We’re over 1/3 way into October, and it’s going way too fast. I’m amazed how the time is passing. The Babe had some work at the Post today, so he did that. I worked some more on the quilt pieces. More steady progress is made.
It’s hard to be patient with steady progress. I’m ready to move on to something else, but I have to finish this for Christmas. We’ll get it done, and Cody’s quilt, too. I think it will go quicker. Cutting squares and piecing goes quicker than appliqueing pieces. At least I hope so!
Knowing full well the one we find easiest to deceive is ourselves, I truly want to finish these projects and NaNoWriMo before December. I have class Thursday night, and maybe Friday. I need to study the Intentional Peer Support manual before our class at 6 p.m. The Babe commented yesterday how busy we are for being retired.
Am I too busy? Am I fooling myself by how much I think I can accomplish? Maybe and maybe. But I’ll only know by pushing myself. Although these things seem minor, for me, they’re not. Remember, I only have so many “good” hours in a day. Today was a very rough one, lots of rib pain and back pain. Part of it’s from working on these things, and plain everyday stress on my spine. It’ll get better or become my new normal.
Let’s see each other again tomorrow. I’ve got to get another fiction book out to read, I’m kind of parched with the writing books and how to’s. I need a story that unfolds before me. How about you? See you then.
Amid grief, it is important to look for things to be grateful for. After losing three friends last year, and four this year (already), we are looking towards our arsenal of memories we are grateful to have. Memories of those friends. And there are so many. So many laughs. So many tears. And so many things to give thanks for.
There are the good-natured jokes people have among friends. The stories shared. The corny punch lines after you take the bait and listen to some long, drawn out set-up. And everyone groans collectively. Good times.
There are the serious, heart-revealing stories told in confidence which aren’t shared with many people. They entrusted you with their secrets. You treasured the secrets and stories. Trust is such an important gift to receive. It says more than many hundreds of words. You are forever the keeper of the secret.
There are thousands of everyday life memories. The trips to the lake or cabin; family trips to Disney World; graduations, weddings, baby showers, births, first steps, and broken hearts. Reading and board games, practical jokes and help to study, playing checkers and puzzle building. Monopoly games, Old Maid, War, Electronic Battleship, and my fave, the Game of Life. Think of all the interactions your family may have had doing those things. More treasures, for sure.
There are some people who have none of those memories. Their homes were not happy, their families were not functional. You can find something that was good. One really nice thing I remember was the Christmas Mom made all the Barbie clothes. She had a blast. I gave them to a friend for her daughter; I wish I still had them. But that’s ok. Someone got use from them. Grandma pitched in and knitted some outfits as well. They were awesome. I was a lucky girl that year. Mom always went all out for Christmas.
Sometimes, we have to dig. Sometimes, we have to add to the story to make it a good one for us. It’s ok. We have comfort in our memories, our recollections of treasured moments. Those are what warms us when we’re chilled to the bone with sadness and loss. We might not want to continue, because, “What’s the use?” Nothing could be further than the truth.
We need to continue living and adding to our own experiences, helping others have moments to draw upon when we are gone. That will broaden our wonderful memories and block out the bad ones. Be selective. It helps. We can put grief in its place, it takes time. Studying about it gave me an idea of what I was experiencing. I know what to do now and what not to do. I feel some comfort with this and use it. Thank you for reading today. Be honest with yourself if you are grieving. It helps a lot. Let’s each other tomorrow. Have a good evening.
I have named my word for the year as Progress. I thought it would make a good foundation for planning the year. And since it’s only the third day of the New Year, we have been mindful of progress. I want to feel like there is progress each and every day.
There is a Chinese saying:
Talk doesn’t cook rice.
Progress is indeed something measurable. Some things, like reducing clutter, are easy to measure. Finishing the laundry (folding and putting it away counts for as progress). Planning without action is not progress. It doesn’t cook rice, either. If I vacuum every couple of days, I’ll have proof of my progress. If I look at the lower wood part of our coffee table and it’s shiny and free of dog hair, I’m making progress. When I look at our kitchen counter that seems to attract stray papers from the mail, and it’s clean, I’ll have made progress. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.
