My 500 Words Challenge: Day 11

Today’s assignment is to write about food. Whenever I think about food, I get hungry.

In all seriousness though, often food has some sort of memory attached to it for me. Many of the memories I have as a child have to do with family eating together or watching someone else cook. I’d like to share some of those with you now.

When I went to my Grandma’s house as a child, there was always the smell of something cooking or baking. Freshly baked bread, cookies, or dumplings oh my.  She had jars lined up on one of her small counters and I could tell you what each jar had in it. Sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, molasses cookies.

She must have smiled to herself as her grandchildren ran in and out of the kitchen throughout the day, reaching into a jar and then racing back out.

My Uncle Jack would always make “pizza pancakes” when we were kids. If you are wondering what that is, let me share this amazing breakfast item with you.

He would chop up bacon and sausage links into small pieces and then sprinkle them onto the ginourmous pizza sized pancake that he had poured onto the griddle. I can still remember his big smile as he madly chopped the ingredients and the sausage and bacon would be flying. We’d nibble the pieces that scattered in our direction.

He would then make us gasp in glee as he flipped the huge pancake and then use a pizza cutter to slice us each a piece. Our pizza pancake was complete only when he’d drench it with syrup and slide the plates perfectly across the counter to come to a stop in front of us.  It was so much fun and delicious to boot. 

I’m now an Aunt and hope that I’m sharing experiences with my little nieces and nephews like Uncle Jack did with me. Just a few weeks ago I miraculously flipped an omelet high in the air and back into the pan while me niece was watching.

Her eyes grew wide in awe and she yelled, “You did it! Everyone she did it!” I winked at her even though I had been holding my breath as I attempted this culinary feat. Maybe she will remember that when she’s 40, maybe she won’t, but it sure was fun to have that moment together.

The one tradition we did start that I know the kids will remember is called “Breakfast team.” Basically each person in the family has a role to play in order to get breakfast ready.

Currently, Jonah and I are the egg team. Jude and Uncle Chris are the toast team. Grandma and Idie are the meat team. Erin and Mo are the pancake team. Papa and Paul and anyone else who is a part of our family at the time is the set the table team. As family members are added we continue to find roles for everyone.

It’s a practical way to easily get breakfast ready for a large group but that isn’t why we started it.

More importantly it allows conversations to happen between family members. It allows us to teach the kids as they come alongside us and we come alongside them. There have been mishaps. There has been a lot of laughter. There have been a lot of really sweet moments when the kids tell each other how delicious the other’s food item is. It’s a good and precious time.

Food is a basic need that we all have, but it can also be something that builds life skills and relationship.

All kinds of creative ingredients can be added to make things tasty, but I’ve found that love and laughter add the best flavor.

What memories do you have related to food? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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My 500 Words Challenge: Day 10

Today the challenge is to write about writing.

I love this crazy thing called writing. I think I developed a love for writing at a young age after I realized how much I loved reading. Other worlds, characters who went on adventures, people who seemed to figure things out as I turned the pages. It fascinated me in every way. I loved smelling the pages and running my fingers along the paper edges. I loved wondering how they would take me on such an adventure and make me love people in only 200-300 pages.

Writing is such a creative process for me. Like any art I have attempted, it carries a similar theme. I sit down with something blank in front of me and try to make something. And not just any old something. Something good. Something great. Something life changing for me and whomever might read my fine words. Ha!

Writing is something I love to do even when its hard. In all honesty and seriousness, the act of writing takes me through a mixture of emotions and makes me feel all of the things.

First I have to be decisive and courageous and put something there in that whitespace in front of me, not really knowing exactly what is going to happen. Then I have to let go of the strictness and allow the creative juices to take over and make a journey happen from those first few sentences.

I have to take myself somewhere, hoping my reader will follow. This applies to non-fiction or fiction. No one likes to read or let alone do anything that gets them nowhere. I have to move them. Change something in them somehow. No pressure.

I also love the creative process. It may sound strange, but I honestly feel really close to God when I write. I think the part of his character that is CREATOR seems more real when I’m writing.

It makes more sense to me how He loves us so much because He created us. As soon as one of my characters forms in my mind, I am connected to them. I love them. I want to watch every move to see what happens to them as well as the choices they will make. It is a special relationship purely because I made them.   

The sound of my fingertips on the keyboard clicking a maddening patter even now makes me content. It is a really unique experience to move your fingers and see words form in front of you. Where there was nothing, there is something. Where you weren’t sure what would happen, all of a sudden people are doing things and going places and you can make it whatever and wherever you want.

