Tag Archives: advice

Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day 17

Post about my zodiac sign and whether or not it fits me.

YEP. I’m a Scorpio and have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it. Based on what I have read and know about Scorpio, a lot of it is pretty spot on.

EXCEPT THE RAGING SEX THING, cuz that is NOT me.

But, everything else? Yep!

Sensitivity, a proclivity for the darker side of life, openness, keen observation skills, fighter, feeler, healer, trap-like memory, quick to be annoyed, knowledge seeker, caring, sarcasm, independent, probably better off alone… all of it. Me.

I can’t lie; I really dig knowing that the way I am has kind of been written in the stars, so to speak. And I have always been like this. I embrace it. I’m good with it.

At the end of the day, aren’t we all seeking our own truths? A lot of truth can come from the stars, if we’re willing to look up!

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Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day Ten

Write about something about which I feel strongly… (100 word challenge for myself)

I feel strongly about a lot of things, but nothing right now so much as the power of letting go. Let go of things that do not serve you. Let go of opportunities that do not bring you joy. Let go of people who only want you when it is beneficial for them to be around you. Let go of habits that become too heavy or expensive. Let go of mistakes and find beauty in the mess. Let go of expectations. Let go of self doubt, fears. Let go of everything that stops you from being the best you possible.

 

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Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day Nine

Words of wisdom that speak to me….

I find that every day I see new words and phrases that inspire me and speak to me.  I have ALWAYS been into motivational quotes, inspiring words, and I believe that using words is the best way we can inspire action in ourselves and in others.

I have SO MANY OF THESE examples (visit my Pinterest account to see my folders of them). But currently, I am focusing on a lot of self affirmations and the like. Also, song lyrics speak to me, so a lot of my faves are found in songs.

I’d say I am not going to choose a few to highlight but rather just suggest that anyone reading this go and find their own words of wisdom. It doesn’t have to be motivational. Or uplifting. Or positive (some of the best things aren’t!). But really find those quotes and words that inspire action in you and speak to your soul. I could list about 2087 of them here, but I would rather someone think on words of wisdom that speak to them. Feel free to share yours in the comments, if you are so inclined.

Words are our most powerful tool. And I’m madly in love with them.

30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 8

Share something I struggle with…

I struggle with a lot of things, but tonight I am struggling with feeling like enough. Sometimes, I never feel like I am enough. I can work hard, I can parent hard, I can wife hard, and sometimes it still feels like something, somewhere is being left behind. I never feel like I can give 100% to everything, so I am doing a lot to make sure my energy is focused on what I CAN do, what lights ME up.

I am pulling back on things that do not light me up. I am taking care of myself and doing what I can to stay above board. I am blessing and releasing like it’s nobody’s business (cuz it’s not). And I am seriously just cutting myself slack and giving myself grace.

I am taking time off for myself every evening at 8pm. ALL work stops for me unless it’s work on ME. My spirit. My journaling. My reading. My own care. I give and give and give all day, and now I am taking back my evenings. Weekends, too. They’re now mine and my family’s. I am passing on opportunities that do not serve me or create more work for me. And you know what? It’s fucking amazing.

Sometimes I do not feel like enough, honestly. But, I think it’s okay. As long as I am good with me, that’s all that matters. And really, at the end of the day, I am okay with me. I may not always LOVE me or be HAPPY, but I am working really hard to be truly content with my life, my decisions, and the ways I am now choosing to spend my time (and who I spend it on).

I only get this one life; I refuse to spend any more time on things/people/opportunities/experiences that do not truly light me up, serve me well, and bring me joy. I’m too old for nonsense… AND I am enough. I know that. But, sometimes I struggle to remember it.

 

30 Day Writing Challenge, Day Two

Something someone told me about myself that I will never forget…

I suppose the one thing that I always come back to when I think of things that others have told me about myself is that I am real. I don’t know what that means all the time, since my own reality tends to shift and change, but I think I understand the underlying theme. I am real in that I do not fake things, and if I find myself in a situation where I absolutely have to fake something, it is the most uncomfortable thing in the world. I physically ache and feel my body reacting to the fakery. It is not fun.

I do not hide my emotions well. My face gives me away. Those who know me know what to look for in my actions or expressions to understand how I am feeling. My words sometimes don’t tell the same story as my face.

In being real, I also rarely tell people what they want to hear. I don’t believe in lying for lying’s sake, and if I do need to embellish the truth, I always have good reason. Again, though, I do not have the ability to lie for long because my expressions tell the truth.

