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

Posts tagged ‘Writing challenge’

My Journey out of Depression, Rising up:October 15,2017 – February 25, 2018

I have traveled far on my life journey. The past 4 months, since my birthday adventure to the beach, have been life changing.

I don’t even know where to begin to describe the experience.

I am now getting up early every morning excited for the day and ready to have some quiet time to myself. I head to the kitchen and get something to drink and often a cup of tea and maybe a hot pack for my neck or back and sometimes an ice pack for my achey hip. I have a purple bag that holds my iPad, keyboard, gratitude journal, pens, current inspirational book I am reading, and a few other things. I have my Bluetooth ear buds and my iPhone for listening to my music.

I begin sitting in the quiet and writing in my gratitude journal. Grateful for all that has transpired in the past day and also for all that is yet to come.

I then listen to music and write, or sometimes I stretch and exercise first.

Today after writing in my gratitude journal, I decided to take an early morning walk. Today is Sunday and most Sundays I work. Today I was called off work and the weather is beautiful. NC’s early spring with 50+ degree temperatures and sun rising. Years ago, I started many days with a morning walk and stretch, an activity I have been working to get back in the habit of doing. Yet, I have managed to walk on occasion maybe 1 or 2 days in a week but often go weeks without doing so.

Today, I walked for an hour!

It was 7am when I started and then my favorite local radio program, Resurrection Sunday, came on the air, 106.5 the end, at 8am and I enjoyed being outside stretching, walking around my yard, and then walking our dog, Olive while enjoying the retro music.

I started with a sweatshirt when I headed out at 7am but half way through my walk, I had removed it. I have spent much time outside this morning in this wonderful weather knowing that rain is on its way today. I got the brilliant idea to write outside and where better to write than sitting on our trampoline with a husband pillow at my back. Rain spits on me and my screen as I write, hoping to get some writing completed before the sky opens up.

Today is February 25, 2018 and this is how spring begins in NC.

Walking this morning, I enjoyed the Bradford pear trees beginning to bloom along with forsythia, daffodils and other blossoming trees. I took a close up picture of 2 small purple flowers that grow on vines in my front yard. I reminisced looking at my barren back yard, remembering how we used to have a collection of purple flowers that bloomed around April. But 3 years ago when we had to have our septic fields redug, the entire yard was dug up, taking out the giant oak (or was it a maple) tree, it had the helicopter seed pods.

Rain!

I am writing inside now from the top of my daughter’s bunk bed. I call it “my new office”. It’s quiet and I have a view out the big widows in her room and can only see her inspiring wall hangings and not the clutter below. The rain chased me inside today. Yet, I now know I can enjoy sitting outside on the trampoline to write. I enjoyed spending time outside this morning.

Fresh air feeds my soul.

I need to plant more purple flowers to replace the ones we lost in our backyard. I searched for my snow crocuses but couldn’t find them.

We do have daffodils blooming in our yard. When I lived in. Canton, Ohio from 1971 through 1979, we lived on Daffodil Street. I have fond memories of our home in Ohio including our kitchen with giant yellow and orange flowered wall paper that inspired me to paint my current kitchen bright gold. Our home was about the same age as the home I am living in now that was built in 1969. We have the same streets paved with gravel, tar and a steam roller. We have dead end roads that end in woods.

I am finding that as I do the inner work through EFT along with Jan Luther and the amazing groups she has created, that I am bringing to live my inner child. I am enjoying life and easily remembering what I felt like as a child. My inner joy is shining through my 48 year old self and all the trauma and challenges that have been a part of my life.

When I try to remember when I felt this excited and energized by life, I think the honest answer is when I was a child before the age of 13.

I will end with quoting a song that feels so true to the adult life I have lived. Even though it is not easy to be me, I am now happy to be me! And I will retitle the song, Wonder-woman. Thank you Five for Fighting for creating this song.

It is more powerful if you listen to it….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O87shD-FpvU

I can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naïve

I’m just out to find

The better part of me

I’m more than a bird,

I’m more than a plane

I’m more than some pretty face beside a train

It’s not easy to be me

It may sound absurd but don’t be naïve

Even heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed but won’t you concede

Even heroes have the right to dream

And it’s not easy to be me

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Writing first thing in the morning: 6 am Dance Party

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

Cat Stevens

LYRICS

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out

And if you want to be free, be free

‘Cause there’s a million things to be

You know that there are

I woke up early this morning knowing I did not need to go to work. Yesterday, I found peace with being called off work at 10:15 pm for the next day, when I usually work 6-8 hours on Sunday. The universe was telling me to write!

I gathered all of my supplies: cold water, iPad, Bluetooth keyboard, iPhone, wireless earbuds, my purple bag with journals and other items, made some hot tea, heated up my home made hot packs, and set the lighting and picked my place to sit. I found a play list on Spotify that suited my mood, Inspiration, a playlist I created to inspire me to write.