I could write about writing for way more than 500 words, but even what I have written reminds me of why I love this so much and why I am so thankful for this challenge that has brought that back to life in me.

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 9

Today’s assignment was to teach something. As I write this I am sitting and watching birds outside my window. Might sound boring to some, but I have learned to see these little creatures as beautiful and unique and quite pleasurable to watch. So, for the sake of helping you take a breath and see the world around you, I’d like to share with you a bit about how to watch birds.

First of all, you should get comfortable. What I mean by this is you should maybe have slippers or a nice pair of comfortable walking or running shoes on. Perhaps you might also have tea or coffee in your favorite mug in hand. A pair of binoculars doesn’t hurt either.

Next, check to see that your feeders and bird baths are full so that the birds will come. If you feed them they will come. Just like me, but I digress…

Next you need to position yourself in a place that allows you a good view. Birds move around a lot so you will want to be able to see the feeders, baths, and the ground below and tree branches above.

After you find a good view point in which to stand or sit, get settled.

Now, you may be thinking you do not want to make this an event or have time for such things. You may be thinking “I usually just glance out the window as I’m doing all my stuff…” If that’s you, you can still birdwatch and even enjoy it. You’d be surprised how much you can see in a few short seconds.

If you are getting excited about this bird watching thing and already want to buy the t-shirt, I have good news for you. You can turn from watcher to scientific observer and become part of a citizen scientist program like I did at Project Feederwatch.

Go here if you are interested: https://feederwatch.org/

Now that you are settled, let’s talk a little about what to look for as you stare out the window that makes this whole thing interesting.

When you see a bird, take note of the following:

  • How do they move?
  • What color are they?
  • Are they big or small?

When you go from saying, “Hey, there’s a bird” to “Hey, look at that tiny grey and white bird jumping down that tree upside down” your observation skills are starting to make things exciting.

Soon, you will find that you want to know what that tiny grey and white bird is called.  (Pygmy nuthatch by the way) You will begin to notice what their feathers look like. You will wonder if their beak is different than the other bird next to it. Is their tail feather long or is it shorter and closer to their body? Are they small enough to fit into your hand or are they large and something you wouldn’t want landing or pooping on you?

As you choose to ask yourself even two questions about a bird you see, you will begin to notice even more that causes you to ask more questions. You’ll find similarities and differences and your curiosity will grow.

This is very basic advice I’ve given you but it’s a start. You might be surprised at how little you’ve seen outside your window.

Until you make a conscious effort to really pay attention, you may only know a bird has flown by, not that it was a Scrub Jay with a peanut in its mouth.

I hope next time you see a bird, you stop for a moment to see. They have fun little quirks and beautiful designs and colors that I think we are meant to appreciate. You may even learn the ones that are friendly and like to nibble up close and personal like this mountain chickadee below.

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If you try anything I have suggested please let me know. I’d love to hear stories of the birds in your world.

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 8

Just write a list.

Marriage can be incredibly fun.

Here are 5 tips in Part 1 of my article on How To Win At Marriage:

Have a sense of humor…together. Life is much easier if you can laugh at yourself right? Think of how much more fun it will be if you can laugh at each other? Don’t be cruel, but make an agreement to laugh or find the ridiculousness in the way each of you can be. If you can laugh at the little things and not pout or get offended, the giggles will bring you together and help you build memories in your everyday life that will make you laugh well into your future.

Kiss each other every day even if your spouse isn’t awake. Kissing is important in marriage. I’m not talking gross lip smacking that makes people gag. I’m talking about sweet kisses on the cheek, or the forehead, or other G rated places. These quick moments of connection can build up over time and bring a lot of security on both sides. I love when I feel my husband kiss my forehead before leaving for work even though I may still be in a drool worthy sleep state. He likes it when I do the same on my early mornings.

When your spouse wants to do something for you, let them.  Effort is more precious than perfection. Don’t yell at him when he doesn’t put your underwear in the right drawer. Give her a break when she forgets to add potato chips to your lunch. Be thankful they tried. Gratefulness is a great foundation for growth and maturity in knowing how to love each other better in the basics. If you can share and teach each other lovingly you will want to kiss him when he puts just the right amount of jelly on your toast. Feeling known in the little things is a big deal.

