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The flame that burns from within

Some of favorite things about summer are that school is out for most, the reduced morning traffic (although normal, dreadful traffic ensues by evening rush hour), the long, hot days and breezy nights (not always guaranteed in Austin, Texas), and the opportunities to sit out on my porch in the dark. Tonight, I’m sitting on my porch next to my tabletop fire pit contemplating the commitment I made to maintaining my blog. I’ve been determined to experience this very moment all day.

It seems to me as though some bloggers are able to consistently produce an impressive amount of content…but not me. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of content swirling in my head, but it’s sitting down and actually doing the work of blogging that can be difficult. I have a full life of which I’m grateful, but there’s a flame burning within me that loves to write in any form. It’s how I express myself. I know I can help even just one person by sharing my stories through blogging.

The spark started when I was a little girl. I was in many situations I didn’t want to be in growing up, so as an escape, I developed a healthy imagination. I daydreamed constantly and I also loved to read. I really don’t remember when writing came into play, but I started journaling somewhere in my preteens. It stuck. In many ways, my blog posts are just me journaling my thoughts.

By actively participating in this particular activity which gives me peace and confidence, I’m attending to my self-care. When I go long periods without writing, I feel off kilter. I do write for work on a daily basis, but my personal writing is different. I get so much joy from blogging, despite few likes at times. You’d think I’d post more, but as I alluded to in a previous paragraph, it really is a matter of my time and energy. The best way, I can manage is to not overcommit, which I tend to do when I’m overzealous.

My initial plan was to post weekly on Saturday mornings, but my consistency with that schedule has waned periodically over the years. In the last month, I’ve been writing more, which, in turn, has fueled my desire to write more. However, I might have made another overzealous commitment about two weeks ago. I said to myself that I would post a blog post on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I did this last week. Tuesday of this week came and I completely forgot to blog. When I realized, I said I would write on Wednesday (my Friday before the holiday this week) and I didn’t feel up to it.

What I may do is commit to twice a week, giving myself some flexibility on the days within the work week. For my readers who prefer a routine schedule, this may not be helpful, but I’m trying to take baby steps to writing at least twice a week. I may increase the days, but I’m not sure yet. I’m attempting to have some self-compassion because I have other commitments.

Now, that I’ve pondered the frequency of my writing, what’s left is what I blog about. This blog is about self-care so I tend to focus my posts on implementing self-care strategies into my daily life. I also blog about my bout with breast cancer, my family, my work, travel, mental health, random thoughts, etc. I’m curious about what my readers want to read from me, so please feel free to let me know.

Writing in any form such as blogging is the flame that burns inside of me, so I’m always going to return to it. It ties me back to my younger self. It brings me peace. It gives me confidence. It makes me happy that I’m living a life congruent with my values and goals. My light lesson for this post is you have to nurture the flames that burn inside of you. You don’t want it to consume you…to engulf you in flames, but you want to embrace it, spend time with it, shape it, and honor it. I’m assuming that you will use the flames for depositing good in the world. If you’re like me, you may find it holds the key to who you truly are.

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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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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!