What I Owe

What I Owe

I know to become a better writer, I must read. I used to swallow books whole the moment I got them, as if I was almost racing myself to see how fast I could finish before devouring the next. Over the last couple of years, I noticed I have slowed down considerably, reading more about books I should read rather than actually reading them. I have written more than I ever have but have also read the least.

This morning, I was reading the last of “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. It dawned on me how much I missed quiet time where I flew through chapters, uninterrupted. It conjured memories of paydays when I lived alone. I would pick up a decadent meal and at least two books from a nearby bookstore and enjoy a night to myself, indulging in flavorful treats  and becoming addicted to new characters.

As part of my self-care, I pledge to revisit that part of myself more often. The woman who takes an afternoon to get lost in another writer’s creation, another writer’s world.

I owe it to myself right now and the writer I will grow to be.

Birthing Something New

Birthing Something New

This last weekend, I took time to take care of me. My body told me before I did which is something I do not care to repeat. When I had a bout with panic attacks last spring, I thought I had it all figured out. To some degree, my self-care did get better with the reintroduction of more raw foods, etc. but I let my stress with Hubby’s newer health challenges completely rock my foundation a few months ago. Anything besides going to work, preparing for and being in Alabama at the workshop and going to doctor appointments felt like above and beyond what I could handle.

But I was wrong. I had a moment when panic set in and woke me right out of my sleep. The thing is I told myself that I would be fine and it would pass. I was right. It did. I told myself everything I should to calm myself down. I prayed for peace.  But I also realized, at 2:00am that if I am not doing anything but telling myself the right things, it will never be enough and I could only look forward to more sleep-interrupted nights.

At that very moment, I decided to implement change. I knew when the weekend hit, I wouldn’t compromise myself any longer. I made a therapy appointment, got a massage on Saturday, went to church Sunday morning and Body Positive Yoga class for women on Sunday afternoon. I am going back next weekend, too.

My body screamed at me and the only way to roar back is take care of myself before I stopped showing up for my husband and my own pursuits.

I was wrestling with the idea of incorporating a lot more raw meals at the new year. On Saturday night, I asked myself why I was waiting. So I began Sunday.

There were a couple of surprises. I had a little emotional release during my massage and although yoga was incredible, I felt a bit of panic I prayed through. These surprises showed me how deep seated the need for self-care is and how I’ve been neglecting it.

As I am writing this, I honestly don’t feel 100% like me but I feel closer. And maybe the “me” I don’t feel right now is not what I will end up being anyway.  Maybe these challenges and me addressing them head-on are supposed to birth something new.

I not only like the sound of that, I need the sound of that.

All Done!

All Done!

It’s here! I’m done!

 

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These past 30 days have unveiled so much! I am certain I want to post twice a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays. My Tuesday posts will be health related–be it physical, spiritual, plant-based, mental or financial health. My Thursday posts will be writing related. I would like to devote that day to my work, featuring other writers and storytellers and general career and reading updates.

About halfway through this bloglikecrazy challenge, I felt the topics and the flow came easier than last year. I didn’t struggle the same way.  There were only a couple of days where I felt like I had nothing to share but when I focused, the frustration disappeared.

If you ever feel like the writing process is stale, I encourage you to challenge yourself to bloglikecrazy or develop a plan of your own.

As for me, I can’t wait for next November!

Figuring It Out

Figuring It Out

Day 29. I was supposed to use this month to figure out how I want to move forward with the blog and website in general. There is no doubt there will be a forward.

I know I no longer want to feature new vegan recipes every week–just from time to time.  I recently decided to sell my E-book (What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows) on Etsy only. I also know I want to regularly feature other writers and storytellers. This past month has shown me I can write my way to clarity.

I am looking forward to what incorporating the body positive yoga class will do for the direction, too. If I hadn’t taken this challenge, I may not have found my way to taking this class. Tomorrow is Day 30 but it feels right to recognize what blogging like crazy has done for me today.

 

Into Space

Into Space

At the James River Writer’s Conference in 2016, The Library of Virginia honored Nikki Giovanni. During her interview, she said something that has stuck with me. I don’t remember her exact words but the sentiment was if we were to take a team to explore a new planet, a writer should be aboard the ship to document everything, to tell the story.

