What Have I Missed? #SOLC Day 26

A reflection of what I missed and how I am finding time for it again…

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I used to be a runner. Well, if I am going to be honest that is an understatement. I became obsessed with running when I was 35. I blame the Biggest Loser show actually. I used to run 60-80 miles a week. If I ran 10 miles a day, I was a happy girl.

I have always had friends that were runners and I envied them. I wanted to run but wouldn’t start. I had a terrible experience in middle school when I tried to join the track team which honestly kept me from it later in life.

I researched and started. I gave myself a challenge. I would run every day in January that year and at the end of the month if I hated it I would stop. I didn’t stop for 6 years. I ran everything from 5k races to 50 miles. (Yes, you read that correctly.) I ran alone for over 8 months before I found a group run at a local park. I had shit to work out and didn’t want to share that time with anyone.

My first race was a half marathon. I ran a marathon after 11 months of running. This is not the normal way to do things. But I loved it.

I ran at that time of my life too because there was anxiety and depression. I was running away from my life at the time. My brain has connected this anxiety to the running.

I have had several false starts over the last couple of years. I ran last summer and worked up to a 13 mile run just to see if I could do it again. That is how I ended up running 50 miles – a personal challenge to just see if I could do it.

With the virus gifting me the time to read, write, study and realign my life running has come back. I had to deal with some emotional ties to the running because of my past that I DO NOT want to relive.

Today is day 5 of running in a row. I am back again to looking forward to the runs. I have a path outside my door once again since I moved and that makes a huge difference. The air is clean here and there are hills which I love.

It is nice to nurture a new relationship with this part of myself.

I am a runner again.

Writing Prompts and Communities #SOLC Day 25

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I love writing prompts. In my inbox is a daily prompt from my writing teacher Sarah Selecky. I write morning pages every day mostly according to Julia Cameron’s rules. I use tarot cards for the art for inspiration for writing as well. Last night, I even taught a class about writing and included prompts for students and for adults.

During this time there are so many of my favorite writing teachers providing free communities or classes or prompts. Here are a few of my favorites:

Caroline Donahue does an Instagram live every weekday.

Curtis Brown Creative – The Weekly Writing Workout

Sarah Selecky Writing Through Uncertainty community and daily free write

Mia at 12 Short Stories is hosting the Keep Writing challenge (a daily flash writing prompt) and is hosting a Free Writing Course.

Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish are hosting an Unexpected Sabbatical and providing a prompt every day. Many of from their coveted classes and are always a great writing springboard for me.

I love Paulette’s daily newsletter. There is always a little snippet about writing and then a one word writing prompt or the day.

Storyaday has prompts every Wednesday.

I am always inspired by the blog structures and formats from people in the Two Writing Teacher community as well!

Happy writing today – there is tons to chose from!

If you have a favorite I haven’t listed – please let me know.

10 Things About My Day #SOLC Day 24

  1. I started reading Garden Spells on Sunday and finished it. I have not read a novel in a long while. I am not even sure that Goodreads will allow me to open it on my phone it has been so long since I have logged in. I have been reading, just not novels. Shorts stories, essays, poems, blog posts, Medium articles. There is no loss of reading time. But with the isolation I pulled the title off the one bookcase in my house now. It is magical and just what I needed. The book was waiting for just this time in my life.
  2. It snowed. I woke up to white dustings on all the vegetation.
  3. I am loving the community started by Sarah Selecky called “Writing Through Uncertainty”. She is hosting for a month and providing daily freewriting prompts and a space to share the writing.
  4. Weekdays mean Caroline Donahue will be sharing her daily Instagram Live. I was on a Zoom call with her this weekend which was great and struck me with awe. Caroline and I have spoken through email and messages several times but never on Zoom. I got a little shy.
  5. It is Llama Tuesday!
  6. Tonight is my online class that I am teaching!
  7. I started reading “We have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson.
  8. I ran for the second day in a row – a new streak getting back into a fitness pattern.
  9. I am excited for so many prompts from people I love to follow!
  10. I interacted with several of my writing communities.

Cartoon Llama Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

I Remember… #SOLC Day 23

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This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my very own life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

Why are the terrible memories the easiest to remember? There are many of these for me as I am sure there are for you as well. One of the most terrible is when I got the call that my Oma had died. The person on the phone told me she was gone. I misunderstood and asked where she went. She had been known to be ornery and get angry at my grandfather. Her getting in the car and leaving wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

I did not believe she was dead. I drove the 3 hours in desperation to see her at the funeral home. She wasn’t dead until I really saw her lying there.

It was April 1, 2000 when she passed away. April Fools day which she would have found amusing. I still think of her often. She sent me the scent of roses before I opened my eyes that first year anniversary.

She did not meet my son. She did not meet my husband. She did not see me move jobs or states.

But, she did see me jump off the diving board at the Y for the first time. She did see me graduate from college. She did see me get my first teaching job. She saw me do a lot of firsts throughout my life.

Is there a silver lining in your terrible memory? Is there a positive frame to learn from?

