Life Lately

This is long, but I won’t apologize. You have been warned! In my defense, there’s a lot of words in my head that need to get out since I haven’t been blogging regularly.

Habits are mostly good to have. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve written about it in the past, so I won’t dwell on the subject. Blogging is a good habit for me to have, but I’m finding that it’s also a habit that is, unfortunately, easily broken. Life has been busy since the holidays with no sign of letting up. That’s okay, though! Keeping busy is usually good for me because it keeps me from getting back into bad habits, like snacking, staying up too late or sleeping too much when it’s not night time. Those things usually trigger depression, which I have still been battling lately, as well.

So thoughts have been forming in my mind, but I just haven’t taken the time to get them out of my head. They’re mostly random thoughts and not very lengthy, so they end up in my personal Facebook, but I should probably be sharing them in my Blog Facebook, as well. Oddly enough, there’s several thoughts that I will post in this blog instead of on Facebook, even though this blog is public. I guess I feel that my blog is more of a selected audience, and the people who take the time to read it should be “treated” with something a little more…I don’t know…special?

What’s been going on with me? You know, New Year’s Resolutions and all, those things that I say that I don’t make but subconsciously I do? I guess as long as I don’t write them down, I don’t feel the guilt of failure if I don’t succeed. I have been trying to get back into working out. I started slacking in October, so I’m jumping back on now. I have no doubt that the lack of exercise and reverting back to bad eating habits is what has slowed my weight loss. I maintained pretty much the whole month of December and half of January. I’m not complaining, but maintaining is not where I want to be. I did that for many years already!

Shortly after the New Year, I decided to go for a Couch to 5K plan (C25K) and found an app on my phone to help me. I’ve tried jogging in the past and didn’t get very far with it. This time I’m trying it on a treadmill so that I HAVE to jog or fall flat on my face since the belt is moving that much faster. I started on Monday, January 7th and felt incredibly accomplished after finishing the first day! I was feeling so accomplished that I decided to do a little strength training afterward. I did a few sets on a few machines and was on the last one before it was going to be time to head to the showers. IT was the Compound Row – one of my favorite machines! I can row like nobody’s business, doing 2-3 sets of 50. I was halfway through a second rep when I felt my back seize up and OMG THE PAIN!

I had a disc in my lower back rupture in 2005 that caused tremendous pain for about 6 months, as well as nerve damage to my sciatic nerve. I had back surgery that year, which cured the worst of the pain, but I have about 2-4 flare ups a year. This was one of those flare ups. By Wednesday, the pain was excruciating, so I went to the doctor, and she referred me to the spine clinic. I don’t know why I never looked into it sooner since I have had had major surgery on my back, but meh…that’s here nor there now.

The pain had mostly subsided by the following Monday, so I went for Day 2 of the C25K, and had an appointment with the spine clinic that morning. X rays showed that I had no major damage but have some “arthritic changes” in my lower back, and the flare ups are common for people who have had back surgery like I have, usually due to scar tissue. The doctor wasn’t concerned that the disc had ruptured again but suggested that I try physical therapy to build a stronger core in the hopes of lessening the frequency, duration and level of the flare ups that I am bound to experience.

Yesterday was Day 3 of the C25K, which technically wraps up the first of 8 weeks, even though my first week was split up into 2. I’m getting up at 4:30am MWF to get to the gym to do this. I am SO not a morning person! Yesterday was also my physical therapy consult. I’ll be doing that 2 days a week for at least a month. I’m also going to water aerobics on Thursdays after work, and also planning to meet a group of post-op weight loss surgery people twice a month on Saturdays.

Hopefully all this means I’ll be too busy to snack, be depressed and sleep too much! That’s my life lately 🙂

“Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.” – Thaddeus Golas

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Sunday Scribblings: Silence


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Silence

START

Complete silence hurts my ears. Really, it does. My ears ring when there is complete silence. I’m pretty sure that it has to do with listening to loud music through headphones when I was younger. I also think it might have something to do with never having lived without electronics and electrical items constantly running, like the refrigerator, fans and such. Have you ever noticed how silent your house is when the electricity goes out? Yeah, that. It’s deafening to me.