Enjoy each other in and out of bed. I said bed, how naughty. Come on! We all know married people do things. But, do you know that how much you enjoy each other outside the bedroom has a direct impact on how much you enjoy each other in the bedroom? Intimacy is not just a physical act. Closeness, trust, and the freedom to enjoy one another doesn’t just happen. Do the work in the little things and you’ll have way more fun in the private moments.

Encourage and allow the other time for their dreams. This could be something big or something smaller. Maybe he wants to go to medical school or become a law enforcement officer. Maybe he wants to build a clock or get an old car running. Maybe she wants to be a writer or start a small business. Don’t downplay the dream. The dream is the tip of the iceberg of a belief and a desire down deep below. Who they become while they attempt the dream should be way more important to you. Let them spend time accomplishing a goal and feeling like you are their biggest supporter, and it will only build strength into your marriage.

Stay tuned for Part 2…coming soon. Try these tips and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 7

Write something that you wish someone would have told you 10 or 5 or even one year ago.

Life has a way of making us believe that we can see everything in the stage of life we are in. It deceives us into believing that we are always functioning with the whole truth. This will cause you a lot of pain in your lifetime, and you will hurt others as well. Remember you always have something to learn.

The world is broken even if at times it can seem absolutely perfect. People are broken too. Because of this, our assumptions will be incomplete, our hurts will not always be resolved, and our hearts may feel like we don’t belong.

Know that you are a piece of a larger puzzle. All the puzzle pieces are somehow meant to create a beautiful picture together, but each one of us has an edge bent or we are flipped upside down and feel we ‘just don’t quite” fit with the others around us.  Resist the urge to create your own puzzle, that’s not the answer. 

Don’t let how you feel deceive you. You are way more special than you could ever imagine and the world will never tell you the truth about yourself.

It will tell you that you need to fit where and how they want, but you won’t ever know your uniqueness or how special you were made to be in your attempt to be like everyone else.

Becoming who you are meant to be is going to be one of the hardest things you ever do.  

Even those who know you the best may not know or always understand what it is that you are meant to become. Sometimes fear is what keeps them from seeing. Sometimes daily routines prevent them from believing in the adventures that you are called to go on. Give them grace, your calling isn’t theirs, its yours.

The world will not tell you the truth. It will tell you its truth. The problem with a broken world is that it will create and claim broken truth.

The world will tell you that you don’t need God, but the reality is that you need to answer that question for yourself. No one can decide for you and they aren’t meant to. Don’t let them.

You must have a truth to bump up against or you will get lost. Choose this truth wisely. Don’t let it be “your” defined truth, let it be something bigger than you. 

When you feel sad, or hurt, don’t settle for not knowing why. Don’t believe that when you are misunderstood it means something is wrong with you. That is a lie.

Seek to understand what grieves your own heart because part of your calling and who you are to become could be hidden in the pain. You are worth digging deep for and sometimes no one is going to be there to help you with the shoveling. Do it anyway.

Because you are special, what you have to offer the world matters. Your contribution is only yours and cannot be replaced by someone else. The talents you have been born with mean something. They are for something. They will help someone so don’t keep them all to yourself.

You will make mistakes and sometimes you will be able to fix them and sometimes you won’t. Make things better if you can, learn from the ones you cannot.

Don’t be afraid to love people. If you find you don’t know how, it’s ok. Pray and ask God to give your heart more for the task ahead of you. Know that it’s ok not to know. Keep a teachable heart.  

Be thankful for what you have to offer the world even when others don’t even notice. Recognition is not validation. It just means someone noticed you.

You will do way more for the world and for God that others don’t see. At least that’s how it should be. The small things, the you behind the scenes, it is important.  

Enjoy your life and try to live it well and safely but not without adventure and the need for great courage. Don’t try to be perfect, just continue to learn how to be you. Give it your best each day, and that is enough.

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 6

Challenge: Tell Someone Else’s Story

He sat running the fingertips of his right hand back and forth along the the rim of the wooden desk. The methodical movement eased the stress he was feeling. His left hand held the coffee mug. The coffee mug held whisky.

He took another sip and let it burn as it moved from the top of his throat to his stomach. A nightly ritual, but more so lately than ever before.

Why’d that kid get under his skin so bad? The kid could be a leader if he’d drop his attitude and disrespect for authority. The kids who were just hesitant trouble makers before now looked up to this butt head. Little jerk. Who did he think he was anyway?

