Tonight, during my writing group, my friend and talented poet Hope, brought a green pen. She explained that the legendary poet Pablo Neruda only wrote with green pens because green is the universal color for hope. She went on to talk about how he was deemed the people’s poet and how he wept when his fans recited his poetry back to him.
It could have been a combination of her delivery of the story and my excitement of being with my writing tribe, but my synapses were firing. What must that be like? To write so passionately that you inspire nations, millions? To value hope so much that you cling to its symbolic color?
I may never have the impact of a Neruda but I can have the passion and the love of the written word of a Kristina. I cannot control impact. I cannot control who chooses to support or love me in my quest to fully devote myself to a life as a writer.
But I can control what I choose to acknowledge. I acknowledge the moments I had tonight with a group of women listening intently, brewing up ideas of collaboration with one another, expressing support and validation of our ideas.
This is what I have to offer this evening. All of my other goals talk can wait for next Tuesday. I know I have workouts to do, water to drink, essays to write and a submission to send off.
It’s here!!! The final day of my Water-Workout-Write Challenge is completed. I am preparing to leave for Columbus, Ohio tomorrow morning so I have been on my feet all day. I am happy to report I barely had a coughing fit today and may only have to use my inhaler once this evening. I have fallen behind on my water intake so I will have to get on that. I know the challenge is basically over but the focus on increasing my water intake is something I want to continue.
Speaking of habits I want to continue, I’ve decided what my goals are for the foreseeable future. I will work out five days a week, publish a blog post twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, drink 100 oz. of water every day, submit to a publication or blog once a week and complete at least 2 essays a week.
The essays will be a new undertaking for me. I could never “get there” with my novel. I felt like there was a truth I was trying to tell but I was poorly disguising it as fiction. I grew up believing that one day I would use my imagination to weave a poignant and magical work of fiction. Except I haven’t been able to do it. With each writing class I’ve taken since the beginning of the year, I’ve drawn closer to the conclusion that my novel should be a book of essays. It made sense that the agent that read my work said that although she didn’t have a problem with my crafting, she didn’t “connect” with my writing. Even though she is just one person, I do believe she had a point. I will always love fiction. I have been surrounded by a lot of personal development books lately which I appreciate and have grown fond of as well. But the magic for me is in the stories. And my essays can be those stories. I am not sure what took me so long to admit it. But there it is.
These past 21 days has taught me what I should be writing right now. It has taught me that I have the discipline to issue a challenge to myself and complete it. It taught that if I make myself accountable, that I will choose not to fail. It has taught me that I need accountability. It has taught me that I want to be a disciplined person. I never placed importance on that notion before. I knew being undisciplined wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go but it never mattered enough until the lack of results wasn’t only staring me in the face, it was slapping me in the face. And the sting hurt like hell.
Outside of the lessons learned, there was a win. The piece I submitted last weekend will be published next Tuesday! I will post all the details next week. There is nothing like seeing the fruit of your labor. I am chasing that high. Even when I may feel uninspired, I am going to remember this challenge—not only the lessons that came from it but the pride I feel swelling up in me as I write these final words to close it.
There is one last thing. This blog is fairly new but I did have a few followers who read it and supported me throughout these 21 days. You know who you are.
I started my day off at the doctor’s office for my follow-up appointment. I got the best news possible. I am getting better, no X-rays needed and my blood pressure completely normalized. As I was waiting for the doctor to come back with my blood test results, the difference of how I was feeling this morning compared to Tuesday afternoon washed over me. There was not a struggle for my next breath and it didn’t take effort to keep my eyes open. Over the last few days, I’ve reflected on how much I take for granted, even the ability to breathe easily. This 21-Day challenge has forced me to be mindful of how I go about my day, all of the little decisions. Being ill has made me mindful that even my next breath is not guaranteed. I don’t think I will ever forget it.
With only a few days left, I will resume light physical activity, continue drinking water and write every day. Thoughts of what will come next have already come knocking on this brain of mine. I have some ideas that need to be fleshed out but I know consistency has made a home here.
Ok-off to chug this water and enjoy my Friday night!
