Embracing the Procrastination Monster

          Procrastination is the theme of this week’s blogs. Seems appropriate since I have procrastinated writing this blog. Of course, I’ve procrastinated a lot of times in the past year or so, haven’t I? Even when it hasn’t been obvious, I’ve probably procrastinated. Procrastination is a part of my being. I can’t seem to get away from it. No matter how I berate myself or attempt to establish better routines or struggle with this issue, I can’t seem to eliminate procrastination from my life.

          I’m learning during this season of my life the need to re-evaluate how I view myself. I’m combatting negative voices, inside and out, that have a grain of truth to them. That makes them vicious if I don’t spend time evaluating them with a dose of truth and reality. All these years I’ve heard and believed that procrastination is wrong, never useful, something to be rooted out and destroyed. Those times procrastination worked to my advantage were flukes. Or so I was told. Now I’m not so sure. Yes, there are negatives to procrastination. We all know that. Tasks remain undone, projects falter or fail, opportunities are missed. Life is difficult on so many levels when we procrastinate. That is fact.

          Like any tool, though, it can be used. A drill can make holes for bolts or destroy a beautiful piece of furniture. A baseball bat is useful for hitting softballs across a field or even as a weapon to thwart a burglar. In the hands of that burglar, though, it is a tool of destruction. Fire, when controlled is a source of heat and light. When uncontrolled, it kills and destroys. Water is another source of life that we can’t live without, but out of control and overabundance of water is destructive. Like fire, water, or any tools we might use, procrastination can be wielded in ways that enable and increase productivity or damage and destroy it.

          As you may remember, I am back in college, attempting to earn a degree in design and technology. Over the past two semesters I’ve procrastinated on several assignments. Sometimes because of time constraints, but often because I lacked inspiration or confidence. Like the resume I had to write, but couldn’t figure out how to present my non-traditional experience and skill sets. (I’m a college student, but older. I’m older, but haven’t worked in the workplace for 25+ years. I haven’t worked in the workplace, but I have lots of experience and skills that are marketable.) Or the PowerPoint presentation where I almost took too long to choose a topic. I may talk about these and more in the coming weeks as they illustrate some major breakthroughs in the way I view myself and my creative process. Those and others were instrumental in helping me realize procrastination can be a useful, if potentially dangerous tool.

          I’m taking an English Composition class. It’s required as a general course for my degree. I could have chosen to CLEP out of it, but I’m hoping it will jump-start my desire to write, which seems to be in a coma. (Or has it flat-lined? I guess I’ll find out this semester.) In Monday’s class, the instructor reviewed how best to write an in-class essay. Namely, the importance of pre-writing. He demonstrated webbing, aka mind-mapping or clustering. (Here’s a blog I wrote on mind-mapping.) During the lecture, he stressed that pre-writing was the backbone of a composition. The more pre-writing is done, the faster and easier the writing flows.

          I know this, but I balk at it. Not because I don’t believe it, but because I tend more toward freewriting as my style of brainstorming/pre-writing. (He presented that as a valid method of pre-writing for at-home papers, but not for in-class essays.) However, he’s right. I need to utilize a better pre-writing method for the in-class essays he assigns. It may even help with my personal writing. Toward that end, I decided to experiment. I used the pre-write/write/re-write method he suggested to prepare this blog post. First, I mind-mapped my thoughts. After doing that, I organized them (loosely) into a plan. Only then did I start writing.

          While I ended up with something a little different from the pre-writing plan I envisioned, it is not drastically different. I did fudge a bit on his instructions, moving into writing before completely finished with pre-writing. (My style of using the freewriting method to gather thoughts/plan is ingrained pretty deep.) I’m also not sure where I finished writing and moved into rewriting. Those two steps seemed to happen simultaneously. However, I wrote this in the 1 ½ hours I had between two classes. I then spent another 15 minutes after class revising and polishing before I uploaded it to the website. If I’d written this over the weekend instead of procrastinating, I would still have come up with a reasonably written article. If I’d not procrastinated, though, I would not have this example to share and it would have taken me approximately an extra hour to complete.

          Procrastination. Maybe it’s time to embrace this monster.

Emotionally Healthy Thoughts and Thoughtful Emotions

          Kitty suggests thoughts drive our feelings. Is she right? Or is it feelings that drive our thoughts? I’ve actually had several discussions over the past week about this very subject. I tried to write some general, impersonal thoughts. Trouble is, I can articulate so much better when I have specifics. And the specifics of my life provide several examples of both. So instead of a theoretical treatise that would probably bore you anyway, I’ll share my experience with the emotion-thought dynamic.

