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10 Day Writing Challenge: Today I noticed...

Day 1

Today I noticed that time is fleeting, and if I don't want to miss out on life, I need to be better at siezing each moment and doing what it takes to make my dreams a reality! I don't want to enviously observe other people making their dreams happen. I want to actually be accomplishing great things, too! Today it might be sinking in--finally--that I'VE GOT TO STOP PROCRASTINATING!

To illustrate my point about time being fleeting, I point out, the last time I wrote in here [my journal] was in January! Yes, January, and now it's April! Where has the time gone? When I was teaching the school days couldn't pass quickly enough, and now since I've been able to stay home the days have zoomed past.

And now to address my dreams--I'm not really sure what they all are. Being that I am nearly fifty years old--fifty years old! I never thought I'd ever be fifty! Anyways, being that I will be fifty in December, I should by now know what my dreams are, I mean, I've had fifty years to figure my dreams out, but sadly I am reminded that I am a procrastinator--No! I have been a procrastinator, now I am proactive person, a doer, an achiever!

In an attempt to make up for lost time as far as my dreams go, I do remember that I recently heard a little nugget of thought recently from Glennon Melton, a well known blogger, about using envy to determine your dreams. She explained it much more eloquently than I can, but basically she suggested we should use envy in a good way and recognize that our envy might be pointing us to a path we might want to pursue. Therefore, being that I am envious of authors, bloggers, runners, polyglots, world travelers, skilled musicians, organized people, wise respected leaders, highly educated great teachers, and humanitarians, I now know what my dreams are! Will the next fifty years be long enough? I need to get busy!

Day 2

Today I noticed that I am still thinking about something I noticed several days ago when I first decided I wanted to do Emily Gould's skillshare writing challenge but then proceeded to procrastinate doing even though Emily said I should start immediately. I at least noticed something to write about, but then, as I often do, especially when it comes to writing, I did nothing. But I haven't stopped thinking about what I noticed that day.

When I came down the stairs that morning I noticed a large stack of mail on the kitchen table. Unlike in my younger days, I rarely think of going to the mailbox to get the mail so it accumulates in the mailbox until Josh who has taken it upon himself, and I am not sure why, to be our mail getter, decides to go get the mail, which means he finds the mail key (a feat in and of itself), and walks half a block, or around the Lloyd's large front yard, to the mailboxes and back. Sometimes he invites our dog Meili to accompany him.

That morning I flipped through the mail pile waiting on the table, advertisement by advertisement, and suddenly, I felt sorry for the mail carrier. Nothing in the pile was of value to me! How sad it must be, I thought, to spend day after day delivering junk mail! That moment I resolved to redouble my efforts to live in a way that adds value to others.

Now a few days later I realize resolving to add value is easy, actually adding value to other's is hard!

Day 3

Today I noticed (again) that I don't really fit in or belong anywhere in social settings, sadly not even at church. For some reason that I do not understand I am either invisible or undesirable. I normally sit alone. Today I asked Heavenly Father to let me know what I am doing wrong so I can change.

I should be used to these feelings of loneliness and inferiority, because I know them so well, but I still hurt now just as much as I did when I first realized as a little kindergartner that something about me made others not like me.

Why?

Pictures show I was a cute little girl with long dark hair, hazel eyes, and a few freckles across my nose.

Was it my clothes?

Money was tight so name brands were never an option, and because my grandma and mom were both skilled at sewing many of my outfits were homemade. I wore these clothes, that I knew were made with love, proudly.

As I grew older my weight, I was a little on the chubbier side, and my lack of any real physical abilities increased my inferiority. Even though I liked to play sports and I believed I could play well enough, I started being the child that was chosen last when teams were picked. I soon stopped playing.

What was, the matter with me? I was a cute, sweet, smart, kind, quiet little girl. Why wasn't I included?

What is the matter with me? I am a good, kind,smart, hardworking, quiet person. Why does no one want to talk to me, or sit by me, or notice me, or include me?

