Self-Care Journey Month 23



And just like that, it’s December. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love decorating for Christmas. I used to put up three trees, deck the entire house in garland, with each room having its own Christmas colors. It took me about a week to get it all up. I used to bake a lot, too.

A lot has changed. I miss all of that sometimes, but I’m doing good to keep Amos out of my tree this year. (I’m failing miserably. The little demon waits until I sit to watch TV before he begins his terror of the tree. He’s laughing at me chasing him with my water bottle. I can see it!). Change is the only constant in our lives. It’s learning to embrace change, or not push against it, that can make life easier.

I gave away most of my Christmas before our (brief) move to Colorado. I had to toss most of what was left during the flood of Hurricane Harvey. After that, I only got what I knew I was going to use. While I loved putting up all those decorations, it could also be stressful and anxiety inducing. Especially when I had a book or edits due and a party to host on top of all of that. It became too much. I sacrificed my own mental, emotional, and physical health just to get things the way they always were. By the time I did everything, including getting the book and/or edits in, I was too exhausted to be with my family. I didn’t take care of myself. My kids would’ve rather me been with them than have the decorations up. It’s so easy for us to think we have to do as much—or more—than we’ve done previous years. Especially if we’re having family or friends over and we want everything to look perfect. That’s when we really need to take a step back and ask ourselves is it worth pushing ourselves? What you should be asking is what extra steps we should be doing for self-care.

My kids have their own places now. My dad and oldest brother are gone. My mom is in an Alzheimer’s facility, and my brother lives two hours away. Change. There might not be any more big Christmases, no office parties to host from my ex’s company, none of my kids’ friends coming over for their parties and asking for my pumpkin pies. It’s a quieter Christmas now, but I like it. We still have our traditions like going to the movies after lunch on Christmas, eating gumbo on Christmas Eve, and watching our favorite holiday movies.

There has been so much change in my life since 2015. There were times I didn’t think I’d get through it, and other times I didn’t even realize so much was changing until I looked back. I’ll spend most of this month reflecting on 2021, writing my goals for next year, and lining up everything for my releases. I like who I’ve become. I wouldn’t have gotten here without all the good and bad (oh, so bad!) decisions, wins and losses, happiness and sorrows, ups and downs. Last year at this time, I was at one of the lowest points in my life, but look what a year has given me. It opened up so many opportunities and chances I wouldn’t have experienced if things hadn’t fallen apart.

No matter the changes for you this year, or this month, don’t fight them. The universe closes one door to open a window of new possibilities. I can’t wait to see what awaits all of us!

Here’s one of my favorite holiday songs:



Happy Holidays,



“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”

~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

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  1. Kristine Thompson on December 3, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Donna – I love how you pour your soul into your books and this blog to share with your fans. I just wanted to write and say thank you and how awesome it is to see another woman coming out stronger after changes. You are inspiring. Have a very Merry Christmas! xo

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:54 am

      Awww. Thank you!

  2. Mary O'Maley on December 3, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Happy Holidays to you!

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:54 am

      To you, too!

  3. Lynn B Easley on December 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    I can relate. After Hurricane Katrina took everything we had, then sickness in the family, the little things are what matters. We have very few Christmas decorations and my hubby is ill. I have him. That’s what matters.
    You are an inspiration. Have a blessed Christmas and a health new year.

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:54 am

      Sending lots of healing vibes for your hubby, Lynn.

  4. Diane Morrissey on December 3, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    You are such an inspiration Donna. It’s been a helluva year for me as well
    I had been caring for my husband at home who had suffered a stroke and severe damage to his brain stem
    In August I became really it but ignored it in order to care for him
    By the time I finally took my self to the hospital I had severe sepsis that spread to my liver and stomach they said if I waited another day I would be dead
    I realized then that he had to go to a nursing home permanently
    I have been in the hospital/rehab ever since
    I’ve missed so much these past 3 months; my daughters college graduation, seeing my grandkids at Halloween, our 41st wedding anniversary, thanksgiving and now possibly Christmas
    I argued with the therapist but my kids are just like yours, it’s just a day and we can celebrate Christmas in January but I miss the shopping and decorating and all the fun things we usually do
    I’m so happy that you are in a good place and that I have more books to look forward to in 2022
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas 🎄🎁

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:56 am

      Damn, Diane. I’m so sorry that happened. I’m glad you’re getting better. It is just a day. Y’all can be together later. The important thing is that you will be together. 🙂

  5. cathy conover on December 3, 2021 at 1:07 pm


    I feel your pain with Amos, we have had 3 (female) cats one is still home with me and my husband, the water bottle worked on all of them. My daughter is in her first year of Dental School and found her dream kitten/cat (orange tabby) on campus, needles to say she didn’t follow my advice in taking it to a shelter and this little stinker (Maxwell) played havoc with our Christmas Tree. I cant tell you how many times I had to climb the latter to get him down from the very top; the water bottle doesn’t work on him at all. The presents that were in a bag did not survive. Maxwell is just lucky he’s so cute, and eventually warms up to the dog and ignores the older cats.

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:56 am

      lol. I can relate!!!

  6. Janie K on December 3, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Finished Home For A Cowboy Christmas a few days ago, it was a great read. I really like cowboy stories.

    Glad to hear your life is settling in, change is so hard! And you really had a heartbreaking change.

    Had to laugh at Amos getting in the greenery and tree, my son had a cat, Sneaker, who wouldn’t stay out of tree. She also rode over 2 hours on top of spare tire under the bed of a pickup.

    Thank you for writing such great romantic (okay steamy) cowboy books.

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Oh, yay! So glad you enjoyed HFACC!

  7. Jennifer Kehoe on December 3, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    A Marshmallow World is the BEST! I listen to that over and over this time of year. Let that lift your spirits.

    I’m glad you have found hard a won peace; you definitely deserve it. Keep moving forward and publishing your wonderful books. They are a joy to so many of us.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Thank you!

  8. Trudy Burton on December 4, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and your fur babies and family! If you get a chance read up on positive thoughts and words having an effect on our brain chemistry…nueroplasticity is an awesome wonder w our brain!

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:57 am

      🙂 Thank you!

  9. Donna Wingo on December 5, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Donna, you are my all-time favorite author! Your positive outlook is refreshing and you are so right about change being the only constant. I wish you and your family a very blessed Christmas and a wonderfully happy new year. I am thankful I ran across the Highlander series all those years ago because it led me to the Kings, Reapers and so many more! Stay positive and thank you for sharing your gift with us! Love and Peace, Donna

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Thank you so much, Donna! You’ve made my week. 🙂

  10. April Robertson-Ring on December 6, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Beautiful reflection & timely advice for me. Thank you! PS if you love this song, make sure you add Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album to your playlist. Merry Christmas!

    • Donna on December 6, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Oh, I absolutely have Frank on my playlist. 😉

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