Little bits at a time. I have to stay positive about it. Some days will work, some days will not, depending on interruptions, the Babe’s schedule, helping Mom. I may have to reschedule tasks; but I will get things done. I also need to go easy on myself. I have to remember habits take at least 21 days to make. I need to celebrate small steps and achievements. We all do.
Relief doesn’t happen immediately. Change doesn’t either. You have to be steadfast and unrelenting. How badly do you want it? How much to you want to finish your novel, your children’s books, your lyrics to a friend’s song, your remodeling projects, your refreshing your decor, your . . . (fill in the blank). How badly?
Stopping OD’ing on sugar is hard. I splurged a bit too much over the holidays. I freely admit it. Now I have to renew the hard work to eat properly. No big deal. Not blaming anyone. I can fix it. Progress can be mine in this area. It can be mine in writing, blogging, and making progress. Yes. It all depends on how much hard work you put in.
What’s the biggest waste of time? Probably video games/apps, etc. followed by Facebook. It’s a deep, complex route of deep, dark caves you can fall into. Often. I do it all the time. That time, spent writing, could be critical to achieving my goals in 2022. I have to be very aware of how I spend time. We all do. Let’s do it together.
Wow! I’m amazed. Mail call today was interesting. I received the natural gas bill, it wasn’t too bad, and I was amazed. Then, the good old State of Nebraska sent an income tax form to fill out; nothing in, most of it goes out, so we’re good. (Cue dun-dun-dun music!)
And here it is! Sarpy County Jury Commission. What? Well, that will certainly put a crimp in my timeline and planning! But maybe I can get some ideas for a book! Wouldn’t that be fun! January 31 – February 25. 8:30 – 4:30 I think. Wow. Four months away from the age you can be to take an age exemption. We’ll make the best of it, boys & girls.
See what we mean by the best laid plans of mice and men? Have a beautiful rest of the day, folks. We’ll see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
We had tickets for a dinner/dance at our VFW last night; it was pretty icy all day from fog, frozen particles, we decided to stay home. It’s not worth the risk when you’re living in the 70’s (again). I hope all our friends are safe and warm this morning.
I’m usually late to the party, but here goes. I’ve heard many folks talk about not making resolutions but selecting a word instead. I want to expand my horizons this year, publish the kid books, finish the novel, and keep expanding the audience for my blog. Not sure how to select one word to do that.
Maybe progress should be my word. In any area of my life/business/health journey I believe I should make some sort of progress each and every day. Progress, no matter how slight, is still progress. Each day should end farther along the continuum than where I was before. It sounds simple enough. Resolutions are pretty easy to overlook, to stick in the back of the closet, top shelf, and quit. Yes. It is.
We all know ourselves, whether we want to admit it or not. We know what will motivate us and what will not. We know what we need to do; whether it be cut carbs, exercise, work harder at keeping the clutter down or just finishing the laundry by folding the clothes as they come out from the dryer. A little movement forward in each of these areas could lead to significant progress by this time next year. While one grand, great, successful sweeping gesture could get us there with a flourish, chances of it becoming a real changed behavior are slim.
We can change dramatically when we commit to making long-term pledges. Who do we make the promise to? Ourselves. And God. No one else really needs to know. I tend to hold my feet to the fire by sharing what I’m committing to. It’s done to keep me on track, not to show off.
I’m going to work on more plans today; personal, business, writing, publishing, websites, and social media. Plans, schedules, and even scheduled free time are important, especially when they help you achieve your goals. Goals are no good if you achieve them but are too burned out to enjoy them. Balance and rest are key. Don’t forget them.
Enjoy your day today. Think about your word. Think about your goals. We’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there!
