#FMF Smile

smile

Every Friday, Kate posts a one word prompt for the community to write whatever comes to mind for 5 minutes.

Join me, set the timer for 5 minutes and …..GO!

I read the word and smile automatically. There are so many aspects of my life I am grateful for. My family makes me smile. I laugh when my 9 year old says crazy things like, “Look how tall my feet are!” We create family Jeopardys and play them. The categories get silly and we good naturally make fun of each other. I smile when I think about how ideal my life is right now. I live in a place that is beautiful and I adore. My job is amazing, I have wonderful friends and I write every day. The library is my town is awesome. I have read some amazing books the last 6 months.

After 57 days of my Back to Zero program to get myself back to its true form, I was able to wear two dresses that didn’t fit 2 months ago. Everything tastes better in Wisconsin especially sweet corn.

I finally have figured out a way to revise my novel and am thrilled. It finally clicked after an amazing conversation with my friend Jamie. I am always learning and am thankful for all the opportunities that come to me.

There is a lot to be grateful for and it all makes me smile.

FMF: ENDURE

endure

Directions: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write. 

Endure

What do I endure? Many things, but it means you get through the suffering. I like to reframe this idea and think about it as learning, growing, and becoming a more evolved human.

I endured Zoom calls this spring.

Endurance. I have cultivated a lot of endurance. I endure longs runs. In the past, I punished myself with daily runs that got longer and longer. I told myself it was in order to train for the marathons, then the 50Ks, and then the 50 mile. The 50 miles almost broke me, but I did it and I am proud.

The mental toughness I learned through the long runs and the high mileage weeks helped me endure obstacles thrown at me. Looking back now 5 years later I wish I would have done better.

I feel like I am coming back into myself now which is a relief and a welcome change. Part of that change and why I can endure more is because of the friends I have surrounded myself with as well. I have a strong group of women in my corner. Women who are strong and that I learn from.

I start to write that I endure my fasting windows, but honestly, my body likes this way of eating and not eating. It is natural and comfortable. The outcome is feeling better and more effective use of my physical form. I feel I need to reflect on this idea a little more to be sure.

Challenges help me grow and I am not a good human unless I am striving to be better.

+++

My First Collection of Short Stories is published!

You can check that out here. 

It is time to listen to Episode 10 of The Accidental Inspirationalist! 

You can listen here.
Or on Spotify.

FMF: Worth

A One Word Prompt with a 5 Minute Time Limit

worth

How much is something worth? How much am I worth? Is there a dollar amount that equates with a human? I prefer to think of value rather than worth. I trade money for material items and experiences. It is an exchange. What I am willing to pay and the value I receive sometimes creates a gap. Increased value is always preferred. When you feel you have received more value than you paid you can feel powerful and smart.

One of the things that I started to place more worth on within the last 6 months was my time. All the humans of the world start with the same amount of time: 24 hours. As cliche as it is, the value is how you spend it. What I find worthy of my time may not be what you deem worthy. We are all unique.

I spend my time pursuing input and learning. I am evaluating my goals and beliefs. I write, I read, and I run. There are people I deem worthy of my time. There are regrets of time spent that I can never get back.

Material possessions do not have much worth to me anymore. There are a handful of things but I have lost so much over the last 5 years. The special bowl that held my potato salad for holidays was dropped during the most recent move. There was an emotional value attached to it. I cried when I saw the pieces on the long counter in the old kitchen. Some things of worth and value cannot just cannot be replaced. It couldn’t be glued and be the same. I cannot run out and get a new one. It was a sign that that part of my life I needed to let go.

Letting go is another lesson I have been learning. I hold onto things to tightly and squeeze them till they are comatose or broken in pieces on the counter.

I am not sure I will ever learn, but I keep trying.

#FMF NOW

Every Friday I set the timer for 5 minutes and write what the word Kate chooses spurs in my mind.

Ready….set….go:

Everyone is using the word NOW during this crisis. Funny that it took a pandemic for people to focus on the present. People are worried about the future in a whole new way with a special tint of darkness — but, is it really all that different?

