Why Should You Participate in Building Your Community (My500)

Day 11 of the 500 Word Challenge. Persuade Me

Dear neighbor,

It has come to my attention that you prefer the comforts of your own home over our community rather than getting involved. I get it. You don’t really like socializing with anyone outside your circle but did you know that crime rates are lower in communities where the neighbors know each other? Did you also know that knowing your neighbor also stabilizes your neighborhood for at least one if not two generations? Did you know that home values are positively affected by stable neighborhoods? Did you know that neighborhoods with a strong sense of community has strong businesses and brings new neighbors who look out for each other?

Neighbor, I know that you don’t want to come out to the block club meetings but what we do affects you. We want you to have a fair opportunity to share your opinion about our needs to present to our local officials. Haven’t you noticed the new street lights, the garbage pick up times have been changed and the new corner planters? Those were all thanks to the club.

Our enthusiasm has infected the surrounding blocks and they have all begun to receive the same things. The latest thing that we want to address is the flooding after the rain. Our local officials don’t go to each block in their district so we are their eyes and ears. It’s much easier for us to contact them and tell them what we need than for them to assume.

Our local high school almost closed due to low attendance but thanks to growing community involvement, they are reconsidering it. Mrs. Jones’s husband who retired from that publishing company is volunteering with the school’s paper and Ms. Bennett volunteers with the arts program. They along with a few other retirees or people with flexible schedules are filling in the gaps for the school which is attracting new students. Neighbor, we need you, too.

We even have helped the aging church with updates. A lot of us are not members but we offered to help them paint the school side of the church. Some of the neighborhood kids attend their youth programs and the pastor wanted to give it a youthful appeal. They have programs there to help the kids with their homework and parenting classes for parents who just want help.

The building manager at the senior building started a cross generational program for the community that mentors anyone willing to come including married couples, parents and young people. The residents really love it since some of them never had families of their own or they have died. There’s a ton of wisdom to be shared there, too. Not to mention that it helps them to age in place. They have had fewer residents to move to nursing homes as result of this program.

Neighbor, no one is asking you to make friends with anyone although I would challenge you to make friends with at least one person. It’s kind of hard to avoid. People are very respectful of each other’s privacy and still look out for each other.

I would be lying to you if I said everyone gets along but there are so few of those. Why focus on the negative? There are more positive stories that come out of our little community than negative. Like the vacant building that was on the corner of the boulevard was purchased by the community. Did you know that? Yep. The city was going to tear it down but a few of the leaders decided to figure out how to save it and rehab it. That is the future site for The Center.

We are so proud of how far we had to go to get the work done. Instead of co-op apartment, it’s a co-op community center. We will pay dues for upkeep and charge outsiders to use the facilities a nominal fee. We aren’t trying to get rich. We just want to be able to maintain it and pay the staff that will care for it. It’s ours.

Now neighbor doesn’t that sound like a good reason to get involved. We can do so much more together and you get to choose how you do it. Think about it and get back to me. Thanks for your time. Peace and blessings.

Here’s to rebuilding our community one person at a time.

Just another day’s journey of playing a role in building my community.

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Remembering Why I Write (My500)

Day 10 of the 500 Word Challenge. Write about writing.

I cannot believe that I have been at this for 10 days already. Writing in a journal for 10 days straight is one thing but completing a writing challenge with no edits is an entirely different ball of wax. This has been somewhat cathartic as this has caused me to dig deep and share whether I am ready or not. I know that I chose this format but it was necessary to keep me accountable to the full challenge.

My favorite part of writing is the ability to discover new perspectives and thoughts that I am able to empty out on the page. I am an analytical person so putting my many thoughts down has actually helped me to rest better. Writing has also helped to develop new ideas and concepts to share further down the road.

Ironically the thing that I hate the most about writing is sharing my thoughts. My classmate lovingly shared with me once that I needed to dig deeper in my writing. In short, I needed to be more transparent. I can be awfully cryptic in my writing sometimes so remembering to be more personal can be a challenge. I struggle with knowing just how much to share and not to share.