Yesterday, I had a great session with Sam Tyler, my Book Coach. The hardest thing about writing is it’s been so long since I had formal training about writing, much less about writing fiction. And then, deciding what kind of fiction. I’m trying to learn how to dig deep, deep into feeling to write about a young woman and her changes in life. The changes were choices to get her to a place she’d never been before: acceptance, self-love, confidence, and peace. She knew it existed, and it was a struggle to break through and arrive there. My coach is teaching/reminding me of the formal aspects of writing, and overseeing my demonstration of what I’ve learned.
The kind of books I like to read? Cop stories, mysteries, long forgotten stories about little children during the depression, stories so far away from feelings and healings it’s not funny. Well, I never did want to do things the easy way, according to my mom. Yes, I prefered to find my own way, not the easy way. My job for the next couple weeks is to keep writing new stuff and dig deep. Harder than it sounds.
The Babe and I are getting things cleaned up and placed back in our living area after the new flooring and fireplace facing. It looks so nice, we’re planning on enjoying it a lot this winter. We love the gas fireplace and spend a lot of time there. The dogs love to lay facing away from it, with their butts right near the glass and sleep the day away. They know how to enjoy life, you know?
Thanks to my fellow author Rhonda M. Hall for the meme above. This woman bikes all over the place, all over trails over hills and flats, every day. Bikers are devoted people. No, not the Harley riding, leather wearing, tattooed, club members. The bicycle crowd. They are an industrious lot. A few years ago, when I lived at the top of a hill, I bought a bike and cycled the Keystone Trail just after it opened. I could do the trail to and from, but to get up that hill at the end never was even a remote possibility. Ever. Couldn’t ride anymore after my giant back surgery in 1995, so gave it up. Great exercise, though. I have a stationary recumbent bike I need to do every day. Always new goals to add, aren’t there? I will if you will. You go today, and I’ll go tomorrow.
Part of writing includes reading. You’d think not. One thing I’ve learned, is the more you read in your genre, the better you are able to write in your genre. I didn’t know that before. I figured, reading was reading, writing was writing. Nope, not at all. I have a book Sam suggested I briefly review on Amazon (the first 10 pages are free, often). I liked what I was reading an ordered the book. It’s called, “As Waters Gone By,” by Cynthia Ruchti. It’s a beautifully written book, full of great examples. I’ll be trying to read during quiet moments this weekend.
Bicycles and books, reminds me of the Summer Reading Club at the Omaha Public Library. When we were old enough, we would ride our bikes to the South Branch and go inside to check out books. We would take a long time to peruse the shelves for what was available. Every summer we raced to finish the ten books first. We never did. A girl from my class had rheumatic fever, and couldn’t run and play outside. She always first or in the top ten. We were forced outside every day, every morning. Dad was a night worker, so we had to be quiet, inside and outside. No a/c. I always felt bad for him.
So many books, so little time! Addison commented to me on the way home from school yesterday, “Grandma, I don’t know how you can read so much.” I told her it was my way to have fun. I do believe if you don’t instill reading in kids when they’re young, they will find some other way to entertain themselves. My folks both read a lot. Magazines, books, everything. Not the Enquirer, though. That doesn’t qualify, in my opinion.
Right now, just outside my window, there are probably ten Painted Lady Butterflies on my Butterfly Bush. It’s so pretty. I tend to gaze at them a lot. I’m glad to have not only a window in my studio/office, but a beautiful view, too. I chose this bush and wanted it outside my window. Good choice, it’s lovely.
Hope you find a good book to curl up with and just relax this weekend. I’m on a mission to get out house back in order, then the book is getting my attention. Oh, and I have a new grandpup to meet sometime, too. Can’t wait to see how excited the kids are with Josie. Hope to introduce Lexie and Roxie to her later on, too. Stay safe out there, distance, do the mask, wash the hands, be kind, thoughtful, courteous, and patient. We all need people to do the same for us. Thanks for reading. And I’ll see you tomorrow, right here.