Thankfully my husband and my children love me. Thankfully with them I am not alone. Thankfully they are my friends. Thankfully at home I belong.

For starters, right now I am going to organize and lead out the garden weeding efforts! Hopefully, with help, the garden will be ready to plant today!

Day 4

Today I couldn't help but notice on my walk that something is not right with my right foot and my walking shoe. My big toe doesn't fit in the spot it is intended to fit. I tried to relax and not focus on this annoying problem, but I was uncomfortable for the duration of my walk. I'm not sure how to resolve this shoe issue. I returned a pair of Asics because of how they felt on my right big toe, but my Nike's haven't been any better. I hoped that the problem would go away after I wore the shoes for awhile , but the discomfort has continued. I can't afford a new pair of shoes! This pair was expensive! However, I have been having a hard time getting excited about walking in the mornings when I know my right big toe is going to hurt the whole time!

On a more positive note, I noticed how much I LOVE spring! I LOVE hearing the birds sing, seeing the beautiful flowers, and feeling the beautiful not too hot sunshine!

And I am now noticing that the house is very quiet now that spring break is over! I enjoyed the relaxing spring break mornings and having the kids around relaxing, playing games, reading books, coming and going, and even helping me weed and plant the garden, but this peace and quiet is very pleasant, too!



Day 5

Today I noticed two things! First that I am really busy, always busy! Once I get up, I go, go, go! I do tend to be a tad bit slow about getting up. I want to get up early and get my walking done before I take Enoch and Faith to school but I usually can't make that happen.

The second thing I noticed is that I am really happy with my life right now! Yes, I am busy, but I am busy doing what I want to do: being mom (which takes a lot of work), reading, writing, learning, thinking, walking, yard work, playing the piano, some cleaning (never enough). I only wish I had a little part time job to bring in some income. I would pay tithing and save the rest for our retirement. I am worried about our financial future. But, I don't want my job to be stressful like teaching was! I still want to have time to be me when I work.

Day 6

Today I noticed that I can learn a lot listening to podcasts while I exercise or work around the house. An idea I heard as I walked and listened to theSchool of Greatness podcast that stood out to me was to make sure I use my adversity to grow. Hmmm.... that concept gives me a lot to think about!

What are my adversities? 1) I am overweight and I can't seem to be able to stick to any healthy eating plan for longer than a week or so, max a month, and then I gain the weight all back. 2) I quit my teaching job mid-year because the stress was more than I could bear, but now I feel lost and a little like a failure. I miss teaching, but I DO NOT want to go back to the stressed, trapped feelings I felt as a teacher. 3) Our finances could use some serious HELP! 4) I make so many parenting mistakes! I have a real hard time getting along with a couple of my children. I always say the wrong things and we end up fighting. 5) I want very much to have a closer relationship with my own mother, but I do not know how to improve our relationship, and I am afraid to try, and even more afraid not to try! Time is running out! 6) I'm very very sad Josh doesn't want to go on a mission. :-( 7) I can't keep our house clean, and I am really frustrated that I fail at this important responsibility! 8) And of course I still deeply saddened by how my friendship with Laurie ended. I don't understand why hate, intolerance, unkindness has to win so often in the world. 9) I am frustrated I can't help Ashley and Noelle get braces!

Now the important question is: How can I become a better person because of these adversities? How can I use them to grow?

Day 7

Today I noticed that I love raining spring days! I love how green the rain makes the grasss and trees! I love the sound of the rain as it hits windows, roofs and the ground. And I love the smell of wet concrete and dirt.

I also noticed that love the beautiful songs of birds.

However, because of the rain I did not walk today, and I was really hoping to walk everyday this week. I should have used the treadmill, but I put it off, and now I am too tired! Hopefully, I can learn from my mistake and choose to walk in the morning, no matter what!

I noticed that I really do want to finish my Dinner Time Languages website. I worked on a couple of the pages again today after several weeks of procrastinating. I felt happy to actually be working toward a lofty goal that really makes me stretch. I need to make sure I do at least a little everyday and eventually a little will turn into a lot!

