christine alexis virgins of the screen. fuqvids.com

Last Thursday I went down to Hollywood to attend an author event for Leigh Stein’s new book, THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT. I know her through online circles, and based on the content of the book and the energy of her advocacy, I wanted to support her work.

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go. Hollywood is a bit of a trek (though totally doable) and so resigned myself to missing it when my friend reached out wondering if I’d like to join her.

Of course, YES! I met my writer friend Victoria outside of LA, and then we drove into the city, chatting about the writer’s life (and other fun things). Then we had dinner at a fun and funky Mediterranean restaurant, after which, we got to hear a lovely interview/discussion with Leigh Stein about her new book.

It was fantastic – mostly because I broke out of my isolation, got out of town to spend time with a friend who I think is a wonderful human being, in addition to being a fantastic writer (you can find her work here.).

It was a big deal, and it required me to drive a few hours down and then back. I didn’t get home until after 11 PM, which for me, caused concern as the primary caregiver to an active preschooler. I knew that would happen going in, but I was glad I went. I enjoyed my time with my friend. I resonated with the message of the book.

I needed it on so many levels.

Recluse! Go into the world!

Since being pregnant I became isolationist. It grew even more so after the birth. Through a combination of social, economic, and convenience factors, I work from home. I write on my laptop and do much of my marketing from my dining table which simultaneously allows me to keep an eye on my active preschooler.

I love what I do. I love it because it stays in line with my principles, allows me to spend time with my son, and I’m making the world a better place. Just this past week I had several people tell me how much good I’m doing and it makes me happy to know this.

I don’t do it for the affirmations, but I love them when they arrive!

But this work does have its disadvantages. Because of the time required to care for my son and do computer work, I spend a lot of time at home. I have to actively seek time away from the house, outside, and with other people. I have to schedule it in advance and make accommodations for my kid (either to join me or to do something somewhere else with adequate care.).

For the last few months, I admit, I haven’t done the best job of getting out of the house. I’ve done other things, but I haven’t gotten the amount of social interaction and world time I really needed. So when Victoria texted me about going to Leigh’s event (which I really wanted to attend) I jumped on it.

“My Cup Runneth Over”

I’ve gotten really good at refilling my cup with other things. I know that when I get 10,000 steps in a day, I feel better. I know when I meditate, I feel better. I know when I practice all the things I teach in my course, I feel SO much better about life, the universe, and everything. I also know that when I get out of the house and interact with the world, I feel better.

So why wasn’t I doing it?

There are only so many hours in a day. I had to prioritize some things over others. I gave myself enough social time to manage because that was the only way I saw myself being able to get all the other things done that I wanted to do. It’s why I stopped (for the time being) writing flash fiction. It’s why I only blog 3 times a week instead of 5. It’s why I’m trying to decide what social platforms I’ll cut out and which ones genuinely benefit me.

There are some things that are non-negotiable for me. Here’s my “deal-breaker” list:

  • Science-fiction, fantasy, and old-school horror. My current faves:

    • Killjoys – I like the music and identify with the main female characters in the show (both Dutch and Potter).

    • Dark Matter – I can’t get enough of the green-haired girl (5?).

  • DIY products – They make me feel good physically and emotionally. Right now I’m in love with raw honey as an ingredient and have recently been exploring the possibilities of it!

  • Working in the morning – I am at my best in the morning. I’d love to go on walks in the morning too, but my preschooler turns a 20 minute walk into an hour, and I need my brain to be fresh.

  • Ice cream – If I have to choose between wine and ice cream, honestly, I’ll go with ice cream. I don’t do it every day, but this is an indulgence I crave.

  • Spending time with Christian – He works long hours so when he gets home, I intentionally put away any and all other things to talk with him and decompress together.

  • Batching my work – Before writing this post, I recorded 3 lectures and finished 2 other posts, plus graphics. This is how I get everything done (I talk more about how I use batching here.).

  • Sleep – I think some people don’t do this, but I’ve got to. If I don’t sleep, I’m cranky and behave in ways I don’t like. It’s best for everyone if I get a solid night’s worth.

  • Caffeine – It can be iced tea, chai, or coffee, but it has to happen (This is a coffee talk post!).

  • Eating a balanced diet – Again, some people don’t do this, but I have to. When I don’t eat veggies, I feel like I’m sick. If I don’t get enough protein, I feel hungry all day. If I don’t take my vitamins, I feel off kilter. In order to operate at my best self, I need to keep my diet balanced. I know what that looks like for me, and I try to make choices that address this need.

  • Being present with my kid – I almost didn’t list this because it seems so obvious to me, but it is non-negotiable, not only because I see it as part of parenting, but also because it brings me joy.

  • Cats – I won’t ever have a colony (I max out at three), but I love cats. Their soft fur and gentle purr makes my heart light.

Here's a picture of Java the Cat, because she's non-negotiable (and a love-bug).

What needs have you been neglecting? What things are non-negotiable? Leave a comment below!

Not sure what all your needs are? Or maybe you want to reassess everything from the inside out? Contact me to schedule a free Skype call here!

Alexis Donkin

Alexis Donkin is a life coach and intuitive helping creatives build lives based in unconditional love. She is the creator of The Compassion Letter weekly newsletter, and the online course, The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable, as well as host of the Intentional Writer Interview Series and author of over 17 books.
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