It is February 1, 2021. A new month and another Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have been a participant for a number of years now. Why am I doing it? Mostly because I love writing. It’s a practice that gives me structure to the day. I can work out problems and ease some of my angst on the page. I meet other bloggers and exchange views and ideas. It leads to community, sharing and helping each other. Writing and posting photos gives me a lot of pleasure. That alone is a good reason to join in. A challenge is a commitment. I’m more prone to deliver and succeed. So here’s to a month of writing a post every day. I wish all the participants success. I’m looking forward to reading their posts.
What am I going to write about? In the past, I had no plan at all. I sit down with my cup of tea and start a conversation. Sometimes I use the prompt our moderator sends out. I might very well do the same again. Off the cuff, a chat over tea. But I do have a bit of a plan. I’m in another challenge – the100dayproject. I am making a quilt square a day for that. I might talk about sewing and quilting things. February is heart month. There’s many heart issues I could talk about. February is also the time to start seeds. And then there’s cross country skiing I took up at the end of November. I’ve had a few mishaps and exciting moments to share.
It’s good that I started tapping away at the keyboard. Ideas and topics pop up. There’s so many things I could talk about and blog on. I can be quite a chatter box once I get going. Later in as I learn, I could talk about the whys, hows and rewards of keeping commitments. It’s going to be an exciting month. I am so glad that I’ve entered the challenge. I was getting slack and going silent. It could have gotten to be a bad habit. Now I don’t have to worry.
July 23, 9 more days to the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Am I counting? Not really. I do enjoy coming to this space but sometimes life gets in the way. It’s easier if I don’t dawdle. I have this illusion that I have great things to say. They are all in my head, ready to come out. It wouldn’t take much time. Just minutes to write if I get to them right away. I don’t, of course. I thought they were at my bidding. All those great ideas and conversations in the head are as nebulous and vaporous as mist. They are gone by the time I sit down at the keyboard. I struggle to get each word and idea back.
Today I’m trying to do better, showing up sooner rather than later.My head is clearer and I have more energy earlier in the day. I want this challenge to work for me. What are my goals to start with? What are they now? I think I have a bit of ADHD. If I don’t lay it out to see/read, I’m apt to go around and around in circles. I have been doing that. I’m a stuck record. I play the same song and dance over and over. I have to stop stuttering. I want to go past GO. But to repeat, my goals to start with are having the discipline of committing to:
getting up, dressing up and showing up here every day
to be truthful, respectful and hopeful in this space
following through goals/projects from beginning to end
being more mindful and in the present moment
As the month evolved, a few more goals developed. I wanted to lose some weight to feel and look better. I despise double chins and overhanging bellies. I made some small changes in my meals and the way I ate. I cut out the toast in my breakfast. I added a bit of kimchi as a condiment to my meals. I chew and taste my food. As a result, I discovered that I’m really not as hungry as I thought. My portions got smaller, my snacks fewer. I still have them. Giving up and depriving myself have never worked for me. Now that raspberries are in season I have them with ice cream in the evening. They are our very own raspberries and they’re very prolific. What can I do?
To sum up, I am fulfilling most of my goals. I have been here every day, being truthful, respectful and ever hopeful. Am I finishing my projects? Yes, mostly. I’m also doing another challenge of creating an index card art daily from June1 – July 31. I’m a couple of days behind but I will finish. I’m being mindful to help me through these and other life challenges. I spend 20-30 minutes each morning in silence to prepare for the day.
I am feeling the effects of my efforts this month. I feel better mentally and physically. I feel stronger, with more stamina. The last two days seem seamless, one thing flowing into another. I did not have to struggle with anything. It’s a good note to end on. It is late. I need some time to chill before bed.
The day was cloudy as cloudy could get. It was difficult to summon up the desire and energy to do anything or go anywhere. It is good to have dates, commitments and challenges to fulfill. They get me out of bed. I dress up, make up and show up whether I feel like it or not. I now have enough experience to know that once I make a start, the rest will follow. Of course not all starts are equal. Some are harder than others.
But once I start, like now, tap tapping on the keyboard, the rest will flow. There is a rhythm to it. I am soothed by the letters and words as they march across the page. I love the silence that I am working in. My senses are irritated and nerves jangled by all the drama happening on the world’s stage. At the same time, I am intrigued and fascinated by it all. I wonder how much of it is true. But enough now! I have to stop all that noise and make sense of my day.
Despite all the grey and dreariness of the day, I am feeling fantastically well. One cannot help feeling it just saying the word. I was able to haul my ass out to the dog park. Sheba is always eager and willing no matter what the weather. I am learning from her. She is a good teacher. If only she could speak a little softer.
As always a death announcement always makes one do a retake of one’s own life. This is especially when the deceased had just resigned from a job three or so weeks ago – James Flaherty, our former finance minister, age 64.
It’s a reminder for me that life is not forever and we have to live each and every day. We don’t have to wait till…it’s the right time, till we have enough money, till we retire. The right time is now. There are so many wonderful sweet things in life to explore and enjoy. They are right here, if we can open our eyes and see. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the worries and cares and forget the joys of doing.
Even though spring is late, the sky is grey and the way strewn with many a thorn, let me leap forward with joy and anticipation of what the day can bring. I can choose my actions and sometimes that can bring the emotions. Fake it till you make it! We’re talking about putting one foot in front of the other and walking the talk. Darn! I do talk too much. It still happens even when I vowed to do otherwise. Well, I am doing the best I can. And that is all I can ask of myself.
It is the 11th day of the challenge. I’m still here, writing, doodling, filling my page with words and pictures. Eleven days feel like a very l-o-n-g time. Maybe I shouldn’t count.