John turned towards the window and spread the blinds between his fingers. The voice of the kids at the dance below echoed through the vent at his feet. Troublemakers were no doubt spiking the punch as he sat here and drank his own little stash.

But where was Pete? That was the question tonight.

He’d heard rumors that Pete had some plans and it wasn’t picking up girls at the dance.

What would it be this time? Setting off the fire alarm again? Flooding the bathrooms? What hadn’t he done? He was John’s biggest challenge yet.

I hate the kid. No I don’t, not really. John’s mind narrowed as he turned from the window and took another swallow. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.

He glanced at the trash can that lay by the door. It held the note he’d found earlier pinned to the wall outside his office. He was the principal and he wasn’t going to let Pete get away with this tonight.

A sound, a small step hesitated at his door. Sally stood there and slowly pushed the door inward. Poor kid, older in responsibility than her years should have allowed. But everyone’s hurt did something different to them he guessed.

“Principal Howard?”

“Yeah Sally, shouldn’t you be at the dance?”

“Well, yeah, I was, but I saw the note outside your door earlier and…” She looked at her feet and scrunched the fabric of her skirt between her fingers. “Well, I know you heard what Pete’s been up too and you and me both know he’s the one who left you that note.”

“Sally, spit it out. What did you come here to tell me?” He had made her sink back into herself for a moment but her skirt was helping her gather her courage.

“I just thought you’d want to know I saw him sneak out back behind the gym. He and some of the other guys were pushing that old green dumpster back into the dark.”

“Thanks Sally, now you go on get yourself back to the dance.” He could tell she didn’t want to go. She’d probably grow up to be a cop someday. You had to watch out for the shy ones with a strong sense of justice.

He took one more sip from his glass and stood. Pete wouldn’t get the best of him tonight. Sally quietly moved out of his office doorway and down the hallway back toward the dance. He knew that was the last place she wanted to be.

He bent and took the note from the trash can, straightened it in his hands and read it one more time. His chest tightened at the words. John tucked it in his pocket, turned, and locked his office door.

Sally sat in shadow peeking around the corner at him. He put his finger to his lips to keep her quiet and he moved out the door toward the gym.  

You’ve got plans for me Pete, but I used to be like you and I have plans of my own. You’re a tough kid but I’m tougher and no matter how much whiskey you make me drink, I’m not giving up on you.  

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 5

Today we are supposed to pick a scene from our life that we will never forget.

It was time. Last minute kisses on the cheeks. Tender hands on my shoulders. Sweet smiles reminding me to breathe deep, take it all in, don’t lock my knees. Last minute touches to my face and hair.

The basement had emptied quickly of my closest female friends and family. I was left alone in the almost silent room. The low rumble of voices barely making their way to my ears through the floor above.

I looked up at the ceiling trying to make out the sounds, the laughter. Trying to guess who the voices belonged to. Almost everyone I loved and who loved me was up there.

He was up there. A smile tickled my eyes and lips. What was he thinking right now?

Surprisingly, I wasn’t as nervous as I expected I’d be. I wasn’t worried. Everything was as it should be and even if it wasn’t I didn’t care anymore. I was filled with gratefulness.  

God had brought us both so far and in my mind this was His day. A day to celebrate what a love like His can do for two broken lives.

My Dad should be coming anytime now. Dressed so handsome in his tuxedo, knees still healing from recent surgery just so that he could dance with me.

Everyone quieted upstairs. In a whisper my Dad was beside me, “You ready?” I nod.

We walk to the elevator that would take us up. As we wait, the music has begun playing upstairs. The cue for my brother’s two sons in their tiny tuxes and my cousin’s beautiful little girl in her sweet dress to begin their walk down the aisle.

The cuteness factor has to be through the roof up there.

My Dad and I ride the elevator and the doors open to a small stoned in area outside the church. We walk around the pillar to the main entrance where any time they’ll open the doors and let us into the foyer.

It is a bitter cold, single digit Colorado morning and in an instant a gust of wind blows so hard that my veil almost takes flight. My Dad grabs at the material with one hand and the church doors with the other. He tries to get me inside but someone is holding the doors closed from the inside.

I laugh. I remember joking with the woman who did my “wedding” hair.

“Don’t worry, I’ll make you look perfect.” She smiled.

I had giggled. “Usually perfect is not what I pull off, but let’s give it a go.” The gusts of wind seem to be laughing with me.

Finally the church doors opened and we are let in.