Spring? #SOLC Day 22

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I know according to the calendar it is technically Spring. I pay attention to the transitions of the seasons and the moon. I also pay attention to movement of the seasons of life that I am transitioning through in general life as well.

Apparently with the isolation of the virus it is causing me to have some different feelings about it. It is like being on vacation and forgetting what day of the week it is. It doesn’t matter that much.

Yesterday the wind was chilly. The sun is shining but it doesn’t feel like the trees should be turning back to green. I have noticed several places where the trees look drowned and dead instead of dormant.

I don’t mind being in the house. I don’t mind not being able to go anywhere other than the grocery store.

I will walk later today. I enjoy my time with my podcasts that are not talking about the virus. I am considering adding some running again but will have to work up to distance as I have run before. I question my motivations about it.

My writing mentor Caroline Donahue has been sending videos through Instagram that have made my day all week. Friday she talked about using tarot for her writing. It was a great reminder and brought warmth to my heart. I know she isn’t the most comfortable with the format but I appreciate it so much. She is hosting a Zoom call on Sunday and I am looking forward to that conversation.

I keep reflecting about why I am not anxious about the pandemic. Over the past five years I have dealt with my own situations of trauma and life changing obstacles. I believe this is why I am not panicked and unnerved at the moment. I have certain personal methods to deal with the issues at hand. I heard the Fierce Womxm Writing podcast today and she made a comment that touched my heart referencing the idea. I always have the writing. It makes me feel better.

I am also thankful to Laura Tremaine for introducing me to Dr Becky from home. She is amazing and so full of actionable mental health and parenting ideas. I already watched a video that will help me with certain students when I return to school.

I supposed there are all types of new and fresh things in my life right now to represent spring after all.

What are the things that mean SPRING to you?

A Question of Childhood #SOLC20 Day 21

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I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Blog Challenge. If you would like more information about this challenge click here.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

My childhood was not full of trauma and I was privileged. My parents have stayed together which was unusual among my friends. When I was little I spent a lot of time at my maternal grandparents. Every vacation and weekend was spent with them til the summer of my 8th grade year in school.

I also spent the majority of my time from age 2.5 to 5 at my Oma’s house. That is my recollection anyway. I had friends in the neighborhood I played with outside every day. They all thought I lived there permanently. I did too. Whenever I went “home” it always felt like I was visiting my parents just waiting to go back to Oma’s.

When it came time for me to go to kindergarten I was upset that I had to go to school in my parent’s town, not my grandparents.

At this point in my life I wish I would have started and continued my school life in my grandparents town. My life would have turned out a lot differently if I had followed that path. When my friends found out I was coming to school with them, the relationship changed. There was a lot I missed out on being there on the weekends after school started.

I cannot go back to that time and the decision was not mine to make but it would have been interesting to see the trajectory if that was the path had been chosen for me.

Who I Am Reading? #SOLC Day 20

This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

Today is an exciting one! Big things are happening and my story is published at Storgy! You can read it by clicking the link below.

Throughout the challenge (and through the year on Tuesdays) I watch for certain posts to come to my inbox/feed. Here are some of the teachers I read every day:

https://persistenceandpedagogy.com/
https://mschiubookawrites.wordpress.com/

https://litcoachlady.com/

All three write beautifully and have their own style. Another thing in common is they all are inspiring.

Who are your GO TO follows/reads?

Truth? #SOLC Day 19

This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my very own life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

I am up early for #5amwritersclub accidentally. In the first phase of this isolation I am craving books. I am considering ordering this one:

I am writing and reading every day. I did venture out for a short period yesterday with my son because I needed boxes and paper towels. I interacted with some of my writing friends online. I submitted as well.

There is focus when you are in the middle of a self imposed challenge. You can read more about that here.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

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The obvious answer right now is to know how long this pandemic and the consequences will last. To know how long I will be out of school might be helpful.

One of the mantras I live my life by is “Everything is temporary.” I have learned temporary is an amount of time that can feel long but be short or the opposite. Time is a human constraint and Mother Nature has her own ideas about it. I feel the universe is telling everyone to slow down and rest. Life moves forward and I have the choice as to how I frame that time.

Many of my friends are anxious about this whole situation and I feel guilty to admit I am not. I am taking it as it comes in the present moment because I cannot control it. I am honoring this time as the gift it is. I cannot say as time stretches on I will feel the same way. Being told to stay home is not a punishment to me. I know people feel uneasy about this factor but it can honestly be the difference between life and death depending on your health and who breaths the same air as you.

What would you want to know?

Resources I Use #SOLC Day 18

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Yesterday a couple people asked me about the poems I read daily. Here are two resources I use:

Poem-a Day https://poets.org/poem-a-day

Paris Review Daily Poem https://theparisreview.us17.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b6c161007733f0d4c084f3fde&id=35491ea532

I am rereading Hills Like White Elephants by Hemingway. and Bullet in the Brain by Wolff

Here is a link to the poetry challenge I do every month.

Podcasts:

10 Things to Tell You

Fierce Womxn Writing (Kim Krans Episode)

Hope this helps! What are you reading or listening to that you would share?

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