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Faith moves

Ok. Ok. I’ve been slacking on my blog. In all fairness, I’ve had an unusually busy May with two work travel trips, Mother’s day and my birthday. May was also very emotionally draining. May served as a painful reminder that my mom is gone. I felt as though I was grieving all over again during my birthday weekend. Eventually, it passed, but it took its toll. I’m still not getting enough sleep. I feel like I’m struggling to keep up at work. I’ve decreased the duration and intensity of my workouts mostly because of my long work days. However, I did kiss goodbye my love affair with pastries, cookies, and other sweets and stopped eating them cold turkey.

I also made a monumental decision in May that is exciting and daring – my son and I are going on a week long mission trip to Haiti. When I learned our church was planning this for July, I knew I had to go to commemorate my mom, especially since July is the one year anniversary of her passing. Knowing I’m finally going to visit the island where my parents and siblings were born has eased some of my sadness from missing her. The sadness has been replaced with excitement.

Initially, I thought I would go solo, but my son, Caleb, said he wanted to go too, which surprised me…even after he learned what we would be doing. I’m really impressed that he knows the purpose of the trip is to serve and he is still all in. I’ll write more about the trip in later posts. I wasn’t completely sure how we would produce funds for both of us, but I made a faith move. We sent letters to family and friends asking them to donate on our behalf. I knew there was no turning back once I emailed the letters. We’ve already gotten some donations. Caleb is looking for a summer job to help, plus he wants to save for a new laptop.

June came with a lovely visit from my sister early in the month. What’s so sweet is she’s promised to visit us in Austin every year like my mom used to do. My mom has come to Texas more than anyone on either side of our families, which magnifies how much she supported me.

As much as I’d like to maintain some balance in my life, something inevitably comes up that tips the scales, so I have to adjust. For example, after my kids dental appointment this week, we learned one needs braces and the other needs several fillings for all the cavities in his mouth. Really?

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I’m back

No matter how chaotic my life gets, I’ve found that keeping up with my writing centers me. I’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster ride at work and at home, so my blog post writing has stalled. I’m back, and if it’s any consolation, I think about writing on my blog often and the lessons I’ve learned from the week that I’d like to share. I just hadn’t had the time to actually write or is it that I haven’t prioritized writing in my long list of priorities? At work, I often talk about prioritizing the priorities. We do this daily as the demand for our expertise is high.

Writing is on my personal calendar slated weekly on Saturday mornings. I’ve simply been ignoring it to catch up on sleep, to ruminate over the week’s events, or to mentally strategize on managing a host of situations.

How could I ignore something that feeds my soul? No matter what I’m going through and what I do to cope, writing is the thing that brings me back to who I am. I don’t have to get paid to do it. It actually makes me better at the job I get paid to do because writing helps me synthesize my thoughts. Self-awareness, introspection, critical thinking are essential in my current position. Writing my thoughts, feelings, ideas, fears, joys, has helped shape me to who I am.

Due to my hiatus, I fear I may have lost some followers. I hope not and I hope to gain some new ones because I’m back on my Saturday morning writing grind, come rain or shine, or life changing event after the other.

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Pick me up

I don’t recall a year where I’ve had so many challenges at the onset, but it is what it is and it is making me stronger. I’ve missed blogging, so despite my tiredness and swollen gums, I’ll type a few lines. Plus, you know I’m going to find the “light” spots even in the most difficult situations.

My Monday pick me up was this: picking up my son from school, pulling up to the house, texting my husband to help me with my work bag, watching him come out of the house to get my lunch bag from my son, while my son carried my work bag. That made my day. Team work makes the dream work! And tomorrow, my son turns seventeen. Amazing! I am living a blessed life indeed!

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Writing is my super power

I’m surrounded by my favorite things right now: one of my 3 cats (the outside cat) sitting on my lap, on the porch while sipping a cup of tea on this beautiful day that will soon transition to night time. I wasn’t planning on writing, but it’s the setup for a wonderful writing experience. I get caught up in the desire and it consumes me. That’s how my writing process has been lately: I’m inspired by an experience, thought, or one of my many photos that I take, and then I stop what I’m doing at the moment to write. 

When I initially started my blog, I thought about maintaining a writing schedule to include publishing a post once or twice a week. For the most part, that was manageable when I was working, but I have way more time on my hands this month as I recover from 2 breast cancer-related surgeries. 

It’s been about 5 months since I started this blog, and so far, it’s one of the best things I’ve done. The desire really came to me about 2 years ago, but June 2016 is when I decided to take the leap. And it’s a good thing that I did too because I realized that the time would never be right. With my first leap, the grammar wasn’t perfect, but I published it anyway. In fact, this is the strategy I use with all of my posts. I publish whether or not all the grammar is perfect because I can edit it later. I don’t want perfectionism to prevent me from achieving my goals. Again, these are my steps towards recovering from perfectionism and you get to witness this.

I was one of those teenagers that kept a journal growing up starting at age 12 years or so. I’ve used spiral notebooks and eventually graduated to actual journals as I got older. As my handwriting has become more illegible, I’ve kept electronic journals as well and have gone back and forth between my laptop and smart phone. At work, writing is an essential component of my job and I often organize my projects with some aspects of journaling. At home, I organize my household with different lists whether electronic or paper. Writing is definitely something I’ve practiced for a long time so it comes to me naturally. I like being able to process my thoughts in this way, which is why I had to add writing in the form of a blog as part of my self care routine. 

I’ve learned so much about myself as I’ve reread my journals. I’ve noticed trends in my attitude, mood, and spiritual, mental and emotional states. I admit that it can be depressing reading them sometimes depending on the time period. I’ve used my journals to help me grow by assessing my progress, making changes, planning new moves, etc. However, I haven’t always reread my journal entries for those purposes. Usually, the process of writing is enough to center and ground me. 

I’m so used to my journaling voice that it was an easy transition to my blog.  Fortunately, I have a plethora of material that comes to my head, so I don’t usually have difficulty coming up with topics. I may have to spend some thought on tying the topics to my blog’s very specific subject matter: self-care.  I did notice that I struggled when I learned of my most recent life changing, health challenge, so there was a period where I literally did not want to write. Now that I’ve gotten over that hurdle, I realize that I have even more material. I keep a tab of topics I might want to blog about in my phone and I add to them as I get more ideas. 

Writing has essentially helped me manage my life. I’ve learned so much about myself and others and I’m using my blog to help others by sharing my “light lessons” and epiphanies. I want you to be inspired, to know that you’re not alone, and to believe that you can handle anything that life throws at you. It’s for these reasons that I’m using my writing powers for good. Writing is my super power!