My Dad desperately tries to get my veil back in place and make everything just so. People tend to me and I am distracted by the view through the foyer doors. Groomsmen. So handsome lined up perfectly in their chocolate brown tuxedos.

The music begins to play, the sanctuary doors open, and my brother’s pre-recorded voice sings me forward.

I know I am smiling, and I know so many are smiling back. My Mom is at the front with almost all of our family from Wisconsin surrounding her. So many precious faces. So many friends.

My Dad holds me steady.

In the front row is my 91 year old Great Auntie Kay. She reaches for me and I stop to let those precious hands who used to squeeze my cheeks as a child hold my hands for just a moment.

“So beautiful, oh so beautiful.” I hear her softly say as tears fill her eyes. How blessed I am.

My Dad hands me to Chris. I move forward and almost fall at the first step.

I didn’t wear the heels I had worn when my dress got hemmed. I was afraid I’d lock my knees, so I wear very flat ballet slippers. My dress is too long. I don’t care. Chris helps me up the stairs.

Minutes pass in a blur but our pastor captures our story so perfectly and makes us all laugh with his depiction of us and our love story. There is no time for tears, just joy.  

When I put the ring on Chris’ finger I clap my hands and everyone laughs.

When Chris kisses me, many do not know that it is for the very first time. Our pastor knows and I hear him ask Chris a question.

“How was it?”

Chris turns and gives a thumbs up to the audience and the church erupts in laughter and clapping.

I am so very happy. I am so very thankful. What fun I am having.  

A day that is so much more than worth the wait and the prayer that got us here. God over answered and my heart could not be more full.   

This is the beginning. So beautiful, oh so beautiful…

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 4

Today’s assignment was to learn to free-write. Don’t think. Don’t edit. Just go. So here I go.

At 10:13 pm. Ugh. I really need to get a better handle on my evenings so I am not writing at the very moment I should be tucking my hiney in bed.

I’ve realized something as I have been doing this challenge each day. I am not good at just doing one thing at a time. One of my strengths is multi-tasking. Another is being strategic, or strategery…just kidding I just wanted to say “strategery” in my head because it sounds funny. Anyway I digress…

Being a multi-tasker and a strategic person is awesome in my work environment. However, when I evaluate its usefulness in my personal life, I am seeing a trend. I am seeing that I don’t allow myself to walk thoughtfully through a day. I don’t allow myself the pace of doing one thing at a time and fully being present in that one thing.

I am attacking life like my survival depended on it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have lived years in survival mode for very good reasons in my past, but right now, this very season I am in, it’s not a necessary mode in which to operate.

I have a good and stable job. I can get a coffee or go out to eat on occasion if I want to. I have a comfortable and warm place to sleep. I have an amazing husband who is my best friend. Life’s good people.

And yet, I rush and rush and somehow avoid the very thing I long for. REST. And I don’t avoid it because I don’t like it. I think I avoid it because I’m not sure how to do it.

My friends in college years and years ago made a statement to me in regards to relaxing or resting. They said, “When you try to relax, you get nervous.” Ha!  How true. When I sit still it makes me want to panic.

This is a problem.

As I have found this passion to write each day, I realize all the things my days are full of that I have felt MUST BE DONE NOW. Some of them are important and valid and necessary.

Others are convenience, preference, desires. Those are the ones I need to get a handle on so they stop making me feel so manhandled at the end of each day.

I am enjoying very much what this challenge is helping me see already.

I have set my mind on making sure I complete this one task each day. 500 words. Because that is my one chosen thing to focus on I am seeing clearly now all the extraneous stuff that can probably wait or be done once a week rather than every day.

I am seeing why it is that I have never been very successful at this before. My mind operates like a blue laser scanner assessing its next target and then the next and the next, and so on.

The targets are the tasks in my multi-tasking universe and there are just too many coming at me at one time.

In my attempt to shoot each one down I don’t see that the true treasure I’m after is being passed by as I vroom vroom through the space and time I occupy.

I can’t shoot all the ships down all the time, but I can focus on the one target I have chosen and vroom in that direction with all my heart.

I’m kind of having a Star Wars moment right now. You know where Luke leaves all the ships above and dives down into the tunnel to go after the center of the death star? His course is set, no turning back. STAY ON TARGET!

My TARGET is to learn that I can write every day and I’m doing it people! I’m doing it!

And holy smokes I’ve written over 600 words….target destroyed!  Whoohoo!

Now for REST. Victory.

