Ebbs and Flows

The tides rise

Bringing life to the shores

Excitement and activity

Possibility and potential

And then they fall

Leaving pockets of life

But mostly stillness

Dried up skeletons

What used to be

Death where there was once hope

The ebbs and flows

The tides rise

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Twitter

I joined Twitter.

But not by choice.

I am a notoriously late adopter in the technology world. I still read books made of paper, I still use an iPod instead of my phone, my smartphone is years old, and I’m the only person in my group at work who doesn’t have a work phone. I’m just reluctant to be connected all the time.

But I’m taking a continuing education course on how to promote and publish a book right now. And one of the assignments was to join Twitter. And I did. Reluctantly. But now I kind of like it. It’s way different than things like blogging and Facebook. There’s so much noise to filter through on Twitter, that if you do happen to make your voice heard and have a real “interaction” with someone, it’s only for a second, and any feedback you get is instantaneous. Youre actually connecting with someone in real time. People aren’t giving you the thumbs up days later. It’s in that moment or not at all. There’s no “catching up” on Twitter. Your comments are fleeting. Or at least mine are as a relative nobody.

It’s a strange little world, but it’s interesting. You may want to give it a try. I’m not sure how long I’ll last but right now I’m intrigued.

Random Cards of Kindness

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Remember how awesome getting mail used to be? Before email and social media were a thing and people used to send letters and postcards? Maybe it’s time that we take the time to start handwriting our loved ones some kind words again.

When was the last time you thanked someone for being a part of your life? I think we have a tendency to take each other for granted. We assume our family and friends are always going to be there. But who really knows? People grow apart, people pass away, we lose phone numbers… For one reason or another people can drift out of our lives, never to be seen again, and we can be left with so many unsaid words.

While working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, one of the tasks in week 6 was to send postcards to five people. And while making my list, I discovered that there are seven people in my life who I really needed to send postcards to so I could thank them for being my friends. A few of them live a far away and I never really see, or even really talk to, anymore, while a couple of them live close by and we still regularly get together. And I decided I wanted to thank them for inspiring me to be myself because they’re all so good at being themselves. And because they have touched my life in some way and made it better.

For so long I’ve underestimated the value in saying thank you. It’s just something I learned as a reflex when I was a kid when my parents were teaching me manners. But saying “Thank you for passing the potatoes” just doesn’t have the same weight as saying “Thank you for making me a better person and taking the time to be a part of my life.”

Never underestimate the value of saying thank you. And if you have some time, find some way to tell those important people in your life that you are grateful for them.

#Inktober

So I just recently learned that Inktober is a thing.

If you have not heard of it, basically, it’s a 31 drawings in 31 days challenge. I discovered it a little late, but I think it’s something everyone should try if they can eke out some time. Lots of people say they can’t draw, but the truth is, EVERYONE can draw. Just ask your childhood self.

If you’re having troubles thinking about what to draw, you’re in luck! There’s a prompt list! Be sure to use hashtags to share with the rest of the art world. #Inktober #Inktober2017

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Here was my submission for day 8:

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Learning How to Fall

“Learn how to fall so you don’t hurt yourself.”

“If you’re going to fall, try and fall small so you don’t take others down with you.”

 

This was some of the advice that was given to me when I decided to give roller derby a try the other night. Yes, you read right, roller derby: Girls on roller skates, body checking each other while skating around a track – for sport. That roller derby.

It’s not necessarily something I’m going to do on a go-forward basis, but it had always been something I was curious about.

So when I ran across a Facebook event advertising a free roller derby “Try It” night, I signed up.

But I have a tendency of planning to go to things and then talking myself out of them, so I decided to take out a little insurance, and I convinced a friend to sign up as well. It’s easier than it should be to not show up when you’re only breaking a commitment to yourself, but it’s a lot harder when it means breaking a commitment to someone else.

But then on the day of the “Try It” night, my friend canceled on me! Her dog had ripped her dew claw and needed to have surgery. Which, is terrible for the dog and for my friend, but the biggest effect it had on me was that I no longer had a partner-in-crime to encourage me to go.

And it definitely created some doubts. Should I still go? Did it really matter if I didn’t show up? Did I really care about roller derby enough to go by myself? I wasn’t letting anyone down if I didn’t go…

Except myself.

I am way too good at talking myself out of things I want to do. And somehow, that night I overcame that problem and stood up to myself. I put on some workout gear, filled a water bottle, and went and tried roller derby.

And it was so much fun. And silly. And hard. And of course it would have been fun to share the experience with a friend and have someone you know to laugh with and commiserate with when I realize how bad I am at roller skating, but it was fun by myself too.

I got to meet new people, learn some new skills, and step outside of my comfort zone to have a little fun.

Sometimes it’s important to do what you want and not worry about having a friend as a security blanket. I would have missed out on such a good time and missed out on meeting some amazing derby girls. Because derby girls are something to aspire towards: They’re tough and strong  and independent, but most of all, they know how to fall and how to get up quickly after they fall.

These last couple of weeks have been tough for me and my motivation for things has wavered, from everything to my health to my blogging, but it’s time to pick myself up again and keep skating forward.

Giving Up Reading for One Week – Day 7

The last day of no reading. And I gave in.

I needed a break from work and I needed breakfast. And you can’t just sit in a food court by yourself with nothing to do. My go to distraction this past week has been drawing but you don’t want to do that while you’re eating. You know what the perfect thing to do while you’re eating is? Reading.

So I opened a book and I read a few chapters. I convinced myself it was the last day and that it didn’t matter. But it does matter doesn’t it? Not necessarily that I started reading when I’m trying not to, but that I so easily decided I didn’t need to follow through on something that I had previously committed to. Priorities change I guess, but it’s way too easy to break promises to ourselves. And then we slowly learn not to trust ourselves. What may seem like a small thing by itself, could be a big problem when looking at the whole.

But I’m also learning to me more forgiving of myself. Does a slip mean that I outright fail? Before I would have said yes – the assignment was to not read for 7 days and I only made it 6 1/2. But sometimes we learn the most when we slip up. And then we have the chance to grow and move forward.

So now I’m back on the wagon with full intentions of finishing out the day. Because when we’re weak, we work on becoming stronger and when we fall off the wagon, we climb back on.

Giving in for an hour doesn’t mean the whole week was for nothing. I still got a lot of use from not reading or watching TV. It did in fact make space for other things in my life like blogging, writing, drawing, online classes, etc. But there’s also definitely room for reading. Some situations are just made for sitting down with a good book. And apparently one of those situations is eating breakfast while sitting alone in a food court in order to get away from my desk for a while.