#TBT: Growth and Healing

Resuming my writing habit has been an exercise in consistency. I write Morning Pages (750 words of brain drain) to clear my head. Then I draft marketing copy, newsletter content, and blog posts. In exploring possible topics and digging through my own past posts, I am reminded that this habit is also therapeutic.

To let you in my head for a moment (please disregard the clamoring committee), hoping to come up with a topic, I listed single word questions: Snow? Weather? Speaking? Manifestation? Tattoos? (I went with my son’s girlfriend to get a tattoo today. She did. Not me.)

Then I wished I had begun the publishing calendar that I had planned to start a week ago. This brought to mind the process I would use, part of which was superimposing various calendars so I could see the relevant events that would guide my writing throughout the year.

Then I mentally scaled down,  and remembered my own mobile photography on Monday and Wisdom Wednesday. I continued down this train of thought to the Social Media Days of the Week and Throwback Thursday in particular. Then my mind jumped to “roundup.”

Well, this is not a true roundup, but more of a ThrowBackThursday of my own past blog posts. I chose these three posts because they remind me how much I’ve grown and healed over the past three years. As I read them, I realized how grateful I am to be where I am today.

I will spare you lengthy introductions and simply guide you down my recent path…

Three years ago: The Dark Side

Two years ago: PTSD and Depression

One year ago: Keep Getting Up

“…if we want to direct our lives…”

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.

~Tony Robbins

On this Wisdom Wednesday (my first in quite a while), this thing about consistency is brought to my awareness again. A few years ago, I was posting regularly. I peppered in photography and quotes weekly to break the monotony and ease my writing load. I gradually got out of the habit and quit writing altogether, with a few exceptions here and there.

As we begin a new year, I am recommitting myself to writing regularly. My goal isn’t perfection but consistency. (Until I get ahead on some content, I may be posting later than I’d like… like today.) Until then, enjoy the last few hours of your Wisdom Wednesday!

Daily Notes: Watch Your Mailbox!

StationeryLast year, I made an agreement to write every day. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the time I allotted was a mere 15 minutes (just long enough to begin formulating coherent thoughts). Fortunately, that rapidly grew into much more time spent at the keyboard and putting pen to paper. I planned to blog every day, not as an agreement to which I held myself accountable, but more as a goal I strived to achieve. I did well with this until late summer when I began taking an anti-anxiety medication for my PTSD. So, although I was writing, I stopped blogging.  I just stopped.

Late in 2014, I wanted to get back on track and made a couple of attempts that each resulted in one day in a row of blogging. As 2015 began, I wanted to begin blogging regularly again (the key word here – wanted). Now here it is the 9th, and up until now, I have completed 2 posts in January, for a grand total of one two-day stint. So I’ve decided to use another writing agreement I’ve made to push me toward my blogging goal.  (I have not made a blogging agreement because the primary goal is to be writing. I have other endeavors besides this blog and I don’t want to be bogged down by a committment to post when I may deadlines to meet on other projects.)

So this year, I made a committment to write a handwritten note to someone daily.  Part of the agreement is that I will mail or hand deliver the note within a week of writing it.  My purpose in bring this up is that I have decided to post weekly about this process.  The results of this agreement have been gratifying, even in this first week.  I thought long and hard about to whom I would write first.  After long consideration, it seemed the most person to begin with was my mother. After all, without her, I would not be here.  Of course I would have loved to do double duty and write to my dad, and he is no longer on this plane.  I know I can write to him anyway, so I plan to do that for his birthday in February.

In addition to deciding  who would get my first note, I made preparations for the process. I purchased a couple of books of stamps, I rounded up all my address labels that were in various baskets and drawers around the house, and I scoured the attic for forgotten stationery and cards. I even asked for stationery and notecards for Christmas.  My sister bought me two boxes of beautiful stationery, some boxed notecards, and some unique handmade cards.  I also received a coupon to create some free photo notecards. I used it to create three different styles of notecards made from photos I had used in blog posts. I purchased a caddy to keep everything in sight and at the ready. I received a pocket planner for Christmas, which I am using to record birthdays and other special occasions.  I have also written the names of the people to whom I will write each day. When I have completed my agreement for the day, I tick off the name of the recipient.

