Friday, April 10, 2015

Too Many Irons in the Fire by Shanna Hatfield

Have you ever ambled along at a comfortable pace only to suddenly discover the need to kick it up into a sprint and breathlessly race onward?

I've never been much of a sprinter (or a runner, or even a jogger), so this frantic, frenzied pace of late is not really my idea of a good time.

The last month has been so chaotic, I'm not sure some days if I'm coming or going. My efforts to cast the blame somewhere seem to end with the finger pointing at me. According to Captain Cavedweller, I have a hard time saying "no" while simultaneously operating under the delusional assumption that I can complete tasks at super-human speed.

Hmm. I guess that could be part of the problem.

It all started a few decades ago when my youngest niece was still in high school. Giddy with the success of helping plan her sister's wedding, I rashly offered to serve as Amanda's wedding planner whenever she decided to wed. I could hardly wait for the phone call announcing her upcoming nuptials. That phone call arrived quite joyously the day after Thanksgiving and we decided to launch into wedding plans in the new year. Since she lives four hours away, most of our planning would be on the phone.

Last summer, someone approached me about co-chairing a writer's conference. For the first time in the group's twenty-year organization, the event would be held in my home state in the fall of 2015. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. It sounded like fun and would be a great experience. We would start working on plans at the beginning of the year.

January arrived and I set my writing goals for the year, organized my office, and prepared to immerse myself in wedding and conference plans.

Then I came down with flu.

The chaser to that was a round with shingles.

Someone mistakenly thought it would be fun to give me a second bout of the flu.

Fast forward to mid-February. By that point, I was six weeks behind in everything and losing ground by the day. All those things I'd promised to do in passing over the last six months suddenly caught up to me. Sure, I'd review that book when it released. I'd be happy to help with an event for a writer's group. Absolutely, count on me to contribute to that anthology.

With release dates already set and deadlines looming, I had no choice but to forge ahead. My niece's reception venue cancelled. My conference co-chair took a  trip to Africa and left the reins to the conference in my clueless hands. And somewhere in the stress-induced insanity, I decided to go on a blog book tour with my just-released sweet romance and host a facebook party for 400.

I'm so far behind, I'm not sure I'll ever catch up. But I did discover something yesterday...

When life threatens to overwhelm you - when the busyness of commitments pulls you off balance and leaves you scrambling - take a moment to do nothing.

 Do nothing.

In need of a breath of fresh air, I went outside yesterday afternoon and sat on a bench in the sunshine. The cat wandered over and jumped up beside me, resting his slobbery chin on my leg. As I stroked his head and listened to him purr contentedly, peace warmed my heart every bit as much as the sun warmed my face.

 Sometimes... sometimes we just need to do nothing to regain our perspective.

And if all else fails, eat some chocolate.

How do you cope when your plate suddenly becomes too full?


A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.
  Find Shanna’s books at:
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  1. Reading this gave me deja vu. Maybe this is the writing season of madness. Good karma needs to come our way

    1. I agree, Melinda! Sending good thoughts (and karma) your way! <3

  2. Shanna, you must be my twin! I go through this every month. I didn't know there was any other way to live! My husband lectures me almost every day about taking on too much and chasing around like a madwoman. I don't know how people retire and spend all day in front of the TV, watching reruns and eating chips. I'd go nuts. For me, retirement is simply doing what I've always done, but now at warp speed because I've got so much to do. I guess I'd rather go nuts being busy than being bored.

    I heard that shingles is easier to get when you are majorly stressed. Dr. Denise prescribes a glass of wine at night as a sedative when you need to wind down. It works great for me.

    1. Thanks, Dr. Denise for the prescription. While my cupboard lacks in wine, I do have plenty of chocolate. I, too, would rather be busy than bored, but my husband assure me I will never sit still long enough to allow myself to become bored. Here's to busy (but not hectic) days ahead!

  3. That's where I've been in the past few years. I'm slowly learning to say no and trimming commitments.

    1. I need to learn that fine art, Margaret! Good for you!