If wishes came true

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If wishes came true

When I was younger, my father said most people work to pay the bills, that it’s not the norm to love what you do. One of the hardest-working men I’ve known, when he finally retired, his health deteriorated on a fast trajectory. I don’t know if he loved what he did throughout the years, but I did know I wanted to savor the best days of my life now. Consequently, after a quarter century working in administrative-type positions that simply paid the bills, I returned to school to study my passion for all things literary. During the past five years, I’ve whet my whistle in the business of publishing which I love (most) every day. However, if I’m honest, I live for Fridays and weekends. And if wishes came true, I’d be setting my own hours, living off my writing, traveling at whim (for research, of course) and Someday would only be a tattoo inked into my skin and no longer an elusive dream.

What is your wish?

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Taking stock: evaluating the process

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Taking stock

 

The goal thing seems to be working for me (see Crush your goal(s) one step at a time): I set a realistic amount of time to work on my book project each week and adjust my life around it. The first week I tallied in a bit shy of my goal, however, after a few tweaks I settled into a comfortable writing groove. But then two things happened: 1) I got stuck; i.e., I’ve forgotten most of several weekend’s worth of mountain musings where I fleshed out characters and plot points; and 2) Two new writing opportunities fell into my lap: one a contest and the other a guest blog post (both with back-to-back deadlines). Rather than view these new commitments as diversions, though, I’d like to think of them as opportunities to bend and stretch my writer’s muscles. This way, I can remain flexible so I’m ready to jump back into my book project when the time is write.

How is the goal thing working for you?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Crush your goal(s) one step at a time

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Crush your goals

Sometimes the smallest step in the right
direction ends up being the biggest step
of your life. Tiptoe if you must,
but take a step. ~ Anonymous

This past weekend I finally compiled a list of tangible steps to achieve my writing goals in 2016, which includes 1) a self-imposed weekly target of allotted time I plan/need to work on my projects and 2) a loose map of what that looks like. But now a brand new weekend is fast approaching and, while reviewing my packed schedule, I noticed I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I had hoped to accomplish. So what happens when life interrupts our attempts at crushing these goals? It just means we might not achieve an aim or desired result that day or week. This might require us to either re-evaluate our goals to ensure they are realistic, or review our schedules and clear out any time wasters. And then tiptoe if we must, but take a step. And another.

What’s your goal?

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Be a goal-getter: turn your wishes into reality

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Goal-setter

Goals that are not written down are just wishes. ~ Unknown

The other day I learned something about myself: I’m a talker. OK, I’ve known this truth ever since I got in trouble for running my mouth in the first grade and nothing much has changed. But, sometimes I’m filled with an overabundance of hot air and neglect to back up my words with action. Yet I schedule everything from reminders to take my vitamins to run a load of laundry to how I’m going to accomplish 8-10 hours of fitness each week; map out prayer time and volunteer goals and even pencil in writing time. However, the latter is only a wish—a loose suggestion—because, although written down, no goals support it. What do I want to write? How much should I write daily? And so on. Last weekend I finally carved out time, took pencil to paper and turned my writing wishes into goals. Stuff just got real.

Are you a dreamer or a goal-setter?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Acceptance is a choice

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Acceptance

Do you ever find yourself wrestling with a situation, feeling unsettled, heavy in your heart, at odds with yourself and/or the world around you? In reflecting on my post, ‘Four ways to flush out frustration,’ I keep returning to the first way we can absolve ourselves from irritations and disappointments: acceptance. By accepting our reality rather than pretending it doesn’t exist, we make a choice— because we are either choosing a) to live with a particular situation or b) to change ourselves into more of what we seek. Making a choice, for some of us, affords a semblance of control in our lives that might otherwise seem lacking. Yet, when it comes right down to it, each of us entertains a choice every day. We can either allow others and various circumstances to pull us down, or we can choose to rise above. For me, this might comprise sweat, tears, prayers and/or all of the above. Today I choose to be love.

What choice do you make today?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Four ways to flush out frustration

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Flush out frustration

The cure for anything is salt water:
sweat, tears or the sea. ~ Isak Dinesen

Many of my posts are written as reminders: I am good enough, strong enough, life is a journey, blah blah blah. Do I believe any of it? Yes. Do I ascribe to any of it? Sometimes. But let’s face it: I am not sparkly 24/7. I feel frustration, anger, disappointment, rejection. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, forget to wear my crown, try to do it all and fail. I even manifest expectations onto my friends: Bam, it’s your fault I’m frustrated. Instead of allowing frustration to suck our lifeblood, however, flush it out. 1) Accept reality: if we can’t change it, then either live with it or be the change we wish to see. 2) Shift focus: involve ourselves in our favorite work, pastime, etc. 3) Exercise: exorcise those demons with sweat, tears (or the sea). 4) Journal it and/or talk it out.

What’s your remedy for frustration?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Tips to bloom where you’re (trans)planted

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Bloom

 

The article ‘Bloom where you’re planted’ talks about making the most out of our situation, whether we like it or not—until we can make a change or something better comes along or whatever it is that serves to transplant us. According to the article, Keeping our dreams alive is what uplifts the human spirit, and then it goes on to suggest four ways we can survive before we thrive: 1) [Understand] every step in life prepares us for the next one, 2) stop complaining, 3) be a blessing and 4) bloom through the concrete—changing ourselves instead of expecting others to change. Although I think there are a passel of takeaways in the article, if our environment is an unhealthy one—no matter how hard we try to bloom—we will encounter resistance. Also, as I mention in ‘5 Things Hiking, Life Have in Common,’ if we get too comfortable in one place, we may cease to grow altogether.

What’s your take on blooming where we’re (trans)planted?

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