Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You've Got Mail

A fed ex package from New York arrived for my daughter on Saturday.  Luckily the driver waited for us to get home. The chances of him being able to actually deliver it to my door on the weekend are slim to none.

We opened a small package from my aunt in New York. She is the only one of five children left on my father's side.  She mailed us her great-grandmother's ring and a picture of my grandmother at age 20 with the ring on her finger.  I guess this makes it my great-great-grandmother's ring and my daughter's great great great grandmother's ring.  It was a welcome surprise since my dad passed away when I was 21 and I haven't been to see that part of my family since my daughter was little.  We exchange cards. They send Christmas cards and I send Happy Spring cards.

What I've learned in the years that have passed is that sometimes when someone in your family dies, you just don't lose that person, you lose part of your family too.  The struggle is to rebuild it in a way that makes sense.   It was nice, however, to recapture a small bit in the mail this weekend. A thank you note is on its way.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ruminating on my Saturday

I got be a part of many wonderfuls this weekend, but the most wonderous was my afternoon spent with teen writers and a former grad student in the Teen Zone at the UCF Book Festival. Seventeen teens from all over the Central Florida region varying from grades 6th-12th gave up their spring afternoon to spend indoors on their craft.  They brought their pieces for feedback and were treated to Kristen Simmons' discussion of her writerly life and a question and answer session. Time flew.

What stood out to me listening to Simmons was how long it actually took for her to go from writing a book to actually getting one published. It took her ten years.  Her continued effort reminded me of the ten thousand hour expert rule shared in Gladwell's Outliers. She wrote over four books in that time and endured 200 rejections.  What a story for these teens to hear. They got it.  They walked away understanding the tenacity and practice it took for her to accomplish her dream, of holding her published book in her hand. Many of them not sure that was what they could do, write every day and endure the rejection, but most left happy to have their writing heard and  advice to think about as aspiring writers.

I left with some unanswered questions know that writing is a solitary activity, but you must have some kind of community to share.  I wondered what that looked like for her. She also shared that now with a one year old daughter she writes during naps.  Again confirming that what you value, you will find time to do. If you want to be a writer, then write every day.  Just like the SOLSC in March pushes one too.  How do you carry on after that?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

One Little Word: April Focus

April kicks off the next chapter of my one little word action.  The word being, well.  The intent being well-balanced.  It is a continuation of my focus last month on being well-ordered.  Last year I seriously derailed at this time.  Perhaps it was the non-stop proctoring.  The third job. I am not sure.  My goal this month is to continue to focus on maintaining a work life-balance, especially amping up my cardio, focusing on my food and water, and lowering my blood glucose levels while cultivating my writing life.This slice makes 32 days in a row.  It's time, however, to shift a little energy toward my fitness. I was much better at blogging this past month than completing my My Fitness Pal and reaching my daily goals.

I took my first step toward being well-balanced last night.  I was able to mostly run and a little walk a half mile in 6 minutes, a super big deal to me since I haven't been able to run like that since May 31st, 2013. Last night I came in last, really far last, some might describe it as, earmuffs please, DFL, but I finished.  Random people in the park cheered me.  It was embarrassingly nice.  Not really an attention I wanted, but one that made me smile. Someone in our Camp Gladiator workout team actually came back and ran with me the end with me. When someone is behind, no one gets left behind.  My CG family cheered me when I finished. I didn't elect to do it the second time, I chose a personal dispensation knowing that adrenal will sometimes mask the forthcoming pain.  My knee felt great today. It was the right thing for me to do.