Humans like to fancy themselves predicters of the future — just look at the calendars we kept before we were forced to stay at home. Fear is the anxiety of what might happen that we conjure up in our minds.

The bottom line is we don’t know any more now how the future will look than we did before the pandemic. There is still uncertainty. There is always uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen anymore now than we did before. Some people deal with this feeling every day because of the hardships and obstacles they have in their lives.

We have to just control what we can. We have to pivot when we get new relevant information.

Mother Nature has put us all in a collective time out to think about what we have done. We have all been sent to our rooms. Some people still do not get it. They haven’t changed their behavior, they are still having parties, they are still standing super close and chatting. Will they be the ones that get sick? Maybe, maybe not. There is too much unknown to predict and it doesn’t matter anyway. We cannot control that aspect of the scenario.

Appreciate what you have. Pivot and reflect. Journal, read, write a list, call a friend, make a flexible plan for the next two weeks, but please STAY HOME.

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

Photo by La Miko on Pexels.com

Welcome back to Sunday! A lot has transpired this week!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am off school for now for 3 weeks. We will see if it is extended after that time. There is much speculation. I am taking the time as a gift and time to relax and take care of myself and my family.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read more this week. I need to read more now. It is how I cope with stress and also fuels my writing. I read the newest Paris Review yesterday notably a story by Jesse Ball about turning into a mouse. I read several poems too. I have been able to put holds and pick up books I have heard about on my favorite podcasts. One book I picked up is Meander, Spiral, Explode recommended by Kathy Fish during a writing class last year. It is a dense book but smart.

Do you need a refill? Maybe some water? What books are you reading? Do you turn to reading when you are stressed? I am curious.

Please read the rest of this post here:https://medium.com/the-partnered-pen/weekend-coffee-share-b3508bfd5ca0

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https://mailchi.mp/5b56d4ab80fb/lifelonglearning

FMF – RISK

You can read this 5 minute writing on Medium here: https://medium.com/the-partnered-pen/fmf-risk-3da8ce467eca

Reading on Medium helps support me as a writer!

Every Friday Kate chooses a word for her community to write on for 5 minutes and link. Please visit fiveminutefriday.com to read more essays on RISK!

Want to read it right now??? OK…. Here you are!

Risk is equated to danger for me. I do not consider myself a brave person. I do not want to injure myself. Taking risks has its perspective. When I drive too fast (most of the time) I run the risk of getting pulled over and possibly a ticket. If I neglect to prep for work I run the risk of it being a stressful day. If I do not risk asking and striving for what I want then I would never attain it.

Why do our brains go immediately to the most extreme example? Honestly, my first thought was jumping off a cliff — something I have never done. It is not on my bucket list.

Every day comes with risk. There is no predicting the future. Accidents happen, feelings get hurt, people get sick, hearts are broken.

If I risk sharing who I am then I run the risk of being rejected. That is the basis of my #100rejections project. I send out a piece of writing a day with the idea to collect 100 rejections. I also run the risk of being accepted. As an every day risk of rejection it makes the blow feel less. I think the more we put off certain things the more impact it actually has. For example, I do not like to talk on the phone. For a long time, I did not even order pizza. I am the person that loves online ordering because I do not have to talk to a person. I one time put off a 5 minute phone call for 3 hours worrying about it. Too much time wasted.

STOP!

#FMF Success

success

Kate posts a new word every Friday to use as the topic of a 5 minute freewrite. Set the timer and WRITE!

I have been successful my entire life in the traditional sense. I set goals and achieve them. Until I was 40 this seemed like a cut and dry process. In my mind, the traditional route of study-graduate-college-graduate-marry-job-family was made clear to me.

Success was notches on a time line.

My definition of success is different now. A successful day is time to write and connect with my writing communities. It is sharing a morning coffee ritual with my husband. It is life giving conversations in the context of my coaching work and life. It is great food and laughter. It is learning.