          Last year about this time, I took a course that was to help me get certified to be a nursing assistant. Because of my emotional state, just making that decision was hard. I thought I had few other options. I did not finish college. I had not worked outside the home for 26 years. Except for about a year as a secretary, I’d only worked in restaurants, mostly as a server. I needed to find a way to earn an income. I didn’t really want to work a laborious job, but my feelings convinced me I was incapable of anything else. (There were also the barely recognized feelings that I wasn’t worthy of anything else.)

          I learned I could take a course for a month that would allow me to become certified as a nursing assistant (if I passed the tests, of course). Yes, it would be a physically demanding job, but it would be a job helping others (which I wanted to do) and didn’t require a lot of education (which I didn’t have). Really, what else could I do? Underlying all my thoughts was the knowledge that I didn’t really deserve to find a job that wasn’t physically demanding. To even admit I wanted to do something less laborious was to admit that I was lazy and worthless.

          Do you see the emotions driving my thoughts and actions? Those conflicting emotions, looming depression and dark thought-threads continually sabotaged my efforts to pull together and mend the pieces of my life. During that time, I had a passing thought that maybe I could apply to the university in my town and return to school. I dismissed it before it even became a fully-formed conscious thought. Of course I couldn’t do that. Instead, I signed up for the CNA certification course.

          About halfway through the course, I began wondering if I really wanted a career as a CNA. My emotions continued to insist this was my only real option, but occasional thoughts broke through that challenged those feelings. I finished the course, signed up to take the certification test, and applied for work at a couple of nursing homes. However, the daily success in the class had begun the process of lifting those dark feelings and lightening the dark thoughts. Since no jobs were immediately offered, I actually began to consider returning to school. At the encouragement of friends and my grown children, I went to discuss options. Over the next few weeks, I made the decision that, if finances could be found, I would attend Troy University in January.

          As often happens, after that decision was made and acted on, one of the nursing homes called and offered me a job. When I told them I was returning to school in a few weeks, they assured me that I could drop to part time if I needed to and work around my schedule. Since I wanted to work the night shift, there really wouldn’t be any conflict with classes. (Yes, I really do like working at night.) I still needed to take my CNA test, which was scheduled a week away, but I could work for up to three months as a nursing assistant in training.

          I did work at Extendicare for three months. During that time, I added to my practical knowledge of caring for the residents. I even enjoyed the job. The residents, my co-workers and my supervisors all seemed to indicate I was doing well. The certification tests did not. Over those three months, I took the test the maximum number of times. I passed the written test with no problem. Each time I took the skills test, though, I made a minor, stupid mistake. Whether it was nerves or my struggle to focus on details, test-taking anxiety or even my own ambivalence about continuing working while going to school, I don’t know. I just know I failed to pass the CNA certification. When the legal deadline arrived, I had to stop working.

          Had these events happened just a few months before, I’m sure my thoughts would have taken a much darker path. As it was, my mind tried to re-initiate that downward spiral. I was a failure. I couldn’t even pass a simple test. How could I be so stupid? Because of the other successes in those few months, though, I was able to counter those thoughts with more realistic ones. I had failed a test. That did not make me a failure. It confirmed that I’m not detail oriented. My success with the residents, though, confirmed that I was skilled at comforting and caring for people. Had my desire been to continue in that field, either as a CNA or in another capacity, I would have been able to make it happen. I’d learned, though, that I wanted something totally different. That enabled me to let go and move on.

          Throughout this intricate dance of emotions and thoughts, I healed and grew, learned to recognize healthy and unhealthy thoughts and emotions. Thoughts corroborated my feelings of worthlessness or challenged them; feelings stymied my thoughts about options or gave me the energy I needed to pursue them. I really can’t say which is more important. I just know that both my thoughts and my feelings are signs. Sometimes warning signs; sometimes affirmations. In addition to being signs, they fuel and energize my actions. It’s important, nay crucial, for me to monitor them and keep them healthy.

          Now that the thought-emotion cycle is in a more stable balance for the rest of my life, it’s time to apply it to my writing. What’s the emotional health of your thoughts? How is it affecting your writing?

Come Here Creativity!

          Where does my creativity come from? I look at those people I call creative and wonder where they come up with the ideas. I’m sure you do too. Whether it is writing a novel, designing a building, drawing, painting or homemaking, creativity is elusive. Those who “have it” mumble things like “I just do it” or “It came to me” or tell a story about what was happening when the idea came into being . . . and that story’s connection to creativity is elusive, often even in the creator’s mind.

