I’m Still Here

Well, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’m writing to say that I’m still here. And I’m not going anywhere. However, I have decided to take myself out of the post a day challenge. I realized that I was writing just for the sake of getting it done for the day, and no other reason. Quality and inspiration were definitely lacking, and that’s not what I want.

I also realize that I am not the kind of person that likes to have to do something every day. Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t do it every day. I just don’t like the HAVING to do it part. I want to write because I want to. Not because I have to. I am like this with everything. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, or something I should be trying to change. But, for now, it’s the way I am.

This doesn’t mean I won’t write every day. It simply means that when I do write, I will be writing because I want to, not because I have to. I’m sure it all comes from the fact that I like to be in control or something, but it is what it is. 🙂 And when it comes to blogging, it may be everyday, it may be every week. I don’t know. What I do know is that it will happen when I am inspired to do so. And I think the end result will be better on many different levels.

I look forward to what I can bring to you from this point on.

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I Can Be Me Again

I feel a little lighter today. I just ended the first freelance writing job I had. I only did it for a couple of months, but it was a good experience. I learned a lot from it. First of all I learned what my time is worth. The job definitely sounded a lot better than it turned out to be. It took way more time than it was supposed to and wasn’t improving my writing at all. I wasn’t dealing with subjects that I am at all interested in. I don’t even think it would have been a good resume builder.

However, the people I dealt with were very kind and I got paid just as I was promised I would. I don’t think the work was bad or that it was a bad company. It just wasn’t for me. I kept it up for as long as I did to help out with money around the house. However, my husband just got a pretty substantial raise, and that gives me the ability to take a risk and work on writing things I want to write. I’m excited about this. I’m excited to have my time freed up again to do the things I want to do, and to write the things I want to write.

At first I thought I should keep doing the work because it paid me, and it was writing after all. Shouldn’t I write whatever I can and not be picky? That’s what I was thinking. But unless that is forced upon me for financial reasons, I don’t think it’s true. I feel like I’m wasting my time as a writer if I’m doing something that is not actually furthering my career in any way. In fact, I believe it was working against it because it took up all of my writing time.

So here I am again, free to write whatever I want and it is wonderful! That doesn’t mean I won’t take anymore freelance jobs. It just means I’ve learned that I don’t have to do them all. I don’t have to take whatever I can get. I can focus on things I enjoy, and things that will help me. I can focus on things I want to do.

My time is way too valuable to be wasting it on something I don’t enjoy and isn’t helping me in the long run.

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Too Drained For… Everything.

I could write a lot about the weather again today, but I won’t. Let’s just say this — not good and not spring. I refuse to get the snow boots out again. So the weather better change, because if we need snow boots to go out, we’re just not going out.

Anyways, we had a busy and exhausting day today. Sunday is always exhausting. We get up early and go to church, where my husband and I have a lot of responsibilities. We are usually there for about three and a half to five hours. And we have to get up just as early as a school day, or earlier. By the time the six of us get home, we’re beat. And then we have days like today, where there is a birthday party after church. Needless to say, I don’t get much done on Sundays. By the time I get home, I just want to sit and do nothing until bedtime!

Luckily my laptop cooperates with that. I can sit here on the chair and write away. Although most Sundays I’m too drained for even that. How about you? What day of the week is the most draining? And do you get any writing done on that day?

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Finished One Book, Need Another

Last night, I finished the book I’ve been reading. The one that was taking up all of the time I was supposed to be doing productive things. The one that kept me up later than I wanted to stay up. The one that I couldn’t put down.

It’s a novel called “A Separate Country,” by Robert Hicks. It’s about a Confederate general after the end of the civil war, and how life was for him and his wife. I really liked it and I’m tempted to go out and get another novel by the same author called “The Widow of the South.” Of course, there is already so much I want to read, that one will probably just get put on my “I really want to read this book” list.

My goal is to be able to write books like this. I want to write stories that people are sad to see end. I want to write books that make people want to run out to the store and buy another one. Ironically, the thing that gets in the way is my need to continue to read books like this! It greatly cuts into my time!

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I’ve Got Nothing

My post will be short tonight, as I cannot think of a single thing to write about. I’ve sat here contemplating it for awhile, and I’ve got nothing. Some days coming up with something is a piece of cake. The other days are like this.

But that’s ok. I’m not going to stress myself out about it. It’s ok to have the occasional day where I can’t think of anything to write about. Tomorrow is another day. A new day filled with new ideas.

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Lost Time

The other day, my 8 year old son said something that was heartbreaking and sad, but at the same time so sweet and poetic. We were driving down the road, on the way home from school and he told me that it feels like he lost when he was really little. Lost as in can’t find it. He can’t remember being a baby and a toddler anymore, and feels like he lost those times, those memories.

It’s a horrible feeling, the losing of time. The losing of memories and things we once knew and had. It happens to all of us. I wish I had kept a better record of the time I have lost. I wish I had kept journals (I got one for Christmas that is still sitting blank in my room. I will write in it soon. I will.) and made baby books. I wish I had written down every cute thing my kids did or said. I’ve told other people to do this. I’ve advised others to keep a written record of the moments of their marriages and of being a parent. But I have not done it myself. I, who call myself a writer, did not write down the things I wanted to remember. I saved a lot of stuff. Random things that seemed special at the time, for one reason or another. But in the years to come, will I remember what those things meant?

