Saturday, January 24, 2015

Charting a Course

Original painting by artist Laurie Justus Pace | DailyPainters.com
Although I have continued to write in other venues, I haven’t posted to this personal blog for awhile. I suppose I’ve been staying safely on the dock, choosing not to venture into the water of what has always been a place where I’ve bared my soul. With the start of a new school semester beginning on Monday, I recently began prepping for the first day of my second Advanced Creative Writing class. Looking over some of my discussion points, my first day “pep talk” if you will, I realize it has been awhile since I’ve taken stock of my own relationship with writing authentically. I haven’t taken much time to write from the heart on personal matters lately. Of that I’ve been negligent. Today I’ve decided to end the hiatus. 

It’s not that I’ve been lazy. That’s for sure. As 2015 began I renewed my fitness goals and I am feeling more confident than ever that I can reach them. I go to the gym (an average of three times a week for 60-90 minutes) and have begun an event page on Facebook (10000 steps a day/100 miles a month) where several friends and I participate in posting daily fitness achievements. I do weekday and weekend challenges with friends using our Fitbits, AND I have joined a dietbetter.com challenge to lose 4% of my weight in 30 days. I am just 2.3 pounds away from winning my $30 back (if I can make my goal by next week...we'll see). I've been doing well to motivate myself and others and holding myself accountable to a daily calorie intake goal using myfitnesspal. This goal of weight loss and increased fitness helps strengthen my back, my overall body confidence level, and my emotional well being too. 

Emotional well being. Yes. How am I doing there? Well, I still miss my Dad (of course) and my Mom's life with Alzheimer's continues, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fill the hole of my parents being gone. Our relationship was incredibly beautiful, honest, loving, real. They were not only the best parents I could ever have hoped for, but they were also wonderful grandparents, so attentive and selflessly generous. I miss our talks. I miss their stories. I miss their wisdom. I miss how they rooted for me. I miss the fun and the laughter of our time together. But I honor both of them by accepting that life goes on. My siblings and I are tending to my Mom, and I know I've grown stronger and wiser and thus happier since the aftermath of June of 2013 when we lost Dad. I use all that my parents taught me by their example to be a good spouse, a good parent, a good person. I continue to use writing, reading, exercise, cooking/baking, music, my faith, and teaching to enrich my life and to provide me with purpose. My husband and our three kiddos continue to be very close and I'm secure in our love for one another. My time with them and my solo time working around the house, enjoying nature, and playing and cuddling with my sweet pets contributes to my overall well being. I have good friends and family members who are not only loving and supportive, but who are fun and make me laugh daily. I’m relaxed. I’m excited for the future. And I’m most grateful for my life.

Continuing with my fitness goals is very important to me. When I get to my goal weight and desired fitness level, if you’ll excuse the pun, I’m going to STEP in new directions. I’m going to learn how I can do better to support the efforts of others who want and need to lose weight for their physical and emotional well being. I'm going to try new sports and new fitness adventures. But I’ve also been thinking of other aspirations I have and how and when I want to work to achieve them. So, all in all, I think I now know how I can return to writing as this second semester begins with my new students. I’ll take time to write with my teens and to explore those non-fitness goals of mine. There are many.


I’m in such a good place right now. And yes, I have proof of that. I feel the proof each night as my head hits the pillow. Life is good. No days are perfect, of course, but I can now take in stride whatever unexpected wind blows in my direction. I adjust my sails accordingly. I no longer grapple the sides of the boat in fear. I no longer mourn the previously charted course. For me, it’s all about having the confidence in knowing who I am, what I am made of, and where I am going from here. 

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