sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Silence

Sitting in my living room with a hot cup of tea

No music

Just me and the keyboard

Words

Coming to me slowly

As i take time for reflection

Before looking at social media and before

Diving in to the tasks of the day

In the silence

House noises, creaks and the fan on the wii, I’m guessing

The cat moves about in these early morning hours

It’s 6:17am

WEnt to bed early last night, exhausted

Busy weekend

Working and preparing for his 9th birthday party

Making a multilayered cake with strawberries and blueberries

Gingerbread men and icing to decorate along with organic, all natural candies

An afternoon of fun

Kids running a bout the house

Joined in by Rosa, via skype, his online friend from Ohio

And then Abby joined us via FaceTime as well

Opening presents with 2 iPads to bring them here virtually

Pictures of Jason over these pat 9 years on the walls of our kitchen

Smiling, laughing, joyous Jason

I stop to wonder how many words I have written

My WordPress app does not keep count

Making writing playlists

Music speaks to me

Inspires me

Motivates me

Brings me to life

Writing in the silence is a challenge

Going within

Quieting the anxious mind

God time….God time

Meditations at Unity with Randolph Wilkinson

Connecting to my inner soul

The silence allows me to dig deep, to reflect and be alone in my thoughts

Peaceful and yet, unsettling in a way

In the moment

Now

Taking in my surroundings

Noticing

The silk plant Don bought me for an anniversary

The balloons hanging up from Jason’s birthday party

The way the light from the floor lamp hits the ceiling

Looking for ladybugs

Because they flock to the light in the spring an the fall and when it warms up in winter

Winter

Big snowfall, snow days, making a snowman, snow person

Eager to put my earbuds in to listen to my new playlist I created

While sitting in the bathroom

Plants growing

We have had them for a long time, gifts from when Jason was born or when Don had his heart attack

I often forget to water them but they are still alive,

I think it is time to add new soil to help them grow and flourish

New soil

Fresh starts

The house is so clean

Awesome husband who took care of things while I worked

Cleaned the house, made the cake and cut out the gingerbread men

Enjoying my work more now, enjoying talking to people

People

How many people have I interacted with in my 25 years as an Occupational Therapist

So many different kind so people

Interesting lives and personalities and beliefs

It amazes me how different going to work can be

When I am depressed compared to now, hypomanic

Fully alive and engaged, manic?

Doesn’t matter how I label myself

As long as I take time for reflection

Go within

To connect with my soul and my true self

To be the greatest version of the grandest vision every I held about who I am

Advertisements

Gratitude January 19, 2018

I am grateful for…

Ed Sheehan

Music

Earbuds

iPads and bluetooth keyboards

Waking up early before the sunrise while everyone else sleeps

Sitting in my living room with hot tea, music,

Writing

I am grateful for Jan Luther, EFT, Reiki and all the amazing people I have met in my life

All the wonderful friends who have helped me grow and

Become who I am

Playing in the snow

Teaching Jason how to roll a snowball to make a snowman, snow girl, named her Mary Poppins

Sledding down our driveway and our yard

Laughing

Remembering times with my older children in the snow

Walking up our street, to the stop sign with Jason

And it was like yesterday that I did that with Harrison, when he was maybe 4

Watching my children grow

Being a part of their lives, learning and growing alongside them

Enjoying the journey, our homeschool journey, our unschool journey

Our learning through living journey

I am grateful for reflection

Pictures, videos, memories, reminiscing, celebrating, birthdays

And holidays with family, Thankmas, the years spend on the lake at my parent’s house on Lake Murray

Time with my niece and nephew, my children growing up with their cousins

Family reunions at Red Top Mountain, Georgia with the Elefante’s

Sending prayers for my aunt, her husband and son and my mom

The other side of depression…

Hypomania, creativity, bursts of energy, enthusiasm, ideas….

So many ideas, dreams, aspirations, goals, desires

The anticipation of something great

Living life right

Now

The present, being present, the gift of life

All those who have touched my life

My college friends

All the places I have lived, Flanders, NJ; Canton, Ohio; Bethel Park, PA; Whitehall, PA

Elizabethtown College

Charlotte, NC

the ad in my OT magazine, “Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?”

