Was going through some photos tonight to add to my blog.
My goal is to quit using file art from the free media library offered by the company from which I purchase my website, and create beautiful and original art of my own.
When I first started taking photos, my camera went with me everywhere.
I need to get back to that, for sure.
It is never too late to make something better.
Changed up my profile photo on my blog. Will likely do a complete redesign.
In my free time, am writing another book and planning to launch a Youtube channel at some point, sewing a quilt that I have been (yes, ashamedly) working on for 30 years, crocheting a baby blanket for my next granddaughter, and working in my garden every day after work. Also, I am almost finished with my training for The Order of the Daughters of the King at our church, and after quarantine, am anxious to get back to singing with our choir.
Guitar strings. I need new ones. So there is that as well. A random thought.
So that is what is on my mind tonight. It is never too late to improve.
Overheard a yoga instructor recently say she was going on a “mental diet.” She and her students were wearing armbands to snap their arm every time they had a negative thought about themselves, the world, judgmental thoughts, etc.
Kind of like a snap out of it deal.
I thought about my day with my Bestie at a very large nature park, and how I was ready to run (kind of hard as my ankle is still getting strong from its break back in March) and she was at one with nature.
Hearing gator songs on both sides of us, I was like, “feet, don’t fail me now.”
Later, we talked about this. One thing I love about her is she is brave, but not stupid.
She grew up in Florida’s parks and knows them well. And as part of her law enforcement job, she runs into “gator calls” once in a while. Sometimes, a trapper comes to remove the issue, depending on the size of the gator.
At first, I was like wow I feel like a failure. Like, “I am not brave.” A fear filled person. Where in the world is my faith? If I really had faith, would I fear what God’s creation could do to me?
It is also no secret that in news articles, we read about the occasional tragedy. But typically, it involves people or dogs wading into water.
So while my head waged a war against my lack of a spine when it comes to wildlife, she told me to stop thinking that way.
Someone once told me I was a city girl. I do like to shop, attend metro gatherings occasionally. But I do love nature. I also love farms and have often wished I had a chance to grow up on a farm the way my Grandma did.
As we talked, I realized I should clarify my thoughts about walks in the wilderness. I like boardwalks, more protected views of nature. Benches in safe places. I love, love, love bodies of water, trees and flowers. A dream for me is to one day own a pickup truck and pontoon boat so I can take advantage of our Chain of Lakes. (Not sure if that will ever happen because of the expense, but dreams have to start somewhere.)
This will not be our last wilderness walk, as I am determined to come to peace with wildlife and such fears.
I confronted my fear of public speaking. Confronted my fear of walking up to total strangers to ask their opinion or account of an event. Confronted my fear of failure by graduating from college.
Life is a series of such moments.
When I was a kid, on youth retreats in Indiana, I would always take off by myself in the woods.
An empty notebook and two pens that have somewhat shoddy ink is not a great place to start writing a best selling novel and your future bucket list, but that was the best I could do.
Three times I have “restarted” this book, Tales From Fergie Shire. And somewhere in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, my abstract creativity finally woke up, and here I am.
Like authors, entertainers and artists I know, I too had felt the heaviness of this crisis. Was it disrespectful to post something of hope in this time?
Thoughts swirl in my head just now .. I have much to do to catch up .. between writing what I hope to be my first fiction book series, recreating my blog, setting a course for my “why” and “what.”
Add to that also a spiritual rebirth, which perhaps contributed to this creative urge.
For a while, I shelved this project, supposing what would happen if I did write a best seller. My number one goal is that my grandchildren will love it. The rest is just added benefit.
I want them to know that it does not matter where you come from, whether you someday face poverty, loss, loneliness, abuse, a world filled with chaos, results of bad choices, no matter where you are in life .. you can create a new life for yourself, and be renewed, and learn new things, do things people said you could not do. That your Creator has endowed you with everything you need,
and with God’s blessing, you can succeed.
Presently, I am rolled up in an old robe, surrounded by cats, a Bible, a journal and books. Later, the Bestie and I hope to find a nature trail and do some exploring.
Note to self: Find your pens that work and straighten your desk. Small steps are the beginning of dreams fulfilled.
Coronavirus, devastation, political upheaval, increased crime, disorder.
The words of the day hitting headlines around the world.
Today, am enjoying a leisurely day off. Ordinarily, I would be running errands and other such community things. We in America have been told to stay home as much as possible, wash hands and monitor for symptoms of coronavirus.
I have never been a head in the sand person, ignoring the issues at hand.
But neither have I been a panic person.
Prepare, and wait.
There is in the human heart a room where we decide our outlook on life. I admire people who are perpetually optimistic. I try to be that way. It is a goal.
There is a mantra of “believe the best will happen.”
One circle says we will not believe the best .. we will dwell on the worst.
The other circle says they will cling to their faith, as they are believing the best.
In either case, preparation is a good idea.
I must say though, after making preparations and adhering to CDC guidelines, believing the best is uplifting.
I believe I will have a good day.
I believe the world is full of goodness and untold positive stories.
I believe in miracles.
And if for some reason, the cloud of sickness, or other issue comes near, I still will believe.
Life is life. Ups and downs. Sickness and health. Good and bad.
Belief is the sparkle of a thousand stars, the all encompassing ray of sunshine, new growth of green grass and flowers that push heavenward.
I hope none of us in Polk County get the coronavirus.
My science mind says yes it is possible and even probable beyond measure.
My faith mind says “this too shall pass.”
