Blog Like Crazy: Year 4

Blog Like Crazy: Year 4

Against the advice of a few, I am back for year 4 of #Bloglikecrazy! What is it? And why was the advice so negative you may ask?

Bloglikecrazy is a challenge created by Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write to publish one blog post everyday in the month of November. I have completed the challenge every year for the past three years. I have posted through sleeping on a cot beside my husband in the hospital, travel, during a strenuous 75hard challenge where I exercised twice a day while working my 9-5 and while I felt ill.

So why have I received advice against doing it this year if others have been so successful? Because this year my writing goals and dreams are starting to become more realized and the fear of the few who advised against it (and love me) are that I will drown in a sea of time management chaos.

The truth is their fear is not unfounded. In the next 30 days or so, I will be preparing for and facilitating two writing workshops, working on pages due for a big project in Spring of 2021, present at a virtual Writer’s Conference and Monday-Friday this month, I will be up at 5am for morning routine challenge led by the fabulous powerhouse entrepreneur Amber Aziza. There’s also this little thing called being a wife, taking care of home and working my regular job (remotely).

I will be the first one to admit it’s alot and in the past “alot” meant anxiety and panic.

But I also am going to make myself some promises:

  1. If I miss a day, I will not treat it as a big deal. The earth will continue to revolve around the sun. I will still be a writer committed to her craft.
  2. If I start to feel overwhelmed, I will stop. I am already working on writing I love. There’s no need to apply pressure.

I almost didn’t write today but the truth is as soon as concern was expressed, I wanted to write about it. I missed writing here and when I look back at previous years, I have no regrets.

75Hard Recap

75Hard Recap

It’s Day 76. 75hard is over which means I accomplished the following:

150 workouts (mostly walks but many strength training workouts)

Drank 75 gallons of water

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Stuck to my diet (calorie counting for me) using the Lose It app.

Lost over 20 pounds.

Read over 750 pages of personal development books.

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No alcohol (I already didn’t drink)

I recapped more of the emotional side yesterday and I have said it before but it bears repeating:

I am less afraid.

The thing I thought I would be more fearful of was what to do next but it’s clear I had nothing to fear. Today, I went to a small group workout, took a walk and along with Hubby and a friend, climbed for the first time at an indoor gym.

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Even though the mental transformation far outweighs the physical, here are a couple of pictures to showcase that aspect:

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Today and August 2019

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Day 75 vs Day 1

I feel more confident about the next steps I am taking. If anyone is wondering if I would do it again, the answer is a resounding Yes. If anyone is doubting if they can do it, please don’t. The old saying is true: You will find the time for the things that matter to you.

One last note.

I loved that unintentionally the bloglikecrazy challenge came at the same time I was winding down with 75hard. I have a record of these last 30 days which included teacher training, strength classes, a fulfilling writing intensive and the introduction of the idea that I will one day be a Spartan and a Strongwoman.

 

Blogging Like Crazy: Year 3

Blogging Like Crazy: Year 3

I debated whether I would take the challenge this year. It would be my third year participating in bloglikecrazy (created by See Jane Write founder Javacia Harris Bowser) but beyond talking about 75hard, an upcoming birthday and time spent with family, I didn’t feel like I had 30 days in me this year.

And then I took a walk.

I slept in and decided to go to a local park for my first workout of the day. It was much cooler than previous mornings but I was grateful for the ample sunshine. I noticed the parking lot was full for a Friday morning. I saw a group of well dressed people gathered on a landing overlooking the lake. A few of them smiled at me.

By the time I walked another lap, I saw the group surrounding a slender woman with a beautiful afro in a silky emerald dress and a white fur shawl draped around her shoulders holding hands with a man, presumably her groom.

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As I continued to walk around the park, I walked with more intensity, buoyed by the sight of an unanticipated wedding.

I realized blogging (for me) has always been a place to share not just the musings and thoughts about writing, plant-based living and mindset but a record of the beautiful, the random and the unexpected.

 

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!

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?

No Greener Grass

No Greener Grass

I charged up my old phone last night, an LG Razor Edge. It was the phone I used when Hubby and I were dating and when we were first married. I retrieved the text messages and looked at the photos. I still have the first text and photo we took together. Like many new couples, we often said we loved and missed each other. We were mushy and flirtatious.

When I first got engaged, a few women (married women) told me not to get married. They seemed sure I would be miserable and unfulfilled a few years later. It’s true–things did get harder. We have faced medical issues that have scared me and adjusting to living together, merging our lives and finances has not always been what I dreamed it would be.