Walk the Moon began to sing, Shut up and dance with me…

How could I sit and write?

Earlier, I had the thought to exercise before writing, but then decided against it.

Yet, my goal for February is regular exercise. January i got in the routine of regular writing. Now it’s time to take charge of how my body feels.

So I got up at 5:50 with my wireless earbuds blasting awesome music and began to dance!

Early morning dance party in the dark, why not?

(I copied pictures of my Facebook posts to share here. Now if I could only figure out how to insert pictures with the wordpress app here on my iPad. I hope the WordPress 101 will also show me how to use the app. I can usually figure the things out on the regular site but now I’m using the app more since my iPad is essentially my lap top. )

I spent over 40 minutes dancing to my wonderful inspiration playlist that I decided i needed to rename, “inspiration to dance”

I felt energized and alive!

Each time I decided this was the last dancing song, a new wonderful song would come on.

I got a good workout and stretched and drank lots of water.

Then, I finally felt read to sit and write.

My husband came downstairs to do his exercises and stretches and i paused my music and my writing to talk with him. He was watching tv but I put my earbuds back in and resumed writing, until Parks and Rec came on after his show finished.

The first episode of Parks and Rec! I have watched the entire show already. It is even funnier the second time around.

I enjoyed the episode and then realized I needed a new quiet place to return to writing.

My daughter’s top bunk!

I had discovered the magic of her top bunk in my favorite room of our house.

I first discovered this when she was out of town and so I was not disturbing her using her top bunk as my office, as a writing retreat.

Today, just before 8 am, I decided to return to the top bunk. I put all my belongings in my bag and quietly went in her room with my earbuds, my bag and hot packs.

I forgot how much the bunk shakes when you climb to the top!

Are you serious? Don’t mess up my jackets” was how I was greeted by my nearly 16 year old daughter.

I apologized for the noise and promised I would be quiet. I figured she would quickly fall back asleep because when I try to wake her up in the morning, she struggles to wake up and even when she answers me, she falls back asleep.

“Stop cracking your ankles!”

Opps with my ear buds, I didn’t realize the nosies i was making.

“Do you have a hot pack up there because it stinks!”

“At least turn off your notifications!”

“How do I do that?” I asked as i tried to figure it out.

“Never mind!”

I really tried to be quiet and even figured out I needed to also silence the notifications on my iPad in addition to my iPhone.

I reminded her that she always wanted a sister, and now here I am!

I got very distracted for a while on Facebook and sending messages.

It is now 9:42am as I finish this blog. And I have the whole day ahead of me.

I hear my family who are all up now, my daughter included. She gave up trying to fall back to sleep.

I love the sounds of my family, even when they are arguing with each other.

Life is good up here on this top bunk.

I hear the dogs below and yet they don’t disrupt my writing by jumping in my lap like the little one would do if I were still in the living room on the recliner chair.

I have music and my purple bag.

I handled letting my 9 year old know I needed to finish what I was writing before I could listen to the parody song he was telling me about. I handled it respectfully, for him and for me.

I need to respect my writing time and ask my family to respect it as well.

I just need to ask.

They are old enough.

And I will finish my blog with the remainder of the lyrics that I used to begin this post…

And if you want to live high, live high

And if you want to live low, live low

‘Cause there’s a million ways to go

You know that there are

You can do what you want

The opportunity’s on

And if you can find a new way

You can do it today

You can make it all true

And you can make it undo

You see, ah ah ah

It’s easy, ah ah ah

You only need to know

Well, if you want to say yes, say yes

And if you want to say no, say no

‘Cause there’s a million ways to go

You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me

And if you want to be you, be you

‘Cause there’s a million things to do

You know that there are

You can do what you want

The opportunity’s on

And if you can find a new way

You can do it today

You can make it all true

And you can make it undo

You see, ah ah ah

It’s easy, ah ah ah

You only need to know

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out

And if you want to be free, be free

‘Cause there’s a million things to be

You know that there are

You know that there are

You know that there are

You know that there are

You know that there are

I AM HERE NOW…My 500 Words: January 31, 2018

And entire month of focus on writing,

New habits formed

Writing first thing in the morning

Quiet, reflection time before social media and music

Returning to daily gratitude journal writing

Inner peace

Restless energy

Anxiety

Channeling my energy

To what matters most to me

Priorities

New music

Inspiration

Deep within my soul

Reconnecting

To myself

And to my loved ones

Road trip with Harrison and my parents

My first born

The spirit who initiated me into motherhood

My practice child

I am my own harshest critic

Jan Luther

EFT and The Ego Tamer Academy

New opportunities

To explore

Alongside Don,

My soul mate

United together

With one vision,

Together

We are ten times stronger than

The sum of us alone

Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?