Lately the idea of healing has come up for me mostly through the ppportunity to be part of an Artist’s Way community. If you are unaware, The Artist’s Way is a book and program created by Julia Cameron for creative recovery. There are two main parts of this program: morning pages and the artist date. You can read more about my first 6 weeks here.The Truth About Creative RecoveryMy first 6 weeks with the Artist’s Waymedium.com

Part of the program is affirmation work. I do not like affirmations because I feel they are inauthentic. I have tried to work with them before and made a good effort but it never felt right. With an accountability group I have not allowed myself to pick and choose pieces of the weekly tasks which means some hard emotional stuff has come up for me, especially about my childhood. (The visualization of a terrible therapist asking me about how I feel about my childhood pops up often!) I do have mantras I repeat to myself however. But then something changed. I read Sam Kimberle’s post about her work with affirmations and decided to try an experiment.

This week I have been working with the affirmation, I allow myself to heal. I was reminded I used to have an intention I would write over and over. Whatever you call them, the truth was being brought to the forefront like a fire licking my brain.

The takeaway here? It came to me during this freewrite that the reason The Artist’s Way is successful for me this time is because the real recovery I needed from AW was healing. Healing from my childhood, healing from toxic relationships, healing from doubts and imposter syndrome, healing from me getting in my own way.

The bottom line is I am a paid writer. I will be a paid author once I get my books published. (REVISION OCTOBER) I share my writing and interact with readers. That is success.

I have an abundance of love in my life. That is success.

My new definition is more a content feeling and determination to grow rather than ticks on a timeline and I must say, I am a hell of a lot happier.

Sam is hosting more book clubs if you want to be part of the process.

2020 Book Club AnnouncementAn invitation to join my Book Club, starting in January 2020medium.com

Here is Sam’s post on affirmationsHow I Use AffirmationsAnd some suggestions if you would like to try, too.medium.com

You Can Read This Post and Support Me on Medium Here

#FMF Promise

It’s time for the FMF weekly writing prompt blog link-up. Writers across the world get together, set a timer for 5 minutes and write to the prompt.

This week’s writing prompt from Kate is : PROMISE

A promise is a contract. I typically uphold promises with other people better than I do with myself. I need to exercise a bit more grace with myself I think.

Promises can be large or small.

I promise myself that I will not get defensive when someone hurts my feelings. Then I do it anyway. I need to forgive.

There is promise I see in my students. Such great potential!

Marriage is a promise of being there, of loving me when I am unlovable, of staying when it gets hard. It is the promise to take care of my needs and I will take care of yours.

Friendship is a promise too. I suppose all relationships are.

I have a promise to my children to teach them, and love them so they become members of society that have purpose and emit love and light.

I have promised myself I will write 31 stories this month as part of the storyaday.org challenge. So far, so good. It is day 17 and I am cruising along.

#FMF Practice

It’s time for the FMF weekly writing prompt blog link-up. Writers across the world get together, set a timer for 5 minutes and write to the prompt.

This week’s writing prompt from Kate is : PRACTICE

Perfect practice makes perfect. Practice just makes permanent.

This is a phrase that has been with me for years. I think it is form Madelyn Hunter who is an educational guru.

Practice is how we cultivate skill. Practice the journey that is meant to be enjoyed.

I have a writing practice.

I have a running practice.

I have a reflection practice for teaching, learning, and coaching.

But practice takes time.

I played and practiced the violin everyday from 6th grade to 12th grade, which is a lot of hours.

After so much practice, there is a wonderful moment when you breakthrough to the next level. Then you know the practice has done its job! It is an amazing feeling.

I often think of the 10,000 hour rule that is credited to Malcom Gladwell. It is that many hours to become good at something. New skills taking honing, attention, and intention.

All my children practice for their sports. Practice does not need to be boring. I usually don’t think that it is, but I know this is not always the popular opinion. Practice also doesn’t have to be drills. In fact, my youngest plays games at soccer practice but doesn’t know it helps him become a better player.

I have to remember to enjoy the practice, to enjoy the journey because sometimes practice is the next right step.