Challenges of the Holidays

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and my house is clean, the refrigerator and pantry are stocked and our new coffee cart is setup, with our old coffee pot, as well as our new espresso machine with milk frother, along with our assortment of coffees and flavored syrups. We’re as ready as we’re going to be to host our feast tomorrow and brunch on Friday. So now I have time to reflect on the rest of my list of things for which I’m thankful.

With all that is going on in the world these days I’m very thankful to be living in a time and a place where as a woman and single parent I have the freedom to hold a job I really like while pursuing my writing on the side. I feel truly privileged. I live in a city where whatever I need or want is readily accessible.  I live in a world where technology eases my existence and opens new and exiting doors daily. I am healthy and well and clear of mind, so I can enjoy all this world of mine has to offer. For all of this I give much thanks.

I’m ready for the challenges of the holidays, the challenges of fighting traffic and crowds to complete the shopping and errands, the challenge of orchestrating the perfect feast and the challenge of missing the loved ones who can’t be here to enjoy the holidays with us. I’m also ready for some new challenges, issued in fun and accepted with a determined spirit on my part. A running buddy has challenged one of my running groups to join in Runner’s World’s 36DaysofAwesome run streak challenge.  I’ve added a twist to this challenge. In addition to running at least a mile a day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s I’ll also be writing at least a page a day.

What a wonderful way to see the old year out and the new year in. I welcome anyone to join me in either/or challenge. Who’s with me?

Read about the dream that inspired me to write Passing RainFrom the Camel’s Mouth

My Support Network

I can’t talk about the things for which I’m grateful without mentioning the rest of my family and friends. I’m not sure how many of them realize I’m an introvert at heart. I need a lot of time to myself and, with the exception of my girls, don’t reach out to them frequently. For the most part I think they understand this and I get in touch when I have the need and when I can. I’m still working on that balance of freeing time to interact more with the people who matter to me. Fortunately, in spite of this, friends and family have lifted me up in my times of need.

Though my siblings are spread across the southeast I keep them all in my thoughts and my prayers and they all have a place in my heart, all six of them. My parents and my oldest daughter, Rain, have passed over, but I’m so very grateful to still feel them around me at times. I think of them as my inside connections, still supporting me from the other side.

As far as my friends, they tend to fall under two categories (though there are exceptions): my writing friends and my running friends. Whether I need advice on where to find a copy editor for my indie book (which I recently received and, yes, Passing Rain is with that editor), or how to cope with the pain in my heel that only shows up after a run, I’ve got plenty of people to ask.

I’ve got a great support network, filled with positive people. What more could I want?

Who are the people who lift you up?

Read about the dream that inspired me to write Passing RainFrom the Camel’s Mouth

Finding Quiet Time

A while ago, my very first best friend in the world, Laure Taylor, nominated me in a Facebook challenge to participate in 10 Days of Gratitude, posting 3 things I was grateful for and nominating 2 friends each day to do the same. I didn’t participate in that challenge, but since we’ve rolled into November and I’ve been reflecting on the things in my life for which I’m grateful I thought this month during my blog I’d list these things.

So, obviously, the first and foremost thing I’m grateful for is my girls. I have my 25yo, whom I’ll refer to as Newt, her childhood nickname, and my 19yo, whom I’ll call my Young One, since she’s my baby. I could go on and on with the reasons I’m grateful for them, but other parents would be jealous and I’d likely embarrass them.

Suffice it to say Newt is in her final semester at Georgia Tech and gives me more reasons to be proud of her every day. I did mention earlier how she recently sold her first major painting, but she also just completed her first 5K (4th in her age group for her first race, thank you very much) and she’s going to work on the cover for Passing Rain!

I’m equally proud of My Young One, who lives with me and will be starting college soon. I watch her with pride as she grows and learns about the world, teaching me a thing or two along the way. She’s also writing and running some, too. She’s decided since she and I live together that it’s her job to be my house nanny, cooking cleaning and shopping, etc. for us. She does this in a way that frees me to spend my time focusing on the things that really matter to me, like my girls, my running and my writing. How spoiled am I?

I am so very grateful and I’m making a point these days to use this time to make space in my life for finding quiet time, where I put the world aside, focus on my breath and, hopefully, align myself with my purpose in life. It’s my goal to do this daily. I’m working to get there, but with the support of my wonderful girls I have no excuses not to do this. I believe finding time to tap into that quiet, to center myself and listen within, will not only help me with my writing, but with living my life the way I should live it.

What are you grateful for today?

Read about the dream that inspired me to write Passing RainFrom the Camel’s Mouth