Reimagining self-care: the benefits of regular timeouts

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Photo by takwa abdo on Unsplash.

In reading up on the concept of self-care, I stumbled onto a great deal of differing opinions. Some are negative, touting that the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness—particularly during periods of stress—involves…[read more]

Mama don’t preach

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In my post, Don’t wait until you die, I write about giving ourselves permission to love ourselves wherever we’re at. To live now, because it’s too late if we wait. Yet nowhere do I mention my faith—the overriding factor in my life and day-to-day decisions. My desire, however, is that to those who know me, my life reads as a testimony to the One who is greater than I am. That instead of self-reliance, it’s evident my reliance is on a higher power. This is why I don’t pepper each blog with spiritual fodder; rather, I share and dissect insights I stumble upon, whether divine or otherwise. Always The Write Time was never intended to serve as a platform to preach about religious or political beliefs, but a creative outlet in which I hope my words inspire and encourage others as I live and learn. Nonetheless, if you ask, I’ll tell you the reason for the hope that is within me.

What is your life’s overriding factor?

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at

Defining our identity


[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

How do you respond when someone asks the question what do you do?  Many people automatically list their vocation or occupation.  Is this how you define yourself?  Perhaps you’re a parent first, or maybe you’re a student while working full time selling coffee.  With the many hats we wear, it’s hard to whittle down the descriptors that provide a complete picture of who we are.  But sometimes we only have a few minutes or limited words in which we must convey our identity to a potential employer, new friend or prospective date.  In the past month, I’ve been asked several times what I “do.”  My answer has consistently been that I’m a publishing assistant and a writer.  Although I’m so much more, these seven words define my love of language and, I hope, a bent toward creativity and an open mind.  Perhaps I give off the vibe of struggling artist, as well.  Either way, I’m becoming what I believe.

In a few words, how do you define yourself?

Doing my homework

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[Image credit: patpitchaya]

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Facebook is my “lifeline” to friends and family.  And sometimes it allows me to measure myself against who’s doing what — a way to live vicariously through the ones who are experiencing their dreams.  One friend, in particular, is my daily inspiration and someone I’ve written about in the past.  While I churn out my daily 200-odd word blog or write about beauty concerns or whatever my latest topic is, she returns home from work to pound out thousands of words on her latest novel.  Whereas, my ideas either remain on the back burner waiting to see the light of day, or they’ve been conceived, only to die a slow and forgettable death.  Very little seems to incite me enough to pledge my blood, sweat and tears to the bigger task.  I’ve been reading a lot, though.  I figure if I’m not writing the stories I desire to orchestrate, then I can at least be studying the craft.  And the more familiar I am with the subject matter, the better results I’ll have … when I’m ready.  So if you see me with book in hand, just assume I’m doing my homework.

Is there something you aren’t doing because you lack the right tools … or motivation?

What’s the big idea?

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

For someone whose career aspirations and life’s passion revolves around the creative arts, I’m embarrassed to admit I’m probably one of the least creative people I know.  When sewing, I need a pattern to follow.  Any meal I make requires a recipe.  Whether performing on my trumpet or at the keyboard, a written score has always directed my fingers.  In other words: improvisation is not my middle name.  Imagine my surprise when I took my first creative writing course at ASU and learned there were no “formulas” for good writing.  Guidelines, yes.  Absolutes, no.  Obviously, there are dos and don’ts, but as a rule, there are no rules.  I still remember asking my professor what we were supposed to write about for our first story: Whatever you want.  Although slightly freaked out at the time, over the past few years, I’ve learned that the freedom in being creative gives me license to try on a new me for size, or to see what Someday may look like from different angles.  I still use patterns to sew, recipes to cook and sheet music to play.  But when it comes to my writing, it’s a mystery that unfolds one word at a time … and I like it that way.

Do you lean towards creativity, or logic?