I first discovered how important it is to always have some sort of sound nearby when I went to college. My college roommate slept with a fan running at night. At first I thought it was weird to have a fan running when it wasn’t hot in our room, but little did I know that I got used to it. When I went home for Christmas, I had a hard time sleeping. It finally occurred to me that when growing up, I always slept well in the summer when I had a fan running all the time, and slept poorly in the winter when the fans weren’t running.

For several years now I have slept with a sound spa running all night…or whatever you call them. I switched from a fan to the sound spa when I found out that they exist, and they certainly make more sense than running a fan at night when it’s cold. I even have a white noise maker app on my phone to play when I travel, though I used to have a portable sound spa that I carried for travels before smart phones existed.

As much as silence may be therapeutic, for me complete silence drives me batty.

“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.”  – Josh Billings

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Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Silence’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stay

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Stay

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So the first thing that popped into my head when I read today’s prompt is the song, “Stay Just a Little Bit Longer” by Maurice and the Zodiacs. You know, the song from the 60’s that was re-introduced to my generation when it was featured in Dirty Dancing in the late 80’s? Yeah, that song. Now I can’t get it out of my head to come up with anything worthy for this post!

*clears mind*

Last weekend ended up being one of those weekends that I needed to recharge. This introvert had been on the go way too much, and my weekend was filled with various activities that first meant that I was not going to get my much needed recharge. What ended up happening was that my Saturday plans were cancelled, plus I started feeling ill (not because the plans were cancelled). Because I wasn’t feeling well, I ended up not doing anything all weekend and cancelled my plans on Sunday, as well. I stayed home all weekend to sleep, relax and read. My Weekend Staycation was just what I needed! I felt revived and energized by Monday morning.

This weekend is filled with several activities again, and next weekend we’ll be in Detroit visiting family for the holidays, then I’ve got another full weekend after that. I am thankful I was able to relax and stay home last weekend in preparation for a busy three weekends in a row. Christmas will be right around the corner, so I’m sure most every weekend until the end of the year will be a little bonkers. MAYBE I’ll find another Staycation weekend somewhere in there.

“I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.” – Andy Warhol 

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Hey! Thanks for reading! I have a question for you. Do you have any experience being a mentor or being mentored? If so, I want to hear about it! 

 

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Stay’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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Sunday Scribblings: Mud


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Mud

START

I was a fairly normal child, I suppose, when it came to playing in the sand, the dirt, the mud. My dad built me a sandbox just outside my play house, and I loved to play in there. I’d sit on the squared edges and build roads for my cars, including tunnels and hills. It took a little bit of water and mud to form them, and I didn’t mind getting dirty. In fact, I could get downright filthy playing outside.

My mom’s friend has a daughter a few years younger than me, and she had a sandbox built underneath her raised play house that we would play in, as well. My mom would often point out that Katy could play in the sandbox and come out clean as if she had never been playing in it, and that the dirt and sand must have all stuck to me instead of her. It would even be in my shoes and hair.

Want to know something? I liked the feeling of it in my hair. Weird, huh? I like scratching it out of my scalp later on. I’m sure my mom didn’t think so highly of it in my hair when she was washing it out, but what did I know as a kid, other than the fact that it brought me simple joy?

“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” – Carl Sandburg 

STOP

Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Mud’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Quiet

START

Overall, I am not a quiet person. I never have been and never will be as long as God continues to bless me with a voice. There have been numerous times in my life where I have been called out for being too loud and talking too much. Sometimes I wish I was more aware of it, but mostly it’s just who I am. I can even remember back to grade school having comments on my report card to the effect of, “Tonya is a good student and very sweet, but she talks too much.” I feel the need to excuse myself when someone points it out, and honestly it’s embarrassing, though I’m sure necessary. When I first started working from home on Fridays, my husband said that I would babble on and on and on when he got home from work because I hadn’t had anyone to talk to all day. Luckily he didn’t mind…too much 🙂

Despite being quite a talkative person (and a loud one at that), there are times when I relish the quiet. Usually in the mornings I’m not quick to turn on the tv or even talk for a while. Also in the evenings after work, David and I might watch a tv show or two during/after dinner, but there are plenty of days where I just want quiet. I’ll turn the TV off and read.