I am noticing that I am tired--really tired! I'm even starting to fall asleep while I type on the computer. I think I am not going to fight sleep any longer, I'm going to indulge in it! I'm off to my wonderfully comfy and cozy bed!

Day 8

Today I noticed that the radishes Cami and I planted last Friday in my garden are visible! (At least I think it's the radishes. I forgot to label the sticks that Cami and I used to mark each row.) I can't see the peas yet. I hope the birds didn't eat all of the pea seeds! After we finished planting the birds kept poking their beaks in the soil. I had to keep spraying them away with the hose.

I also noticed today that I was missing the sunshine. Today was cold, overcast, and there was even hail. I found myself feeling a little sad, I think because of the weather.

I've also noticed that although I really want to improve my writing skills, I don't allow myself much time to practice writing. I find myself feeling guilty for sitting down to write when there are so many other important things to do like cleaning or cooking or washing the dishes or folding laundry or running errands--my to do list is endless.

Many, many people have written their way to success, and I am so in awe (and yes I'll admit, even jealous) of them, and yet I have this crazy, erroneous notion that developing writing skills isn't a worthwhile way for me to spend my time. I would love to become I writer! I shouldn't feel guilty for making time to write!

Day 9

Today I noticed that I do well with challenges! I like them! As long as they are not too hard physically! I don't like hard physical challenges, because I plain and simply can't do them! I need to work on my physical weaknesses. I need to do a physical challenge--one I can do, though. I'm also thinking I need to do a healthy eating challenge, because I am struggling with eating way too much unhealthy food. So starting tomorrow, I am starting a 60 day healthy eating challenge. I'm going to abide by the rules in the book by Dr. Mark Hyman Eat Fat, Get Thin. I can do it! Maybe I'll start a strength training challenge, too. I'll try to design one I can live with tomorrow. I think I'm going to keep writing each day, too. I really love at least pretending like I'm a writer. If nothing else I'm a journal writer.

What else did I notice today?

I noticed I like weeding when the soil is wet and the weeds come out easily.

I noticed when I see former students (like in the grocery store) it makes me a little sad that I am no longer a teacher. I really enjoyed being able to work with young people, helping them to learn to love Spanish. Hopefully, I can find a way to teach languages in a way that doesn't give me too much stress and anxiety to be happy.

I noticed that avocado burgers--meat between two avocado slices instead of bun--is delicious!

I noticed that Saturdays are not long enough! Actually every day just zooms by! Slow down life!

I now notice that I am very tired, and I know I should go to bed, because nights zoom by even faster than days!

Day 10

Today I noticed that I really do feel better when I eat healthy whole foods. Now, I just need to remember that healthy whole foods are what make me feel good and happy, not sugar, refined carbohydates, or processed foods. Sure temporarily these other foods might bring me pleasure but ultimately they make me feel and look lousy!

I've decided that in addition to my Healthy Eating Challenge, I am going to do the 7 Minute Fitness Challenge. But I'm going to modify it, because I am so out of shape. Tomorrow I will begin with exercise one--the jumping jacks. I will do them for 30 seconds and then repeat 3 times. Tuesday I will do the jumping jacks and then exercise two--the wall sit. I will repeat the circuit 3 times. Wednesday I will do the jumping jacks, the wall sit, and exercise 3--the push-ups and repeat the circuit 3 times. I will continute to build up to doing all twelve exercises over the next two weeks. After that I will continue to do circuits of all of the exercises. I'm excited to see if it will make a difference! I hope so! My whole life I haven't been very good at all at doing these types of exercises. I'm hoping that by starting out slow, I will be able to actually do the exercises, make progress, not give up, and eventually get really good at the exercises! Won't that be cool when I can actually do push-ups, tricep dips, and crunches really well?

As far as my writing challenge goes, I hate to see a good thing come to an end. I'm still going to try to write everyday. I'm not sure if I will continue with the initial prompt of "Today I noticed...", although I have enjoyed trying to notice more of what's happening around me and how I am feeling so that I would be able to write about something.

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