One risk at a time

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Our lives improve only when we take chances —
and the first and most difficult risk we can take
is to be honest with ourselves. ~ Walter Anderson

If I’m honest with myself, then I’m the only one to blame for most everything keeping me from taking chances.  For example, I’m the one who consistently fills my Franklin with all sorts of daily chores and errands and busywork, as well as the one who insists I log in 6+ hours of weekly workout time.  It’s also no one else’s fault but my own that I haven’t written a book yet or gotten it published.  And while I’m on a roll here, I’m the one who decides what I will or won’t eat and when.  Consequently, at the end of the day it’s only me who will be disappointed if I don’t meet my self-imposed expectations.  So now that I’ve been honest with myself, I have to decide what I’m going to do about it.

Are you honest with yourself?

Grammar lesson #17: into or in to

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

I’m not convinced I need to devote an entire grammar lesson on when to use into versus in to, but a friend of mine suggested it so I’ll give it a shot.

According to Blog,“one of the main uses of the preposition into is to indicate movement toward the inside of a place.”

•    After a long stretch apart, the girl jumped into her boyfriend’s arms.
•    The cat jumped into its padded perch overlooking the beach.

As far as in to, the adverb in is followed by the preposition to.

•    He turned the invoice in to his client.
•    The author wouldn’t give in to the demands of the publisher.

Is this an area you get hung up on or is it pretty cut-and-dried?

Excuse me while I take a bow


[Image credit: digitalart]

I’ve been remiss.  Since January, three fellow bloggers have nominated me for four separate blogger awards and I’ve done nothing about it.  These awards include:

Each blogger award requires a bit of work prior to acceptance, however.  Linking back to the person who nominated me is definitely a quick and painless task, but then a dozen-ish more blogs (for each award) require nomination and I’d also need to go overboard in the rambling about myself department.  During my lunch hour the other day, I only had time to peruse a few other bloggers’ sites among many.  I’m truly honored, but my Franklin is maxed out.  Therefore, I must simply and humbly say thank you for the nominations.  Hopefully I’ll continue to bring versatility, inspiration, loveliness and illumination to the blogs I post.  Please keep reading.

When you’re pressed for time, what gives?

Third time’s the charm

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[Image credit: Michal Marcol]

Sometimes our first attempt at a feat is an epic fail.  Of course, this makes it harder to go for it a second time but, if it’s important enough, we’ll give it the old “college try.”  When that effort is a total disaster, however, a third shot at it is highly unlikely.  Unless we remember that often, the third time’s the charm — the magical victory to a losing streak.  Last week I received my second “no” on a piece I’m writing.  I was given guidance after the first submission and rejection, as well as on the most recent one but I hope the third time is truly the charm.  Especially because I’m not sure what more I have to offer.  But I know it’s preparing me for the bigger stuff — when it comes to chapters and whole sections of that book I’m planning to write … Someday.  Hopefully by then all of my practice will pay off the first time.

How many times before you cut your losses?

Word-of-the-month: exegesis (n.)

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[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

It’s that time again!  I’m sure everyone has been waiting with bated breath for August’s word-of-the month but, rest assured, the wait is over.  This month’s word is exegesis, pronounced ek-sə-ˈjē-səs.  The plural form of the noun is exegeses.  The etymology of exegesis derives from New Latin and means to explain or interpret.  It is especially an explanation or critical interpretation of a text such as the Bible.  Synonyms include: analysis and exposition.  A sample sentence might read:  The book ends by exploring the results of Old Testament exegesis Not exactly a book club vocabulary word, but you might impress a professor or two in one of your college courses.

What new word have you learned lately?

