Versatile Blogger Award

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Thank you to the very sweet Rachael over at Rachael’s Ramblingss for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award! It’s been close to nine months now since I started ThirtyNWordy and it’s been a blessing in disguise to become a part of this community with such interesting, talented people from all over the world!

 

The rules when nominated are:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include the link to their blog.
  2. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.
  4. Share seven facts about yourself.

 

Seven facts about me:

  1. My dream job is to be a travel writer.
  2. Two places I would love to visit in the next five years are Alberta, Canada and the Greek Islands.
  3. I love to cook. If it weren’t for a little thing called calories, I’d cook and bake all of the time.
  4. I have worked in the accounting industry for 10 years this year! Although it is not at all what I ever pictured myself doing, I’ve come to appreciate the stability and flexibility it has offered me and the valuable things I have learned from it.
  5. I absolutely love books and bookstores. I could browse and sit in a bookstore for hours (if only they weren’t nearly extinct). Writing has only enhanced this love.
  6. My first job was at a deli when I was 16. I learned to cook so many different things there and loved talking to all of the regulars every day. That is also where I believe my coffee addiction began, as I would make myself a drink with the espresso machine every morning.
  7. My favorite sport is baseball. I didn’t learn to enjoy the sport until I was an adult, but I’m definitely glad I did.

 

My nominations:

 

 

January Fog 

It’s another blurry winter morning in January. As I begin my climb up that all-too-familiar hill, I watch as a low layer of fog rolls through; steadily blanketing the atmosphere in between the mountains that encompass the heavily congested highways leading in and out of the Central Valley. Most days, the sun takes the place of the dreariness here, intensifying the colors of the rolling green slopes, freckled with yellow wildflowers. But as much as I love that view, the fog brings with it a curious calmness, as does the stillness of the wind turbines whose rotations never failed to hold my gaze as a child. Occasionally, when traffic is especially unbearable, I sneak through the back of the hills and catch a closer glimpse of the massive, well-known structures.


That time of year has come yet again, where most people have a very clear and concise idea of how they want to spend the next 12 months and what they want to have accomplished by the end of it. Not me. Just as I have come to love the fog as much as the sunshine in a physical sense, so I have come to embrace the periods of fogginess in my life. Realizing that although the lack of clarity may hinder my view of what’s ahead, the unknown is more magical than it is scary. Having more trust in the universe and my place in it then ever before.

With a new year ahead, I know that just as the texture and color on those hills and the air surrounding will continue to change with the season, so will I. Each phase being beautiful in it’s own way and somehow necessary to the next.

“Don’t stress so much about settling on a path for 2017. The division of time into years is a human invention, and fact is every moment of every day is another opportunity for resolution and growth. So when the fireworks fly, relax and enjoy the moment. The rest will come to you.” ~ Beau Taplin

Hiatus

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m not a reclusive person. Not by nature anyway. But as the curtain began to close on this year, I realized I needed to pause and to clear my ever incessant mind. This meant making less time consuming plans with others, shutting down electronics more often, and spending much more (and much needed) time at home. I set out to accomplish tasks that only i bestowed upon myself and to go about them as thoroughly or as apathetically as I chose; then to spend some days in my pajama’s with no intentions or guilt whatsoever. I took the longest consecutive time off of work that I’ve taken in close to three years. Reminding myself of the scant periods of time in my adult life where there weren’t places to rush off to and endless tasks looming. I needed to sort of just exist for a few weeks, to almost purposely be uninspired for a time, as I knew a great deal of reflection and refocusing was just around the corner. The continuation of my search and accumulation of substance from within myself, others, experiences, books, nature…the list is endless.

I was able to enjoy a little time away with my children, and for that I’m most grateful. A few days away from responsibility to spoil them and remind myself of my greatest role in life, that of being a Mother. Their Mother.

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(Outside of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The same spot I posed with them one year prior.) 

And waking up to the colors of the sunrise reflecting off of the bay from our room was a wonderful way to spend a quiet morning before the kids awoke.

