Category Archives: Thankful

#Bloglikecrazy Reads & Inspiration

Happy Sunday, y’all!

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Today is the last day of the #bloglikecrazy challenge that our fearless leader, Javacia, gave to the See Jane Write members for November. I have to say, I have been really happy with my posts for November — and I hope you have, too! You might say, “Why do you sound surprised that that’s the case?” Well, I had a lot of fear that I wouldn’t have something to write about each and every day! But as Javacia reminded us when we started out with a #bloglikecrazy kickoff on Nov. 1, writing each day is a practice, and you really do grow with it as you do it each day.

I learned a few things this month that I wanted to share with you, if you are a blogger yourself or you’re trying to tackle a project that takes daily diligence. Here’s what I learned:

1. You do have the time. Some days you may only have 30 min. to dedicate to your goal, other days you may be able to take a couple of hours. But each day, you really can find the time. Same goes for working out! We just need to plan accordingly.

2. It’s the people, in my case my readers, who make the difference. Engaging with all of you on a daily basis as been a great release for me. Whether you’ve written to me in the comments or responded on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, I love hearing your thoughts on something I’ve written and it often fuels me to write something else! My number of subscribers has grown since the start of this month, as have my daily readers and followers on all of my social media networks, and for that I am truly, truly grateful.

3. Writing is therapy. For me, it’s my outlet. Others may like to do craft projects, take photographs or play an instrument. Writing is where I channel my creativity and it’s freeing to spend some time each day focusing on that and on, hopefully, improving that skill. It has been gratifying to work on that every day!

4. You mean more to others than you realize. Whether you listen to a friend or loved one on the telephone, or you help a friend by watching her kids or, in my case, maybe I’ve put into words something someone else has been feeling and now she knows she’s not alone — all of those things bond us to other humans and mean probably more than we know. There’s a lot of value in helping others feel that someone else knows what it’s like to be in their shoes. I’ve heard from a few of you that some of the things I’ve written have touched you and that is the No. 1 reason why I blog. Because we all have our struggles and our ups and downs, but knowing there’s someone else out there who understands or can help, that makes it OK.

So, thank you for a wonderful month! I’m really hoping to keep this consistency up because, for the reasons above, I have found it so enjoyable to write more often. Thank you for fueling that!

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And, because I have some lovely blogger friends who have written some great posts this month, too, I wanted to share a few of them here:

Javacia at See Jane Write: What should I include in my blog’s media kit?
What are your thoughts on the Ferguson grand decision?

Tanya at All In Stride: I Don’t Care That You Hate My 13.1 Sticker
Do Vegans Fart More? And Other Diet Questions

Sherri at YouGotRossed: That Time I Spent The Night In Jail

Jessica at Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water: Winterize Your Pantry

Kelly at Inspire Fitness: Lessons Learned From The Vulcan 10k

Chanda of Chanda Temple Writes: Wednesday’s Word

Clair at See Clair Write: How Not To Live Your Dreams

Edward at Soul In Stereo: Beyonce Wasn’t High At The Brooklyn Nets Game, But You Might Be

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Tales Of Two Legs, And Feet

My legs have been through a lot.

They have walked the streets of Paris, Dublin and London. They have jumped huge puddles of snowy slush on the corners of New York City blocks, swam in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific and finished two races of 13.1 miles.

When I was in fourth grade, some brilliant child in my class decided it would be fun to play tag on the merry-go-round. So as the metal base turned and turned, we ran and jumped and dove out of reach of whoever was “it.” I took a tumble off the side, my left leg rolling under the old, rusting playground toy. I came up laughing, until I looked down and saw the muscle inside my leg. A piece of metal had gouged a gaping hole just above my knee. Now I only remember certain sensations about the event: feeling cool that my Dad picked me up in his cherry-red Nova to drive me to the emergency room; the look on my sister’s face as she saw my leg and almost fainted; the softness of my teddy bear, Odie, that my mom brought me to bring me comfort. I also remember the needle pricks as they numbed the area to give me stitches, which eventually tickled as the doctor removed them once the wound healed.

