Friday, February 21, 2020

Numerous : Write 28 Days

Somehow we're back to numbers today. As you may recall from Day 5, I was not a fan of this term. But I've decided to try and see a more positive side of this variation of the term. 

So numerous is defined as great in number; many. Not the most creative definition, but there you are. What shall I tell you about today that numerously applies to in my life? There were numerous abusers in the past. There were numerous attempts at therapy to get to the root of several issues. There have been numerous years, journals, sessions, talks, and crying jags on this journey to better health. All of this is true, but I'd rather talk about other numerous-es.

I have numerous collections. I collect stuffed animals, fairies, hedgehogs, teapots, vintage linens, pitchers, bowls, and books.

I like numerous forms of crafting. I crochet, bake, sew, bead, make Smash Books, and coloring (I would like it noted that I took up coloring LOOONNNGGG before it was trendy!)

I have numerous other hobbies that include but are not limited to, reading, writing, watching movies, watching streaming shows, listening to podcasts, getting lost on the internet via rabbit trails of curiosity, yoga, biking, cooking, listening to music, and singing.

Suddenly numbers/numerous aren't looking so bad to me. It's fascinating to take the time to see a list of just some of the things I love about my life. And so once again, Write 28 Days is helping me to appreciate myself in numerous ways! (See what I did there? LOL!)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Sparrow : Write 28 Days

This small bird usually symbolizes joy and protection, but it can also be a symbol of simplicity and community. Teamwork and hard work are what make the sparrows productive.

I've always love sparrows, and now knowing this about them I understand why!

Sparrows find it easy to adjust to living around humans. They eat moths and small insects, but they can also eat berries and seeds, so living in close contact with people is easy for them. There is an easy supply of food and sparrows quickly assimilate to feeders. 

I like the idea that sparrows symbolize joy, protection, simplicity, and community. These are all things that are important to me, and it's impossible to think of sparrows without remembering the scriptures - 

Psalm 84:3
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Proverbs 26:2
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

Hosea 11:11
They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.

Matthew 10:29
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

Matthew 10:31
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:6
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Luke 12:7
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Sparrows feel like a gift from God to remind me of all kinds of wonderful things. 

When I first saw this prompt, I was confused by it. How did sparrow fit into this challenge? Now I think it's my favorite prompt so far.

His Eye Is on the Sparrow

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Endure : Write 28 Days

By now you all know that I like definitions, so my starting point was to look up the word endure. The initial result did NOT please me. Let me start by saying in my head endure is a positive word. In truth, words are neither good nor bad, but we all have feelings about words (or is that just me?). 

The first definition I found was from The Oxford, which is my go-to source, and I was really disappointed. The Oxford went with "suffer; remain in existence; last". Suffer? Really? Just not where I would have started. But, a little more research offered some better options -  to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo. Somehow this seems more upbeat to me.

Perhaps all this definition anxiety comes from my history. I endured a lot as a kid. But I feel as if I did more than just suffer, remain in existence, and last. I really like to hold out against. I did suffer, but that was only part of the endurance. I definitely held out against the abuse when it was happening, and I have fought tooth and nail to overcome and live a good life. I am succeeding. 

While I'm not glad to have been abused, I believe that early experience of enduring something awful has helped me for the rest of my life. Let's be clear - NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE ABUSE. I am a big believer in looking for the silver lining, and my silver lining has been learning about myself and accepting that I am capable. The experiences we have, whether good, neutral, bad, or traumatic to not define us. We always have choices and options. Some are just harder to see than others. 

Today I choose to embrace the word endure in all it's positivity. I hope you will, too.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Effective : Write 28 Days

successful in producing a desired or intended result

Sometimes I wonder if I'm effective. It's easier for me to look back on all the ways I've been ineffective, but maybe that's just the abuse talking. There's a line from the movie "Pretty Woman" that has always stuck in my head - "The bad stuff is easier to believe." I think that's one thing the abuse taught me to do.

So today for my edification, and possibly yours, I'm making a list of things I've been effective in doing. Maybe this will motivate you to do the same.

1. I raised my children to adulthood.
2. I have open, friendly relationships with my adult children.
3. I navigated (and continue to navigate) the treacherous waters of recovery from abuse.
4. I navigated returning to myself after a long marriage that ended in divorce.
5. I found, redecorated, and moved into the first place I've ever lived on my own.
6. I found a part-time job I really like.
7. I've returned to writing and am beginning to accept that I may be good at it.
8. I like myself (most days).
9. I have maintained lifelong friendships.
10. I am rebuilding my connection with God.