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Along with a little getaway, I was able to begin my quest to de-clutter. The truth in this statement motivating my slow but steady realignment:

“Clutter is not just the stuff on the floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living” – Peter Walsh

I put an effort into the physical aspect of this, attempting to make my home more organized and paying bills a quicker process. However, one of those not so physical area’s of “clutter” I have been able to identify for some time is social media. Not only the amount of time wasted checking it repeatedly, but scrolling, commenting, and the pointless articles that I would get sucked into reading. I realized, unfortunately, that many of the people I was connected with truly had very little to say or offer. The overabundance of negativity, perpetual crudeness, and the endless “test results” posted of what I’m sure comprise of about five recycled answers as to “How many kids will you have”, “When will you get married”, “What are your greatest attributes”, “What celebrity do you look like”…etc, etc. None of it was adding any substance to my life, in fact, it was doing the opposite. So of the two social media accounts I have, I’ve deleted one and plan to delete the app of the other off of my phone after I save the pictures I want and make a permanent decision to delete it.

“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs, and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.” – Annonymous. This sentiment fully describes what I’ve come to appreciate about my life, my world. It is mine, and mine alone to create, fulfill, nurture, and mold. I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to the decisions I make on a personal level, nor should I ever feel guilty about taking a hiatus at times. A step back from society in general to regroup and restore myself.

I hope everyone reading has had a wonderful, positive end to 2016 and that 2017 is everything you want it and make it to be.

Immersion

I have been reading a lot lately about the concept of immersion in relation to creative non-fiction writing. You find a subject of interest and then immerse yourself in that culture/trade/way of life, whatever it may be. In memoir style writing, YOU ARE the subject. You are essentially immersing yourself in your own life. Not in a “head in the sand” type of way (unaware of what’s going on in the world surrounding you, or uninterested, caring only for yourself). Rather, in this refreshing, self-enlightened kind of way, albeit incredibly vulnerable at times. You learn what made you, what moves you…tapping into memories, emotions, hesitations, and ambitions that shape you in one way or another.

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When you lose someone close to you suddenly, you begin to think about all of the lingering questions you wish you would have asked them and the stories that were yet to be told. That was, in part, the reason for me to begin writing…the realization that there were many adventures and tales unique to my Father that died with him. Narratives I will never be privy to. I decided I didn’t want the same to be true of myself. And then, as if to cement that way of thinking, I came across the following piece of advice: “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you.” – Neil Gaiman.

One definition of immersion is “deep mental involvement”. In a world that’s become obsessed with being “involved” in the lives of others (even those they’ve never met), the idea of developing a deep mental involvement in my own life, an awakened consciousness, is a concept I’ve welcomed with open arms. Something I truly hope sticks with me through the remainder of my life, whether that life includes a future in writing or not. It’s something I want my children to observe and to learn because what this world lacks greatly, is compassion. And I believe compassion cannot be shown without understanding, and understanding can’t be achieved without consciousness and recognition. We understand others when we can relate in some way, either with feelings or experiences, aspects of ourselves that we must learn to be in tune with if we wish to tap into them for the better good.

To write about something, actually, to write WELL about something, one must have a level of interest that mirrors passion. I have, through this process, become  increasingly passionate about my life…how, where, and with whom I spend it, and most importantly, how I view it. As my immersion deepens, I have found the following state of being to be less and less elusive:

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And that is what I wish for anyone that is reading this. Now, and for the coming New Year.

 

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2 

We’re half way through the week! And I’m here to share my quote for day 2…


I love these words because they are a reminder to me of how much personal growth I’ve achieved in the past year. It’s been said, until you learn how to have a healthy relationship with yourself, you’ll never be able to build healthy relationships with others. I’ve learned that you can’t rely on others to support you, or believe in you, or lead you in the direction you need to be going in life. You have to learn what’s best for you, what fulfills you in life, then act on it, whether other people are on the same page as you or not.Writing is a perfect example. You could spend hours pouring your heart out on paper, and you might very well be the only person that reads it or appreciates it. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t accomplish something. The more we focus on doing things simply because they’re good for us or they make us happy, rather than for instant gratification or attention, the more content we will be. 

