• Bella Dean Joyner

When You Realize You Were the Right Answer All Along

I began this journey with all of you thinking that I would write about the struggles of becoming a published author, the interesting predicaments associated with being a mommy of 4, and the trials that came with being a military wife and moving literally half way around the world away from everything I have ever known. I thought that this would be a simple task. I thought that I could balance all of them well in addition to being the perfect blogger.

I come to you humbly today to say that that is just not the case. I haven't been managing the balance well at all. I focus on one thing and the rest gets left behind. I've failed as a mother when I have succeeded as a writer. I've failed as a wife when I have succeeded as a mother. This rollercoaster has really taken me for a ride lately and I have failed all of my readers because I have literally documented nothing but my own chaos and I can't even get that on paper.

This is me realizing that I took on too much. This is me realizing that I've stretched myself too thin. This is me coming up for air after I smothered myself in what I thought everyone else's expectations of me were. This is me realizing that I needed to put me first.

With that being said, the deadline I gave for myself of getting my book published by July 1st is not going to happen. That type of schedule, though something I could easily do since I tend to get lost in my work, leaves absolutely no time for my children, my husband, or to enjoy this wonderful Korean experience we have been blessed to be part of.

The other day Daniel and I took the children to a Korean/American Friendship Fest here in Pyeongtaek where we live, just outside of Camp Humphreys. We tried some really incredible foods, some not so incredible foods, and had a lot of fun just being with each other. I took the day off of writing that day and felt immensely guilty about it. It hit me that day. When I've put myself in a situation where spending time with my children makes me feel guilty, then I'm doing it wrong. My priorities were not where they should have been. I only have a limited time with these beautiful babies while they are still kids. I have the rest of my life to be published. The book can wait. They cannot.

Also taking up a lot of my time lately has been this little bundle of fur. This is Bella, my 13 year old feline companion. I've known her longer than I've even known my husband. She's been there with me through 5 moves, 4 children, 1 husband, a few dogs, 2 other cats. She has loved me unconditionally.

She developed what a vet at Ft Carson said was an abscess, just a small fluid filled sac in her abdomen that was about the size of a pea. We were given antibiotics and sent to Korea. Here, it became a mass the size of a softball that we got surgically removed. Three months later, we were back at the vet again, removing two more much larger masses from her abdomen. This time we were offered a biopsy and have decided to go ahead with that so that we know what we're dealing with, make decisions need to be made about her quality of life going forward, and making the most of our time left to love her.

I appreciate everyone's patience with me in these last couple of months. I know that I have been absent in a lot of ways. Now that I've let go of the unrealistic deadline I imposed on myself, the stress has been falling off of me in layers. I'm writing a little bit each day and steadily progressing. I'm getting out and experiencing new things in Korea which fuels more of my creativity. And I'm making memories with my family which are invaluable.

Now, I am pleased, and no longer ashamed, to say that my book will be published between August 1st and August 15th of this year. I will be posting more blogs as I progress letting you guys know where I'm at with everything. This is a learning experience and I intend to make the most of it.

This time, I choose me.

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