          Even when that person spells out just what it was that inspired him or her, I still have trouble seeing the same inspiration. I just mumble, “Ok. That’s interesting.” But then it happens to me. I get slapped in the face with an idea and I want to run with it. When I try to understand or explain it, though, I’m left mumbling, “It just came to me” or some such.

          In one of the art courses I took this summer, the instructor gave us an outline, or Process for Creativity. I’m not sure if this is just one of many elusive attempts to quantify the creative process or might actually have some validity. It’s possible that this list actually does describe what I do at the intuitive level when I’m “in the zone”. I’m open to investigating it further.
5 Steps to the Creative Process

  1. Assess the Problem.
    1. State the problem clearly
    2. Dig to understand the problem
    3. Set objectives for solution
  2. Input: Feed Information
    1. Understand the problem
    2. Comprehensive research
    3. Be an authority on the problem
  3. Process and Incubate.
    1. Mentally incubate
    2. Allow for eureka moments
    3. Activate the process if needed
  4. Output: Retrieve Options
    1. Execute a variety of options (20, 50, 100, more)
    2. Test against objectives
    3. Refine best solutions
    4. Evaluate best options
  5. Present Best Solution
    1. Keep it simple
    2. Present a clearly stated solution
    3. Listen for feedback: was the problem solved?

          It’s true that when I have a clear picture or explanation of what I want to accomplish, I’m more successful. Example: Write a short story vs write a 1500 word short story about a girl taking a spontaneous day off work. How do I input information and gain a clearer vision of “the problem”? I think of Kitty’s slew of character and plot charts. Maybe. They’ve never been that helpful in the past. But my own process of journaling in my character’s voice or interviewing my character is probably the right-brained version of those lists and charts.

          As I look at this outline, I can see some validity, steps that would benefit me immensely. Particularly the executing multiple options and keeping “the solution” simple. I also see some cautions, at least for me. The most obvious is that my process cycles through these steps multiple times and in random order. And I need to allow myself to do that. That’s how my brain works. Layer upon layer upon layer.

          If I follow these steps to creativity I might actually discover how to more reliably access my own creativity. Or I might not. I might be better served finding another way. Like the one presented by Holly Lisle in one of the first lessons of her “How To Think Sideways” course. By mind-mapping words and images that create emotion in me, I might be able to access my own creativity on a more intuitive and emotional level.

          I’m still searching for the best pathway into my own creativity. What about you? What works for you?

What I did on my summer vacation – Stephanie

          Ha! What vacation?

          Ok. You are right. I did take a vacation from RFW. In fact, I’ve pretty much taken vacation from writing. Of course, if you have been following the blog this year, you know that vacation has been going on for a while. I haven’t written fiction in over a year. Even my journal writing, which used be an almost daily thing, dwindled to a weekly or biweekly thing . . . or less. For more weeks than I want to admit, my posts to RFW were the only thing getting written. Then we went on vacation.

          I have to admit, I was torn. I wanted to keep on writing. The enforced blog writing was . . . well . . .forcing me to write. And since I was on an exploration of myself topic, it was also forcing me to look at my life and my pain and my art and all that angst. I was finding answers. I’ve always processed my thoughts and emotions through writing. Many writers do. To find more answers, more emotional health, I needed to keep up the written exploration. Right?

          Truth is, if I’d really wanted to keep writing, I would have continued to write. I could have written and posted to my personal website/blog. That is what I fully intended to do. But all that enforced analyzing my motives and being honest with myself had its effect. I had to admit the relief I felt at not having to write the blog was just a little louder and stronger than the desire to continue the writing exploration. So I took my vacation.

          Such as it was.

          Oh it was definitely a vacation from writing. I’ve barely written a thing. I’m just not sure I can honestly call this summer a vacation. I’ve been busy in ways I haven’t been for a long time. (Happy, too!) I’ve returned to college, with plans to finish with a degree in web design and development. I took more classes this summer, in the hopes of more quickly arriving at the a place where I can confidently sell myself as a web designer.

          Summer semester at Troy University is intense. In 4-8 weeks (depending on the session) teacher and students have to cover the material that is usually covered in 16 weeks. Like I said. Intense. I took two art courses and one computer concepts course. I had projects in all of them, some with only days to finish. With that intensity, I had a lot of opportunity to learn about myself, my processes and the ways I try to sabotage myself. (Fortunately, I recognized and combatted that sabotage and ended the semester with all A’s!)

