Mid-year check-and-balance: planning for the road ahead

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Mid-year: we meet again. Although vastly different than I would guess most of us envisioned at the start of 2020, I still think it’s important to review our aspirations and perform a check-and-balance; in other words, What goals need to stay, pivot (e.g., change) or go? For instance, I learned if I plan to remain in alignment with my vision, I must begin treating my passion for all-things fairytale like a second (albeit part-time) job by sacrificing the necessary time to hone my craft—from participating in writing courses, planning workshops and online readers’ and writers’ groups, to subscribing to craft-related blog pages and podcasts. But I also realized I’ve neglected other areas essential to my vocation. By taking stock, we can better see the big picture, break it down into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle our intentions over the remaining two quarters. And sometimes, we simply need to pencil in “white space” to dream about those happily-ever-afters.

How has the first half of 2020 informed your second half?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Do you really need ‘all the things?’

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Always a planner, even as a young girl, this year started no differently. Although, that soon changed as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world. It’s required a shifting—or pivoting—in plans and priorities, goals and mindsets. Some changes have been tough to swallow, while others serve to illustrate that our self-imposed schedules could benefit from extra “white space” for self-care and self-reflection. Personally, I’ve learned I don’t “need” everything I once thought necessary. For example, it turns out I don’t need to practice yoga in a heated room. Although I miss my tribe of Bikram practitioners, I’m content doing my own thing on my own time. And, as much as I coveted my monthly #selfcare of acupuncture and facials, I’ve discovered a coconut mask that, when used weekly, hydrates and brightens. Admittedly, it does require greater discipline for me to continue an at-home #selfcare and exercise regimen, but the time (and money) savings have been worth the effort.

What “luxuries” have you learned to do without?

Picking up the pieces. Together.

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Have you, like me, thought this year could benefit from a collective do-over? Perhaps you’ve read the poem, penned by Leslie Dwight, circulating social media. I’ve always held to the mindset “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Yet it’s obvious that not just our nation—but our world—is broken. Christians call it fallen. And I can’t help wonder if this decade is, indeed, a wake-up call to pick up the pieces. While our choices of action might be limited, our choices of thought are not. We choose to think the best—or the worst. We choose to trust or to fear. To believe lies or to seek out the truth. To love or to hate. Admittedly, it would be less painful to press a restart button on 2020. Because to inform change requires the messy work. Is it so far-fetched to imagine a world where we worked together to pick up the pieces? I choose to think it’s a possibility.

How will you accept Dwight’s challenge?

Image source: today.com.

Milestone moments: celebrating victory

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As I stand with my fellow countrymen and women, observing the unrest in America that hangs over our heads in the midst of the global pandemic, my words today might seem shallow. A mere drop in an ocean teeming with discord, corruption, grief and unbelief. Yet, like many, I choose to search for good, which means diving beyond the surface into the murky depths. But oh, the treasures to be found. This led me to share my post “… discovering plenty amidst the lack,” and why tomorrow marks a monumental milestone moment in my life (shared by those who’ve walked alongside me). One year ago, on June 10, 2019, I surrendered thought patterns shackling me to an addiction, otherwise known as bulimia. Some professionals categorize an eating disorder as a mental health or psychosomatic disorder; however, I know what I struggled with—daily—for decades. And I’m here to celebrate this victory, and to encourage you: hope lives on.

Let’s flood social media with milestone moments: What’s yours?

Image source: quotefancy.com.

Shaking things up: writing prompt #1

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I belong to several different online groups on Facebook, the majority of which qualify as reading and writing groups. Mostly, I sit back and observe the comings and goings—from tips to improve the craft to advice regarding traditional vs. indie publishing, etc. However, one activity I regularly participate in includes submitting the first line of a story or poem based on a weekly writing prompt. Oftentimes, I begin my writing sessions by setting a timer for 10-15 minutes and spending that narrow window drafting my contribution to the “challenge.” And, to ratchet up the excitement, I limit myself to 25 words—no more and no less. This keeps me in the mindset to write tight, concise. I thought it’d be fun to try a prompt on my blog for anyone who would like to play along. Share your response(s) in the comments below (and I will, too).

Imagine your life is now a best-selling book. In 100 words or less, write the summary for the back cover.

Image courtesy of Applezoomzoom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.