Facebook and reconnecting with high school friends, lost friends from all the places I have lived

Cousins

My South African pen pal, Zurina

Meeting her after loosing touch for like 20 years

It was like we had always been friends, so much in common

Despite living so far away from each other when we met as pen pals in the 80s

Connection

I am grateful for my life

I need to practice self forgiveness.

Self forgiveness for all the days I did NOT write.

I could make a list of reasons why, excuses. Yea, my son got the flu and then I got sick and….

All that matters is here I am now writing.

It’s January 14 and I am writing again!

I have now spent more time writing in January than in the previous, I don’t know how many, months. I am writing again. That is the reason for my participation in this writing challenge. It’s about self growth and not a competition to see who can write every single day and write the best pieces. Deep down, the perfectionist in me still tries to rare its ugly head. Beginning my blog was a huge step for me in letting go of my unrealistic perfectionist ideals. I told myself to publish and go back later to edit. I was the type of person who would have indefinitely had a million writing pieces in ” still editing” mode.

Typos, misspelling and grammar mistakes still make me cringe. As an effort to embrace my humanness, I type on, even though I haven’t figured out where spell check is located on the word press app. And I publish without much editing and sometimes with no editing at all. I publish to push myself forward and to share my journey. I can see already how much my writing has improved when I read old blog posts that I have written. I see how I have improved on not getting so long winded and using formatting and links to improve my blog post. Sure, I have a lot more to learn and improve upon. It’s a process. See, the perfectionism still has to have a say…

I wanted to write yesterday, i felt much better yesterday after feeling awful from illness the day before. I thought about writing and all the other things I wanted to do with my unexpected day at home, off from work because of being sick. Yet, somehow life happened all day and never got to writing. By evening I had a splitting headache and bad heart burn. ended my day with a movie with my husband and. youngest son. We watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the day before when he was really sick and I didn’t feel good and so last night we watched the newer movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Jason liked the older one better! That’s my boy. He even liked it despite being a musical. He typically is not a fan of musicals.

Embracing where I am.

Being ok with my choices.

Accepting myself for my decisions and my feelings in each moment.

Letting go of perfectionism

Today i am home from work again because they found coverage for me when I told them Friday that I wasn’t sure if I could work Sunday. I usually work a full day on Sunday. No work = no pay. Yet, I need to change that mindset.

No work= working on writing

I am writing.

I am moving forward.

I am continuing to move forward even when I have set backs.

Even when…

I am moving forward in the way that is best for me

Writing in the morning several days a week is a good goal

One step at a time

I am writing today.

Missed a day of writing yesterday which is probably what made it so easy for me to get up early this morning. I woke up before my alarm and looked at the clock, 5:50am. My alarm was set for 7 to get up to go to work. My husband and son were sound asleep. My son asleep on his bed and not next to me which made it easier to get out of bed without worrying about waking him.

I resisted looking at Facebook, remembering the post from Goins Writer, the one who created this challenge…

Write before doing anything else

Each day, as part of this challenge there is an email with a writing prompt. I finally read them all yesterday. One was write what you know. I thought about that this morning, thinking of things to write about. As I got comfortable in my living room with the Christmas tree lights turned on, one more time before we take it down, and comfy with a blanket because it’s still unseasonably cold, I knew I needed to just continue my free writing.

One of the writing prompts was about free writing, which is what I have been doing from the start. I decided to blog all of my writing as a way of documentIng my progress. So my readers can join me in this process of writing every day and experience my challenges and successes along with me. And posting what I write to my blog has always been a push for me. I have been keeping a journal since I was ten and I’ve longed to be a published author for most of my adult life. My blog was my big push to move me in that direction. I don’t share everything I write, yet more and more, I have been sharing intimate aspects of my life as a way of journaling the experience. I first did this with my husbands heart attack in 2011, and then with my daughters debilitating OCD, as well as my own struggles with depression/ bipolar II disorder.