She said it so matter-of-fact and passionately. Without a doubt, there needs to be a creative soul to give voice to the uncharted. It made me think of how important writers are, how important the art of storytelling will always be.

It is how we convey who we are, on Earth and maybe someday floating into space.

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

A few months ago, I took a personality profile (DISC-Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, Steadiness) for work. I received my results today. Even though the test acknowledges we can exhibit traits of all of these categories, we clearly skew towards one or two.

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I am an Si!

While I do feel the description was practically dead on, it made me yearn to develop the Dominance part of my personality in regards to my writing. If I was more results-oriented, perhaps my focus would be strengthened with my pitching and networking. I definitely was more results-oriented as a student but that has definitely waned. There is no grade I am waiting to get back. No one else is disappointed when I don’t submit my work or write pages. The assessment indicated I am very much a team player and writing is largely individual. It takes a level of self-motivation I am working on cultivating for every part of my life.

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However, I am still happy to be a service-oriented person that thrives in a team environment with a need for harmony and an ability to connect with others.

I wouldn’t change any of that for all of the world.

Healing

Healing

I don’t have much in me today. I am not sure if it’s because I am 26 days in and it feels a little like I have senioritis.

But there are 4 days left after today so something will be written each day until I have accomplished my goal. So here it goes:

In my post about being whole, I wrote about wanting to start a yoga or Pilates class in the new year. I was talking to a co-worker (and devoted Yogi) about self-care and all of a sudden, I couldn’t come up with a reason to wait. She told me about a studio close by. I found a class on the their site that embraces women of all shapes, sizes and levels. My first class starts Sunday. I haven’t been this excited in so long. When I read the description, it clicked and even if it doesn’t live up to my expectation, I will know I took steps.

I didn’t wait for my healing to begin.

Punches

Punches

I went to the movies today to see Creed II. As I enjoy movies about underdogs with exercise montages, I loved it. It made me think about how many punches can be taken before any one of us throws in the towel.

As I have mentioned before, Hubby and I are dealing with a serious health issue and therefore, we have been extra careful of anything that remotely resembles a cough or sneeze, etc. He came down with something Wednesday night so we were sidelined from travel. He is feeling much better now and for the most part, I am used to illness changing our plans.

But there is a part of me (I have shared with him already) that feels like a punching bag. Part of me is angry at lupus. Part of me is angry at immune systems and fallible body parts.

What I am really saying is I am angry about not being in control.

But none of us really are. We can only do the best with what we know and have and the rest is up to God.

So I will own those feelings now and acknowledge that even when I feel like a punching bag, more often than not I am the one throwing punches at the problems that spring up in my life.

Whole

Whole

There is something comforting about knowing I can be whole by myself.  In addition to adding a dance class, I want to try to incorporate yoga or Pilates, too this upcoming year. I am not saying I am fractured or broken but just like anyone else, I have my moments. And those moments are a wake-up call to change my status quo. I heard about an exercise that asked you to write out a schedule in 15-minute increments of your ideal life and then asked you write out that same schedule with your actual life. Hearing about the exercise was sobering enough–holding up your ideal life next to your real one was absolutely jarring.

One way I know to ease those feelings is to commit to being a whole woman.

If I can’t be whole for me, how can I ever be the wife, daughter, sister, servant and writer  I know I am supposed to be?

I am Becoming

I am Becoming

I am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. There is a passage in the book where she says she hates when adults ask children what they want to be when they grow up because it implies we all have to grow up to be one thing.

When I was asked that question, I remembered being nudged to say doctor or lawyer and I might have succumbed a couple of times. I only ever really wanted to be a writer. I just spent many years believing it could never be a reality.

I also spent many years believing if I didn’t make all of my money as a writer that I couldn’t call myself a writer, either. I am so grateful I adopted a new mindset. Even though I wish I didn’t live all of those years calling myself other things, it is OK.

I had to go through it all in order to claim what I know myself to be right now. If I become anything else, I will be content with this journey.

Because I am living, breathing and becoming it, too.