The summer my family moved from California to New Jersey so my father could take a new job with the Air Force, we spent some time with my grandparents in upstate New York. For as long as I can remember we have traveled to Lake George in the Adirondacks to swim in this lake, carved out by glaciers long ago. It is one of the places I feel most at home in this world. But this summer, the lake, or more specifically, a ladder, had a vendetta against me. As I walked excitedly onto the dock and dove into the cold water, I kicked my legs and began swimming, feeling the slimy rocks on the bottom, searching out a flat, smooth rock near the ladder that I always stood on. Deciding to get out of the water and dive in again, because diving off the end of the dock is one of my life’s greatest pleasures, I put my weight on my right leg, and unfortunately too much on the rickety, wooden ladder that just might’ve been as old as I was at 16 that year. In no time, I was flailing, hanging on the left side of the ladder as the right side collapsed, and a rusty nail scratched me fairly deeply in one swift swipe. Thankfully stitches weren’t needed this time, but a tetanus shot was and the scar still reminds me to fear ladders.

These two scars on each leg happened years apart, as did two more identical scars on each leg dead center on my shins. The first year I decided to play volleyball while attending high school in California, I had no idea what was in store for me. So when the coach said we needed to practice our spike approach on the jump box, I didn’t know what he was talking about. A wooden box about knee-high, covered in rough carpet, was set up a few paces away from where we lined up. One by one, we practice our four-step spike approach and lifted ourselves up, both feet at once, to land standing on top of the box. In an effort to train us to jump higher, so we could spike better, the jump box was a useful training tool. But when arrogance gets the better of you and you decide to leap to level two of the box before warming up on level one, you pay the price. Two years in a row, during summer practices, I made that fatal mistake, and my shins have the scars to prove it. No wonder the older volleyball players wore their knee pads on their shins as they approached the box.

Only my left foot bares the scars of damage from years of abuse; somehow my right foot has always been spared. But all the scars are internal. Breaking my foot when falling in the play pen when I was two left me hobbling around in a cast with my Dad’s sock to protect it from my toddler ramblings. Deciding to play kickball with no laces in my Keds (as was the fashion at the time) left my foot bruised and broken, wrapped in a cast and stuck on the sidelines of my Dad’s squadron pool party. Another case of arrogance while playing Chinese jump rope and slipping on the edge of the sidewalk left the left side of my foot cracked — an injury I feel when I run a lot. My mother still talks about how black-and-blue-and-green my foot was from this particular break. I just remember the photo of me, posing in my cast with a poster of Brandon Walsh behind me.

But it was the last break, courtesy of a flip on a trampoline that slammed my foot into the metal rim, that really did me in. A teenager at the time and stubborn, to say the least, I was lazy about the physical therapy assigned to me. Hence the continued pain in the edge of my foot today.

Despite the abuse I have subjected my legs and feet to, I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for them. These days, it’s my legs and feet that drive me to a job I love and spread out on the floor while I play with my niece. It’s my legs and feet that push me to run, walk, spin and dance my way to a healthier life.

These days, I’m thankful for the scars, internal and external, because they are signs of a full life.

4 Small Goals

As predicted, I haven’t blogged since my parents arrived on Thursday. Sorry to bail on #bloglikecrazy for a few days! But it was time well-spent with family and I so needed that. It’s hard living in the South when most of my family is in the Northeast. The good thing, though? When it’s snowing and the power goes out at your parents’ house for the second time in two weeks (they were hit by the hurricane, too), you get to provide a warm place to stay with a working shower!