Funny enough because I am looking to serve people who are as private as I am, I agonize over following through for their sake. I imagine that there is another me somewhere who always encourages everyone else and acts as if she has it all together but secretly struggles with needing the same level of encouragement. I imagine that she needs someone to push her as hard as she pushes everyone else. I imagine that she needs someone in her corner telling her that people will be ok if she says no and chooses her first. I imagine that every single thing that I need to hear for myself that she gets to read it for the first time because I chose to be as transparent as I need to be for both her and myself.

The reader that I write for most often is me because if it speaks to me, I know that it will speak to someone else like me. Do you know your why?

Here’s to the writer and the reader who finds each other!

Just another day’s journey of remembering why I write.

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How to Overcome Fear with Confidence (My500)

Day 9 of the 500 Word Challenge. Teach something.

Today was my first day returning to learn how to swim. With determination and little nervousness, I walked into the women’s locker room to change into my swim clothes. I walked did this weird walk on tip toes because I didn’t have on pool shoes or flip flops for the cold pool floor. Everything in me was screaming run yet I had this peace in me that decided that the time had come to return to the pool and try again.

My teacher, a very sweet, caring and patient woman instructed me to get in the pool. I saw what looked like she might jump in so I eased in to avoid getting splashed before getting used to the water temperature. After telling me that I was the only student, she jumped right into teaching. Step by step she made me feel more and more comfortable in the water.

I was doing pretty good until she wanted me to combine the things that I had learned all into the next step. She wanted me to push off from the wall, then blow out the air and kick. I was doing good doing them individually but together…I wasn’t ready or so I thought. I was so terrified that I almost cried but then my teacher quoted part of one of my favorite scriptures Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

That took me back to my lessons on the pavement so I decided to push through. I told myself don’t think about it. Just do it. I went back through the beginning steps of putting my face in the water until I was comfortable and I pushed off. Proud moment for me and my teacher. She had me to repeat those steps and encouraged me to do the same things to prepare me if I needed to. I did a few times and I made it!

Is there some goal that you want to achieve that is scaring the crap out of you? Do you want to overcome your challenge? Conquer a goal? Stop overthinking it and do it. What’s the worse that could happen? You might fail or it may not come out perfectly but you would have accomplished it.

One of my business mentors told me last year that confidence comes from doing the thing that you are afraid of consistently and repeatedly. I can tell you without a doubt that he was right because after a few times of running that swimming drill, I felt more confident. No. I am not swimming the length of the pool but I will.

What can you accomplish by doing it afraid consistently and repeatedly?

Here’s to you accomplishing your goals that scare the heck out of you!

Just another day’s journey of learning how to overcome my fears with confidence!

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8 Funny Memories from Growing Up in Church (My500)

Day 8 of the 500 Word Challenge. Make a list.

Growing up in church I can tell you that there are somethings from my days as a child that you may not see at many churches today.

