Wow

Well, I made it through the rest of the magazines and notebooks and journals tonight, but that was after doing the papers. Somehow, I just had been thinking about and stressing about the papers all day long, I felt I needed to do them first, I guess. I kind of forgot about the magazines and notebooks until I had started piling the papers. At that point, my mind was super-charged in paper-piling mode, and it seemed harder to stop than to put magazines and journals after the papers. I was pretty sure that I was keeping all the magazines and journals, anyway.

Nonetheless, I did them all. Woohoo! I’m still stressed, because I have a lot happening in the next 48 hours. However, I’m doing loads better. I’m getting to bed a solid hour after I had intended, and that’s okay. I wanted to get this stuff done today, and I did it(!). Plus, the gym owner said for me to rest from working out tomorrow, and just do a 1-mile easy walk instead, in preparation for the 5k Saturday morning. I want to see how fast I can do the fun-run. I’m not-so-secretly hoping that I can win a medal for my age group. However, I’m not a super-runner these days, and there are lots of people who by almost default are super into running at their age, and those ages might be included in my age category – I don’t know how large the categories are, or where they are; just that they exist.

But anyway, I am feeling better about it all, now. I’m going to go stretch and ready quickly, and get myself to sleep asap, now. We’ll see what time I awaken in the morning – if I wake naturally around 4:30, as usual, or if I snooze hard core until my alarm that is set for 6:15 (enough time to get to school before traffic, and then to walk the big parking lot there before school starts).

Anyway, goodnight folks! And happy lunar new year eve!!! 😀

Post-a-day 2021

Last post in the year of the rat ;D

Whew

Well, today definitely had a lot of stress in it for me. I had a wonderful morning that included a workout, an awesome coffee smoothie, great breakfast and a wonderful walk with my dad, and misty weather. But a lot of my tidying work today weighed on me. I kept having to re-center myself and have myself stay present to the task at hand, and not get overwhelmed by how much more there still is to do. I had to do that over and over and over again today, I was getting so nervous and stressed. I think it was a bit of a shock, when I realized that today is already the ninth of the month. I want to have all of this done by my birthday at the end of the month. However, I intend to stay at a beach house not here beginning on the Tuesday before my birthday, the 23rd. So, that means that today’s having been the ninth of the month is significantly more significant than it would have been if I were going to be home that whole week. So, that kept getting to me today.

However, I got everything folded and put in temporary location storage, except for my few jackets that need to be folded. I put my shoes away, and they look amazing. I have some reading from the secondary book to do tomorrow morning, as I move into the book category of tidying. (I know, that seems an odd sentence, but it is accurate! Haha)

I am a little nervous about the book category, because of my Japanese books… I haven’t gone through them since moving back from Japan, and I’m nervous to let any of them go…, But, after having read from the main book for the tidying tonight, I feel much more confident about it, and I believe I will be comfortable letting some of them go.

Only tomorrow shall tell, though! Fingers crossed!

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Just barely!

And so, it begins

So, today started it all for real! I did my first day of work on tidying up my physical space life, and thereby my entire life, today. I read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo a few years ago, and it did me so well, I cannot properly describe it all. However, I did not do her program – the one presented in the book – fully at the time. I was not ready for that. But I was ready to begin working with her method.

I grew up, as my dad mentioned yesterday, in a very different world at home than a tidy and concise and non-excess and non-cluttered home. On both sides of my family, my parents had grown up in a world where one may waste nothing. By default, that turned into the idea that getting rid of something, if it is even able to be repaired and possibly be used again, is wasteful. And so, even when things were no longer being used or of use to us in any way, those things would get stuck somewhere in the sidelines of our homes, taking up space without benefit. We rarely even donated things. I was the youngest girl cousin, so I got all the hand-me-downs from everyone. And, whether I liked them or not, and whether they ever fit me or not, I was them stuck with them. I had no sister or cousin to whom I could hand down anything, so I had to keep everything.

Waste not. Right?

But through reading and working with Marie Kondo’s book, I discovered an entirely new and empowered outlook on items. It aligned beautifully with how I had often felt, especially in recent years, and it expanded even further than I ever had delved or dared to consider. And it gave empirical data on many of those ideas and practices. And so, my life began to alter as I did the work with her book.

But I did not complete the work, and I knew that I was not completing it at the time. And I was okay with that. I just wasn’t ready yet. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, I tell you: there is a lot of emotion and psychological dénouement that happens through following her method. And it is in an amazing and transformational way.