I guess if I’m going to be known for something, I suppose it’s good to be known for being genuine and real. I can’t fake things or lie to save my own life. I don’t believe in it. I want to be the person people know they can trust, so I act in accordance with that. I will tell you if your boyfriend is being a dick in the same breath that I use to tell you that the dress you are trying on does not flatter you. I won’t lie – why bother?

Life is too short to be anything but who you are. In my own life, I am working on that and figuring out who I am going to be. Everyone should work on that – the world is full of enough copycats. Why do you want to be something you’re not? Authenticity is the key to a happier, fuller life. Why would you aspire to be anything other than your genuine, authentic self and life the life meant for YOU? It seems silly to me.

Don’t settle for a half life. Live YOUR life as authentically as possible – even if, like me, you’re not sure what that looks like all the time. We’re all just figuring out our own shit, one day (and sometimes five minutes) at a time.

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The summer of her discontent, or not…

As I sat down tonight to blog (oddly, not about what you’re about to read, so you’re welcome for the topic switch!), I forgot my password, as I do every single time I sit down to my computer for one reason or another. I am completely the reason I cannot have nice things, and it is part of my charm. Sitting at the keyboard, I racked my brain trying to remember what email address I even use for this thing, when I heard footsteps coming down the hall in my direction. Since I am the only one home right now who was not in her assigned bed, I knew it was one of my kiddos. And, to be honest, I wasn’t surprised.

“Hey, you. Go to bed,” I sighed – not looking over my shoulder because everyone knows if you make eye contact with the bed-wanderer, you have to have a conversation with that person that usually ends up with no fewer than 4 sips of water and a 2 snuggle minimum – wondering if I would ever figure out how to get back into this thing.

“Uhm, okay, nevermind…” Aaah, yes. My oldest. I knew it. Forgetting all about passwords and email addresses, I stood and moved to the couch and invited her to sit down with me. Tears threatened to spring forth from her eyes.

“What’s wrong, Lovey?”

Sniffling, the tears came. “I’m so sad summer has to end. We had so much fun…”

Tomorrow is the first day of school for our district, and trust me when I say that my children are very much ready for school to be in session and the routine and craziness that ensues from that. It’s obvious in their behavior and their actions that they need routine like fish need water, and the school year provides routine that summer does not, especially with me also not working a traditional full time schedule. So, they’re all ready. Go to school, kids. It’s time.

What shocked me was the fact that she said she had so much fun this summer. This summer was, thankfully in many ways, one of the most low-key, chill summers we’ve had. For the first time since 2015, I didn’t require any surgeries this year (yet!! lord knows there is time). So, I suppose that’s been a big bonus around here. But, fun? We didn’t do much! We put vacation on hold because we’re surprising them with a big trip in the spring, but we told them that we put it on hold while waiting for their dad’s work schedule to change. This, of course, is not a lie, but it was all they knew as to why vacation had to wait. We didn’t get to Kalahari like we had planned (but we will!) because I worked a ton this summer in my day job, and I ended up doing a lot of writing projects as well. As I rolled through the things we wanted to do and didn’t do in my head when she said, “fun,” I lost sight of what the summer did consist of…

We went to the drive in a couple times to see kids’ movies that they loved. We stayed up too late and caught fireflies. We wanted to get “real TV” and subscribed to DirectTV, so the girls were able to rekindle their love of mindlessly watching television without typing anything into Netflix. We watched a lot of Cartoon Network and got reacquainted with our friends in Teen Titans Go!, along with other shows we’d lost touch with (and I have rekindled my love affair with HGTV). We did a few small road trips but not even all the ones we wanted to! We had a pool up for a while, and then one of the littles replaced the plug with a water bottle cap – which is not effective at plugging a pool – so that wasn’t long lived. But, we also got a splash blob, which is my favorite thing ever. We grew a garden, and they learned about how plants go from seed to table, and they even got to help us harvest things (and still do, since it’s still going!). We celebrated two birthdays! We created outdoor living spaces on our patio and brought the backyard to life. They played in that backyard every single day, some days ALL day, and we had lots of baths that turned the water brown with dirt and smells that only can be recreated in Ohio summers. We did lots of library days and read books and made Lego things and painted  and all of that fun creative jazz. We had a lot of ice cream for dinner, and for other things as well, and ate out more meals in three months than we usually do in a year. We spent more money on little toys and gadgets they wanted than I ever care to admit. We said “yes” a lot more than we said “no,” and I suppose, at the end of the day, that’s what makes the memories that count when you’re small.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and unbridled happiness, however. We had lots of frustrating moments with raised voices and pounding countertops and slammed doors. Lots of tears over sisterly injustices and parents who “just don’t understand.” Lots of “PLEASE GOD GO TO SCHOOL SO YOU STOP KILLING EACH OTHER” and more than one occasion of one of us girls begging their dad to take us to work with him (usually me). We talked a lot about being grateful for what you have and taking care of those of us in this world who may not have as much as you do. We talked about a lot of big picture world and society issues. And, yes, lots of bedroom cleaning and chores and the things that no one ever wants to do. I tried very hard to get them to learn the importance of pulling their own weight, and how not everything is going to be fair because life is one big unfair bullshit ride a lot of the time, and what is more important is grace and being a team player and gratitude and all of that shit that you say and then you’re like “Yes, I am nailing this parenting thing cuz look at their faces looking at me, nodding and getting this…”