Pushing myself to the edge

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[Image credit: Vlado]

Some of you may have read about my battle with an eating disorder in a recent In With Skin article.  Although years later I am in a much better place physically, at times I still struggle psychologically.  For example, Friday and Saturday, combined, I logged in 4.25 hours between the gym and Yoga studio.  A girlfriend asked me why I push myself so hard.  Without analyzing it too much, in some ways it’s oftentimes the only area of my life I truly feel in control over.  Poor food choices or personal issues beyond my power equal double-time in my happy place(s).  Of course, there’s also an element of attempting to fight the age thing. My girlfriend also suggested it’s a form of punishment.  Whatever the reason, for me there’s nothing like the endorphin rush I receive — even the emotionally-charged moments where I’ve been flailed, my feelings stripped raw and exposed.  Makes you want to hit the gym with me next time, doesn’t it?

Where’s your go-to happy place?

Open mouth, insert foot

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[Image credit: Sura Nualpradid]

Oops!  I did it again.  I’m not referring to the lyrics of a Britney Spears’ song, but rather my inability to quit while I’m ahead; specifically, my habit of repeating history (and not the kind that edifies).  I learned something last night; however.  I should never begin a serious conversation while still in a condition of Bikram-induced “yogi-brain” (a state of “I don’t care about anything” contracted by performing 90 minutes of Hatha Yoga positions in a room controlled to a temperature of 105 degrees with 40-percent humidity).  Secondly, I don’t need to eat a figurative house after burning 600+ calories.  And third, as much as I’d like to, I cannot redo my failed conversation any more than I can take back what I ate.  The good news is that Today is a new day, and I can take what I learned going forward.  Hopefully that means keeping my mouth shut more and hurting those close to me less.  And eating fewer houses.

What have you learned lately?

Accounting for the present

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[Image credit: digitalart]

Take a good look at your life.  Better yet, capture it digitally and store it on your external drive for posterity.  What if this snapshot is a representation of life as you know it in five, 10, 20+ years from now?  Would you be satisfied?  Thrilled with how things turned out?  A good friend reminded me we can’t know the future, so in my book that means we better have the present accounted for.  After all, Someday may not arrive, or may look differently than we planned.  Although I won’t stop dreaming, I understand that hoping for Someday may be as good as it gets.  Conversely, if I cease to dream, then I cease to live and I’ll have less to record on “film.”  But hopefully, when Someday does arrive, I’ll pull out the memories and think back to the unknowns — laughing at my impatience and wondering how I could’ve been so narrow-minded.  All while I’m living my dream.

Are you okay with a future that resembles Today?

Taking a stand … or not

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[Image credit: digitalart]

Earlier this week, I asked my daughter for blog ideas.  Have you ever talked about personal beliefs? she responded.  When my immediate answer was no, she questioned if I was afraid I’d be judged for taking a stand.  I denied her suggestion, stating that I prefer to keep my topics middle-of-the-road.  After thinking about it a bit, however, I wondered if perhaps I am afraid I’ll turn off my readers … be judged.  One of my original purposes for this blog was to ramble about the topics near and dear to my heart, ones that tend to be common threads among others — hopes and dreams, disappointment, loss, grammar faux pas (of course) — whatever tickles my fancy at the moment.  Maybe I should be more open with my beliefs.  But while my core values remain the same, my viewpoints tend to be fluid, ever-changing.  I guess I just think there is a time and a place.  And for me this isn’t it.

Do you take a stand whenever possible?

Fifty shades of hype

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I’ve heard a lot about the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James.  Just like the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, the trilogy has been flying off the bookshelves.  It seems when something new or different or edgy is introduced to the mass public, everyone wants a piece of the action.  The NOOK and the Kindle became “the” way to digest reading material.  Consumers just “had” to have the latest and greatest iPhones, iPads and iPods.  Hunger Games was a must-see movie and the list goes on.  Admittedly, I haven’t read the first two authors mentioned, I still read books the old-fashioned way, I don’t own anything iRelated and I typically wait for films to hit the discount theaters.  Crazes are fun to get caught up in, but I typically find that’s all it is: hype.  I’d rather save my money for a sure thing that doesn’t result in disappointment.  Maybe I’m missing out, maybe I’m not.

If you’ve read E.L. James’ trilogy, am I missing out?

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