My mind wonders today and I realize inserting a link is not part of free writing, but I do what works for me. I keep thinking about another post from Goins Writer about the 3 parts of writing, idea generation, writing, and editing. I may not be terming it exactly the way he did, but the general idea was to think of writing as those three separate parts and to focus on one at a time. That really resonated with me. And I am eager to begin implementing that even more than I have in the past. As far as idea generation, I have been doing g that for years. Just yesterday I was talking to my son, who works at Best Buy and is the apple master, meaning he has meetings with an apple rep to learn all about their products, something he has been doing on his own for ever by listening to every apple announcement. He has the newest iPad for work along with the ipen ( I don’t know what it is called but that sounds good). And so we, along with his dad, were discussing these technologies and I asked if I could write with the pen and would it then change it to text. Well, no iPads won’t do that, but he told me there are apps that do that.

I began having Monday nights out for writing long before I had a lap top or iPad or even a smart phone. I took with me journals, notebooks, and colored pens. I have notebooks full of writing ideas and thoughts on parenting and who knows what else. I would LOVE to convert all of it to digital text, or at least those parts that could be turned into Articles and the like.

When I began this challenge, I was on my iPad but I believe I was on safari and not the WordPress app And in the bottom write corner was my word count. On the app, I don’t have the word count in the bottom right corner and I haven’t been able to find out how to determine my word count. So if anyone knows about the WordPress app, please clue me in!

I still can’t figure out if I can access a word count. I couldn’t the last two times I wrote, so I just wrote for a while and published. For me, I don’t know that it matters if I make it to 500 Words, because that has never really been a struggle for me. I am wordy, I know this. Despite my strong desire to follow the challenge as it was created, and make sure I have reached 500 Words, for me, it can be helpful to know when my piece is done, when I read old things I have written, I see how I have improved on being more concise with my blog posts. I wrote some very long ones in the beginning, too long for a blog post. I know now they can be edited and possibly made in to more than one post. For now, I will keep free writing and tackle the 3 stages of writing, including editing, next month.

January 5, 2018

I get to sleep in on Fridays. I work Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and so I look forward to days when we don’t have somewhere to be in the morning so we can sleep in or at least take our time getting out of bed. Like many people do on Saturday or Sunday.

I read about writing first thing in the morning recently. The idea was to get up earlier than you normally do to devote writing time before doing anything else. I am modifying it to make it work for me.

My youngest son has his bed in my room right next to my bed. We live in a 3 bedroom house and my kids are 20 year old son, 15 year old daughter, and 8 year old son. So it’s not like any of my kids can really share a room, not to mention how small the bedrooms are. Besides, we practice co-sleeping and when we moved here 17 years ago, the plan was to live here for 5 years and then move to a bigger house. We created a space for my youngest in our basement several years ago so he has his own area. We have a finished basement but no one is eager to sleep there. “Too many bugs” is what they say.

For now, my youngest is happy sleeping in our room and I am happy waking up with his smiling face.

I set my iPad behind my bed so that if I woke up before my son, I could use it to write. The kid will sleep in until 9:30 when his dad is home with him but for me he often wakes up by 7 or 7:30. But we have fun looking things up on the internet and watching cute animal videos and talking. It’s a wonderful way to start my day.

So today, I decided to write on my iPad while he explores things on his iPad. So today he is having fun with google translate which means he is quizzing me on Spanish words and phrases. I had two years of Spanish in High school. I graduated 30years ago.

Wow

I graduated high school 30years ago. How did that happen?

I digress

I am managing to write while engaging with him. Which for me is essential. I Homeschool my kids and so I am with them often. Yes, they do things on their own and I can have time to myself. My youngest turns 9 on Monday and his anxiety is greatly improved and so now after 20+ years of parenting, I am beginning to have more time for myself. I have always taken time to have me time either to write or exercise or just be alone in addition to working some out of the home. Now, I am entering a new phase of more independent children. Having three more independent children.

And now the beagle scratches at my daughters door and so we must take care of dogs.

For some reason on the word press app, I can not see my word count to know when I reach 500 words. I will have to figure that out. Sure, my writing today was pure rambling yet I have begun a new habit.