Early the first week, I received a letter from a friend who knew I had made tBirds Cardhis agreement.  She was writing because she said that my agreement had inspired her to begin writing more. Today I received a text message from another friend who congratulated me on the progress  I have made and thanked me for the photo card I sent her.  She has enriched my life to a degree that I do not think she is aware and I simply wanted to thank her. . My step-father is in the hospital and I have been under the weather. Instead of bringing germs into his environment, I mailed him a get well card, inside which I wrote him a note. He’s been in and out of the hospital a lot and I don’t remember the last time I sent him a card. The engagement with other people, which has resulted from my note writing, has been a pleasant side-effect

So, as I reflect on the past week, I am finding great joy in my latest writing endeavor.  I am also hoping that my desire to share this experience will help me reestablish my blogging habit.  In the meantime, keep an eye on your mailbox. You might be next!

I’m Baa… aack!

It’s funny how quickly things can change.  August 21st I wrote my last blog post until tonight.  I had only missed a few days of posting in 8 months and then, one day, I stopped.

I don’t quite know why. I just did.

So here it is, more than 2 months later, and I begin… again.

A lot has happened since my last post, and I will get to all of it soon enough.  I have been doing a lot of writing, although it hasn’t been here.  I am writing a Newsletter, doing some copy writing, and am embarking on a creative writing endeavor as well.  In addition, I am journaling (partly for a book study I am leading, and partly as a component of my PTSD treatment).

I am not going back to my hard-core commitment to post every day, simply because I am doing so much writing.  Ironically, I may just become habituated to daily posting anyway.  I do miss the phoneography challenge in which I participated on Mondays, as well as my Wisdom Wednesday quotes.  So, who knows…?  I just know that I have missed my diary-gone-public.

And I’m baa… aack!

Happy Blogging!

Today I received this 1000 Likes badge.  It reminded me that not so long ago, I kept my blog private (my husband says that’s a diary).  I am really enjoying being “out there,” even though it can be a little scary.  I don’t pay much attention to my blogging stats, but I can’t help but enjoy hitting the milestones. I am looking forward to the next one, which will be 200 followers.  So if you are new to blogging, keep it up.  If you are thinking about blogging, get started.  And if you are blogging privately, well that’s a diary.  Happy Blogging!      

Not Too Shabby

Sometime today it dawned on me that I had broken my agreement to post every day this year. I did not post yesterday and didn’t even think about it. I thought this was strange since my blogging has become so habitual.

At first I was angry with myself for breaking my agreement. Then I remembered, I keep agreements to expand myself not to punish myself. Then I counted to see how many days in a row I had posted. I actually started a couple of days before the new year began, so I had a total of 213 posts in a row.

So the conversation has been going back and forth in my head periodically throughout the day.

“I can’t believe I didn’t even think about it!”

“It’s not the end of the world.”

“No matter what I do now, I can’t complete the agreement to post every day this year.”

“It’s not about perfection. It’s about pushing yourself.”

Then, as I observe the voices in my head, I laugh at how funny it all is. Me, arguing with myself… and all over something that is already done.

So now I am recommitting to my agreement to post every day for the rest of the year, accepting my imperfect record, and eager to see if I can complete the last 5 months of this year without missing a day. (If I was really interested in punishing myself, I would start all over again. Not happening!)

I am just going to keep reminding myself, 213 posts in a row… not too shabby.

Keeping My Word in a Taco Bell Parking Lot

It is after 11:00 PM.  I have had a very full day and just got out of a seminar.  In order to complete my writing agreement before midnight, I am sitting in a parking lot at a Taco Bell, composing this post on my phone.  I have 15 minutes to complete my agreement for the day and was struggling to come up with an idea for a quick post after a long day.  It then occurred to me that when I am determined to keep my word, I can find a way to do just about anything.  So I will complete this post and then drive home… After I have a taco or two.

Because I Said I Would

Some days it is very easy to get my blog post done.  Everything goes as planned.  I’m not too busy.  The stars are aligned just right.  I am feeling creative and the words just flow into the text box.

Other days it seems nothing plays out the way I imagined it would.  I have way too many things on my plate.  My horoscope hints of impending doom.  My cursor blinks, like the patting of a foot, awaiting the formulation of a thought.

Although today isn’t quite the latter scenario, it certainly isn’t the former either.  But the bottom line is that I have made a commitment to myself.  And one of the things I am working on is honoring my word.  So tonight, at the end of a busy day, without a lot to say, I am writing this post… not because I have some wisdom to impart or because something bad will happen if I don’t, but because I said I would.