Saturday, April 21, 2012

You've got to be able to laugh

As we already know, I'm a bit on the clumsy side.  I bang into walls, routinely hit my head, and constantly trip over my own two feet.  Through all of this, I rarely injury myself seriously.  A few bumps and bruises, and I'm off and running again. 
This weekend was so beautiful, R and I decided to go rollerskating (rollerblading for him).  I prefer skates because I'm on four wheels in a quad set-up, instead of inline.  More balance, which is very important for me. 
We were doing fine until we turned around and were faced with going back down the hill we'd had to go up earlier.  It wasn't particularly steep, but let's be honest, I don't need steep to cause problems.  I started out okay, and but was picking up speed fast enough to concern me, so instead of heading all the way to the bottom, I decided to try to make the ease off on to the bike lane.  
That's where it all went wrong.  One moment I was up, the next I was tumbling over.  I'm now left with bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and a knee swollen enough to look like a boiled egg.  My wedding band and engagement ring are all scraped up on the bottom.  But in spite of all of this?  I just want to laugh.  First because it's really so ridiculous. I'm just a walking disaster.  More than that, though, I want to laugh because as R put it, "All the bruises and scrapes mean you're out living."  And I'll take that over being holed up inside any day of the week.  
Sure, it hurts.  And it's ugly.  And it'll interfere with my ability to zumba properly for a while.  But really it's almost a badge of honor, and I'll take it.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

What I know...

The last year and a half for me has been all about self-discovery.  Discovering my limits, what I can and can't handle.  Realizing that I'm stronger than I knew, both physically and mentally.  More importantly, I've discovered which limits I can push.  I can go that step further, I can lift that heavier weight, I can keep driving.  
I think, sometimes, that the hardest thing as a writer is life.  It's what gives us our inspirations, but at the same time, it's what gets in our way and keeps us from writing.  So what's a writer to do?  We can't just sit down and roll over.  We aren't going to just take it.
And that's what I've had to do.  Yes, life has gotten in the way lately.  My day job has required a lot of overtime, and I've had to accept that.  I've also had to accept that my body needs sleep.  I know, silly, right? 
Ultimately, though, I've discovered one truth that I will forever hold dear: I can do anything I set my mind to.  I know it sounds trite and cliche, but it's true.  More importantly, so can you.  I'm often shocked by what I can accomplish.  And when something stands in my way it becomes a personal challenge.
Which leads to yet another discovery...not everything in life is a challenge.  Hard to remember, sometimes.  It's no always my lesson to learn.  Crazy, right?  It's not all about me. 
So don't leave me in the wind.  What have you discovered about yourself lately? 


Friday, February 24, 2012

There's a life lesson to be learned there...

I've always prided myself on being open to trying new things.  So in the spirit of adventure, last weekend I tried skiing for essentially the first time.  I say essentially because I really can't count the two lessons I've taken previously in the last ten years.  Especially when those lessons were 3-4 years apart from each other.  My husband is a skier, and we had a plan.  I'd take a lesson in the morning, then he'd come and join me on what I could handle in the afternoon.  The first day our plan worked swimmingly.
The second day?  Not so much.  
Oh, my lesson went great.  The instructor gave me all sorts of praise on my way down that mountain.  When I reached the bottom I was so proud of myself!  If I could do this, I could do anything!
Then came lunch, and then came our next trip down.  This time with my husband.  For those of you who have skied before, you know that when you're first starting out it doesn't matter how good of shape you are in.  Your legs will be tired.  You will eventually get to the point where you have less control.  
I reached this point in the afternoon of day two.  There we were, attempting one of the greenest of the green runs, and I was losing control.  I was going to fast (in my head at least), and couldn't slow down.  My solution?  Scream and fall. 
At one point, sitting there on the mountain with snot and tears streaming, all I could say was, "My body won't do what I want it to do.  I'm so frustrated!"
Later, thinking about this, I realized that this feeling can be applied to so many things.  To life.  To writing.  
I admit I like to be in control.  I like knowing where I'm going with something, and how I'm getting there.  I may be a pantser when it comes to my writing, but I have full control of just about everything else.  And when I lose that control?  Well, bring on the snot and tears. 
But here's the thing.  I got to the bottom of that mountain.  It may have been slow.  It may have been less than graceful.  But I got there.  And that feeling of pride when I reached the end?  It was the same feeling of pride I get when I put a book to bed.  So, okay, I may not have been in full control.  The world didn't end.  I didn't break anything.  I survived.  
There's a lesson to be learned here, but it's one only seen in hindsight.  Sometimes we have to loosen the reins a little and life carry us down the mountain.  Sure we may go too fast at times, and we may even fall.  But we'll get to the bottom one way or another. 


