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Monday, February 22, 2016


Do It Anyway! (find your joy)

this man brings me joy every day ~
 thank you Mark Otto! (aka, my biggest cheerleader)
My children probably think I'm writing something about their lack of enthusiasm about chores. I'm often heard saying "do it anyway" in response to someone not wanting to put laundry away or load the dishwasher. Fortunately for you dear readers, today's post has nothing to do with laundry or dishes (but if you ask nicely, I'll share my chocolate chip cookie recipe in the comments if you'd like).

Today, I'm talking about that inner voice that turns us away from doing something beneficial for ourselves. It could be your morning walk on the treadmill, opening your journal on a daily basis, or making time for date night with your spouse. When you feel like you're struggling in life, the best advice is "Do It Anyway!". That's easier said than done. It's in our nature to make excuses or think we aren't meant to be the priority right now. Once we lose focus, we slide down that slippery slope and our goals become harder to see and more difficult to attain. You knew all this already, but here's your not so subtle kick in the pants - Do It Anyway!

I've gotten so busy promoting the work of others that I've completely stalled in my own writing. It wasn't intentional, life just got in the way. I hadn't even thought about it until I was speaking with a friend this morning. My lovely friend is a cancer survivor. A month ago she was on top of the world. She had been a year cancer free and she was working out, feeling great, and planning vacations. Today she is faced with a diagnosis that her cancer metastasized. She admitted to me that she can't stop crying and doesn't want to get out of bed. I am that friend - that friend who showed up at her door and lectured her about not allowing this diagnosis to steal her joy. I reminded her how much she loves watching the squirrels playing in her bird feeders, how much her grandchildren love visiting, and that she needs to rekindle that spark so she can fight this.

As those words left my lips, I realized I needed them as much as she did. I don't have a medical diagnosis stealing my joy. I have the busy-ness of life stealing my joy. Why do I let that happen? (This is NOT the first time) I love writing in my journal, working on my blog, etc... and those things bring me joy. Instead of doing the things that bring me joy, I've been staying busy doing things I felt needed to be done for the good of the family. Now wait just a minute - wouldn't it benefit the family if I was over the moon joyful because I had made time to enjoy my life? Of course it would. I don't need to let the house crumble around me, I just need to carve out a few minutes each day for the things I love so I can find my joy. On those days I don't feel like doing it, I need to be my own cheerleader screaming


So you dear friend - what is stealing your joy? What could you do every day to bring back that joy? What advice would you share with someone struggling to find time for their craft?

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 8, Andre 7, Breccan 2, and Delphine 11 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at: and here:

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Blogger Bev Rearick said...

Crystal, thank you so much for this post. It has come at the perfect time for me. I have realized that I've been putting other writing projects ahead of the one I really want to do because I believe it would benefit my writing, but I realize that the only thing which benefits my writing is doing the thing which brings me joy, not because it would look good on resume.

I hope you don't mind that I shared this blog post on my blog since it goes along with what I posted today.

5:10 AM  
Blogger Crystal Otto said...

Thanks Bev! Glad this post came when you needed it. Share away !

5:44 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

I need some cheering up....could you please post a pic of YOU riding a unicorn? love ya

9:20 AM  
Blogger Liysa said...

Love it. Love the DO IT ANYWAY idea. It's hard to get in a rut of "don't spend that extra bit of money on date night" but do it anyway can be the simple solution of salvaging a relationship.

Looking forward to more of your writing and successes.

9:23 AM  

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