  1. Big hats – All the older women who were not singing in the choir, serving on the usher board or the lady who came to spend the summers with her aunt had on the biggest most exotic hats. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to get older so that I could wear a big hat to church. Easter Sunday did not count because my hat was small and cute. I wanted one like the grown ups. I may see the occasional hat today but it doesn’t seem to be an adult uniform of sorts. It’s more of a bad hair day cover up, now. Which also makes me wonder why did those women go through all that trouble on Saturday night to do their hair only to cover it up under those big ol’ hats?
  2. Pantyhose – Now there is a catch to this because more women wear pants to church. I hear that back in the day that some churches had pantyhose readily available for women who were “bare legged.” I couldn’t imagine not wearing pantyhose to church back in the day because I live in a cold climate but now… leggings and a pair of boots work if I am not wearing pants. Summer time is another story. It’s just too hot. As a minister’s wife, I do pay attention to my environment. If the church is known to be more conservative, I wear them…even in the summer.
  3. Skirts over pants – This makes me laugh because I lived through the transitional period when pants in church were becoming more acceptable. I was always prepared to go to choir rehearsal with my trusty blue jean skirt to go over my pants. Then I would roll up my pants so that I wouldn’t have to take them off even though it was uncomfortable. Goofy teenager. My favorite memory is putting an older choir robe on when I “forgot” my skirt so that I could participate in choir rehearsal. At one point I remember what seemed like the entire choir had on borrowed robes before we were finally allowed to wear pants for rehearsal only.
  4. Choir Robes – What can I say about choir robes? They were hot even if all you wore under them was slip and your underwear. The heat was too high in the winter and the air conditioner never worked. I don’t miss those at all. I hear that they come in a lighter weight now but I’m glad most churches don’t make the choir members suffer in those. I imagine the men had it worse than the women since they were usually fully clothed under their robes.
  5. Cummerbunds and bowties – I suppose this is turning into a list for choir members. We were too cute in this uniform but who came up with this idea? There was the red shirt with black bottoms with the CB combination and of course the classic white shirt with black bottoms. Then the bold all white combination with white tops and white bottoms. Can someone also explain why the cummerbund choice was black or red, too?
  6. All White on 1st Sunday – For the life of me, I cannot understand this one. This may have been where my disdain for all white anything began. How did they expect a busy but little girl like me to wear all white, take communion and not spill it on something every single time? It never worked out. If you catch me in all white, it’s a trick. So please do not be surprised if I decline your all white party invitation.
  7. Giving a statement when you join church – I don’t care how old you were, they asked if you wanted to say something. I joined at almost 6 years old so I am pretty sure that I didn’t have much to say. The fun I had as a kid listening to stories. Some were short while others were long. Some were heartfelt and others seemed force. Then there were the ones that made all the adults blush and leave me wondering what the heck had I missed. No one ever told me either. Dang it! I guess that was one tradition that they were happy to get rid of because of those stories that made the adults blush.
  8. Testimony service – For the same reasons as mentioned above, I guess the adults decided that some testimonies needed to be screened. I have to admit that some of those testimonies changed my life. I learned to listen to what the heck my mother told me. I also learned that some people seemed to keep experiencing the same thing over and over or did they? I do miss the songs that random people would sing during this service. I heard songs that were so soulful that even my young soul was stirred. Unfortunately, Testimony service was the only time that I heard some of those songs.

I’m sure that I could probably think of more things to add to my list but why don’t you join me. What do you remember seeing that you don’t see now?

Here’s to our childhood foundation and changing times.

Just another day’s journey of remembering how church used to be.

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Live, Learn and Love Yourself (My500)

Day 7 of the 500 Word Challenge. Today’s prompt is obviously a letter to my younger self. Here goes 🙂