I’m taking my cue today from Javacia, who wrote recently about four goals she wants to accomplish by the new year. It’s Nov. 11, so that gives me about a month and a half to complete a few goals myself. Here’s what I’d like to do before 2013 begins:

1. Finish reading book two of Game of Thrones. This isn’t such a lofty goal, except dedicating more time to reading is. I have a tendency to waste far too much time online (ahem, Pinterest) instead of diving into a good book. I started reading this series awhile ago and put it aside to read a few other books. Now I’m back on it and really into it, but progressing slowly ’cause I just don’t read as often or as much as I should. I’d love to read a looooong list of books in 2013, so I need to get started by finishing this book now!

2. Start lifting weights at least twice a week. Cardio isn’t an issue for me. I love walking, running, Zumba, spinning … you name it, I’ll do it. But I’m terrible about using weights consistently. Whether I take an actual Body Pump class, or do 30 min. or so of weight training on my own, I want this to become more a part of my weekly routine than it is now.

3. Clean out storage trunks and home desk. I have a lot of stuff. I have a lot of stuff inside two storage trunks and my desk at home that I never, ever use. I think back to when I moved into this apartment a year and a half ago and I can’t really say that I’ve regularly used much of whatever is inside these pieces of furniture. Therefore, it’s time to purge. If I haven’t used it in this time, then I don’t need it. Time to clean house.

4. Become a better long-distance friend. Lately I feel I’ve been slacking off. Life is busy and I just haven’t taken the time that I’d like to call old friends and catch up. But besides that, I used to be a better letter writer, too. I used to love sending friends and family cheap cards or handwritten letters. When was the last time you got a handwritten letter? Sure, it’s slow, but it’s so special! I’d like to reconnect with people, or connect with good friends more often, in the next month.

Do you have anything you’d like to accomplish before 2013 beings?

Thankful November, Day 11: I’m so thankful for FaceTime! Modern technology is a wonderful thing. Living far away from my sweet niece is the hardest thing in the world, but every time I get to see her smiley face on FaceTime, and she can actually see me and react to me, it just warms my heart. It’s a lifesaver!

Thankful November

While I’m trying to post on my blog every day this month for #bloglikecrazy with the See Jane Write gals, I’m also going to try to give thanks for the many blessings in my life. It’s typical for many people to start doing this in November, but this year it’s especially important to me. For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve lost focus on all that I have to be thankful for in my life. It’s so easy to go through the motions — sleep, eat, work, do it all over again. You get caught up in the business of life and forget to pause and think about the little things.

So while I am, of course, thankful for the big things in my life — a roof over my head, a loving family and boyfriend, amazing friends — I want to focus on the little things. Since it is Nov. 4, I’ll post four things today to get caught up!

Thankful November, Day 1: I’m thankful for my job! Now this isn’t really a little thing, but having the amazing coworkers that I have is very rare. Nov. 1 was my one-year anniversary working at B.A.S.S. as the assistant editor of Bassmaster magazine, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been so thankful to celebrate a one-year anniversary at a company. They’re amazing people doing an amazing job and I’m lucky to work with them!

Thankful November, Day 2: I’m thankful for social media. There’s just something about Twitter, y’all! If you’re not signed up, you really should. I’ve met great people through social media that I may never have met before. In fact, this week I am meeting two girls for lunch who I never would’ve known (possibly) without Twitter. Getting connected to more people in my community who share similar interests is really great.

Thankful November, Day 3: I’m thankful for the beautiful scenery that surrounds me in Birmingham. It’s often on fall days that I drive around and my eyes open wider to how beautiful this town is. The air is crisp, the sky is blue, the leaves are changing colors. You just gotta stop and appreciate it while you can!

Fall color seen on my short run Sunday morning!

Thankful November, Day 4: I’m thankful that I took up running! I went for a short run this morning to see how my left foot was feeling after receiving some initial treatments for the plantar fasciitis, and I felt pretty good! Even though I was moving slower and ran a shorter distance than I’d normally like, it’s just an amazing feeling to move your body like that … something I never would’ve dreamed of doing just a few short years ago. So glad I’ve become a runner!

Now that I’m caught up, I’ll resume my usual posts, but I’ll add a Thankful November message to the bottom of each one.

What are you thankful for this November?