Many prayers for those who suffer today, that they may be healed. That life would return with music and laughter in the city streets. That health would prevail and we would all remember how we survived.
Our neighbor’s rooster is busy this morning saying hello to everyone. I write about him frequently, because honestly, I love that sound.
Other birds are chirping as well.
So part of my New Year plan for 2020, the Year of Light, is to be present to the moment, create, breathe, eat real food, and hear nature.
Like many people, because we are covered in constant exposure to the entire world’s problems on social media, the news, television, the radio .. sometimes I find my stress level rising, just by exposure.
We cannot, obviously, step out of the world per say. Because I work in the media, and have for some 13 years, I understand the pressure of always being “on.”
On. Doctors, law enforcement, counselors, teachers, reporters, and other outreach occupations understand this.
And nobody wants to talk about how your head can sometimes resemble a ball of tangled spaghetti.
Why? Because we attach, as a society, this stigma to that.
Oh. You have issues.
We all have issues. That is truth.
So how do you manage your head?
I love spaghetti. Cooking angel hair pasta. All that stuff.
But to make a good dinner, you really have to stay with it.
One woman I know said the test of whether it was done or not is slinging it against the wall and see if it sticks!
And if you drain the hot water and just leave it in the pan until you eat, all the starches seem to melt it together.
A computer system may do the same thing if it short circuits.
On my days off, I have purposely tried to back away from social media and the general whir of information that stirs around us.
And while I, for a while, thought this was a bad thing, because I felt I should stay connected, I am realizing that if I give my head a break from all the tragedy, mayhem, death, and so forth, it helps.
We can get so busy hammering out a presence on social media that we forget to just be.
Be. Spend time with your family and friends. Listen to conversation without glancing at your phone. Gently take those pieces of spaghetti and lay them straight. Look at the sunrise. Smell the aroma of your morning coffee. Listen to the birds. Connect with your senses.
I recently covered the Polk County Youth Fair and noticed that out of the thousands of people present for the event, I only saw two people on their phones.
I think they are on to something.
May you have a wonderful day. Release, create, be.
It is very quiet outside, just two days before the New Year, as I sit here, rolled up in blankets with some sort of respiratory infection: again.
Our family has a tendency to get sick in November and December. Not sure why, but it seems to be so.
As the grey, dull days after the holidays settle into our spirits, likewise, we can feel grey and dull. Blech.
On my itinerary is a stop at the doctor today .. and I am just occupying my time until it is time to leave.
So I pull out a sketchbook, look at a drawing on Pinterest, and try to copy it.
mildly impressed that perhaps with some more study, I may some day learn how to draw.
One person comes to mind .. a friend of mine who started dabbling in art a few years ago as a way to deal with the pain after losing a child.
I watched her Facebook journey go from “what is that,” to “wow,” and “how much is she asking for her artwork?”
Likewise, another friend of mine has a small business in beauty product sales, and I remember her early “videos” and how they were a little rough .. not anymore. She is on point, she has learned multi-media marketing and found her sweet spot in the retail world, and hence, profits.
Both of these scenarios encourage me that it is never too late in life to learn a new skill, work a new hobby, or pursue an interest that lights up your world.
As we stand on the shore and greet the New Year 2020, the possibilities are endless.
Outside my bedroom window, I hear the garbage truck emptying cans, making early morning clanging sounds as the long arm of the truck puts the can down.
Molly Moo, my cat, joined Winter Moo and Oreo for their morning treats. Last night, Molly had a frog cornered in the kitchen. I tried to pick it up, and she quickly fetched it herself. I almost hurled. Blecchhhhhh. Ran to get my brave friend, who grabbed a paper towel and retrieved said frog, who was of course, in bad shape.
Ordinary things. Ordinary day.
But as I sit in my bedroom, sipping my coffee, reading my Bible devotion, and studying my pink tree lights, I feel somehow, renewed.
I know it has been a bit since I blogged. I hit a couple of weeks where I just could not find words.
Writers always have words.
I get paid to create content at work, and I do.
Yet after work, many times, I find myself pulling into my self .. spiritually, emotionally.
How is it possible to be both an introvert and an extrovert at once?
After a couple of weeks where my creativity spark seemed to have grown cold, I have been renewed.
This is a new season. How many seasons can one human spirit have?
I look back on my life and realize there have been many, many seasons.
So what does it mean to be renewed?
Refocus. Rejuvenate. Recharge.
The “re” of those words puts forth a secondary motion.
Or “do it again.”
We are going along, lose our joy, lose our balance, lose our way or just lose our sensitivity.
Numb, they say.
“Re” implies getting back on track and doing the things we did before.
What does this mean for you, personally? How will you recharge?
Last confession of the morning ..
A few days ago, at work, I suddenly felt depressed.
A variety of things were on my mind.
So I clocked out, went to lunch (by myself, I did not feel like having company), drove to a local dig called The Purple Onion, placed an order for a soup and sandwich combo, and realized the place was busier than usual, and noisy.
I did not want to be with people, per say.
Plugging in my headphones, I turned on Spotify on my cell phone, played Celtic music. And pulling out my Purpose book, (bullet journal), started writing tentative Christmas gifts for those on my list.
The warmth of the soup and comfort of the sandwich, the rekindling of my inner fire glowed within me again.
I returned to work refreshed.
Music, food, planning time.
And my mind was clear to work again.
Anyway .. the sun is up, and I need to get ready for work. Morning contemplation complete, I am ready for the last day of my work week.