Write on!

I kicked off the new year writing 500words a day for two days in a row and even published them on my blog. Yesterday, I thought about writing late in the day and then never got to it. I felt disappointed. Yet, I told myself to remember the rules which included, if you miss a Day, just pick up again the next day. So it’s 10:30 pm and I’m in bed and almost didn’t write, but remembered and here I am writing.

Progress

Forgiveness

Forgiving oneself is the biggest obstacle to true happiness,

Or it can be, if one can not forgive themselves.

This holds true for so many aspects in my life from parenting to my work experience and missed opportunities.

When I look At my childhood issues that still hold me down, I realize that I am my harshest critic. My voice in my head is the most critical. I often need to remind myself

To forgive myself

Forgive myself for…

Being mean to that nice kid back in high school

Sharing a finished test with someone while they took the same test, cheating, and to help someone I did not like

Mistakes I made in relationships when I was in college

Not spending more time with my college friends while I was in college

Not keeping in touch with people

The friend I didn’t invite to my wedding

The mistakes I made in my early parenting years

Getting angry and loosing my temper

All the parenting mistakes I have made over the past 20 years

Mistakes I have made with my husband, mean things said and time not taken for our relationship

Keeping my cats living in the basement for so long when we moved to the new house

Not going back to work sooner when we really needed me to for financial reasons

Not saving more money when we had it to save

Not investing sooner in my work 401k plan

Getting into credit card debt

Not getting help sooner for my daughter when she first showed signs of anxiety and other issues

Not getting better help for any of my children sooner

Like completely missing how anemic my teenage son was

For all the mistakes I have made

I can choose to forgive myself and allow the experiences to serve me to be a better version of myself

I can choose to let go, and let God

Let my inner higher self shine forth!

Released from the past and avoiding the trap of waiting for the future

I can form new habits and move forward with my ideas and dreams

I can write 500 words every day

500 Words, Day 2

Following through

I am great at starting new projects, making new goals, having new ideas yet following through consistently has been a challenge for me in the past.  It is 10pm and I remembered a few hours ago about writing daily and here I am.  It feels forced but I know that is part of the process. It doesn’t really matter what I write, I am making daily writing a habit and I have chosen to do so on my blog because that is my goal, regular blog writing.

I am reminding myself that it doesn’t matter if I don’t know what to say or am so tired that I really don’t want to say anything.  I need to just write something, anything even if it is just rambling about not knowing what to say.  It makes it feel less ominous to give myself permission to just ramble on about nothing.  Yet, I know when I begin to type, thoughts come to me and ideas doe writing emerge. Maybe not every time, and that is ok, sometimes I will just ramble and other times ideas will come. I think the key is making daily writing a habit and once it is, the rest will follow.  I hope so.

Yes, I still doubt myself. I question my ability as a writer. I question that this really is my path. I don’t have formal training in writing. I did not get a journalism degree. Heck, I didn’t even participate in any kind of newspaper or writing extracurricular activity in high school or college. All I have is years of journaling since the age of 10 and the ability to open and read every single one of those journals.  I kept all of them.  Most of them are in my closet and easily accessible.  Many are on notebooks likely in a few different locations in my home but could be found and put in order.

Wow, what a project that would be. Locate all sources of journals I have created in my life and put them all on one shelf in chronological order.

A life line

A written record of my inner thoughts and feelings

48 or 38 years, since I began my first “ diary” at age 10,

38 years of internal records

progress already

ideas coming to me as I write

and yet, my daughter needs my help and I’m only at 395 words

part of my struggle

is balancing my favorite job, role, that of being a mother

being present for my children

AND making time to write

balance

balancING

BALANCING

now I am wondering about spell check  will it let me know when I misspell words and how do I turn that feature on

my goal is writing and they said “no editing, just write”

but it bothers me if I spell things wrong

balance

balancing writing AND being a mother AND working as an OT AND pursuing new opportunities to grow a business along with my husband, Don, AND exercising AND taking care of my health….

AND, AND, AND…

BALANCE