Also, I absolutely despise talking on the phone these days unless I am in the car when there is nothing else to do. I’m pretty sure it comes from working in my previous call center jobs where I had to talk on the phone ALL DAY for 8 hours (or more) a day. Before 2006 when I got my first call center job, I loved talking on the phone! Now that I am not in a call center job, I still hate talking on the phone, but there is still a big portion of my day that involves talking, even if it’s not the full 8 hours a day. I live by the rule that I prefer texts or emails unless it’s an emergency or you absolutely cannot text or email (such as driving). I may or may not be guilty of not answering the phone just because I don’t want to talk.

Believe it or not, this loud mouth does like quiet…sometimes 🙂

STOP

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Quiet’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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Five Minute Friday: Roots

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Roots

START

Each day this month I am posting to Twitter and Facebook something for which I am thankful. This morning before looking at the Five Minute Friday prompt, I wrote,

“‎30 Days of #Thanksgiving, Day 2: I am thankful to have parents who are always there for me & raised me with good values & responsibility.”

When I looked at the prompt for this morning, ideas were already coming to my mind, but nothing was too terribly clear. I decided to go ahead and find a quote about roots to see if that prompted any more clear words for writing. This is the quote I found:

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley 

I guess this has been God’s way of saying that I have some pretty awesome parents who taught me how important responsibility is. While they have taught me independence, too, I also know that they are still right there behind me to catch me if I fall. Instances like this morning are how God speaks to me. Today he’s showing me that my roots are strong, and I will continue to weather the storms and thrive in the sun.

STOP

P.S. After publishing this post, WordPress reminded me that this makes my 100th Post!

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Roots’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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Favorite Quotation

Tell us your favorite quotation and why.

Considering that I ended every post for the last 31 Days with a quote or a Bible verse, this is an interesting prompt to start off with in November. The problem I have is that I don’t know if there is one quote that I like more than others. I have numerous quotes that I like, otherwise I wouldn’t have posted them every day for the past month. Picking a favorite is like asking Michelle Duggar to pick her favorite child of 19.

Without a doubt, I can say that I have a favorite Bible verse.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

It’s a comfort verse from me that I have had memorized since I was a child. It’s a wonderful reminder that all we need to do is have faith that Christ will strengthen us for anything that life hands us. When I’m feeling down or need motivation, I think of this verse and remember that I don’t have to rely solely on myself for strength.

Now that I’ve diverted from the quote question long enough, I suppose it’s time for me to make a decision about my favorite quote. While skimming through the quotes that I posted the past month, it hit me that I do, indeed, have a long time favorite quote! It’s actually from a song lyric that spoke to me back in 1994 when Tom Petty’s Wildflowers cd was released. The lyric is from the “Crawling Back To You” song.
“Most things I worry about never happen anyway.” – Tom Petty

While Tom Petty is my favorite musical artist, who knew that such wise words could be sung? We worry about so many things in life that haven’t even happened yet and quite possibly will never happen. I am so guilty of over worrying myself over things out of my control. There have been times that I sing this little line in my head to remind myself not to worry. I’m also really good at reminding others not to worry about things beyond their control, and it usually serves as a great reminder to myself not to let it get to me, as well.

Do you have a favorite quotation, Bible verse or saying that gets you through difficult times? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Future

Day 31: Future

It’s hard to believe that Day 31 is here, and I made it through every single day! There was only one day this month (just a few days ago) where I didn’t have my entry ready to post at midnight, but I did get it posted later that day. I have a problem with following through with things like this, usually because it sounded like a good idea at the time, then it gets boring or tedious or I take on too much. I feel accomplished that I stuck to it, and it tells me that I can do this!

You know what, though? I’m actually kind of sad that it’s ending. I’ve actually been dreading this day for the last week or so because it’s been really nice to already know what I am going to write about, so now I feel like I have to come up with all new content. I probably won’t continue to blog everyday and go back to blogging a few times a week when the words need to get out of my head. Strike that! I started writing this earlier in the day then received an email from BlogHer about November’s NaBloPoMo this afternoon and just might have been hopped up on novocaine from a dental appointment, but I decided that I’m going to participate. I’m making no concrete promises that I will participate every day, but I’m going to make an effort. It helps that the blogging prompts for November have already been posted. There’s no pressure from BlogHer to stick to those prompts, but they seem like reasonable prompts for my style of writing.