Now, as I have been working so much on my participation in life (mind), as well as my physical presence in life (body) and my self-expression, I realized that it would be not only unfair but untrue of me to leave out my living space from this work. Especially considering my efforts to be somewhere specific with my physical fitness by my birthday this year, it only made sense that I put a completion date on cleaning up fully my living space, such that it, too, will reflect who I truly am and want to be in this life right now.

So, I reached out for an accountability partner. No one replied. I took that as a sign that I was meant to be my own accountability partner. I created a Google Doc that I shared with myself. I have homework each night for the following day’s tasks. I share at the end of each day how it went, what I did and didn’t do, and what my plans and intentions are for the following day. I, as the partner, give feedback and congratulations as I see fit and/or necessary. So far, through all 24 hours of it, it has been awesome. I now have four weeks to go, max.

I am quite excited about tomorrow, and I am still entirely nervous and terrified. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Almost missed it again…

New year, new reads

My reading year has come to a close, now, seeing as how the calendar year has done the same. 😛 I only just realized this pas weekend that Christmas has already happened. The Christmas music will not play anymore. The Shop Around The Corner has closed.

With all of that has coke the close of the year and my 2020 reading challenge. Good for the eyes and for the spirit, it has been. Alas, here following is my collection of finished books for the year 2020. I achieved my goal and surpassed it. And I very much enjoyed all of the reading it involved. I am looking forward with delight to this year’s challenge and reading. 🙂

May you have a happy and book-filled new year!

Post-a-day 2021

^ I Still missed it at first, again! And I was just talking about how it is a new year! ::facepalm

Goodnight with Green lights

This evening, I did my first workout in what feels like quite a while. This Friday will make five weeks since I had that dreadful fall while on a workout run, and found myself tumbling through the street, and then lying in un-breathing shock and pain in the middle of a neighborhood road, while everyone around was too afraid to help me, for fear of catching COVID-19 from me… which, as it happens, I did not have at the time.

I was a total mess in a way I hadn’t been since last year, when I had fallen off the Vespa, going about 30-35 miles per hour one night… I guess I lacked all the padding and protection for falls this time, so such a fall, though at a significantly lower speed, left quite similar effects as a road accident, but with a lot more blood.

I tried jogging on Sunday or Monday, on a long walk with my mom, and it was fine at first, in a sort of lazy, easy, short-stepped jog. But, as soon as I increased to a regular stride for genuine but still easy running, the quivering feeling in my shin shook me to a quick stop.

Not ready yet.

Today, Wednesday, though, I was feeling very comfortable in my leg’s ability to function on low-ish-impact, smooth, easy activities. And my whole being wanted to exercise. So, I tested out a workout that didn’t involve much knee work at all…, and it was spectacular. I even was able to do walking lunges gently. And it felt really good to use my muscles in such a way again… gosh, it was lovely. One might think they were made for such things, even… 😉

Yeah, I’m going to bed tonight feeling both relieved and enlivened. Thank you for such a beautiful opportunity and result today, World. 🙂 As Matthew McConaughey might put it, thank you, World, for these red lights turned green lights.

P.S. I started listening to his audiobook during the workout. It is delightful so far, as is he, the author and reader.

Post-a-day 2020

Capisco

Sometimes, I feel it is the people who have known me the least in person who know me the most. I was thinking about how, today, I was messaging with my buddy in Italy. We haven’t been in much contact the past month or two, mostly because he has been in a big planting season – I think it was planting… oops – and has been working really long, rough hours, and sleeping when he can. But he let me know this would be the case, so I haven’t worried much about it. Anyway, we were messaging today – it has been a more frequent thing the past week or two – and I found myself just suddenly sharing with him about some of my book-writing concerns.

You see, I know I can tell stories, and I know I can write. Yet, I keep not writing for a book. Not officially or directly, anyway. And I was suddenly blurting out the concerns I have around that today. Why? Because it seemed like he was the person who could hear me the best. Despite ay risks of its being lost in translation, of course. 😛 But seriously, it felt like he could respond in a way that wouldn’t give me the excuses that other people in my life might give me. Nothing about why I probably haven’t done it or about how life has gotten in the way or anything like that. He couldn’t feed me any of my own excuses. And that might be because he has been around me the least. He knows the daily me the least, if that makes sense. Because we have had such a low-risk friendship, we have been open in ways that have kept our personal excuses out of the mix, and almost entirely so.

