A New Year

Happy New Year!

The holidays have come and gone and as I suspected I was busy with Christmas shopping, entertaining, holiday programs, volunteering at school and all the usual year end activities. The last six weeks have passed in a flurry Christmas preparations followed by days off from school for vacation and winter weather.

I did continue to exercise in December and felt good about where I ended the year. I know that I have not blogged for several weeks about my road to fitness but I managed to walk, run or bike a few times every week. The holiday season is always a problem with unhealthy habits, but I didn’t stress about it too much which I believe made a big difference in the outcome.

I enjoyed my time with my family and the sights and sounds of the season. It is so easy to get caught up in the stresses, but my children really love Christmas and it is contagious. We love the songs, the decorations and the holiday baking. We all stayed up past midnight to ring in the New Year and talked about goals we want to accomplish in 2014.

It seems appropriate to take time today the twelfth day after Christmas to get back on track with my blog and begin to work toward some of my goals. I am settling back into my routines and also challenging myself to be a better version of myself this year and in the future.

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for taking the time to read my words.

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Blogging

Just over five weeks ago, I started writing my blog. Since then, almost 1000 visitors have read what I have written. It is so amazing to me that people want to read what I have to say. For many years I have been keeping a journal. My journal is deeply personal. I write about what happens in my every day life, my thoughts, my feelings, my joys, my hurts and sometimes I write about strangers. I see people on the subway, at the grocery store, in cars next to me and I imagine what their story is. I describe with written words, what they look like, what they are wearing and how they act. Then, I imagine why they act or look the way they do.

My blog is similar to my journal but different. The blog is still pretty personal. I write about what is on my mind and what I see in my every day life. I still write about my family and my friends and strangers I see in public, but don’t lay my feelings as bare in the blog as I do in my journal, though. Don’t get me wrong, I am nervous every time, I hit that publish button. I am scared every time Facebook and Twitter publish the link to my new writing. My breath no longer gets caught in my throat when I watch my husband read what I have written. I do care what he thinks, mostly because I want him to be proud of me.

Blogs are a lot like Christmas letters. Some people love them and some people hate them. I love Christmas letters because I like reading about what is happening in my friends’ and families’ lives. I know that some people hate them because they think people are just bragging about their lives and their perfect children. Well, my children aren’t perfect, but I am happy with my life. I try to make the best out of what I am given and strive to make things better. Writing this blog is making things better for me. I have always wanted to write. I am writing and people are reading what I write. I want to thank you all for encouraging me and motivating me to push myself each time I write and publish.

Look at me
Don’t look at me
I’m important
I’m nobody
Confusion
Confidence
Flip sides
The same coin
One person
Two identities
What you see
What I want you to see
I need you
I don’t need anybody

Time Management

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I have been putting off writing my first blog entry because I can’t seem to find the time. Well, at least that is what I have been telling myself. Is it true? It is partially true. I can’t seem to find the perfect moment when I will be uninterrupted for 30 minutes and when I have the computer to myself to whip up something poetic or prophetic or really just something that I won’t be embarrassed to have someone else read. I have to face facts. I am the mother to three young boys and wife to one grown man, those 30 minutes are rare and I usually use them to sleep or shower.

I seem to be able to find a few minutes a day to play my 20 or so games of Words With Friends or Scrabble using my iPad, smart phone or computer depending on who has my various other devices. So I should be able to find the same amount of time in the same way to jot down my thoughts on what seems to be uppermost in my mind. For today it is writing. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to write. And while I may not be a famous author, I have been a writer. I wrote poems, stories, newspaper articles, letters, journal entries, emails, notes, Facebook rants and messages and basically anything. I even met one of my closest friends when I signed up for a writing course. I am and always will be a writer. I may not be the greatest writer or all time, but that is ok. Writing is my passion and it feeds my soul. I need to do more of it. I will do more of it.

Something else that feeds my soul is bicycle riding. I remember my first two wheeler with training wheels and the sad day someone (my mom?) backed over it because I left it in the driveway. I remember the banana seat bike after that and flying down the hill near our house and later picking gravel out of my knees. I remember the first red Schwinn ten speed that I earned with my Des Moines Register paper route. I remember the first accident shortly afterwards when my brother Bob and I collided while riding around the high school track. The thee bicycles after that were second hand, but I loved them just the same. A sweet green English three speed that I rode back and forth to my job teaching kindergarten. I once rode it through the city of Philadelphia dressed as a clown. It was a sad day, when that bike was stolen from inside my work. The next two bikes where Specialized mountain bikes. First a purple rock hopper and then a green stump jumper. Never mind that I didn’t go mountain biking. But, I did ride those bikes in Philadelphia in the snow and ice. In fact the purple one was the bike I rode in January 1996 right after a major blizzard on my first day as a bike messenger.

I also rode two bikes in the heat of Arizona to commute to my various jobs. The first bike was my sister Julie’s and the second was a free bike from the city of Scottsdale as part of a bike to work initiative. My current bike is my blue Trek 7.3 FX that I am currently riding on my trainer. I am a mom and I found the time, but it involves multitasking. For me it is the perfect solution. I am exercising my body and mind as well as feeding my soul.

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