I purposely saved the journaling prompt of Future for the last day of the challenge because I feel like beyond this entry is the future of my blog. Well, duh! It’s the future of everything, right? Of course it is, but I feel like these past 31 days have really set the groundwork for what I’m going to do with my writing and this site. After a very long time, I’m really close to feeling like a real writer. I’ve learned that I don’t have to have a published novel or have a full time job writing to be a writer. I can be a writer for my own enjoyment and the people who read what I have to say.

I am a writer and this is the beginning of my future. I hope you will join me in my journey.

What does your future look like? What goals are you looking forward to achieving?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Powerful Words @ Cindy H Ramsey

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Inspiration

Day 29: Inspiration

In my writing, I seek inspiration for myself, as well as sharing with others in hopes that they find inspiration, as well. At the end of most every entry I write in my blog, I include a quote or Bible verse that has spoken to me. I write include it just as much for myself as I do for anyone reading. I also gather inspiration from the words that I read in books and blogs written by others.

Inspiration is everywhere!

There have been a few times during this 31 Day journey that I have had a bit of writer’s block, though I admit that it’s not been as frequent as I feared when I challenged myself to this project. In the past, I’ve tried writing fiction, and those times usually end with incredible bouts of writer’s block to the point where I realized that fictional writing is not my genre. The words that long to get out of my head and onto paper (or the screen) are my thoughts and perceptions of what is in and around my life, therefore the inspiration that I find to write is all around me everyday and everywhere. There are times that I wish I had something that recorded my thoughts so that it would be easier for me to write them out later. But really, who wouldn’t want that? Okay, except for those thoughts that you don’t want to share with others. I’d need an on/off switch for sure.

Pinterest is incredibly popular right now and provides an excellent source for inspiration, as well as procrastination*. While I’ll be the first to admit that I have wasted many hours scrolling through Pinterest and adding pins of interesting projects or yummy meals, I have benefitted greatly from using Pinterest as inspiration, as well. My creativity often requires that I produce some sort of craft, and we all know there is a multitude of inspiring crafts on Pinterest. There’s also been memorable quotes and words to contribute to my contentment, fantastic meals I might not have discovered and DIY Tips to make life a little easier. While I know that Pinterest has been more positive for me than negative, I do try to be aware of how much time I spend there so I don’t get behind in other areas of my life.

Inspiration can also be found in your surroundings. Art is everywhere, whether created by man or by God. The beautiful season of Fall is here, and while driving this past weekend, I noted how inspiring the changing colors of the leaves can be inspiring to me to recycle, renew and reuse things in my own life. Our lives can cycle through different seasons, as well. We don’t have to constantly stay the same and it’s okay to go back to what we know and love.

How do you find inspiration? What inspires you? 

*Note: I’m so glad that I didn’t choose Procrastination as one of this month’s journaling prompts, though maybe I should have!

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” – Thomas Merton

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13  

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Inspiring Days @ Ladybugs, Butterflies & Boxing

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

On In Around button

Five Minute Friday: Voice

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Voice

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My writing voice is something that I have been coming to love more and more throughout this month as I have challenged myself to write every day this month for 31 days. I knew before October began that I was comparing myself way too much with other writers and bloggers, and that was contributing to me not feeling like I was worthy to call myself a writer. I felt like because I wrote differently that no one would want to read my words. For a while I even tried writing like the other bloggers whose writing I enjoy reading, but I felt so fake. I felt that it was no longer me, and I started to lose my voice.

So what really began with participating in Five Minute Friday where I just write without planning, I started to do that more and more frequently. Some days I had a general idea of what I was going to write in my head, but I found that I truly enjoyed the entries where I just wrote my feelings and let the words flow freely without worrying so much about how I compare to others. It was MY voice coming out in those words and not what I assumed people would want to read.

Still, I find myself slipping every once in awhile and wondering if maybe I wrote like other people would like me more. Putting it like that makes me feel like I’m still going through puberty and worried that no one will be my friend. I guess maybe my blog is still going through puberty, and one day it will blossom into what it is meant to be in this world…unique, just like everyone else! 🙂

STOP

“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists.
Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.” 
― Vera Nazarian

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Voice’.
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