Those moments – the ones that involved lessons learned and some yelling and maybe some tears – are what stand out to me as a parent. The discontent is what sticks out to me, and maybe that’s because I am naturally predisposed to remember negative things and experiences and sort of file away the good for moments when the negative gets to be too much. But, as my blue-eyed, blond-haired, lookin’ more like her momma every day child sat hugging her knees, laughing as I talked to her about how good things need to come to an end and that she wouldn’t want the summer to last forever because it would lose its special magic, it hit me. Kids need time and energy and space to run and roam and to fight with each other and figure things out even when they drive their parents nuts with it all. What I saw as a summer of discontent with all of the things we “didn’t do” was a summer of fun and freedom for the kids, and it was such a fun time that the thought of it ending brought my kiddo to tears…

What the fuck happens to us as adults that just kills our joy?
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Now, that ^^ is just sad…
(but, I have spent enough time around both children and adults that I don’t doubt it!)

The one in which Tarryn Fisher saves me from myself…

They say that the Universe will never give you more than you can handle and will deliver people to you in your life that you need when you need them. (Boy, that is the most grammatically correct, yet long, sentence without commas I have ever seen!) I have been having some brushes with greatness in my own life recently, and one of them sticks out to me as a true turning point. It was the kick in the pants I needed to get out of my own way and get on with the damn thing. And it came from one of my favorite authors of this time, Tarryn Fisher.

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Yes, THAT Tarryn Fisher…

Tarryn Fisher is someone I have admired for years for her advice on life, her ridiculously amazing fashion skills which I completely lack, and her voice in her writing that sticks with me for months after I read her books. Her passion for her fans and readers is unmatched in the book world, and she is open to us and talks to us and reminds us we matter. She goes out of her way for us, and I am so in awe of her immersion into this life that she has created for herself and for all of us who love her.

She writes books that I can sink into with characters I fall in love with even when I question their sanity (and my own). I devoured her first three books whole when I read them (they were the first ones I read from her). I mean, completely devoured. Do not sleep, do not rest, go straight to finish and open the next one. They were addictive and beautiful, and if you have not read them, please go get them here. They are called the Love Me With Lies series, and they are everything you’ll need to fall in love with her right out of the gate. I promise. Then, read Marrow and Mud Vein. Mud Vein is my favorite, Marrow is my second favorite, and then the LMWL series solidly handles the third spot all together. I included links to the books in the clicky parts on this; go shop and then come back. I’ll wait…

Anyway, so back to me. I was sitting on my couch last night, completely ready to go to bed and call it a night when my phone alerted me to a message. I was like, “Really? I’m going to bed, y’all.” But, it was Tarryn Motherfatherin’ Fisher. I mean, yeah. Whoa. And I was like, “Holy shit. Bed? What bed?”

I am a proud, card carrying (yes I have a card) member of Tarryn’s reader group/fan club, Passionate Little Nutcases. And, I have been fairly active in the group until recently because life is busy, and I am always about seven conversations late to the party, so I just kind of watch and sit tight and chime in when I am caught up. It’s hard when there are, like, eleventy billion of us, and I just feel like I am so behind on all of it. I’ve been quiet lately, and she noticed.

Guys, she noticed!! Me!! I about died, y’all. My life, I told y’all, is weird.

