FMF: Still

In the past I was hardly ever still. This has become a newly acquired skill. I used to drag myself out of bed no matter what to run. No matter what else was going on, no matter how tired I was. That is not the case now.

I like being still now. I feel I need to commit to meditation but haven’t yet. Writing ideas usually come then so it is beneficial. I try moving meditation which is calming.  

I am still here.

I am still learning.

I am still loving.

I am still writing.

I am still reading…BUT…have been in a slump. I listened to the Secret Library Podcast and heard the author Mary Laura Philpott talked about being in a reading slump herself and some of the books that helped her out of it. 

When are you still?

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FMF: Balance

Personally, I do not believe in life balance. It is a myth like writers block. It is a personal pursuit to make time in your life for the people and the activities which are deemed important to you.

You can balance a checkbook.

You can have a balanced diet.

You cannot balance a life. It is designed that way.

There is no balance and I don’t believe there is supposed to be. There are seasons in life. 

Seasons of work.

Seasons of rest.

Seasons of study.

Nothing is equal. Not really. Everyone’s needs are different. Finding the distribution of importance is part of the personal pursuit of happiness and purpose.

What do you think about balance?

I would love to hear in the comments.

FMF: Value

 

What do I value most? Several years ago the actions of my life did not align with what I said my values were. This was also a time I felt I was always waiting.

Waiting for the next thing.

Waiting for the end of the day

Waiting for the weekend.

 

I appreciate the anticipation which scientifically add to the happiness of an event but this was not the spirit in which these thought patterns were emerging.

 

Then I saw this quote: “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

― Epicurus

 

This idea and quote inspired an idea for a short story today. It also reminds me of the idea that if you pray for rain do not be mad when it rains and ruins your outdoor plans. There is always one more thing and I cannot let it consume me.

 

Yesterday was Black Friday and it is the reflection about what is really wrong with our country. Materialism is such a bold overtone in our society we have holiday to represent it. People will spend money today they do not have on things they think they need all in the name of a sale which is actually a mind trick of advertising and marketing. I try not to get sucked into it. For so long there was no money at all to spend so I am out of the habit of casual shopping. There will be holiday presents purchased of course but they will be somewhat mindful and fun both.

 

I appreciate and am thankful that I can now go to the grocery store and not have to look at every price to make sure that I have enough in the account my stomach lurching as the total climbs higher. I appreciate the time I have at home with all my kids and my husband.

 

I truly was in the moment yesterday for Thanksgiving and it felt like a real holiday to me. For the past several years there has been so much turmoil that it did not feel like the holidays. It was more of a dread than a happiness. There were moments of course but yesterday it felt true. The meal was great, the food turned out almost perfect but all delicious. Our corn bake took an extra long time to cook for some reason.

 

I am not wishing forward or back at this point. I do some planning for scheduling of course but I am not overwhelmed by what needs to happen on a daily basis anymore. I value being home. I value being with the people that I love. I value taking care of myself and my body.

 

What do you value?

FMF: ONE

one

Five Minute Friday – the writing challenge where you set the timer for 5 minutes and use a word for a springboard and see what comes out!

Join me today!

ONE

One. I am one, but I am not alone.

The story I read last evening at writing group called One of One. It is a story about grief and facing the perceptions of others. It was the largest group for this writer organization that I have seen since I joined last summer.

Starting at 2:25 p.m. today, I have ONE week of holiday break for Thanksgiving. I plan to read and write over this holiday in between bites of turkey, stuffing, corn bake,  and pumpkin pie. I will spend the time with my family and am thrilled.

In an 8th grade English class today, I’m reading for her program FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY. The book is The Running Dream by  Wendelin Van Draanen. I am also reading ONE poem from Mary Oliver, The Sun. 

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

One. I am ONE, but I am not alone. 

FMF: Burden

 

burden

 

Everyone carries some type of burden. Sometimes they manifest as heavy ideas and struggles that affect our moods, decisions, and actions. I have recently left a long season of heavy burden and obstacles. I have carried some of them so long that the lifting and releasing of them has caused the happy outcome renewed mental and physical energy. I will gladly take this energy, even if it is not a daily occurrence.

The burden I feel now is what my next right thing will be. I sense a large positive change is coming. My intuition is tingling. The nature of this next thing is unclear. My focus has changed slightly professionally and I feel a new opportunity is in the wings. I am staying open and not burdening myself with the same old patterns of how I react of events in the past. There is new NOW and I need to honor it.