Dear Michelle,

You are going to have some awesome opportunities that scare the heck out of you. Don’t fear them. Make the most of every moment and allow people into your circle. The important people are not judging you. Sometimes goodbye is final and sometimes it isn’t so allow your classmates and co-workers in, within reason of course. You are going to miss out on some really great relationships and experiences if you don’t. Be careful not to change the core of who you are no matter what road you take. Allow yourself the challenge. You really love sports. Don’t be afraid to learn more and fail publicly. You have a mean spike on the volleyball that just needs some control and focus. Don’t allow your writing voice to be silenced. Ask for help on how to report about your experience. Blogging is not a thing yet so you have to follow the rules about reporting the news. Date rape is a thing and your classmates need to know that from a young person’s perspective. Don’t give up so easily when it comes to your needs. Fight as hard for yourself as you do for others. Your dreams matter. Don’t settle to make others comfortable. It’s ok to stand out even if it doesn’t feel good right now. Your mother isn’t stupid or dumb. She has schizophrenia and nothing you did made her that way. It also doesn’t transfer to you by extension even if some studies show a small percentage of kids will get it. Only small minded people will pity you and try to make you feel small for this. You are more than that. Go ahead and ask for the big stuff. You are worthy of those things, too. Don’t live small under any circumstances! Do you hear me? Don’t live small. Go for the very things that make you want to run back home and hide. Don’t be afraid to fail publicly. You will survive it and life will go on. The only person who will remember that moment in detail will be you. Acknowledge it for what it was. Accept the lessons that came from it and move on. You are human. You were made fearfully and wonderfully made by God not perfect so live like you know it. Don’t protect anyone’s feelings and needs at the expense of your own. You are worth so much more than that. Speak up for yourself and don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation out of fear that there’s nothing else to have. There are many other opportunities out there. You just have not learned about it yet. There are no wasted moments so don’t hold back just in case. Give your all in everything. God has more ideas to put in your hands so you don’t have to ration what you share with the world. Love yourself like God loves you – without condition. You deserve it. Live your life like tomorrow will never come because today is all that matters. Give without expectations. Participate in the things that make you happy. Travel as much as possible. Blaze new trails even after it seems like there is nothing else to do. You are a visionary. Don’t fear her. Reign her in only for compassion sake. Speak your mind with class and tact. Trust God. His way is different but you can trust him. Embrace all the things that society tries to tell you that you shouldn’t embrace. Test whether or not YOU truly like or dislike something and not because someone tell you what you should do. Start as many businesses and foundations as you want. Did I tell you don’t be afraid to write what you want? Don’t fear a thing. Every experience, every challenge, every tragedy, every triumph, every tear, every laugh, every heartthrob, every heartbreak has a purpose. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t rationalize it. Don’t explain it away. Don’t minimize it. Stand in it. Revel in it. Learn from it and choose to live. And if you ever forget these things talk to my good Friend. He will promises to guide you if you let him have control. You know how you are. I love you to life. Be cool little mama.

Love always,

The Me Who Chooses to Live, Learn and Love

Just another day’s journey of reminding the inner me to live, learn and love. Peace.

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Bouncing Back After Failure (My500)

Day 6 of the 500 Word challenge. Tell someone else’s story.

From the outside looking in, Peter is a quiet smart college student from the suburbs. He doesn’t seem to let much bother him except when someone tries to make him share his food. Making memories has become his mantra at the insistence of his mother because she knows the pain of missing the opportunities to do so.

Peter has a strong inner circle but he doesn’t always use the strength of that inner circle to help him brain storm through his challenges. He usually waits until it’s too late to ask for help when the problem has grown past the helping stage but his last challenge proved to have more consequences than he expected.

While all of his friends received multiple scholarships to attend college, Peter only received two and they were only to his back up colleges. As if he didn’t feel bad enough, his mother reminded him at every turn how he had been told since he was old enough to talk, that he needed to get a scholarship to go to school because his parents didn’t have money to send him.

It’s like his mother couldn’t stop driving that point home over and over. Guilt, frustration and anger were just a few of his emotions that he experienced over the following months after graduation. His mother’s constant reminder became a sore spot for him so much so that it affected his first semester of being away from home or so he thought.

Adding to what seemed like a new trend of disappointment and failures, he went from being a straight A student to a C student. Peter was used to being a high achiever. He was valedictorian of his eighth grade class and almost salutatorian for high school all while participating in multiple afterschool activities. He was dependable and punctual. He served consistently at his church and volunteered at a shelter for abandoned pets.

Thankfully during this low period in Peter’s life one of his friends, Thomas, checked in on him and asked how things were going. He shared how tough his first semester was going and how he couldn’t understand it. He told him how things were so bad that he just wanted to go home and start all over. He continued to share how he has never failed this badly before at anything that he set out to do.

His friend listened intently as he shared what seemed like years of frustration and feeling overwhelmed of performing at the level that he had. Thomas told him that he was having a similar semester and that he went to his college advisor to help sort things out because he was seriously considering quitting school, too. He shared that the counselor helped him understand that this was just a growing pain for him.

Thomas told him that the last 12 years of their lives had been planned out by someone else. Their parents, teachers, counselors and mentors all had a hand in telling them where to go and when to be there with the expectation that they would follow through. He told Peter that they were now responsible for their own lives with support from that same circle of people.

