Give up the fight: winning the battle

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Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash.

Not too long ago, I awakened from a dream in the middle of the night. I rarely dream anymore, so I considered it noteworthy; e.g., perhaps a…[read more]

Let in the light: combating darkness

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Ever notice how—when darkness draws near—doubts creep in? Yet, in the light of day, with the sun streaming through the windows, worries and unfounded fears fade away. This has been my experience for years, so…[read more]

The truest thing I can tell you: the gift of today

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Photo by Knuth Waltenberg on Unsplash.

While I believe it’s always the write time for hope, humor & heart, oftentimes grief shows up at our doors without invitation. An emotion that follows no rules—no “how to” manual—I’ve heard grief described as a “sucker punch” by one, and as a wake-up call by another. In my own life, grief…[read more]

Happiness is… losing track of time

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In my post “…starting over in 2021,” I mention embarking on a Bucket List Journey by Annette as a way to embrace possibility for the new year. If you’ve yet to check it out, give it a whirl. Each day provides thought-provoking questions that force you—in a good way—to reflect on what inspires you, what challenges you to pinpoint areas in your life that need to change and what activities you desire to incorporate more of on a regular basis. Try this prompt on for size: Which activities cause me to lose track of time? For me, this includes hiking, writing, reading and playing games. The list can be as short or as long as you like—but consider those instances when an hour or more flies by unnoticed because you were consumed with whatever captured your attention. And then take it a step further: How can I add more of those moments into my daily life?

Which activities cause you to lose track of time?

No. 1 remedy to burnout

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Image source: healthline.com.

I couldn’t put my finger on it. Barring all-things 2020, my mood contradicted a grateful heart. Head spinning, I opened my devotional book and, although not “dated” for that particular Sunday, the passage focused on the Sabbath as a day of rest. I don’t know about you, but I tend to view Sunday as a “catch-up” day, in which I attempt to wrap up the previous six days’ worth of tasks. Then, by the time Monday morning rolls around, I’m already itching for the weekend. Yet, as I read that rest serves as a simple remedy to burnout and its symptoms, I saw myself reflected between the pages. In that moment, I shifted to a “Sunday slowdown” mindset and removed the heaping helpings that crowded my “plate”—all a product of my own doing—and proceeded to spend the day regrouping. This time when Monday rolled around, it didn’t arrive as a surprise or a burden, but rather a clean slate.

What does rest look like for you?

Crisis of identity: discovering your ‘story’

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I’m smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis. Oh, I know who I am: a middle-aged Christian woman and married mother of an adult child. I work as an editorial and advertising coordinator for a commercial magazine publisher (see About Me). My Facebook profile describes me as a lover of words, kitties, laughter, yoga and animal print. And sparkles. I’m also a published author (see Links) of nonfiction and fiction. However, I’ve been questioning my “identity” over the past few weeks in relation to my “story.” I’ve never understood what that means. Until now. For me, my story translates into what I’m called to write. In “Trusting the process…,” I talk about completing the first draft of a sweet romance. But herein lies the crux of my “crisis.” While preparing to write the second draft, I realized I possess a different story to tell. I shared this revelation with my husband, who said, “Why can’t you write both?” Indeed.

What’s your story—or crisis of identity?

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

You’re not going that way anyway

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Is there a go-to place you seek for inspiration or insight? The mountains fill that role for me. Before each hike, I ask: What do I need to know? followed by prayer for an open mind and heart to receive. Sometimes, I experience “ah-ha” moments; other times a surprise spotting of deer prompts me to look up and view the world in front of me. One fresh insight aligns with the latest writing adventure on which I embarked (see “My future self…”). Concerned that a few other trekkers chose a similar route as me during a recent outing, I feared disruption of much-needed solitude. Yet these hikers opted for a different trail, leaving me with unfounded worry—a reminder not to waste energy agonizing over choices that others make. This coincides with years of envying fellow writers, while seeking their “maps” to success. And realizing that each of us get to forge a path unique to our own journey.

How do you know you’re on the right path?

PSA: It’s simple—Don’t drink + drive

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One of the easiest decisions a person can make is to not drink and drive. But here’s the catch-22: once you drink, your decision-making skills become impaired. And because one person chose to drink and drive on Aug. 19, 2004, my family’s “normal” changed forever. Consequently, on the anniversary of my husband’s “death” and “re-birthday,” I hop on my soapbox to share the down-and-dirty details about that night. My 12-year-old daughter and I waited for her dad to arrive home from work so we could enjoy a family bike ride together. Instead, at 6:19 p.m.—minutes from our neighborhood—an intoxicated driver slammed his Dodge Ram into my husband’s Honda Civic. Following a medical-helicopter transport to a Trauma 1 hospital, my husband underwent emergency surgery—after which he spent the next 59 days as an inpatient navigating his new normal resulting from a TBI, crushed hip and myriad physical, emotional and mental trauma. And he still struggles with deficits today. Please think twice: If you drink: don’t drive.

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.

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