Daily I remind myself I'm not in control.
I mean, I am to a certain extent but there are many areas that are out of my hands. Sometimes that can be difficult to face. This morning I was not in control of something and I put myself out of sorts. Notice I didn't say the EVENT PUT ME OUT OF SORTS.
We always have a choice to make on how we react to happenings around us that may have an effect on us indirectly or directly. Generally, I try to ask myself these questions when I notice my level of "snarkiness" start to rise:
1. In the big picture, is it worth me being in a negative state of mind?
2. Will being out of sorts solve anything?
3. What choice can I make to change the mood I'm currently feeling?
Then I look down at my newly purchased ring that says KARMA on it. Whatever I put out into the world is going to come back to me. When I spread positive vibes, well wishes, and happy thoughts to others, they will come back to me.
It reminds me of a video one of my 4th grade students shared with me a few years ago.
Whatever we put out into the world comes back to us eventually. I don't know about you, but I would rather it be something positive than negative.
That I can control.
I write because I'm a writer.
It has taken me so long to say that. I always felt like I couldn't call myself a writer, because I didn't have a book gracing the shelves of Barnes & Noble (or some other bookstore). I didn't have articles published in magazines. I wasn't a columnist for some large newspaper.
That's what I envisioned a writer being. Untouchable. Like there's no way I could ever call myself one.
The switch started to flip when I started putting myself out there, started taking risks. I submitted some drafts to Elephant Journal and was rejected. I approached our local newspaper and pitched an idea for a column twice a month and was accepted. I wrote for that paper for two years and took another risk. I asked to be paid but was rejected. So, I stopped writing for it.
And then I discovered Medium. It was as if the door had been thrown wide open and I was being welcomed into the world of writing with open arms. I've been writing on this platform for two years. Sometimes I publish my own pieces and other times I submit them to publications. I've pitched a couple of articles and have been paid for them. I've been rejected by other publications. I've submitted articles to be paid on the Medium Partner Program. One month I made almost $8.00. Not much, but it was cool and I might do it again in the future.
I write, because it's what I have to offer to the world. It's the way I best communicate. It allows me the chance to get my thoughts and feelings out into the open. Sometimes just for me and sometimes to share with others.
I'm a firm believer that if what I write reaches one person, then who knows how many more it can potentially reach? All it takes it that one person who shares my message with someone else and then it continues to multiply.
I write, because my message is about positivity and simplicity. I write about everyday experiences. I write about what inspires me and who inspires me. I write about what motivates me, makes me laugh, and moves me to tears. I write because I feel. I write because it's who I am. It's a part of me that I no longer ignore.
There are days when I'm not sure I have anything to share, and then there are days when the ideas won't stop flowing. I write, because I like to learn. I pick up ideas from others, because I can then translate them into my perspective, my unique voice.
My writing isn't for everyone and that's the intent. If my audience was everyone, then it wouldn't really be for anyone. I write for the person who thrives on positive energy, who enjoys the simple things life has to offer. Experiences over stuff. Simplicity over excess.
This is why I write.
***Note: On August 28, 2017, I wrote a piece that was published in The Ascent called Why I write: it's all about the connections. All writers evolve and this most recent piece shows my continued growth as a writer.
Do you ever have those days where you get really zoned in for the day, and you get a ton done?
Yep, I had one of those days today and it was fabulous!
I didn't make a to-do list, and yet I knew what I wanted to accomplish. I went from one item to the next and it was as if I built on the momentum of the previous thing that propelled me on to the next one.
I get to the evening hours and wonder how I can harness that kind of energy on a daily basis, and I came to the conclusion that I have to stop overthinking it.
For example, I've been putting off the editing, revising, and rewriting parts of my book. My editor got the draft to me, and I've had it for almost a month. I told her today I kind of felt paralyzed. By what I'm not sure. Maybe it's the fear of failure or the potential fear of success that scared me. I also felt like I needed to have a big chunk of time set aside to work on it.
Today I didn't worry about it. I simply sat down and got to work. Before I knew it, I had 10 pages revised. I didn't worry about putting in a certain amount of time or making sure I rewrote a certain number of pages. Instead, I put my butt in the chair. I did, however, give myself a deadline to getting the second draft to her by the end of September, and I think it helped me buckle down and focus.
Sometimes we are paralyzed with inaction, because we think we need everything to be absolutely perfect. The thing is, 99.9 percent of the time it isn't. If we keep waiting, we'll never do it.
What's stopping you from accomplishing something or making it become a reality? Are you paralyzed by inaction? Do you think the circumstances need to be perfect? If you don't have a set amount of time, do you tell yourself you can't start working on it now?
I discovered today I've been getting in my own way from getting my book to completion. And you know what I did?
I removed the obstacle, and that obstacle was me.
I finished watching an episode of Girlboss on Netflix, and then it hit me.
Our house seems unusually quiet tonight. The gentle hum of the fan, the distant whistle and commentary of the NFL game on TV downstairs, and that's it.
And it's weird.
For the last two month our daughter, son-in-law, and their two dogs have been living with us. Our house has been active and on the go.
But all that changed today as we moved them into their new house. Ours now seems more empty, and, well, silent.
It happened when our son lived with us a short time while he was in between living spaces too.
We love having our kids around. We enjoy the time with them, talking daily about their jobs and lives, having fun with their dogs.
And this time it seems more permanent. Probably because it is.
And I guess I'm feeling a little melancholy this evening. Happy for all for all of them and that they are in such great places in their lives, but selfishly a little sad. They don't need us as much anymore. It's like a rite of passage, and I think we are there.
So, while I enjoy the silence on most days, tonight is not one of them.
And that's okay.
I write, because sometimes I need to give myself a pep talk. I do it through writing, and I feel much better when I get to the end of a piece.
We all need reassurance, and writing is that outlet for me. It reassures me that there is a lot right with the world even though there are days when it doesn't seem that way. There are beautiful pieces of evidence of it in our own backyards. If we just look for it, it's there.
No, really, it's there. I was picking tomatoes and peppers today, and I saw my neighbor Phoebe across the alley working with her herbs. I hollered over and asked if she wanted any of the tomatoes or peppers I just picked. We did some trading, but more importantly I just had a chance to talk with one of my neighbors.
When we parted ways, she said, "Don't be a stranger."
We all need that human contact. We need to feel a connection to others.
I write because of that connection. By blogging on my website, Medium, The Ascent, Billfold Notes, and Fit Yourself Club, I've been able to connect with people all over the world. Some of them have subscribed to GTI Wednesday, my weekly newsletter. When you get to connect with people near and far, it's humbling and overwhelming, but it also shrinks the world. It doesn't seem so big.
I write, because if my words resonate with even one person, then that's enough. My writing has done its job. It allows me to think and feel and love. My words typed say it so much better than the words that stumble out of my mouth. If I can't show my gratitude, appreciation, and heart in person, writing is the next best thing.
I write when I feel my highest highs, lowest lows, and all points in between. Sharing with others brings out their highs and lows. We laugh, we cry, we vent, and we sigh. All because writing opens the door and lets us walk through.
I think I hear a knock right now.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.