          I’m still in learning mode where my own motives and emotions and choices are concerned. It is not reasonable to think it will only take a few weeks or months to change patterns of behavior and thinking that have developed over decades. There are sure to be blind spots and fuzzy areas where I do not really see myself clearly. But I see myself much more clearly than even just a year ago. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes the best way I “deal” with something is to back away from it and ignore it.

          Obviously, I have used that trait in unhealthy ways. That’s what has led to many of my life’s current upheavals. I’m on a journey to change those thinking and behavior patterns. As I seek to change past patterns, I’m trying to force myself to face my problems, not hide from them. The truth is, though, it is a part of my psyche, my creative process, my emotional process, whatever you want to call it, to find solutions by ignoring the problem. It works rather well at times. As long as I don’t permanently ignore the problem, issue, project, what-have-you.

          That’s what I’ve learned while on this vacation.

          To find solutions, sometimes I need a time (or multiple times) of not focusing on the problem, followed by a time of actively working on a solution. Eventually, a project is finished, a problem is solved, order is wrenched from the chaos. This summer I continued learning that lesson and, in the process, am better able to discern when it’s time to back away and when it’s time to refocus.

         The coming months will be a time of refocusing. I’ll be back writing this blog, of course. In addition, I’m taking several courses, such as English Composition, where I will be expected to write. It’s possible my passion for writing will be re-ignited. Or not. I do know is that writing is how I process things . . . but sometimes the things needing processing are too big and have to hide from me and my writing. And that’s ok, too. Eventually, they will be ready for processing. And eventually I will write more. For now I’ll be writing this blog and the myriad of assignments that will come with my new schedule of classes.

          It’s good to back from vacation.

Blog for Writers

          I’ve been so amazingly busy the past few weeks that I’m despairing of ever being able to get a blog written before the last minute. 🙂 This week I have several beginnings of blogs, but nothing fleshed out and finished. Rather than rush the creative process and force one of those ideas into a mediocre post, I’m going to change tack.

          Even so, I’m not giving you something totally unrelated to what’s going on in my life. I’ve actually been trying to re-discover my writing, to re-connect with words in my life, to re-new my enthusiasm and my output. Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I can’t just will myself to write. I need a little help. (We all do. That’s one of my “beginnings” and I’ll expand on that in a future post.) I realized I probably needed more than a little guidance. Where do I go when I need help? A search engine, of course. (What did we do before the Internet? 😉 )

          I came across this blog, Top 10 Blogs for Writers. There is enough material here to inspire and instruct me for a long time. I hope you agree. Enjoy!

A Positive Choice

Stephanie had a computer problem today, so I’m posting this for her. Enjoy!

As I said last week, I’m in the midst of a move. This week I am in my new place, but in the midst of unpacking chaos. What that means is this will be another short blog. Hopefully, though, it will be thought provoking.

      The other day I was having a conversation with my daughter-in-law. She was telling me about a mutual friend who texted her with complaints about his life. He can turn the happiest moments into reasons for depression. We laughed and said he didn’t have anything to complain about. Both of us have have lived through worse. In fact, some are happening now.

      As we listed a few, I realized being content really is a choice. I can chose to dwell on the negatives of my life, such as being forced out of what I thought was my home or having to live on an extremely tight budget and being forced by circumstances to to live with my son and daughter-in-law. Or I can chose to see the positives of my life. I am starting over, I’m creating a new life and going forward into a new adventure. I have a special opportunity to truly get to know my daughter-in-law, creating a relationship that is a joy to both of us and will set the tone for our families for years. Best of all, I get to practice my faith every day, seeing so many instances of my God’s provision and care.   

      This principle is powerful. When I choose to see the positives, to be grateful and to acknowledge the good things in my life, I’m happier. I’m also more focused and make forward progress. When I dwell on the negatives and spend my attention on those things that aren’t quite right, I have no joy, very little focus and even less motivation. Each choice, to dwell on the negative or the positive, creates its own mini-spiral, drawing us deeper and deeper into that mindset.

      Today I choose to see the great good in my life and enjoy this new chapter of my ongoing adventure. Won’t you join me?

Packed Drawers and Schedules

          I was in the process of uploading this when I got a call that Lowe’s was coming to deliver my stove to my new place. They weren’t supposed to come until afternoon! Anyway, for some reason my wireless didn’t work at the new place (another to-do for my ever-growing list) and I couldn’t finish uploading. I apologize . . . but here it is now. 🙂

          I’m moving on Saturday and am in the midst of packing. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have a blog this week. I’ve been so busy, Tuesday slipped up on me again. 🙂 In the middle of packing, though, I experienced an object lesson that just begged to be told.