The magazine spoke to me

Back in 1992

Sitting in my kitchen in Whitehall

Pennsylvania

Our paths

Destined to cross

United

As one

May 14, 1994

Here

I

AM

NOW

Living in the present

Pulled myself up

And out of the muck and mud

Raised my head out of the water

Learned to not just tread but to swim

To cross over to the other side of the lake

Feeling our feelings

Living through the experience

Stronger only after

Having gone through it

And come out on the other side

Many puddles along the way

Some deeper like oceans

With strong currents and…

Waves

Today

I

AM

Here

NOW

the present is a gift

Yesterday a canceled check and tomorrow a promissory note…

All we have is now

Right here,

Right now

What is the name of that Van Halen Song?

Jesus Jones sings Right here, right now

Van Halen sings Right Now

Music

Feeds my soul

Connects me to my inner self

My higher self

My

TRUE

SELF

i can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naive

I’m just out to find

The better part of me

I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane

I’m more than some pretty face beside a train

And it’s not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry

Fall upon my knees

Find a way to lie

About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive

Even heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede

Even heroes have the right to dream

And it’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away, away from me

Well, it’s all right, you can all sleep sound tonight

I’m not crazy

Or anything

I can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naive

Men weren’t meant to ride

With clouds between their knees

I’m only a (hu)man in a silly red sheet

Digging for kryptonite on this one way street

Only a (hu)man in a funny red sheet

Looking for special things inside of me

Inside of me

Inside me

Inside me

Inside of me

I’m only a (hu)man

In a funny red sheet

I’m only a (hu)man

Looking for a dream

I’m only a (hu)man

In a funny red sheet

And it’s not easy

It’s not easy to be

Superman (It’s Not Easy)

Five for Fighting

Wonderwoman

I

CAN

FLY

My spirit

Can sour high

I am finding it easier to be me

I am finding comfort

In my own skin

The challenge

Is living in this human body

The challenge is letting my spirit shine while occupying this human space

The challenge has been connecting my true self with my human self

I AM HERE NOW

My 500 Words: Day 11

Habits

I found myself saying this morning, I guess I should write before I get ready for work.

I started this challenge at the beginning of the year, to write 500 words every day.

The first 2 days, I used the regular wordpress site and it counted my words for me. Then I switched to the app on my iPad and there was no word count, still wonder if there is a way to access it. Yet, I decided that writing regularly was far more important than how many words I write. For me, coming up with 500 words is NOT my issues. I can ramble on for endless amount of words easily. For me, the challenge was getting into the habit. Finding time each day no matter what other things are going on in my life, to write. I had to forgive myself when. After 2 days of consecutive writing, I missed a day (or was it several days?).

Here I am on January 29, 2018 and so proud of myself for writing 11 times, on my blog. That does not even include all the writing I have done in my gratitude journal. I just counted, 13 days writing in my gratitude journal this month and for nearly the past week, I have written every day.

Progress

Consistency

Peace

Writing is my form of medication (I intended to write meditation). It brings me so much peace, as does music.

I have also learned to write in the silence to really hear my, inner voice…

Being in the quiet, no one else around, that was a challenge to sit with my own thoughts without distraction.

I have found peace in the process and have done much writing from that space and I also love writing with music, earbuds in so I am in my own world in my head.

Music

Feeds my soul

Uplifts me

Expresses my mood, my feelings

Allows

Me to feel whatever it is that i am feeling

Acceptance

Of where I am

RIGHT NOW

Sometimes the lyrics of the song really speak to my current emotions, challenges

Often the lyrics speak to me in that way

And today, Elton John singing Tiny Dancer as I wrote

Provided soothing empowering music as I wrote

I didn’t even hear the lyrics until I paused to think halfway through writing

Music

Transports me to a sacred place

Connects me to my soul

Here are those amazing perfectly timed lyrics

Here Comes the Sun…..

Little Darlin’ it’s been a long and cold winter

Little darlin’ it feels like years since it’s been here

Lifting from the depression I have experienced

Home

“Home”

Hold on to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave, wave is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble—it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble—it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Come on!

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo [4x]

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Thank you azlyrics.

Thank you Phillip Phillips

Thank you Beatles

Thank you Elton John

And now, allowing myself to feel sadness and loss

With Fleetwood Mac:

“Landslide”

I took my love, I took it down

I climbed a mountain and I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills

‘Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above?

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I’m getting older too

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I’m getting older too

Oh, I’m getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down

Oh, climb a mountain and turn around

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills

Well the landslide will bring it down

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills

Well the landslide will bring it down, oh oh

The landslide will bring it down

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

My 500 Words, I Am Writing Again! (day 14 and maybe my 4th day writing, but who’s counting)

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.

Writing First Thing in the Morning, Take 2 ( My 500 Words)

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.