Peter knew Thomas was right because his mom had just said the same thing in their weekly call. He knew that he had to get his act together so he made a plan to get back on track. He still decided to leave school but he applied to a local college closer to home and applied for scholarships like it was his masters thesis. By the time he returned to school in the fall of the following year, he had enough money to cover almost the entire school year. He worked part time jobs to pay for the rest with the help of his parents. He had a few bumps along the way but he did what was necessary to readjust and get back on track.

Peter is now the owner of his own production company that supports independent film makers. He has written, directed and starred in a few productions that have all won awards in his field. He has written several scores to a few popular movies and a few popular streaming networks shows. Peter also volunteers to work with high school students and their parents to teach them how to apply for scholarships for college. Peter decided that he would help as many families who share his story as possible. He and his parents have also begun a foundation that provides scholarships to students after their first six weeks of college or in cases of emergency funding.

Here’s to Peter finding his way back after what seemed like an impossible situation with the support of good friend.

Just another day’s journey of learning how to bounce back after failure.

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Discovering Indepedence (My500)

Day 5 of the 500 Word Challenge. Today, I am supposed to share a memorable moment. Although it has been a source of tension in my marriage, it still stands out as being one of the most significant trips of my life. My former job had yearly conferences in which my husband had attended. This particular year, I reluctantly went alone.

I remember making a big fuss about having to go alone and threatening to stay in my hotel room the entire time. I think that I may have considered not going because beyond going away to college, I had never gone anywhere by myself. My husband was unable to go because he had started a new job. He encouraged to me not only take the trip but to enjoy all that the city had to offer just as I had when he traveled with me.

I don’t remember much about the flight. I’m pretty sure that I was on the plane with many of my colleagues that I knew from our semi-annual meetings. When I landed in my host city for the conference, I remember looking at the airport with a new pair of eyes. I was more present and observant of my surroundings. The airport seemed small compared to the airport that I had left. It seemed more relaxed.

Still apprehensive about being on my first trip alone, I rode in silence pouting. I checked in to the hotel and called home to let my family know that I had arrived. With more coaching from my husband, I decided to make the best of my solo trip and take a little time to discover the city on my off times during the conference.

I intentionally did not set up times to meet up with my colleagues. The first day, I walked to an indoor two story mall not that far from my hotel where I grabbed something to eat. The calming sounds of what I thought was a waterfall greeted me at the door as I entered the building. I remember that familiar salty sweet food court smell calling me down the hall to discover something unique to the town that I was in. As I sat and ate my food, I remember watching how relaxed people walked through the small food court. The couples who walked through the mall with miniature versions of themselves taking four more steps than them because of their height was the most comical thing that I could see in that moment.

I was missing my family in that moment but decided not to call home to check in.  A short walk away from the food court was a comedy club. Puzzled and curious by it’s placement in the mall, I decided to go in. Even though the space was not that large, I was careful to not sit too close to the front but not so far were I would draw attention to myself since I was alone. I decided that I would fully enjoy myself so I ordered some fruity drink that satisfied the two drink minimum. I don’t remember the comedians but I do remember leaving satisfied which means that they had made me laugh. A perfect beginning to my first day.

The rest of the week seemed to be a repeat of solo adventures where I learned to enjoy my own company. I went to a wax museum and even took some themed pictures with a fake shotgun in an old saloon. That was so much fun. I took the local bus to the larger mall outside of the comfort of the downtown area where my hotel was. I strolled to an outdoor museum or exhibit of the Alamo. That was a very serene and surreal visit for me. I realized as I read the different sections how close my national language could have been Spanish, had we lost.

To think that I almost sat in my hotel and pouted about taking a trip by myself makes me laugh. I would have never experienced the Riverwalk by foot or boat which made me fall in love with San Antonio. I would have never eaten in public alone or strolled through the city alone. I definitely would not have sat in a comedy club alone. I would have never had an opportunity to fall in love with a city that essentially opened the door to my independence.