          I have a set of drawers where I keep office supplies. Usually the supplies just get tossed in the drawers any which way. It’s really not that important. I have them there so that I’ll have clips and post-it notes and stamps and such at my fingertips when I’m sitting at my desk. Today, though, I was packing up those drawers, getting the container they are in ready to move. It occurred to me that if I straightened them up, I’d be able to fit a lot more into the drawer. So I did. And I was right. It freed up a lot more room.

          As I continued packing, I mused about how that actually applies to almost everything in life. Sometimes my .schedule gets packed full with activities but little reason behind them. I say yes to commitments that don’t hold my passion or I take too many spontaneous breaks throughout the week. I get excited about starting new projects, joining new clubs and suddenly my schedule is too full, I feel overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions.

          Many times, though, it is not that I need to cut out all those things I’m doing. I just need to “straighten up” my schedule. When I intentionally choose my daily activities, scheduling them at times when they most easily fit, I have more control over my schedule and am able to do those things that matter to me. And often a lot more. In fact, I can be non-stop busy for days and not feel overwhelmed. Which is another danger. When the schedule is cleared up in that way, there is a temptation add even more to the days. Just like I did with this drawer. That’s fine temporarily, as for my move. After the move, though, I need to remove anything that isn’t notepaper. Just as some activities need to be removed from the schedule instead of prolonged.

          The topic of how to choose what to include in your schedule needs to be tackled in another post. It is way too big for just a paragraph or two in this blog. I’ll leave you to contemplate if and how your schedule needs streamlining and straightening. Me? I’m off to pack some more . . . or maybe sleep?

Resisting Resistance

          Many months ago I downloaded a book to my Kindle (I still love my Kindle!)

          “Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield was one of those books whose message slipped into my consciousness almost unnoticed. When I read the book, I was struck by the truths and insights presented. I purposed to utilize some of them in my own life. Soon after reading the book, though, I forgot all about it.

          Or so it seemed. True, the book itself rarely entered my conscious awareness. There were countless times, though, that the truths presented in this book have popped into my mind. It was only recently (as in when I was searching for a topic for this blog) that I even remembered reading this book. (Another reason I love my Kindle. Searching for a book, whose title and author I couldn’t remember, was made much easier because of the list of books in my Kindle’s archive.)

          “Do the Work” is meant to instruct and encourage the reader to Do. It doesn’t matter what that reader wants to do. Just that he do it. That he reaches for the dream, attempts the task, refuses to be diverted or discouraged.

          I don’t remember what is in the entire book. Just that it was good. Looking at the first page, I’m reminded of the forces arrayed against the Doer. Resistance is my focus today. (I might reread this book and talk more about the other enemies and allies of the Doer in the coming weeks.)

          Resistance, according to Steven Pressfield, can be anything which keeps the Doer from Doing. Fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, timidity, and more. Anything that attempts to distract and derail us from our Doing is probably Resistance. As the author points out, whenever we attempt anything that has the potential to change our lives for the good, Resistance goes to work. When we resolve to quit an addiction or start a new project, take a class or paint the house, get married, eat healthy or anything else that will improve our lives, Resistance gets busy. Resistance tries to distract, discourage or derail.

          This truth burrowed itself into my subconscious mind and changed my perceptions. Resistance will occur whenever I attempt to better myself. Just knowing that anything I do to better myself will meet with resistance has helped me to weather those Resistance Winds.

          In addition, knowing this fact has acted as a red warning flag. If an action I’m attempting is met with resistance, I immediately take notice. (Well, okay, maybe not immediately, but almost.). That Resistance is a clue that what I’m attempting is worthwhile. Knowing that gives me the impetus to ignore, push past or all out fight the Resistance.

          So the next time you come up against Resistance, of any kind, take a good look. It just might be the enemy of your Doing.

Oops Revisited

          Last week I had a major miss-step. An “Ooops” that still makes me cringe. In the aftermath of that, I’ve been blasted with some major negative voices. “Why did you wait til the last minute?” “How could you not realize it was Wednesday?” “You should have thought of this Tuesday night.” “How can you be so ditzy? “That was so irresponsible!” Falling into old, familiar thought patterns, I find myself agreeing with all that negativity. It was irresponsible. I shouldn’t wait to the last minute. Remembering days shouldn’t be hard. Why do I do such stupid things?

