Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ups and Downs

Wouldn't it be great if life were only filled with ups? I love ups! Like the day I went on my first date with my (now) husband. The delivery day of each of my children. The day I found out my book was getting published. Even the little things, like a fun romp through the woods or a day spent on the lake or at a ski resort with my family.Ups are fabulous. Ups are divine!

Downs, on the hand, are not so fine. You know what I'm talking about. The kind of days or episodes that tend to bring out your worst emotions: anger, despair, and fear. I would love nothing more than to bury them deep in the earth and stomp on the grave for emphasis. I realize that without the downs, we wouldn't learn or grow or appreciate the ups, but that doesn't seem to improve my opinion of them.Downs stink.

Having a book released to the market adds an entirely new dimension to this phenomenon. It's kind of like that ride at Magic Mountain, called  the X, where your seats are doing forward and backward flips while still following the track of an extreme coaster. I got to experience the ride a few years ago. It was thrilling and scary--definitely a wild ride. I compare it to my life at the moment because in addition to the regular ups and downs of raising children, I now get to experience the ups and downs of other people's opinions of my writing. It has been both thrilling and scary, but in the end, I hope the journey takes me for a wild ride, leaving me breathless and wanting more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Magic of Words

"You may have the faith to move mountains,
but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel."

Back in my single/pre-children days, when I could attend classes or lectures sans kids (meaning I could listen), I used to carry around a small notebook and write down anything the speaker said or quoted that struck me as humorous or thought-provoking, or BOTH (my favorite). I loved my little quote book, and read from it often. Those words had the power to uplift, inspire, motivate, or just make me smile.

I know very few people that don't have a favorite quote posted or hanging somewhere in their home, office, locker, etc., or one they keep locked away in their memory. A saying or thought that holds the power to lift them up and brighten their day, even just a little. Such is the power of words.

From C.S. Lewis, to old college professors and teachers, to my neighbor down the street who recently spoke in church, and to many of the blogs I have read, I want to thank you for sharing your brilliant and inspired minds! May we all use our words for good and in our own small way, make the world a better place.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? If so, I'd love to hear what they are!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Beginnings

I love this time of year! Mostly because I have it ingrained in my mind that January is the time for new beginnings. (Heaven forbid I make any goals or resolutions in September.) For me, a new year means a clean slate and I love that feeling.

I will be more patient and loving with my children, I will actually stick to a budget, I will keep the house a little cleaner, and I WILL START EXERCISING. I have to, actually, because I signed up to run a 10K in March. A race and fear of being the last to cross the finish line, or not crossing it at all, seems to actually motivate me. But will the motivation continue after the race?

I've decided that this year I need a slightly new perspective. It would be nice to have this "fresh start" feeling remain throughout the entire year. Like perhaps creating one new resolution at the start of every month, rather than all right now. Or writing them down. I have friends who create a long list at the beginning of each new year and post it somewhere, like their bathroom mirror. I don't know, but I'm determined to do something different in the hopes that by January 2011, I can give myself a thumbs up rather than try to recall when or where I dropped the ball.

If you are a goal-maker, what's your process? I would love to hear how everyone combats the new year with all of it's resolution expectations, and I confess, I could use some fresh ideas to go with that fresh start.