It May be time to slow down.

I have needed to spend a ridiculous amount of time on mental health stuff this past month, although – let me make this clear – not in a, like… bad, I am suffering, sort of way.

Circumstances have meant I’ve needed to dig into some personally tricky stuff, but as I disassemble the puzzle pieces of my mental health and reassemble them, they’re going back down in a much better shape.

It does, however, mean that a lot of my time this month has gone into coasting between therapy sessions and coping with focus trouble, so I haven’t made it too far through my to-do lists.

While I’d like to have big exciting updates for you all announcing huge things completed, there is a bit of a life philosophy lesson to take from this.

We make our to-do lists, we come up with our goals and ambitions, and part of the point of that is to pursue something we would not ordinarily be able to achieve.

If the list of things you want to do has thirty entries on it, having close to thirty blank checkboxes on your to-do list is not a failure.

It may not feel like it, but the one or two filled ones? Those are a victory. Don’t let yourself think they’re not. They’re bringing you closer to your goal, and that is the whole point of them.

And those blank checkboxes? They aren’t failures. Working on this stuff is like climbing a mountain, and the things you want to do, but have not yet done? They are the steps between you and the top of your mountain.

That you haven’t managed to climb them yet is not a failure, not something to feel guilt over – it is merely an awareness of how far you have left to climb.

It is okay to still have a space ahead of you that you need to fill with progress towards your goal.

I have not made as much progress as I wanted to this month, but I have gotten closer to my novel and novella pair, and I’m happy with that progress. I’m climbing my mountain, and I’m higher up than where I started on May first. That’s what I wanted, and that’s something I can be proud of, whatever the pace, y’know?

And when it comes to me disassembling and reassembling my mental health puzzle, well. I’m sure you can all remember the difficulty I’ve had with that. I feel rightfully proud that I’m doing a good job with my progress there. That is good news, even if it doesn’t quite fit in with my aspiration to write stories I can share with you all.

So, this month I’m two steps along the climb up my mountain, instead of the six I wanted to be. With a little luck, I will get through the other four I need to take, and next month I’ll be able to report back in with much more exciting news.

In the meanwhile, as ever, thank you so much for your support, and I wish you all luck in climbing your own mountains – whether you’re making it up the slope fast or slow, you’re making it, and I’m happy for you.

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By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.