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 3

Get up early to write. That was the challenge for today. It’s 7:30 pm. Oops.

I shall not be deterred!  I will write something anyway! Jeff Goins said that we can use the prompt/challenge each day or we can just write, so tonight I write freely. On my own. With no ideas…

As I ponder this particular challenge I can’t help but think of one thing I know for sure. My experience has shown me that I don’t function at a capacity level in the morning in which writing of any intelligible level can be written.

Read through a typical morning with me.

The alarm on my phone goes off. I somehow find the snooze button in a semi-conscious state. I don’t fully fall back asleep because the tyrant who designed the alarm on my phone believes snoozing should only last 5 minutes. This fact is in the back of my mind which prevents me from doing the snoozing.

I look at the ceiling and have a discussion with myself that includes things like, Do I really need my job? How long can I lay here and still be on time? How fast can I actually get ready? Can I beat my record? Should I try? I wish I was a girl who rolled out of bed beautiful. I wish it was Saturday…

When I finally get myself out of bed and into the bathroom to shower, I’ll be honest, I usually just sit down for awhile and think. Not in the shower. On the built in chair. Too honest? Maybe I should put my laptop in there. Totally kidding.

I check the weather. I think about how much I love my bed. I then realize its 7:10am and the zero barrier has come for me to make it to work on time. Time to pick up the pace and see if I can break my record and still look like a decent human being for a day.

Out of the shower, eyeliner, mascara, nothing fancy, I like to look natural. Brush the chompers because nobody has time for morning breath. Dry the hair most of the way. Throw on the non-negotiable items like CLOTHES and run for the door.

I love breakfast, but on days like this I have become a connoisseur of protein bars. Lunch. Now that can get tricky. It’s usually my creative meal. What do I have in my desk I could put together? Or better yet, maybe a meeting at work will have leftovers that they ask us to help them eat. Don’t judge me, sometimes I’ve eaten like a Queen.

Then I am off jumping into the car for my only 10 minute commute (thank God) because you and I both know from reading the above that if it was any longer there’d be no hope. 

So, you tell me…do you think the morning is the best time for me to write? Maybe not, but maybe someday. Maybe soon.

This challenge is about changing my habits, and I have a feeling it will change more than that if I can stick with it.

Day 3 complete…

My 500 Words Challenge: Day 2

It’s appropriate that the challenge today would talk about why I chose to do this 500 words a day writing thing. I was told to figure out what my motivation is. To create a plan and set some goals. Answer questions that show I plan to accomplish something.

Guess what? It’s 11:09 pm and I am just sitting down to write. So, basically I have given myself 41 minutes to come up with answers to the above. I guess that last minute fear of failure really does something for me. Just kidding. Actually, it doesn’t. Normally at this time of the night I’d accept “failure” and go to bed with the heaviness that comes from once again not being able to do what I say I’m going to do.

But I want to go to bed with a different feeling tonight. So here I am. Writing. I chose to do this challenge for one simple reason. I want to know that I can write 500 words every day if I choose to. I want to build the habit of writing. Even if it’s poo. To not always edit myself, but to just let what is in my head out.  To know that I can do this.

I want to accomplish something that I set my mind to do that is just for me, a personal goal.

I’m too tired to think of how I am going to be consistent for 30 days, but I did find myself cleaning the bedroom and bathroom and setting a plan for the next day. In the cleaning I saw my personal laptop, not my work one, so I cleaned the desk. This was a strategic move actually.

While I brought laundry in and out, I saw my laptop sitting open. It appeared to be waiting for me. I would have to touch it before I went to bed so the screen’s glow would not keep me awake. I’d have to make contact so why not write the pre-bedtime gibberish and hit my daily goal? Even though I may not have planned out my writing, I did plan out my space where I will do some writing. Yay! Failure zero, Aimee one!

I know so many other writers would tell me that I did my evening all backwards. That in order to be successful at this I need to leave the laundry piled up and the room dirty and just sit down and write.

But I think one of the goals I have for myself is to find what works for me. Who am I as a writer? What works for me? What do I need to care for prior to sitting down at my laptop?

Today it was being the wife I wish I took more time to be. It was cleaning our bedroom, tending to my sweet husband who has the flu, knowing that I won’t have to dig for a clean shirt or a fresh smelling towel in the morning before work. Knowing I prepared my home for space to create.

Knowing I prepared me.

And guess what? I wrote over 500 words. And with that, I am going to sleep well because I did what I told myself I would do.