Blog, Writing

Unexpected Benefits

Day 17

I started this blog 17 days ago. I was not sure what to expect and honestly I was not sure I would be able to follow it through. I wondered what I would write about every day for 365 days.

For years I read that it takes 21 days to form a habit. More recent research indicates that number may be closer to 66 days. So, I am far from this being normal for me, but I will say that with every day that passes, it becomes more natural.

What to Write

The thing I worried most about was what I would write. What I am finding is amazing. Every day I see something or read something or do something that turns into inspiration for a blog post.

Perhaps this is simply electronic journaling to some, but there is something more here. Something a little magical.

Now I worry less about what to write and am much more conscious of how I spend my day, making sure I allocate time to write. As a writer, this is a wonderful thing.

I am sure many of us could be more cognizant of the time and energy we put into non-productive things in our lives.

Unexpected Benefits

typewriter.JPGI find that my days have less and less time for social media interactions. I have certain times of the day that I check up on Facebook or Instagram, but outside of that I have curbed that habit quite a bit. I am finding it is a healthy change for me.

I was not the only person who started this 365 day journey. There is a group of amazing women walking this path together.

I encourage you to check out the links in my sidebar to read what is being shared here. This community of like-minded women has inspired me in so many ways.

When I started blogging regularly, I found I also started reading more. I try to faithfully read what my fellow bloggers are writing. And I also seek out other bloggers who are writing on topics of interest to me.

Empathy and Reflection

I have a thing for the written word. When someone pours their heart and soul on the page it is impactful and meaningful to me. Writing triggers something inside me that opens the pathways to memory and feelings so perhaps it is the same for other writers.

sister.JPGThis morning I read a post that gutted me. One of my fellow bloggers wrote about her struggles and it touched me deeply. That is what authentic writing can do — she classified it as ‘raw’ and I must agree. She was so brave and I was honored to witness what she wrote. (Thank you Tanya.)

This entry she wrote not only made me feel great empathy and respect for her, but it also triggered memories of my sister, Rosie. When she was so ill with the cancer that would eventually take her life, we had many heartbreaking conversations about her feelings and her fears. I wrote about one of our conversations back in 2010 that broke my heart. I have never forgotten it. This morning I went back and read it again.

Giving Thanks

To my dear friend Maitri, I am so thankful for your encouragement to join you in this 365 day blog challenge. I was familiar with blogging, but I never anticipated the other channels in my soul that this work would blow wide open.

To the ladies that join me in this journey – thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words move me and I am forever changed by this experience. Thank you for sharing your simple days and your hardest days. I love being in a circle of women that lift each other up. It is refreshing and enriching in so many ways.

You have added something moving and powerful to my life and I thank you.

“Sometimes that’s all you need my love – another woman’s faith in you.” 
Joy McCullough


Morning Has Broken

Day 9

IMG_7172Morning is my favorite time of day, especially on a day when the sun presents itself in such a magnificent way. I stepped outside on the deck and saw the sun starting to peek through the trees. A new day. A new decision about how to spend my time.

The birds are up well before the sun makes its appearance, clamoring to be fed. It has always amazed me how quickly they are out scurrying for food. This morning it was the house finch and the cardinals. The cardinals tend to arrive early and come back late in the afternoon.

The overnight temperature was cooler last night and I have not seen many of the migrating birds today. Maybe they decided it was time to move on.

Sometimes days start with plans and intentions that melt away into something totally different. Today was to be one of those days. Good intentions of things to be done, but opting instead for writing or reading or good conversation. We worry a lot about this thing called productivity – of always being ‘on’ – of always producing something. It is something I have battled for much of my life.

I remember my son getting upset when I would sweep up his drinking glass and wash it immediately as he placed it on the counter. ‘Mom, I can use that glass again.’ Always picking up and moving from room to room, wiping the kitchen counter, doing laundry and needing to be busy. I am like the birds.

Then I Remembered the Sun

Slowly and magnificently climbing above the trees. Gently spreading warmth to everything in its path. It makes a slow and deliberate path across the sky – taking a full day to do what it needs to do.

IMG_7092Yesterday at the Arboretum, I saw a beautiful quilt hung in celebration of the handcrafts of the Appalachian mountains. It was stunning.

Suddenly I was whisked back to my childhood watching the women in my life spending countless hours piecing quilts. It was only after the pieces were laboriously pieced together that the quilting could begin.

A handmade quilt is exquisite in its form, design and function , but it does not happen quickly.

Exercising Patience

IMG_7173So today, I spent a lot of time talking to my mother-in-law and just thinking. I watched the sun move across the room – slowly and methodically.

It has taken a full day, but the sun is now dropping below the trees and eventually it will dip below the mountains.

But those birds – they are still at it.

I am learning to exercise patience. To work but also relax. I don’t think every day must be about accomplishing some huge undertaking. I think some days can simply be about relaxing and enjoying this place we call home.

I’m learning to be more like the sun.

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” 
David G. Allen