expand full comment

I'm fairly self-disciplined so luckily I don't beat myself up too much, but I do impose arbitrary timelines and constraints on myself, which I'm looking to avoid this year.

For example, I have a novel I'm really excited about that's 80% done, though I've been stalled out for a few months with myself being sick, my wife being sick, my kids being sick, and the holidays. This year I'm making sure to go easy on myself with respect to how fast it gets done. I want to make sure I'm having fun during the process, and not feeling pressured to rush the end product.

Reminding myself writing is supposed to be fun is the key!

Expand full comment

Most of the time, I think I should be harder on myself, but my boyfriend thinks I am already. I want to write more, in fact, I should have done that with my life, but 25 years ago, I chose money over passion. I did have a blog in 2010 and wrote like a maniac, and I read myself today and thought I was good. But I am not the same person, and Substack is not blogspot, I will never grow because I am not on Twitter. I do write, but I am not good. Maybe I should push myself harder to be better, but at what cost? I don't know. However, thanks for this reflexion, and I think you should definitely should go as you feel.

Expand full comment

Kindness is everything. Good karma too.

Please don't be hard on yourself.

You have writing in your blood - write a book, indie publish and be proud. That's all it takes.

As for that delicious afghan. TBH, I'm envious! I can't crochet either, but my D-I-L does beautifully, and I will show her this pic. Just in case.

Best regards.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Ramona Grigg

I’m not sure I know how to be easier on myself, but I’m going to try. The new year seems to be the perfect time to beat myself bloody then vow to accomplish more, be better. I’m not going to do that this year. My word for the new year is enjoy. It’s going to be a big travel year for us assuming our health holds up. We’ll be gone more than we’re home if it all goes to plan. I doubt I’d be able to accomplish more even if I wanted to. So, my intention is to enjoy the hell out of the year.

Expand full comment

The afghan is beautiful, hope you continue to treasure it and to treasure all your many accomplishments and strengths. Happy New Year!

Expand full comment