Posted in Daily Prompt Posts, Uncategorized

Day 1: What do you do when you feel lost in the blogging world?#MyBlogMyWritingStyle!

Feeling lost in the blogging world is a very familiar issue for me. This was apparent when I first started and felt overwhelmed to do anything in this forum.

Suddenly I feel voiceless, insecure, and stuck. How do you find a voice and audience in this vast maze of words and images?

aerial photo of buildings and roads
Photo by Aleksejs Bergmanis on Pexels.com

I’ve learned to keep moving forward, learn from my mistakes, and believe that I am contributing something special to the blogging world. I remind myself that starting is the hardest part of undertaking a new venture. All the fears, self-doubt, self-censorship, and frustration leads to inertia, which can keep you in a state of doing nothing towards your goal.

Although I avoid getting lost most of the time, being lost can lead to some discoveries. I’ve learned this when I’m on the road and my navigation keeps leading me in circles. I turn it off and let my adventurous side take over. It takes longer than usual with the detours, delays, and rerouting, but I’m surprised by how the streets intersect and how an unexpected path brings me to my house street.

“I got lost but look what I found.”

Irving Berlin

It’s like that with blogging too. I’m searching, exploring, reflecting, and experimenting to see how my blog evolves. When I feel lost I remind myself that even well-seasoned bloggers have gone through this wandering, creative process too. It’s not time lost but experience gained to become a better blogger.

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

Henry David Thoreau

Posted in Daily Prompt Posts, Personal growth

Inching my way to the gym and curbing this sweet tooth

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Since last month’s post about working out, I’m still going to the gym. It’s not as often as I imagined, but I’m averaging twice a week.

I would be much more motivated to exercise if I could see slimming effects, but weight loss is not as easy as in my 20s. I’m trying hard to persuade myself that exercising is a fun activity. For fitness enthusiasts, you may think I’m talking crazy.

However, I’ve experienced some positive changes in my life with exercise: fatigue level is improving, sleep is more restful, and I’m making an effort to take care of my physical health. I think about food choices, portion control, and activity level.

I’m trying to implement some positive changed into my daily routine: eat more regularly; drink more water; and sleep at a reasonable hour. It sounds like commonplace advice, but I’m not doing those things. I tend to avoid eating after I’ve cooked meals for the umpteenth time. Instead of eating I’d rather veg out. For me, sleep is preferable to food. So I skip meals, graze on leftovers, eat more chocolate than necessary (it makes me happy). When the deep hunger pangs come, I binge eat.

All of these tendencies created a vicious cycle of guilt from overeating and anger at myself for lack of self-control. I had to break free from it; my family and I were hurting from my grumpiness, hangriness, and lack of energy.

Here are some concrete steps I’ve taken towards healthier living:

  1. Eat less chocolate (This does not include this birthday weekend for my kids. I ate pizza and cake, but I did not indulge. It would just be plain rude not to participate in the festivities!) *the photos below
  2. Reduce rice and bread intake.
  3. Keep moving if possible: dance with the kids, vacuum, dust the floors, declutter, clean the garage, take the stairs, or whatever else to burn calories.
  4. Snack healthier: eat fruit, nuts, a sweet potato, squash porridge, or oatmeal. Yesterday I ate a whole tomato for lunch with tuna. I’m not used to this combination, and the fish aftertaste almost made me throw up.
  5. Love my body as it is and all the things I can do.

I’m experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. My kids are fully on board to keep me on track; they love to remind me about my new dietary changes, dramatically block the pantry door, or give me the fierce stare when I pretend to eat their snacks.

See, I told you the steps are small and doable. Healthier living and a slimmer body are still glimmers, but I’m making a conscious effort to make it a lifestyle change instead of a passing fad.

Posted in Daily Prompt Posts, Raising kids

Move over, rush. Slow (kind of) is moving in.

via Daily Prompt: Rush

Rush has become the theme of my life in the past few years. Everything seems hurried; even hurry itself is not fast enough for this rushed life.

This morning I had one hour to myself at a coffee shop ACROSS the street from the kids’ zoology class. It felt foreign to relax; I was the person fidgeting and staring out the window as if I could see through walls and hear whispers traveling through air. My legs were ready to dart out the door if the teacher called me.

I’ve become the on-call mom. If emergency personnel is called, I have to be there to inform them of her medical condition and her running list of medications. I am her advocate: I have to be there. It’s not enough that the school has her medical history on file.

This is a learned behavior. The survival stage is behind us now that Ellis made it safely to her fifth birthday, which is a tremendous milestone for her health. However, my whole being feel trapped in the caregiver role.

My worst fear is facing a lifeless child: this fear drives the constant panic and adrenaline rush to be next to her always. It’s unrealistic but it’s a coping mechanism that gives me some control over this emotional situation.

Everyday I’m consciously trying to slow the rushed mind; it needs new rewiring/ training to learn how to chew life in morsels, not gulps. It’s a new season.

Posted in Daily Prompt Posts, Uncategorized

Writing in micro steps

via Daily Prompt: Micro

I’d be lost without micro steps. If I have too large a writing goal looming, I quickly despair and frantically search for ways to procrastinate. The task at hand seems too large. This is when I wish for superhero powers to bolt through the pages with eloquent words, memorable humor, and meaningful message flowing beautifully between the pages. One can wish and daydream.

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Writing teaches me, or rather forces me, to embrace micro steps. I’ve learned that any type of writing takes immense patience, self-discipline, and constant surrendering of perfection. When I begin reading a new book and start spacing out I feel a tinge of guilt as though I’ve betrayed the author’s trust.

I’ve always had fears about writing, but it rose to a new level in graduate school complete with heart palpitations, panic attacks, and dizzy spells. So I combated those writing fears and insecurity with my procrastination motions: cleaning frantically, snacking voraciously, seeking distractions, starting a new project, surfing the web incessantly, or deciding that tomorrow is a better day to start. On one of these procrastinating moments, I lazily walked to the school bookstore and found a writing book by Anne Lamott: the highlighted excerpt on the back cover encouraged me to the core.

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Back cover excerpt: bird by bird by Anne Lamott

I could relate. My writing was not about birds, but her story still applied: sentence by sentence; paragraph by paragraph; page by page. One step taken is closer to the finish line than lingering at the start. It may not seem like much progress in the micro steps, but those little parts contribute to the whole.