And so, I shared my concerns and how I’m not writing yet, and he asked a couple questions or so, which I answered. And then he just told me to do it. If I want to do it for myself, then do it. If it isn’t for myself, then don’t do it. But, if it is for myself, then go for it, and get started – do what I need to do to make the beginning happen, and now. Just as we say here, he reminded me of the ideas that 1) life is short, and 2) it is better to have regrets for things we’ve done than remorse for those we never attempted. I do not want to live a life unexamined – I want to live a life well-lived, and true to myself.

And part of that is writing books. So, novels, here we come.

P.S. They might be more like novellas, or novelettes, just FYI… I’m not sure they’ll be long Twilights or Harry Potters. ;P

Post-a-day 2020

Normal life, again

Reading the epilogue of a book tonight, I found myself smiling and marveling at one of the ideas presented by the man to his love. He is giving her money to live a life she never anticipated or even hoped to pursue, because he wants her “to live”. He doesn’t mean, he says, that she needs to be jumping off tall buildings or swimming with whales – though he very much likes the idea of imagining her doing just that – just that he wants her to live life fully, out in the world as a full participant in it.

I was truly marveling at how amazing that would be… her going out and bungee jumping off a tall building and swimming with whales. That any average girl (well, woman) would have done such things, and that it inevitably would be a surprise to anyone who found out about it, because she was just so normal a person – as opposed to an obvious thrill-seeker or adventure type, I mean. How amazing that would be if I could ever have my life be such that I could go do such things.

And then I had a thought that rather shocked me, and that I mentally sputtered over: I have.

My eyes wide, I searched my inner head for clarification on the thought that had just popped up. I already have done that…. both of those…

And then, clear as day, I saw how I truly had actually done both of those things… and I’d forgotten about them. I see myself and my life as so utterly normal, even I forgot that I had pursued such adventures. Now, to be fair, the bungee jumping was more like jumping off of a tall platform led structure than a downtown skyscraper or anything. Though, I’m not too sure it’s safe or possible to bungee off those buildings in the first place… anyway…. But that was in college. I helped a small group of folks go, and it was a total blast. And, for the whales, I have to check to verify that they count as whales. They were whale sharks, you see. One even ran right into me, and I got to feel he fellow, skin to skin, while we meandered together in the waters.

**Okay, I just verified: They are sharks. So, in a way, that part is even more shocking: I’ve swum with sharks. And not while in cages. Haha. Frightening, really. But perhaps it would be even more frightening to swim with something two, three, or four times the size… with perhaps several of them around. Hmm… how could I have that happen safely in my life? Goals… 😉

Anyway… when did I turn into this person? This person who adventures so easily, she hardly even considers herself as someone who adventures at all? Perhaps that is exactly why I keep feeling like I’m not doing the right things with my life. I feel that I am being unproductive, slow, and not myself…, and it might just be because myself is accustomed to adventure as the casual, the regular, the “Let’s grab lunch next week,” kind of statement – it’s just plain normal. And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

… Wow…

And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

Remember that, Banana.

Post-a-day 2020

Música

I started watching the recordings for another five-day songwriting workshop that a family friend is doing this week. I watched the first video at 11:00 this morning, and glanced st the homework front he next two days before joining the noon live video for today. I’ve done one of these workshops before – that’s what got me those first several songs earlier this summer – so I wasn’t too worried about participating today without having finished the other videos yet. I just followed the guidelines from Monday’s video, and from the snippets I’d watched of Tuesday and Wednesday for the homework for each, and I was ready for today.

While the basic process is rather the same, the approach and specifics were different this time around, so I embraced the opportunity for something new. We were told to find a specific song for inspiration, after doing some topic-finding and lyric-writing work; a song that held a comparable space to the one we wanted our own song to hold.

My song? “When There Was Me And You”, as sung by Vanessa Hudgens in High School Musical. And the topic I had chosen and the lyrics I was writing that had this song somehow be appropriate for portraying the write musical feeling? Overcoming emotional and sexual abuse. Kind of an odd combination, don’tchya say?

Nonetheless, it all turned out beautifully. Hours later, after many, many breaks to go do other things and to allow stuff to sit or to mull, I had a completed song, recorded and shared with the world of my social media friends. And, what’s more, I went back to the piano just about ten minutes ago, and I played through the song again – and I remembered how it all went, and I loved the sang (two very good and rather important signs of song completion).

