Good morning!  How has your week been?  Mine was a week of catch-up; after 2 weeks of the sickies in the house, I’ve been more than happy to get back to working on my writing.  Plus, if you take a look around the website, you’ll notice I’m making it tidier and full of the information you need to live your authentic expression!

Speaking of which, today’s wonderful guest is someone who is doing just that.  Lori and I met through The World Literary Cafe.  When I heard the title of her book, Momnesia, I laughed and thought, That’s what I have – glad there’s a name for it!  Today Lori shares with us about following her passions in general, and I love that she breaks it down so we know exactly how she’s finding time to do the things she loves.

Please have a read below and then enter to win a copy (print or Kindle – your choice!) of Momnesia.  (And after you do that, hop over to Lori’s blog where she hosted me yesterday…funny how that happens!  You can enter to win my goods there, too!) 

Here’s Lori!

When Taslim and I first met, it was an instant connection: I get very excited when I meet someone who, like me, works on not only maintaining a balanced life, but also helping others to do so.

As an author, of course writing is one of my passions, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. However, I thought it would be fun to share with you a more all-encompassing passion: Following my passions!

A number of years ago, I came to the conclusion that not following my passions was not working for me. Let’s face it; there are plenty of opportunities in life to do what others “expect” us to do, or what we think we “should” do. I have found that, when push comes to shove, no one is as optimally happy when one lives that way.

Does this mean I decided that I’m going to live a selfish life and no longer do the things that we (fill in the blank: moms, wives, workers, pet owners, whatever) have to do to fulfill our responsibilities? Of course not. Instead, I decided to still fulfill my responsibilities, yet in ways that allow for my personal happiness as well.

 Here are a few examples where I’ve made changes by not doing things I don’t enjoy:

  • Volunteering at school: I realized that I was helping out in capacities that I don’t enjoy. I decided that, moving forward, I would only offer to do things that directly involve my child.
  • Driving my four teenaged kids all over the place every weekend: My weekends got to the point where they included absolutely no relaxation for myself and my husband whatsoever. We created a new standard: We will drive everyone everywhere half the weekend. The other half, they will need to arrange for other parents to give rides. It has worked like a charm and has helped the kids to learn that we are people too.
  • Attending home parties: I used to attend because I wanted to be supportive of my friends who were hosting (Pampered Chef, jewelry, Tupperware, whatever). The truth is, I neither enjoy attending nor host these parties myself. Now, I just say “no thanks.”
  • Worrying about what other people think: People are going to think what they think and we can’t control that. Instead, I go by the philosophy that I am a good person who does many good things and I need only look at myself in the mirror to confirm that.

 I’ve also made changes by doing more things that do bring enjoyment:

  • Taking naps, drinking wine, and sitting in bubble baths: Not every day of course, but quite regularly. And I don’t feel guilty about all the chores I “should be” doing… I do plenty of chores at other times.
  • Working in ways that I enjoy: Of course, work is work and we sometimes have to do tasks that we may not particularly revel over. For my author blog, I’ve given myself permission to not “only” write about things that fit in to my genres, but to also write about what I think is interesting or helpful. With business consulting, I have occasionally ended a client relationship with those I’ve found to be extremely difficult to work with.
  • Giving myself credit for my successes: I have no idea why, but there is a human tendency to never feel like the things we do are “enough.” Instead, I encourage myself to experience the full pleasure when I receive a letter from a reader who tells me that my book really touched their life (“Momnesia”) or saved them from getting rid of their dog (“House Training Puppies & Adult Dogs”).

My novel, “Momnesia” is about an average suburban mom who, realizing she’s become nearly invisible in the throes of caring for her family, sets about finding balance between her “momminess” and her “sexiness.” If you’d like to win a free copy, please enter below!

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Lori V. Fogarsi has been an author, speaker, and small business consultant since 1995. She has been featured in media including “Lifetime Women’s Network,” the “My Carolina Today Show,” and “Boston Globe Forums Live.” She has received two awards for her novel, “Momnesia,” and her nonfiction, “Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs,” continues to be one of the most highly recommended in its genre since 2005. Lori is a happy married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. She is very excited about the release of her next novel, “Unexpecting,” in spring 2013, and enjoys getting to know her readers via social media and in person. She invites you to learn more at her website.