          I think I’ve shared on this blog . . . if not, I am now . . . I am combating those negative voices in my head. I stare down each and every thought; I subject it to truth and reality; I adjust or discard the thought based on that reality. In the process, I am coming to know myself in a much more conscious way. I’m seeing that many of my weaknesses are really just the flip side of a strength.

          My tendency to believe and accept people makes me gullible, but it also build trust and true friendship. I’m laid back and easy to get along with, but that also means I don’t always recognize the seriousness of situations. I usually can see the big picture pretty well, but I don’t always remember the details. That one manifests in so many ways in my life. For example, I do great at rearranging a room or getting it organized. Keeping in clean and uncluttered, though, is often a struggle.

          The fact is,those negative voices are so devastating because is that there is a grain of truth in each one. I do procrastinate. Forgetting to write/post the blog did seem ditzy, or even irresponsible. How could I not mentally connect having to post the blog with the day of the week? Many times that truth needs to be put in perspective, confronted with the reality. Yes, I procrastinate, but that is part of my creative process. This week, as I scrutinized all those negative voices, I made an interesting observation. This time, instead of the weakness, or in this case the miss-step, being the flip side of a strength, it’s a side effect. And not necessarily one one I want to discard.

          This semester, I’m reconnecting to my creativity. I’m relearning how I create. I have to draw for hours in and out of class. I have made multiple projects (I’ll include some pictures here soon) in another art class. My desire and my creativity has increased. As my artsy, creative, right-brain part of me grows, my logical, analytical, time-bound left-brain loses just a bit of control. Result? A ditzy mistake like last week, where I forget to finish my blog.

          In order to be creative, I need a lot of “right-brained” time. That means time that is random, not clock-watching, time to make connections and dwell on them. Time to play with the “materials” be they words, colors or physical objects. When I have that time, I surprise myself sometimes at what emerges.

          The down side to that, though, is the diminished “left-brained” abilities . . . like keeping track of time. That’s what happened last week. I have been immersed in getting my art projects finished for the end of the semester (last day . .. yesterday!). As a result, my mind “lost” the connection between it being Tuesday night and the next day being the day my blog was due. So come Wednesday morning, as I prepared for a day that was booked with classes and activity from the moment I woke, I was shocked to realize I’d made that mistake. My left-brain me was appalled. And at first, my right-brain me cringed and accepted the criticism.

          But no more! If I’m going to renew and regrow and nurture my right-brain, creative side, I have to accept that these types of mis-steps will happen. That is not to say I excuse myself and say, “You just have to accept me as I am” and give myself permission to be irresponsible. I do need to own the mis-step. I do need to apologize for the miss-step. More importantly, I need to guard against similar future miss-steps. But I do not need to internalize the vilification of those tendencies, which til now has been a standard reaction..

          An obvious way to do that for this blog would be to give myself a different deadline to post each week’s blog. That will ensure it goes up before time and, if I do miss that deadline, there will still be time to recover. Another change I can make is to take some time to loosely flesh out several post topics at a time, always having 3-4 posts at least partway finished. (getting the idea and finding the angle to present that idea is what takes me the longest time. When that is clear, I can usually polish up short post in a couple of hours or less. Sometimes a lot less.) Making those changes is even more imperative as I look at my coming fall class schedule.

          I am truly sorry I didn’t get my post finished and uploaded last Wednesday. I do apologize. But I am also very glad it happened. What I have learned/realized as a result is invaluable to me. I believe it will prove just as great a thing for our readers. Over the next few months, as I work on getting posts written and uploaded early, the quality and substance of those posts is sure to improve. I will have more time to go revisit my words, refine and refocus them to be even more helpful and inspiring. So forgive me if I am just a bit glad for the miss-step. 🙂

          What did your latest miss-step reveal to you?


          Forgive me. Please! I didn’t really forget this blog . . . I just forgot what day it was. Blame it on end of the semester mind-mush. I’m in the last week of classes, preparing for finals. ( And I felt so caught up yesterday. )

          This morning I was mentally running through my list of things to do. I thought, “I need to finish up that blog post and upload it sometime today.” Then it hit me. Today is Wednesday! Oh, no! Wednesdays are non-stop activity from the moment my feet hit the floor. There was no way I could finish the post and upload it. As it is, in order to get this apology written, I had to skip the few minutes walking with friends time that I try to steal each Wednesday morning before the day’s sprint begins.

          I apologize and promise to be back next week. (Maybe I’ll have slowed down. One can hope.) Have a blessed Wednesday!