Complicated Life + Giveaway by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I guess this post is one I file in “better late than never.” I couldn’t get logged in last night. Periodically, I have difficulty with this because my anti-virus screams “unprotected site” so it takes me doing everything but standing on my head to get it to open the site anyway.

Last night, I just gave up and went to bed. For the first time in about 2 weeks I slept soundly. By soundly, I mean head hit the pillow and I didn’t regain consciousness until 10:30 this morning. Ack! Panic time. Way past my usual jump out of bed and tackle the day time.

I think I started the year tired, and I haven’t recovered yet. Do you feel that way sometimes? Completely overwhelmed by all the things you must do? I do.

I often feel as if I’m pulled in a dozen different directions. Family, accounting for our LLC, mothering my daughter with her medical issues, laundry, occasional housework to keep the dust bunnies from taking over, blogging, writing a book, promotion–oh my goodness. Do you have an endless list like mine?

This year, I resolved to change that. Some how. Some way. Author Dani Haviland told me recently to take at least 5 minutes every so often just to catch my breath. That’s really good advice.

In case all of you lovely readers live an organized and orderly life wherein you have to deal with only one thing at a time, I guess you can skip to the end of this post where I have a GIVEAWAY offer. Me? I’m working as fast as I can in order to get a couple of books written before the next catastrophe comes down the pike.

I’m trying to learn to take it one day at a time. That would be easier if each day have a few extra hours in it. But I know I must adapt and learn to accomplish amidst constant interruptions — large and small.

The acerbic Dorothy Parker put it perfectly one day when she was constantly being interrupted while trying to write. “What fresh hell can this be?” *LOL*

In case you’re looking for advice on how to work effectively and keep your sanity, here are a few suggestions I’m trying to incorporate.

1. Breathe. Every time you find yourself ready to blow a gasket, just take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

2. Say very calmly, “T

his too shall pass.”

3. Take another breath.

4. Say, “I have all the time I need to do all the things I want.”

5. Take another breath and then take a 5 minute break to walk around and visualize yourself when you’re calm and at peace.

Giveaway Offer

Sign up for my mailing list and you’ll automatically receive a free ebook then you’ll know about new releases when I’m fortunate enough to get one finished. *ROTFL* You’ll also know about special promotions and giveaways.

To sweeten today’s Giveaway, here’s a bonus Smashwords Coupon for Blame It On Chocolate, my Valentine romance short story. I’m giving away 20 copies of this funny romance. Prior to completing checkout, enter Coupon Code: CN85U – Expires: February 28, 2018. Remember it’s only Good for 20 redemptions so first come, first served.

Sweet and Sassy Valentine Collection is another good way to take a few moments to relax. Still only 99cents, this romance collection will delight you. Reading is like taking a little vacation between the covers of a book.

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. All of her books have the same underlying theme: It’s never too late to live happily ever after. She lives her HEA with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan online at her Blog and Website. Follow her at: Facebook * Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page. Remember to receive a free ebook of one of Joan’s popular romance novels, just click here to sign up for Joan’s mailing list.

 

Organize and Plan by @JoanReeves #mgtab

outdoors

De-clutter, organize, and plan. That’s my mantra at the beginning of every year. Since I’ve spent most of this month doing those 3 things, I thought I’d talk about that today.

One thing I’ve discovered about myself over the years is that I love to do those 3 things. Maybe it’s because I come from a long line of disorganized people who lived in cluttered houses.

My mom–God love her–saved every scrap of everything. She had a house full of newspaper clippings, files, books, and a gazillion other things. The only problem was that she never could find anything because it was all jumbled together.

Some people are just like that. My mother-in-law was like that too. I guess my Darling Hubby and I were destined to find each other! Seriously though, some people are just made that way, and others aren’t. Since our youngest daughter was born, I tried to instill in her the principles of organization, neatness, and all those other habits.

Of course she just ignored everything I said and went her merry messy way until this past year. Suddenly, she’s reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

For the last 6 months, she’s been cleaning out closets and cupboards, donating or selling stuff she hasn’t used in years, and quoting the book as if she never, ever, in her life heard anyone–like her mother–tell her any of the things in that darn book! Now she’s got her equally messy husband reading the book.

I haven’t read the book, but I have some simple rules to keep the house neat, organized, and always looking good enough for company.

8 Rules for a Neat House

1. Everything should have a place. Organize your stuff so it is in a logical place, i.e., tools in the garage, household cleansers under the sink, etc. If you have to store things you don’t use often but want to keep, get clear storage containers and stick labels on them that list the contents.

2. If you take something from its place, return it to the same place.

3. When you change clothes, immediately hang up the clothes if they’re okay to wear again or put them in the hamper to be washed.

4. If you have a snack between meals, rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher.

5. Load the dishwasher immediately after eating.

6. Empty the dishwasher last thing at night or first thing in the morning.

7. Take the trash out every night.

8. Before you go to bed, walk through the house and see if anything is out of place (ask the person who used it to put it back where it belongs), if there are glasses or cups scattered on the coffee table, etc. (ask the person who used them to take them to the kitchen and rinse them, etc.), if there are clothes laying on the floor (ask the owner to deal with them), or toys not put away (ask them to do it NOW).

Of course, things left lying about can also be gathered, concealed, and held for ransom. I did this when our kids were teens, and I was tired of tripping over stinky Nikes among other things scattered about the house. After I’d picked up the kids’ detritus a few days and wouldn’t give it back unless they did extra chores or paid a dollar, they became neater. It was almost magical!

As much as I like organizing, planning, making lists, and all of that left brain stuff, I think I’ll write a book with a heroine who loves that. Of course, the hero would have to be a slob. That’s all the conflict the poor woman could stand.

After You’ve Finished Tidying Up…

Take a break and read the Sweet and Sassy Valentine Collection by 12 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors.

This romance collection is an Amazon Exclusive. It’s only 99cents and is available for pre-order now.

The collection contains sweet romance and sexy romance. Indeed, there’s something for everyone. I think you’ll love it.

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the underlying premise:  It’s never too late to live happily ever after. Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Join Joan’s Reader Friends and be the first to know about new books and giveaways, plus you get a free ebook just for signing up!