Part of my current job is to navigate around other people’s burdens – personal and professional.  I have been taking an online class to help aid me to be a more effective coach. I am reflecting and becoming more aware of how I react to others.

I am taking advantage of this period of rest before a delicious storm where I will catch lightning in a jar. I will harness this power and use it in a positive way.

 

FMF: Story

Story

FMF: Story

How can I use my story to influence or inspire other people?

This is a question I often ask myself.

 

I have been told I am interesting. I suppose this is true.

I am a wife.

I am a daughter.

I am a runner that has achieved some interesting goals.

I am a teacher that has accomplished obstacles and earned many awards.

I am a coach for education and fitness.

I am a mother.

I am a writer.

Not necessarily in that order…

 

I have been through some trauma and have come out on the other side. There have been many highs and lows with no warning to switch 180 degrees.   

 

I have been called: accidentally inspiring and an old soul.

 

I am careful how I share my story.

 

If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.

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FMF: Moment

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Today’s word for FMF (Five Minute Friday) is Moment. I have actually written with this word twice today because I was having such problems with it.

My moment is now. It is always now.

The moment the clocks hit 12:34 I automatically look. I am drawn to this time.

Moments that matter is how our lives should be measured. We have the power to create them.

I have been motivated my entire life by “shoulds”. I have led a  life on a timeline of goals. This plan did not lead me to Utopia or anything close. From a near-sighted view, the outcome looked utopic – and then reality hit.

Taking moments as they come, creating experiences and going with the flow seems to be a better fit for me now. I cannot fear or worry about things that do not exist.

Being open in as many moments as possible seems the way to live as I see it…in this moment.

If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.

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FMF: Common

 

common threads

 

Common is a tricky word – much like the word “normal”. What is common to me is likely to be foreign to you. Definitions of common are muddy. They are based more on perception rather than fact.

This idea reminds me of an experience when I attended my first sleepover birthday party in elementary school. My friend lived on Blake Street and she did not live like I did. Her mother was deaf and her house was small and dark. None of their furniture matched. We had pancakes for breakfast but no syrup or milk.

I have common practices on Tuesdays.

  • I write my Slice of Life Post for the Two Writing Teachers blog challenge
  • I remember it is Simply Tuesday
  • It is family dinner tonight – there are no practices!
  • Favorite podcasts drop
    • The Next Right Thing
    • What Should I Read Next?
    • Alone in a Room with Invisible People
    • First Draft

 

What is common for you?

 

 

If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.

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FMF: Audience

target audience

Who is my audience? I guess it depends on what I am writing. I write for myself, fellow writers, teachers, and students. Professional work in education is mostly for educators but some pieces can do double duty. I do enjoy writing with students and for students as well. I hope that my personal work will be likable for others. I have beta readers that I write for or least have in mind when I write certain stories.

I am not sure I am always worried about audience to be honest. I know I have a certain style for writing and know that it won’t be to everyone’s liking. I am ok with that. I hope that people like it.

In my job, I feel like I perform a lot. Teaching isn’t just about content knowledge it is about presentation. “You aren’t selling the steak – you are selling the sizzle,” my husband always says.

This type of performance can sometimes take its toll on me though. It exhausts me. If I have too much peopleing then it can take me days to recover. Writing helps for sure. It is my therapy in a way.

I am quite breakable so I am careful with audience. I feel like I am on an emotional edge most of the time. I am always waiting for the other shoes to metaphorically drop.

If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.

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FMF: Help

 

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Help can be expensive – or so it can appear to be.

I was listening to the Pivot Podcast yesterday during my run and Jenny Blake and her guest were talking about how we outsource all types of services in our lives and have no conscious thoughts about it. They help us and we pay for them and that is seen as normal. What does not seem to be normal is for people to pay for services when they need time to pursue a passion. Or that the expectations are that if you can do it yourself you should.

Services we outsource:

We don’t churn our own butter.

We don’t sew our own clothes.

We don’t deliver our own mail.

No one can be an expert in everything. Sometimes we need time to focus on what we are good at. That might look like hiring an accountant so we don’t have to take 5 hours to do something an expert can do in 30 minutes. That might look like child care so you can write for 2 hours straight.

Sometimes we might barter for time.

We need to remember that it is not weak to ask for help. This is as much a reminder to myself as to you dear reader!

Happy Monday!

If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.