I sent off the audio recording to my small list of private listeners – you could call them the in club of my music-writing – got a bit of feedback (positive – woohoo!), and then shared the video recording of my playing and singing online. We only were supposed to select five people to hear our songs so far as part of our homework tonight… I had forgotten about that until just now… guess I did much more than five… haha… that’s silly.

Anyway, I shared it with four people privately, and I am planning to play it live for a student of mine tomorrow morning, so I guess that handles the five intentional shares, as well as an open share with my somewhat large but private world on social media.

Well… this has felt really, really good today. I even screamed just before showering a bit ago, I was so filled with excitement and energy that I needed to release in order to begin to relax for the night. It was a very, very good and satisfying scream. Man… these songs just feel right. I’ve been wanting to write novels, yet, when I set myself to work for only a few hours on a song, one just kind of evolves like the chia seeds in the chia pet commercials (“Ch-ch-ch-chia!”). Perhaps today was an opportunity for me to see how ideas that get in the way of a different story I want to use for writing my novel, those ideas can go into a song – they can be heard that way. Then, I can go back to writing my novel’s story, no longer with the former distraction of a different story asking to be told. Today’s song topic was definitely one of those ideas…

Hmm… interesting.

Anyway, I’m off to read some young adult fun and then pass out hardcore (Please…).

P.S. My song doesn’t sound almost anything like Vanessa Hudgens’ song, by the way – it started with the same foundation of chords, but quickly developed into a very different song. If I hadn’t told you they were connected, you likely never would have noticed. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Poetry for novels?

Is it weird that I am reading a poetry book as part of my novel-writing homework and training for myself?  Or that I can’t even quite remember where I got the recommendation to read this particular book, but that I am still sticking with it, years after the fact?  I’m not one to take recommendations and follow through with them, unless they come from specific individuals or have an extremely powerful and supported argument behind them.  I think this recommendation came from someone I do not know personally, so the argument must have been amazing for the recommendation.  I just remember that whoever it was said that this poetry book was a must-read for writers, because, though it was focused on poetry, it was 100% applicable and important for writers and novelists as a whole, and was even one of the most important of all reads for them.

So, I’m reading it.  I actually started while up at my brother’s in Wisconsin, and pulled out the highlighters and everything with it, treating it as a textbook of information I likely will want to reference in the future.  (I’m not one for writing or highlighting in books, so it really takes good convincing for me to believe it a good and even viable option as my own practice.  Aka it’s a huge deal that I am doing the highlighting, and it shows how seriously I am taking the idea of this book’s being a valuable and important asset in my writing, one I will benefit greatly from referencing further in the future, as well as reading now.)  So far, it has been kind of amazing.  I am extremely grateful for the recommendation, and grateful that I followed through with it.  (I mean, I even went out and found the book and bought it immediately after receiving the recommendation, that’s how powerful a recommendation it was.)  It has already been well worth it, and I can tell that so much more is to come, it will blow this beginning stuff out of the water.

And I am very much looking forward to that.

It has been not so easy to produce a story yet, but I have finally begun the beginning steps in a way that now can lead somewhere rather easily.  Moving forward, I will need to set myself down at table, and actively pursue certain thought processes and brainstorming and writing, in order to start getting into the real stories of it all.  I am afraid of dong that, but I trust that I want to do it… so, I am slowly but finally getting myself there, little by little, baby steps… baby steps…baby steps write a few words…baby steps write a few more… I can do anything!*

*Get that movie reference, and you have a special piece of love from me and my childhood.  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Gratitude in Turmoil

I have begun sorting things out for my first series of books.  And I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I imagine that the assignments will change somehow after tomorrow, seeing as how it was only a three-day assignment.  However, I have so enjoyed doing this assignment, I can tell that it is on the right path, at last for myself with this whole book prospect.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this coach, and I fully feel how blessed I am to have the opportunity, especially right now in my life.  It has been an extremely rough few weeks for me – kind of an extra-raw subject right now, after such an amazing high from all the hiking and road tripping from last month – and this is helping me to chug through the low at which I have recently found myself to be.

It really sucks when the body doesn’t do properly what it’s intended to do, but I guess it wasn’t made to live the life I live, anyway, so it kind of makes sense in a way… hmm… I hadn’t ever thought of it that way… I’m going to pursue that casually, now…

Anyway, life has been rough, and this coaching has been a well-timed blessing for me.  Thank you, Life, World, and God for such blessings.

Gratitude here.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020