It occurs to me now, that if I had been better at this, I would have something to give my son. I could give back some of what he lost. I realize it would never be the same as actually remembering, but it would be better than nothing. Maybe I will at least pull out the box of random things to show him, and pictures, things like that. And I can tell him things that I remember. But what’s even more heartbreaking is that I’ve lost some of it too. What was it like when my firstborn was just learning to sit, to crawl? I remember him being a baby, don’t get me wrong. But the memories aren’t as clear as I wish they were. The same goes for each of my children.

I should have kept a better record. I should have written it all down in a way that paints the most beautiful of pictures. Maybe I can start now. At least I do have a lot, I mean A LOT, of pictures and videos. I am very thankful for that. Those pictures and videos are my most treasured possessions. However, I know there was so much that I wanted to remember that wasn’t photographed or recorded with a video camera.

Maybe tonight I’ll finally crack open that journal.

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I Can’t Put It Down!

I’ve gone from being so busy that I can’t find time to read, to reading so much that it’s taking up writing time. I’m still very busy. Very. I’m just so engrossed in the book that I’m reading that I couldn’t put it down today. Which means that I lost out on time I should have been writing. But, I have to say that it was very enjoyable, guilt and all.

Now all I have to do is find that balance where I get in enough writing and reading time each day. I think this will always be a challenge for me though, simply because when I really get into a book, I live in it. I read every chance I get and all discipline I have easily goes right out the window. On the good side, reading often motivates me to get stuff done (but that’s another topic), so if I can tear the book out of my own hands, I tend to be a very hard worker. It’s just the tearing out of my hands that is the hard part!

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Text Or Talk?

I have realized that I like to text people more than talk on the phone. I love that text messages were invented. I’ve always been a bit shy, so it’s easier for me to send a text than to call someone. But that’s not the only reason I like it. I like that I can be having several totally different conversations, with different people, at the same time. I also love that I can have a conversation with someone gradually while I am doing something else.

A big part of it is that, as a writer, it’s just more natural for me to write. I find that when I am talking to someone I can get flustered, lose my train of thought, forget things I meant to say, etc. When I am sending a text I can more easily say exactly what I mean. I can put my thoughts and feelings into writing better than spoken words. It’s my easiest form of communication. So, thank you to whoever invented text messaging!

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, I can talk to my husband and children just fine. I would much rather talk to my husband than send a text message. But even so, I’ve always written to him too. Because, as I said, it’s natural for me.

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Just Say No

I recently learned something about myself. I have trouble telling people “no.” I reached the point where I had so much to do that I was completely overloaded. Every time someone asks me to do something (I don’t mean anything wrong, just extra jobs and work to do… stuff like that) I say “yes.” I think I’ve always been this way, but it didn’t use to be a problem. I’ve realized that’s only because people didn’t ask me to do much. That has definitely changed. I get asked to do a lot now. And I just can’t do it all.

I think it’s good that I’ve come to realize this, because now I can change it. I have handed over some of my responsibilities to other people, especially stuff that I didn’t really want to do in the first place. I’m focusing on things that are good for my family, or things I simply enjoy. Everything else can go. And even then I find that there is more that I want to do than I possibly can. But at least I know that the things I am doing are things that I want to be doing.

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The Crazy Weather

Spring still has not made a re-appearance. It is cold. It’s also sunny. The sunny days are both nice and confusing. Obviously it’s nice to have sunny days, but it makes it look a lot nicer outside than it actually is. And it has confused my three year old who thinks it’s summer now because the sun is out. She keeps asking to go to the beach. I keep telling her it’s too cold, but she just doesn’t seem to understand.

Today was family day and my husband and I wanted to do something fun with the kids. When I asked what they wanted to do, they kept naming outdoor activities. So we picked one of their suggestions and went for a walk. It was so very cold, but the kids ran around and had a great time. Their little noses and cheeks were red, but they got to burn off a lot of pent up energy. Overall, it was very enjoyable. It made me want spring to make a re-appearance even more though. The sun is nice, but I’m about done with the frigid temperatures. Well, I guess it’s not actually frigid, but it’s too cold for spring if it can snow!

The weather has just been so crazy lately! We had such a long and snowy winter, and then it warmed up and got cold again, then warmed up so much that people were outside without jackets on. The other day it looked as though slush was actually falling from the sky. It wasn’t snow, or hail, or rain. Maybe it qualified as sleet — I’m not really sure what the exact qualifications are for sleet. Or maybe freezing rain (is that the same as sleet?). It looked like when it’s raining really hard, the really big fat raindrops pouring down. Only they were fatter and fell faster and looked just like slush. I think that was happening on the first day of spring.

And now that it actually is spring, we have gone back to the big, fluffy, white snowflakes and temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s. The sun comes out during the day on some days, and starts to melt anything left on the ground, all of which then promptly freezes again, creating trails of ice that we get to walk on in the morning.

Yeah, I’m ready for spring — for leaves on the trees and the sweet smell of flowers. I’m ready to go outside without the hassle of making sure all of the kids have boots, coats, hats, and gloves. I’m ready for trips to the park and daily walks. I’m ready to enjoy being outside again.

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