But there are times when I look at him and know I couldn’t be anywhere else and there is really no grass that is greener.

What’s better is we still flirt, hold hands and say I love you. Six years of marriage and we look forward to seeing each other at the end of the day.

I have told some friends I (almost) wish more couples could go through trials where they fear they could lose the other person.  Even for a moment. More people wouldn’t be so quick to throw it all away. Happy doesn’t always look and feel the way you think it will and no version of perfection actually exists.

I certainly don’t have all the answers to anyone’s relationship problems but I would ask anyone to not take the love they have at home for granted.

It may turn out to be the love you were supposed to fight for and the love you may never have again.

 

Ready for 2019

Ready for 2019

Today, I woke up excited for the new year. I know–it’s November and there are still holidays left to celebrate.

I  can’t put my finger on why I was jubilant on this particular morning however I know there is so much to look forward to. Here are a few:

1. Going somewhere new. Hubby and I choose a different city/state and hopefully soon, country to go to for our anniversary in lieu of gifts.

2. I am going to a Broadway show in New York again and I am determined to see an Alvin Ailey show there in 2019, too.

3. My digital story, along with the other women who participated in the University of Alabama Digital Storytelling Workshop for Women of Color will have our work published in Liminalities.

4. 2019 will be the year I dance consistently as part of a class. I have never felt as strongly as I do now that I need to have something just for me, something I commit to, just for me.

5. Finishing my novel. I have talked about this at length before. This will be my year. That’s all there is to it.

Your turn:

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Halfway

Halfway

I am at the halfway point of my #bloglikecrazy challenge. Here are three ways it’s already different from last year:

1. It has not been as hard to come up with topics. I am not sure if it’s because I set the intention from Day 1 that I wanted to explore more topics besides writing and plant-based health but it works!

2. While I’m writing, the words flow more freely and I believe it’s because of the consistent practice of blogging in the last year.

3. Because it’s no longer a new challenge, I look forward to not only hitting my goal of completing it but seeing how my focus shifts afterwards.

I am grateful to be halfway and look forward to other takeaways as bloglikecrazy comes to a close.

A Second Job

A Second Job

I was having a conversation with a co-worker today about your house looking exactly the way you want it to.

Neither of us are in that position. We both talked about taking steps to get it and keep it that way including organizers and repairs and adding small things like a house plant.

In the midst of our talk, she stated something profound:

“I don’t want to come home to a second job.”

That was deep for me! I have come home more times than I care to admit to clothes not put away, a cluttered kitchen table or spying something broken that we’ve been “meaning to fix”.

I have given away clothes, books and thrown away broken or dilapidated items we no longer use but I know there is more to be done to reach my minimalism goals.

The older I get the more I realize I want my home to be a reflection of my ideal mental state: tranquil and balanced with an appreciation for beauty.

I have had good days but no days where every room looks, feels and smells the way I want all at the same time.

I don’t know if it’s completely attainable without pretending like it’s an open house every day but I certainly intend to consistently try.

Confessions

Confessions

10 things you most likely don’t know about me…

1. I have lost a lot of my hair over the years due to PCOS and girl, please go to a hairdresser on a regular basis to take better care of your natural tresses.

2. I watch an episode of “The Office” almost every day. It still makes me laugh..some of the best writing (and acting) ever!

3. When I was younger, I used to rip out reviews from the TV guide written by Jeff Jarvis and save it because I thought being a TV critic had to be the coolest. job. ever.

4. When I was 22, I went to Costa Rica and my purse was stolen at a restaurant along with my passport. Needless to say, I got back in the country but that was a night I will never forget.

5. I hate shopping! Mall shopping has actually made me queasy. I want to buy what I need and get out immediately.

6. I still have the original text message my husband sent me in 2010 to introduce himself.

7. I can walk on my toe knuckles. I don’t do it anymore but when I was little I loved it! I wonder how I even found out I could do it in the first place.

8.  One of my favorite movies is “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” I don’t know why I love it so much. I am not a huge Streisand fan but there is something about it that makes me giddy to watch.

9. I didn’t have any social media until September 2016 and had I not joined School of Greatness Academy, I probably still wouldn’t.

10. Watching people dance (well) on stage can make me cry. I mean even an audition on a dance competition show can trip me up. Sometimes I choke it back because I know it’s ridiculous but when I am alone, you would swear something happened to me. There’s something about dancing with passion and precision that gets to me.

So those were my confessions! Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better!

And on another note, I hope you voted today.