1. Rhonda Hopkins
    November 23, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    What a great but demanding job you have Alica! Taking care of kids who have been removed from their families can be an emotional job as well. Thank you for the things you do for them. Having worked at CPS for 9 years in the past, I know the challenges you face: the rewards and the heartbreaks. Taking care of yourself has to be on the priority list, too.

    And I beg to disagree…I think you can catch crazy! You haven’t met my family. LOL


    • alicamckennajohnson
      November 23, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

      LOL- I think you’re right crazy can be caught. I couldn’t work in CPS there is no way I could handle the parents. Thanks for all that you have done 🙂


  2. August McLaughlin
    November 23, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Great post, Alica. I’m sure we can all relate to the challenge of juggling “real” life with our writing. I find that prioritizing writing first, whenever possible, is key for my well-being in the real world. When I had an early morning non-writing work gig, I woke at 4:30am to write beforehand… SO worth it.

    I think the whole world would benefit hugely if we all prioritized and pursued our passions more…just MYO. 😉 So glad you have friends, a fab hubby and therapist in your corner!


    • alicamckennajohnson
      November 23, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

      Thanks August, I agree once I put my writing in a higher place on my to-do list things started falling into place.


  3. Piper Bayard
    November 23, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    Great post, Alica. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of balls in the air.

    I’m sure the children you work with, as well as your own kids, are like kids everywhere. The more time you spend present and caring, the better off they are. I was a good mom with one child. Could pretty much meet his needs and feel superior to my peers. Then I had his sister. My standard quickly dropped to, “If they can afford their own therapists when they grow up, then I haven’t done everything wrong.” And I don’t even feel superior to myself any more, much less my peers. But that’s a good thing. 🙂

    I am not a multi-tasker. It helps me to remember that to everything, there is a season. I had to simplify my life, and I tell myself it is just for now, because this is the season. Just for now, if it doesn’t have something to do with writing, my family, or my health, I say, “no.” It makes my decisions very simple. And when it comes to writing, I remember the number one rule of prioritizing work when I was a lawyer. Do the paying work first. 🙂

    A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.


    • alicamckennajohnson
      November 24, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

      Thanks Piper I need to remember there is a time for everything when I just can’t juggle and have to focus on one thing at a time. It drives me nuts because I feel like there is so much to do an no time to do it all! Yes, definitely do the paying work first.


  4. Bill Jones, Jr.
    November 24, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    GhetToes. I think I have to throw up.

    Your job makes my job look like a sissy. Tough work, but I’m glad there are folks like you to do it. I think a big first step is knowing what one’s priorities are. A second step is admitting they aren’t what you wish they were, and what you wish isn’t necessarily what people think they should be. You’ve made an excellent start.

    I need to think about my emotional priorities.


    • alicamckennajohnson
      November 24, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

      Aren’t they horrid! LOL- I don;t know each job has it’s challenges and everyone has things they are good at. There are definitely jobs i couldn’t do. Once I moved my writing to a higher priority I felt calmer and able to fit a bit more into place. I’m still struggling I bet I’ll always struggle, but I feel a little clearer.
      I think when we ignore our emotional priorities we become resentful and bitter- or at least I do.
      Thanks Bill


  5. Jolyse Barnett
    November 29, 2011 @ 12:16 am

    Hi Alica,

    Thanks for sharing the reality of your life schedule. I was surprised that social medial was something you consider a real-life need, whereas writing’s an emotional need. Am I missing something? I consider writing to be my second job, albeit currently a non-paying one, so wouldn’t that overlap into real-life. Social media provides me an emotional connection to other writers and people in general. So I’d have that overlap too.

    Ghet-toes. Horrible, but you certainly make a valid point. I haven’t had a chance to color my hair in two-and-a-half months. Black roots galore…Ick!

    I feel for you with the work. You are torn between home and work responsibilities. I can relate. I recently told my husband I felt that when too much is expected of me I end up only doing a half-@#$ job in everything. I pray that your children are older so they don’t feel your absence as much and that you get to spend time with them and/or husband during your respite hours–doing something special together.

    Where is time for Alica? That’s a priority I didn’t see there. You must make time for yourself or you won’t be any good to anyone else.

    Hang in there, and kudos to you for doing a job that has it’s inherent challenges. 🙂


    • alicamckennajohnson
      November 29, 2011 @ 2:59 am

      I’m working to get social media back to a fun place, but sometimes it can be very overhwelming and I feel like I have to do it. But as I find more balance in my life I enjoy it more and more 🙂
      My time for myself- well the wirting and gym are both things which help a lot. Other then that I try and multi-task- critique group with friends and such.
      Thanks Jolsye!


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