I didn’t realize it then but that trip taught me that I can have moments to myself and not feel guilty. I also learned that traveling alone can be a blessing because of all the many gifts that I received on that trip. I don’t know that I would have experienced the city in the same way if I had a companion. There was no one there to point in a particular direction from their perspective. Every experience was my own and chosen by me. Maybe I will return to the city one day on another solo trip.

Here’s to taking a chance on a solo trip for you!

Just another day’s journey of discovering my moment of independence.

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Have You Finished What You Started? (My500)

Last year an admin from one of the many groups that I am a part of asked a question that I soon regretted and savored answering. The question was, “If you hadn’t given up on IT, (whatever it is), where would you be today?” I was having a pretty bold and transparent moment, so I shared the following 7 things.

  1. I would be a licensed marriage and family therapist.
  2. I would know how to swim.
  3. I would have maintained my 4 pack.
  4. I would have finished writing my play.
  5. I would have submitted my pitch for a sitcom.
  6. I would have finished baby blankets for few people.
  7. I would have ran my first 5k last year. (2016)

When sharing my list of things, it never occurred to me that I would be challenged to go after my list and complete the tasks. The admin had the nerve to challenge each person to go after each goal and to complete them all by the end of the year. Ha! She had to be joking, right? All 7? Well she wasn’t joking. She challenged me to complete 6 out of the 7.

For the next few minutes, I cursed her for having the audacity to do what no one else in my circle had been able to do. Challenge me to finish. This challenge sparked something in me that I needed and had no idea that was there.

Not more than a week later I scheduled my training app for “beginning 10k.” In my crazy thinking, I figured if I had trained and quit the 5k training that I would do the 10k training. If I quit, I would be mostly ready??? No I didn’t realize this at the time but I suppose I trained to quit.

That following Sunday night I laid out my clothes that I would run in, set my alarm and went to sleep. Monday morning may have been the day that I hit the pavement but that Saturday, July 29, 2017 was the day that I made my mind up. I didn’t share my first day of training with anyone. Only my family was aware that my alarm went off at 5:00 am and walked to the park to begin my journey.

I was on to something and decided to share through video with my group the importance of keeping your commitments to yourself. I was careful not share my running journey because I wanted people to attach meaning to their commitment.

I don’t fully remember the moments after finishing my first run but I am pretty sure that I felt accomplished. I told myself that I would begin my journey and I did. Those weeks of training that followed were emotionally and physically grueling. There were days that I asked myself, “What the heck are you doing?” Well maybe, I said it with a little more color. I learned so many lessons along the way.

The biggest lesson that is echoed each time I hit the pavement is that I am worthy of keeping my own commitment for me. This journey to finish was not about anyone else but me. It doesn’t matter what was on my list. Some of those things, I am no longer interested in. Some, I am still interested in but it doesn’t matter. I chose me in this journey even when things weren’t going right in my life. I chose me.

Through challenges in my marriage, finances, business, personal and professional relationships I kept training. I kept running. I kept pushing for me. The pavement taught me that none of those things matter while I was out there. No matter how tough it was move to the next level, all of my challenges stayed the same. The only thing that changed while I was out there was my perspective.

I chose to fight through with tears in my eyes, pain in my side and a heavy heart to achieve my goal and it was worth it. I finished each time with a new lesson and sense of accomplishment that made my heart soar and ask for more. I am grateful for the challenge to finish and look forward to seeing what other lessons are on the pavement.

Here’s to more lessons and completed challenges! (Still no major edits ahhhhhh)

Just another day’s journey of challenge myself to finish what I started.

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Prioritizing the Important Things (My500)

Day 3 of the 500 Word Challenge.

Today’s Challenge was to get up early to write. I guess this is as early as it gets for me since my priority is to hit the elliptical, first. Much like my commitment to this challenge, I made a commitment to myself in July of last year to keep my commitments to myself in running.