She reached out and asked me if I was okay, and then she told me she’d noticed I was quiet lately. She’d been thinking about me (omg, I still can’t believe that!) and wanted to make sure I was still in her group and that I was fine. I mean, really, she wanted to make sure I was okay (!!!!). I stumbled all the fuck over myself trying to remain chill (I, quite literally, have zero chill). I couldn’t believe it! I had to check and make sure it was real, that’s how in disbelief I was! I mean, pinch me, right?

We chatted a small bit, and she asked me if I was writing. I kind of gave her the Cliff’s Notes version of why I had stalled out on writing – rejection sucks, and I’m just not sure I can hear the same things over and over again. “You write well, but….” I know I write well; tell me something unique, please. Ya know?

She reminded me to write for myself – advice I have of hers printed out and sitting next to my computer, for real. And I told her that! I thanked her profusely for even reaching out to me. It was so humbling, I was so touched, and I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. I mean, talk about the Universe giving you a one-two punch in the face, ya know? Write for yourself… yes. Thank you, Queen. I got it now! Sometimes you know things, but you need someone else to tell you in order for it to sink in? Yeah. That was that.

In that moment, with one brief chat, she saved me from myself. Just like that – it was too easy! Clearly, I was ready and willing to be saved. And, I know I have had friends tell me the same thing, but it sounds different coming from someone like Tarryn Fisher who has been through it all – someone who understands the inner workings of the writer’s mind. And, really, someone who I share a lot of the same beliefs as in terms of life, writing, love, and all things in between. Hearing it from friends is great; hearing it from someone who knows is a catalyst.

Now, I find this to be a bit of divine intervention in a way because it was super relevant to my daily life. I mean, every single day I think about this writing thing. Sometimes, all day. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the book I wrote, and the second one which I hadn’t touched in over a year but need to finish so I can get onto the third (!!!!). I have been going back and forth for what feels like forever on what to do with them – self publishing is tough, but so am I. And getting an agent is a mind-fuck that I’ve been trying and just, for whatever reason, I am not achieving. But, I think I know the path now…

I opened up my second book today and started reading it, going over it and editing it. And it was like coming home to an old friend, a friend who was waiting for me the whole time; I just had to get out of my own way. And once I am done with the edits, I will keep writing and adding to it, and making it what it deserves to be. These books are good, you guys. And I’m not just saying that. I mean, I know and people tell me things…

I’m ready for the world to meet these characters, for the world to know my worlds inside of me, and for the world to see me as a published author. I’m ready. I’ve been ready. I just needed reminded of how ready I am…So, thank you, Tarryn Fisher, you crazy, beautiful, amazing gem of this world. I am so thankful you are here – you’ll never quite understand what a little conversation at damn-near midnight meant to me. One day, I’d like to show you. Until then, just know that you were just what I needed to remind me of why I do what I do, and why I am truly a part of PLN Nation.

TF2

One day, maybe someone will tell me that I save them from themselves…
Maybe.

 

This is what happens…

This is what happens when WordPress changes its settings somehow, and you type a blog post for half an hour that is about how important it is to live in the moment and enjoy each day, and blah dee blah. And then you go to add a picture in the new settings, and you hit the damn button to publish it, and it doesn’t. It publishes a picture, and your entire blog post is gone. Gone. This is what happens:

Imagine me, yelling at my iMac, and ready to just give up. Until I remember. It’s November! It’s NaBloPoMo! And I won’t give up. Not on day one! No! Give me at least a week and a half for the wheels to fall off…

So instead of rewriting the poetic piece that was to come before this, I will just ramble on and on about frustrating things. I’ve had a frustrating couple of weeks, if I am being honest. And what do I want to do when I am frustrated? That’s right kiddies, I want to drink. A cocktail. Or seven. But I have been good and I have not had ONE cocktail through it all. I have cried. I have written. I have danced. I have listened to music in a very loud volume setting in my car on the way to work. I have done everything BUT what I want to do. And no, I don’t deserve a medal for this. I just need new ways to cope with stress and frustration. Life doesn’t always go as we want it, and we can’t spend every moment of frustration drowning in booze (or can we?). I have thrown myself into my classroom and my work with my students, which is a healthy distraction. I have focused on my kids and husband and how wonderful they are, which is healthy. I have decided to just let it go. As much as I can. We cannot control life; we can only control our reactions to it. And I have to remember that. It is not about the hand life deals us; life is about how we play the game.

You can never go wrong with this advice.

I like this mantra….

What’s yours? 🙂