Saturday, February 04, 2012


Life is getting pretty twisty and turny lately.  I've got my eye on three different book projects, I'm back to work on National Boards, and I'm still working on the whole life/work balance. 

In other news, I also realized that sometimes, fear is what holds us back and sometimes it's what pushes us forward.  I'm more afraid of NOT becoming a success than I am of being successful.  It is what has pushed me forward these last ten years, and it's what continues to push me.  Blame my high school, blame my parents, blame my friends and family.  It doesn't really matter where you lay the blame, I'm still going to push myself to be the best I can in my life.

Now if only that weren't so exhausting. :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Realizations and personal milestones



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who said all multi-tasking is bad?

Okay, if you've been listening to the news at all...or even to my dear friend The Happy Writer, you know that multi-tasking as not nearly as effective as we once believed.  Apparently when you aren't giving your full attention to something it takes longer to do. 
Imagine that. 
But the last few days I've been testing out a new theory.  This theory is that not all multi-tasking is bad.  For example, putting on your favorite dance music while cleaning can, in fact, make things better.  Alas, I'm not hear to talk about how to make your daily household chores more palatable.  Instead I'd like to talk to you about how you can improve your writing while exercising. 
I know, the two are pretty much mutually exclusive, unless you have one of those fancy writing treadmill desks (which, fyi, I want...I'm just sayin').  We all know that turning up the volume on faced paced music can not only get us moving faster, but it can also provide incentive to get our buts on that treadmill or elliptical machine.  
The other day, rather than turn on the tunes when I started my weight routine, I decided to turn on a workshop from RWA '11.  I ordered the CDs over the summer, and I've had them downloaded to my iPod for months.  But had I listened to a single one yet?  Of course not.  Who has the time?  
Except I did.  Sort of.  I'm doing my weight routine twice a week now.  It takes between 30-45 min. to complete.  That's 30-45 min. I could spend listening to a workshop (almost all of which are under an hour).  So I decided to give it a try. I've now worked through three different sessions, and I have to admit this may be my new thing.  First of all, I'm not getting tired of my music.  Second of all, because I don't have to "think" as much when I'm doing my weight routine, I can pay attention to the workshop.  And since I'm not walking or ellipticalling (is that even a word?), I don't have to worry about my pace.  
It's a win-win I figure. So here's my weekly challenge to you: find time to perfect your craft in a way that is non-writing related.  Listen to a workshop at the gym.  Go for a walk with a friend and brainstorm your heart out.  But do something different.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Take time, take 2

A couple of months ago I talked about taking care of yourself.  In the past, this concept has mostly fallen by the wayside in the fall when I start back at work.  I find that I'm often working longer hours during that time.  Add in time with friends and family (relaxing), and that leaves less time for actually taking care of myself.  In this case, I'm talking about things like getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising often enough.  Let's face it, it's easy to let these three things slide.  We want to see friends so we go out to dinner.  Mamma Mia is on t.v. so we stay up late on a work-night to watch it.  Since we went out to dinner with our friend, and because we're tired, we skip the gym.
They add up.
This year I challenged myself to not fall down that path.  I challenged myself to get my 8 hours of sleep a night, to not eat out as much, and to keep up with my exercise.  It's not always easy, and takes a lot of planning.  And let's face it, most night it's more like 7 or 7.5 hours.  I'm still seeing friends and family, just not as frequently.  Instead, I'm making myself a priority. 
The funny thing about it?  My friends totally get it.  I thought they'd feel left behind, or upset that they didn't see me enough.  Instead?  They are either looking for activities we can do together that let me get my workouts in (hike anyone?) or they're meeting me for a quick coffee instead of a full meal.  It takes a little less time, but let's me still get to meet up with my friends. 

So I challenge you: put yourself first.  Put your writing, your body, your needs first.  Believe it or not?  Those who love you will be more supportive than you think.  And you will reap the benefits.

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