Day 16 of my 21-Day Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge
I am still at rest, hoping my breathing goes back to normal so I can resume my life. There are many times I love lying around the house, reading, catching up on new shows and movies, talking on the phone and chilling with hubby. But I have had my fill. That is probably because it’s not my choice. I feel grounded.
However, I can be grateful for the time that I do have to rest up because next week I will be on the road to go to the Summit of Greatness in Columbus, OH hosted by Lewis Howes. It’s strange how fast a year goes by. I went to the 1st annual event last year. I am looking forward to being energized by the sheer amount of goal-driven people from all over the planet converging together in one theater to listen to titans of industry in motivational speaking, sports, psychology and coaching. I wonder what take-aways I will come home with this year. Last year, I learned how vital it is to move forward, even if it’s limping forward from Fabio Viviani and courtesy of Stacy London, the thing that you think that you are trying to hide is the thing people notice the most.
I am also writing a guest blog post. I pitched an idea that was accepted and I am sending off my piece this weekend! I love the idea of contributing to another blogger and building each other’s platforms up. Even though I feel sidelined, I am still attacking my goals.
Let me start by saying what I thought was a cough was not a cough. I know I have the tendency to push through but today I found myself trying to catch my breath while sitting down. And I knew something was wrong. I drove straight to the doctor’s office, trying to calm my nerves and fight tears back. Didn’t work. I know it’s best just to let them flow. It’s never healthy to pretend I am not feeling what I am feeling. Besides, what’s the point?
I underwent my first breathing treatment (completely uncomfortable for me). Hubby left work to be by my side. I know I can do things on my own however if I don’t have to, I don’t want to. I want the hand holding and the mindless chit-chat to keep my mind from roaming places it shouldn’t.
Like I said, it was not a cough. Turns out, I have been working and exercising and pushing through pneumonia. So, I am really going to use my inhaler, take my medicines and slow down. I promise you, through labored breath there is a part of me that wants to jump up and work out but that’s the part of myself I am shutting down. Staying rested and hydrated is my only job for as long as my body requires.
Just a quick update. I am actually listening to my husband and slowing down today. If I don’t really rest, I won’t be able to recover and finally send this cough on its way. I attempted to do one workout and was coughing most of the way through and realized that this was madness. Why would I think slowing down to take care of myself is failing my challenge in any way? My intention was to keep my commitments and to do that, I have to be at my best and practicing self-care is a major part of that. So, I’m keeping it short, drinking my water, taking my medicine and winding down for the rest of the night. And I will be submitting that essay tomorrow!
Day 9 started off right. I still had a cough but I was mostly excited to have my friend, Sheila join me for my morning walk. There is nothing like good conversation to make the laps feel effortless. Having company during a workout is amazing and although knowing I have to write about this challenge keeps me accountable, meeting a friend is a living, breathing reminder of this commitment I’ve made to myself.
I realized I haven’t written much about my water consumption lately. I am getting it in, even if it means I have to chug a whole bottle right before bedtime. It’s worth it. I have always been someone who eats fast and drinks slow. It is a habit I am determined to break, even if I have to issue another challenge to myself after these 21-days is over. I did manage to get another workout in. Because I am trying to take it a bit easy until I am fully recovered from this bug, I am glad there are such low-impact videos like Leslie Sansone. I can still claim a victory with my workouts without compromising my health. It has been over a week now and I am starting wonder what will be next for me. I don’t want to let this sense of accomplishment go.
Any ideas? Comment below. Would love to hear your thoughts!
It started off well. About an hour after I woke up, I couldn’t stop coughing. My body was telling me to Shut. It. Down. I decided to listen and got back into the bed and let myself rest. I wish there was more to tell but I stayed down most of the day. I started to feel better towards the end of the day but the cough is still with me. My husband tried to tell me to not workout but and I promised I would just do a couple of low impact videos, maybe 15 minutes of walking per video.
And that’s how it began. At first, my eyes were closing and I found myself yawning. I tried to shake the fatigue loose. By the end of the second video, I was alert and ready to head into a third low-impact video. I hit my steps goals and this earned sweat feels better than any other workout thus far in this challenge. I still have a little bit of a cough and I am glad to take it easy for the rest of the evening. It would have been ok to say Day 8 is all about rest and to continue to sleep but I had a little bit left in me.