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As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Now What?

Rule #57 - Revisit. Reflect. Recommit.

     Wow – already it’s the end of March. Where has the time gone? What’s been happening in life at this time? We are in the middle of Holy Week, in my religion, and nearing the Lenten finish line. I have a duty to look back and see what I’ve done, how I may have changed, and what more I can do to improve the world around me.
     These are tough questions. It may seem that this whole change thing is narcissistic. I mean, gotta change me, be a better me, do things better, accomplish more… whole lotta self, right? Then I think of the words of the song “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” and I think, “Self, are you spreading peace?”
     That’s a judgment I’m not sure I can make.
      Let’s revisit what’s been happening in the past few months. The biggest item is a break-up with a man who I thought would be a forever friend. I haven’t heard a word from him – kind or otherwise – in over two months. I’ve been working hard to forgive him for his rude and selfish behavior. And I’ve been working on forgiving myself for falling so quickly in love again. I know I have to learn to trust others in relationships. But I also need to trust myself too, to know when things are right. I need to tap back into my “Inner Dude” – the guy in my head that tells me to think twice and be hesitant. I need to allow time to work its magic on my heart.
     We’ve also been deep into planning for my daughter’s wedding. There’s been lots of talk about missing Hub on a day like that. I’m feeling his loss more and more with each wedding item checked off the planning list. I’m anticipating a rough, but happy day.
     It’s been easy to stay cocooned up this winter. The cold and snow, and no place to go at times, can be so depressing. Now with spring technically here (someone forgot to tell the weatherman some days), I am starting to feel more alive and energetic. Here’s a big thank-you to those who moved daylight savings time to earlier in the month. 
     With the time change, and weather changes, come sports changes. My Lady Terrapins are heading to the Final Four. The men’s team did exceptionally well for their first year in the Big 10 conference. Spring training is almost over for baseball.
     I did get back to Sarasota for some baseball and friend-visiting this year. I brought a widowed friend of mine (her loss is very recent) who needed the break from all the legal and financial paperwork that happens after a spouse passes. We both let loose and had a great time. I am still recovering from the sinus infection I picked up on the trip.
      Plans changed for the Easter feast. I was supposed to visit my son in Massachusetts. If I thought I got too much snow this winter, they got more. Schools are making up lost snow days this week.  Sports events are doing the same. Jobs – same thing. Yes, I am disappointed I can’t see everyone up north. But I’ll get up there soon – perhaps over Memorial Day weekend.
     I did attend another writer’s conference with my local SCBWI chapter. This past weekend had me hobnobbing with so many published writers that I was in awe of the talent. I met EB Lewis, an artistrator, whose watercolor illustrations are artwork in their own right. His ability to draw me into the pictures with the blends of colors, and attention to detail is mesmerizing. I can look at his work and find something new every minute. I also met Fred Bowen, from the Washington Post. He is writing in the area that I want to write – chapter books aimed at boys ages 8-12. He uses sports themes to teach life lessons. I am compelled to read him! I want to know more about his work.
     The barbershop chorus I sing with also had a dress rehearsal performance. We are getting ready for our contest weekend in April. I now believe that I am participating in the ultimate team sport. Yes, I sing a specific part – specific set of notes, words and timing. But I am one of several to blend and make one complete sound. Sorry, sports purists, there is no ball in this sport, but it is a sport nonetheless. Singing is fun, emotionally purging, and physically satisfying. I want to do it well. I hope I am doing it well. I am committing to being better at singing.
     I’ve gotten a chance to revisit a lot of things from the past few months. Been reflecting on them too. My writing is one thing that is top priority for me, even going forward into the spring and summer. It’s not just about the adventures. It’s about how I tell the story of those adventures, about what I’ve learned from them. I noticed that I haven’t been using the Gibbs Rules for a while. I think I’ll go back to using them, but only where it’s appropriate. If the piece is journalistic, I won’t use them. If the piece is reflective, I will. Does that make sense?
     With extra time on my hands at home, I’ve noticed that the house has been a bit neglected. Yes, basic cleaning occurred. Don’t want the health department at my door. But now it’s time to get busy doing other things. Heavy housecleaning of the upstairs needs to happen this spring. It’s time to clean out closets and all that other spring cleaning stuff. And I can’t forget the outside. I ordered lots of flower plants for the yard. I need to get outside and finish the spring clean up. Time for me to plot this out on my to-do list and get it all ta-done. Time, too, for Ma Nature to give us some warm, dry days – several in a row would be nice.
     Commitment – something a lot of people fear. Why? Because then, you are accountable. If you say you are going to do something, or commit to a relationship or task, you have do show that you mean business with your actions. Too often we say we commit and don’t follow through. What do I want to be held accountable for? I want to be there for my family and my friends. I want to be able to help them as best as I can, when I can. I want to work for the greater good through my worship community at church. I want to expand my social network to include singles of my own age. I want to write, and be a published author someday. I want to enjoy the process of writing success (and the “failures” that go with it). I want to enjoy my life as it is, and as it will be, with God’s grace.
     There… I said it. Now to do it.

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