Now the three bloggers I am nominating today are:

Ugly Forever Blog
Stories From My Diary
Loud Thoughts Voiced Out

The rules of the challenge are as follows:
1. Three quotes over three days
2. Thank the person who nominated you
3. Three nominees each day to complete the challenge
4. Inform the nominees

3 Day Quote Challenge

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Hello to all my readers! I was nominated by my blogging friend Angela at Never Forget, Never Regret to join in on the 3 Day Quote Challenge, which I’m more than happy to participate in (as you can see from the majority of my posts, I always try to include an inspirational/relevant quote). I know from personal experience there have been many times where I felt discouraged, unmotivated, uninspired, and then I came across a piece of wisdom that was exactly what I needed to hear. That being said, here’s my quote for day 1!

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The older I get, the more experience in life I gain, the more I recognize the value in consistently living my life with the “glass half full” outlook. I don’t always succeed, but when I do, my days are brighter, I’m more productive, and I know the impression I have on others (especially my children) is a favorable one. Just as negativity breeds negativity, optimism breeds optimism. It’s just a matter of us making a conscious decision each day as to which end of the spectrum we want to be on.

The three talented bloggers I would like to nominate to participate in the challenge are:

To Those Who Have Ears

Keekel

Millie Schmidt

The rules of the challenge are as follows:

1. Three quotes over three days

2. Thank the person who nominated you

3. Three nominees each day to complete the challenge

4. Inform the nominees

Hope you all are having a great week! See you tomorrow for day two of the challenge!

 

Sunday & Someday 

I’m laying on the grass in my front yard. My body long and placid on the oversized beach towel, soaking up the unusual warmth from this mid November afternoon sun. I started out sitting on the front porch as I often do to drink coffee and read. But as I stared out onto the sunkissed grass, it looked too inviting. At first I felt a bit childish, but not enough to stop myself. Looking up into the same trees I’d seen since I was that 11 year old girl….carefree, unjaded. As I lay there, I close my eyes. Not pretending to be laying by the ocean, exchanging the cool, overgrown grass for some warm sand. In fact, I feel pretty content with where I am, loving that it’s Sunday and I’m home, I’m rested and indulging in this time of quiet. It’s therapy to me.

I open my eyes and fix my gaze on this particular bird, flying higher and higher…observing his technique and at what points in his flight he tucks his long black wings by his side instead of outstretched. Soon enough that single bird becomes two, and then three. Then off they go, disappearing from my sight and me wondering where they are going.

I’m so soothed I contemplate falling asleep out here. Playing out a scenario in my head, one where I fall asleep and wake up to be that 11 year old girl again…laying outside of the new home her parents purchased. A clean slate, a mind full of wonder and pureness. I quickly compile in my mind a list of the most obvious things I would do differently from that point in my life until now. We all have wished we could turn back time on more than a few occasions.

These words came across my feed the other day…their truthfulness both enlightening and chilling. The quote is from Tom Hawking: “It is one of life’s greatest ironies that wisdom comes only with experience, and it reaches it’s apogee just as we are deprived of the chance to use it.” This “irony” is one that never escapes me. Wishing I had known years ago what I know now and that the experience from which that knowledge was derived hadn’t contained so much heartache. Realizing now the things that weren’t worth worrying over and the ones I should have worried more about. The people I wish I’d devoted more of myself to and those I should have never invited into my life to begin with. And especially, all of the time wasted on valueless pursuits.

But living in the past (as most of us are well aware), only robs us of the present. And if there’s one beautiful thing about life, it’s that every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. I may not be able to go back and press the reset button, but I can focus on making better decisions going forward so that twenty years from now, I’m proud of thirty year old me and all of the me in between.

Thoughtful Thursday

My quote or “thought” for today comes from Allan Lokos, author of one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read: “Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living”.

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(From the book Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living)

Being honest with ourselves and about ourselves is crucial in our quest to become the best version of “us” that we can be. It may not be easy to address our own faults, but the end result of self awareness, self restraint, and the practice of healthier habits (whether it’s our reaction to trying situations, our dealings with others, or even our dealings with ourselves), is a beautiful one. I truly believe in never becoming complacent with who we are. Rather, always striving to become a more well rounded, compassionate, contributing member of society.

I hope everyone is having a positive week!