Nothing and no one will keep me from that including this challenge and that’s huge for me. As I shared yesterday, I used to put a lot of people and things ahead of me. I chose them first in my priorities no matter my discomfort and then would wonder why I felt so unfulfilled and empty.

Today’s challenge is a reminder to me that even when we set new goals to make sure that we prioritize them. I could have started writing at 5:00 am this morning while I ate my banana in preparation for the work that I would do on the elliptical. I could have begun writing instead of reading my devotionals that I read while enjoying my pre-workout snack but I chose to keep the order.

In the grand scheme of things, did it really matter? Not really but I did what works for me. There was no love lost or gained as a result of writing after my workout. I chose to do both because I love them both AND I prioritized the order.

In the past, I would have chosen the order requested without considering what was most important to me and then been upset with myself for getting lost in the new priority. That’s not me anymore. I get to choose AND everyone is still standing.

It’s funny hearing those words coming from me since I have been an advocate others doing the same. I think in some way I was really encouraging myself all these years through my clients, friends and associates to prioritize their healthy desires. I finally heard AND accepted my own advice.

This morning’s challenge has also taught me the importance of beginning early enough to not feel rushed. Not just in my daily writing but in life. Since this is a challenge to write daily, writing early in the day takes the pressure off of completing the task before midnight.

My pastor’s wife mentioned this in one of her messages a few years ago. She shared with us that when you prepare or start early that if things go wrong or plans change, you are less stressed.

The last lesson learned is true of what Jeff Goins suggested. Once you accomplish your task, you get to run off that sense of accomplishment for the day. I will be cautious to not celebrate too long, as the vice president at a company that I work for shared. Celebrate AND move on. I have more to do and certainly more to write.

Here’s to prioritizing my tasks, beginning early enough to not feel pressure and celebrating along the way. (no edits ahhhh)

Just another day’s journey of learning to prioritize the important things.

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Don’t Take Life for Granted (My500)

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 NKJV


Day 2 of the 500 Word Challenge. I am enjoying this return to daily writing. I must admit that it’s a little intimidating with my past of starting and stopping but this is what I signed up for. 🙂

It seems that even biblegateway.com has conspired to help me write with the daily scripture. I really needed this scriptural reminder to not take life for granted. Each moment is to be treasured and cherished including the challenging moments. There are lessons to be learned in everything and if I am too busy moving on to the next thing, I might just miss the lesson.

Recently, I have started doing yoga with one of my favorite YouTubers, Yoga with Adriene. Yoga teaches you to be present…

I forgot that this is supposed to be brain dumping right now without edits, right? J I will get back to the lessons from Yoga with Adriene, later. Just know that my little 24 minute workout was serious today but worth it. I think that I like yoga and running because I can measure my progress, right away. Oh yeah. I run. That story is coming soon, too.

This feels so wrong and right at the same time. I am tempted to scrap this and go a totally different route but I am committed to this for me. I guess I can let you in a little why keeping this commitment is so important to me.

For the majority of my life, I haven’t always numbered my days so to speak. I have taken my journey through life for granted. I have chosen the opinions of others over mine even if it made me uncomfortable or unsatisfied. I didn’t see it as people pleasing. I only saw it as making others happy or comfortable. I chose them over me.

See, my 500 Word Challenge is not just about writing 500 words a day. It’s about keeping my commitment to myself just as I have been keeping my commitment to me with regard to my running. It’s about keeping my commitment to things that bring me joy and peace. It’s about rediscovering or discovering the true essence of me.

What are my true likes and dislikes? What are my true disappointments and joys? What are my true opinions about life, love, and living? The 500 Word Challenge is me finding a way to number my days through words and choosing to share my process with someone else unfiltered, unedited and uncovered.

Hopefully by the end of this challenge I am doing more than just free writing that encourages, empowers or challenges others. I will have a rhythm and awareness of my love of writing that will be more intentional in doing what I love with the most authenticity that I can muster up to share. No apologies. Just me.

Here’s to another day of freewriting and sharing the journey.

Just another day’s journey of learning to number my days and gaining wisdom along the way. Peace.

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