I'm sure there are other things I've been effective at, but 10 seems to prove the point. I have a choice about how I choose to see my life. I can focus on my ineffectiveness, or I can focus on effective opportunities. I'm not talking about seeing life through rose-colored glasses. I'm talking about balance. It may be easier to believe the bad stuff, but we don't have to take the easier path. 

Make your list!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Relationship : Write 28 Days

the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected

In our society relationship is assumed to imply romance, but I like to look beyond that idea. I like the definition from The Oxford Dictionary because it doesn't limit the word to romance.

I have a relationship with my home, my car, my bed, my feed, my computer, my blog. You get the idea. By limiting the word, relationship, to only people, we limit our understanding of the world.

This is a pet peeve of mine with the English language. We need more variety in our vocabulary to fully express ideas and concepts. I heard once that the Inuit people have 50 words for snow. That "fact" is up for debate, but it is true that variations on words help us understand more fully than a single word used repeatedly.

Experts claim that the reason some cultures have many words for one thing is because language evolves to focus on the most important aspects of life. If you live in an environment where it snows for 365 days a year then this becomes a crucial part of your existence. In an article in the Washington Post, Willem de Reuse, a linguist at the University of North Texas, said: “These people need to know whether ice is fit to walk on or whether you will sink through it. It’s a matter of life or death.”  -- (

Here's what I do know about relationships -- they can be with objects, concepts, or people. They can be easy, difficult, complicated, confusing, and comforting. And we all need at least one solid relationship to help us keep moving forward.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Experiment : Write 28 Days

A course of action tentatively adopted without being sure of the eventual outcome.

I experiment a lot. Constantly trying new methods to organize my time and space for the maximum return value. Always looking for the best way to use my time and resources. It sounds like a good plan to maximize my opportunities.

Over time I have come to believe I've made that maximization the end result, rather than a stepping stone to improve my life.

It's a recurring issue for perfectionists. If I can find the right plan, the right notebook, the right filing system, the right pen . . . If, if, if. I can get so caught up in the planning, testing, experimenting that I lose sight of the goal. To live my best life. To be the person I want to be. To create. 

Recently, I had a brief unplanned experiment. When woke up I realized I had nowhere to be that day. I had no one depending on me for anything. The day was truly mine. I briefly thought about getting up and making a to-do list but stopped myself. This day could truly be about me. Of course, there were things that would need to be addressed throughout the day, but mostly it was my day to use as I saw fit. 

It was terrifying. But only momentarily. I realized it was up to me if I got up of stayed in bed a bit longer. It was up to me if I showered and dressed and then got my tea or vice versa. I felt myself smiling at this thought - first, laughing at myself a bit, and then later with joy at the idea of it all.

On that day here is what I did:

- had tea and boiled eggs
- talked with my son and his friends
- talked with daughter on the phone
- showered and got dressed
- boiled the remains of a rotisserie chicken for stock and chicken to make into a salad
- baked an apple dump cake because I had apples that needed to be used
- wrote a blog post
- participated in an online photo challenge
- crocheted
- listened to a podcast
- searched for documentaries to watch
- watched an episode of 2 shows on Netflix
- cleaned the kitchen
- cooked dinner for the 3 of us
- played on my iPad
- handled a couple work issues (not my fave, but things happen)
- stayed up too late playing on my phone and watching Netflix

As I look back at the day, I see things I would have characterized as "good" and "worthwhile". I see some creativity. I see some "wasted" time. But mostly what I see is a day that is representative of who I am. Every day doesn't provide a complete picture of me and that's okay. 

So I will continue to experiment with what I want my days to include or exclude. I will work on accepting each day for what it brings, accomplishes, and allows. And I realize that there is no need to be so judgmental of myself because this is where I am right now. At this moment in time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Possible : Write 28 Days

At first glance, possible, is an adjective to me. Anything is possible - is the first thing that jumped into my head, which is unfortunate since I don't actually believe that. I want that to be true, but it's not.

So I looked up the word in the dictionary. Because that's what I do. I gather information to validate and back up my ideas and beliefs. 

ADJECTIVE Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something.

Much is possible, but anything? I kept reading.

NOUN A person or thing that has the potential to become or do something, especially a potential candidate for a job or membership on a team. 

Now, this I like. A person or thing that has potential. Everyone has the potential to be or do something. There is no arguing with that. (Unless you want to get all philosophical, which I definitely do no!)

I know I keep coming back to this, but at the retreat last weekend I talked about my profile description on this blog. I list myself as a "would-be writer". The other participants balked at my description. We talked about what and how we define being a writer. Is it based on how many articles, stories, or poems we've published? Is the number of books written and published? Does publication or payment for writing factor into one's right to claim that title?

The definition of writer is one who writes. There are no provisos or addendums. One who writes. I am a writer. I will very rarely argue with The Oxford Dictionary.

It's possible I may need to change my profile.