TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE

You

Are you an expert multi-tasker? Stop whatever you are doing NOW and think about this question. Trying to get everything done, as in 1, 2, 3, can push you in too many directions. Are you eating the right meals, getting at least eight hours of sleep (not the toss and turn kind) each night? Do you have to introduce yourself to your family?

Maybe you are a person who can only acknowledge yourself by the items on your long to-do-list. This makes you feel important; even more important if other areas of your life are in a mess. Then you get stressed out and focus on problems, not solutions.

Stop. Breathe. You do have choices and you can control your life. No, maybe not what happens, but how you react to things you call emergencies. Think about time; there are only 24 hours in one day and you need family time, friend time, work time, and sleep time. If you don’t take care of yourself, all your precious lists will not work.

Learn to say “no.” For a lot of us, this is not in our vocabulary, but we need to learn the word and the meaning. Think about all the people you know and when a project needs help, who do they ask? The busiest person. Check your calendar and offer assistance, only if it fits into your schedule. Be honest and ask to do something at a later date.

Pressure. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Give yourself a break. You do not have to write the whole article at one time. But, if you find yourself on a “roll,” then go for it. Sometimes our writer minds do not have a turn-off valve, and when characters are romping through our head….we must let them fill the pages.

Free time and you do not know what to do. You are used to going, going, going; pushing, pushing, pushing, and when you have silence and space you are lost. Call a friend. Meet another writer for coffee. Watch a funny television program with the family and laugh. Or, grab the book you’ve wanted to read for a long time. Get caught up in someone else’s story.

Give yourself permission to relax and you will find more energy, feel better and notice the difference in your writing. We all need a RE-BOOT every now and then.

Take yours now, and enjoy your life.

DO YOU ACT BEFORE YOU KNOW ALL THE FACTS?

Audience

As writers, we hear over and over about platform. Have one – Get one – Make one – Do one, and we try to do all we should before we study and do research. Why? Best guess is we want to keep up with everything and forget to take a deep breath and learn.

Maybe, all this hesitation is really procrastination and we are not ready for all the work before us. You do know we have to write and get out book finished. I do not know how I’ll get everything done. I feel swamped.

Let’s take this a step at a time and stop the nerves jumping, the heart pumping harder, and get things under control. No one is ever ready to head into an unknown  project, and this project can determine the outcome of your book. Scary?

Do you know your audience? What audience? No one knows about the book I’m writing. As a writer you need to study your characters and their lifestyles. You know if your story involves children, young adults, mature teenagers, or thirty, forty, fifty, sixty or seventy ‘something ages.’ Go to a library, bookstore, yes even a grocery store that sells books. See who is picking up the books AND notice how they read the back cover. Start your research.

Contacts? Oh? Do you have contacts in radio or television or even the colleges around your area? Research each venue and find the name of one person to assist you. It might be the receptionist, but be polite, considerate and congenial. Ask if there might be a possibility of meeting the person for a quick visit. No,not an interview, at this time. Sometimes a quick face-to-face meeting is a great start.

Stay focused. You will never feel 100 percent ready to promote yourself and your book, but find your focus plan. Do you belong to writers’ groups; have a website; blog; a Facebook page with your profile? Put some excerpts on your blog, throw some spice into your social media, and keep writing, writing, and writing.Read everything you can on publication, as it changes every day. Bone up on the avenues you must travel to keep yourself going forward. Commit your time and energy to your new and emerging business–yes, business. As a writer, you will publish, promote, read, do interviews, and you need to be prepared for all the extra pleasures and pit falls.

You are headed in the ‘WRITE’ direction and your momentum is unstoppable. You have done your homework, you have other people to work with you, and YOU CAN MAKE IT.

Hit the road and never stop.

How Do You De-Stress?

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Stress hits all of us every day and how we handle our stress points are what makes us unique. There are fingernail biters, fast food junkies, nibblers at the fridge, the pieces of candy hidden in a handbag or drawer at the office. What about the candy dish set out for friends?

Stress is out there in so many disguises it’s hard to know where to begin. Sometimes, the thought of even getting out of bed for another day of unknown happenings, produces stress. Have you ever gone to the grocery store to be faced with so many choices? How do you handle the advertising, the latest medical news on foods, and feel good about what is in your cart? What about the stress brought on by yourself? You mentally beat yourself up for not doing the best. The best of what? Sometimes we have no idea, and this brings on more stress.

We can be our worst enemy. We torture ourselves and pay the price with stress. Okay, we didn’t write for three hours. The revision still needs another go-around. Or, we skipped our work-out session and feel guilty. Some chores did not get done and this makes one feel another guilt trip edging closer. Company is coming over for dinner and you make a quick check – no desert and no time to make anything.

Are you like the lion and roar about everything? Or do you see yourself as a kitty and feel the purr start? We have to listen to ourselves and decide the best way to put all the guilt trips into the garbage. How long has it been since you had a huge, belly laugh. The one where your eyes water and your insides hurt? Why not? Because stress pulls us down and we let it.

Things do not always go as planned and we need structure. Not all the time. We need to give ourselves permission to deviate from the daily grind. Maybe the quick visit with an old friend took us out of the ‘list,’ but what happened? You made two people happy; your friend and yourself. We all need more times like this. You have a new book, but feel guilty when you sit down to read. Take this break and fill yourself with pleasure.

Think of pleasure as your reward for being you. A walk after a spring rain and smell the freshness. The sound of the CD you never got around to playing, and yes you can dance by yourself. The golf game you should not take time for, but do and feel so much better even if you didn’t get the best score. The different way you drove to an appointment instead of taking the same route. The scenery change can change your attitude. Think of all the different changes you can make in your life and feel the stress melt away, day by day.

Purr like a kitten and let the lion roar. Each has their own de-stress manner. Now is the time for you to make your life a little more alive. Grab the moment.

SPRING FLING FOR ADRENALINE FITNESS SILVER SNEAKERS

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Here we are; not all of us, but enough so you can see we enjoy life, exercise, and keep fit. I have another photo that wants to delude all my efforts to insert into this post. Hang tight, I’ll get the dimensions right.

This makes the start of our third annual Spring Fling. We head out after a Wednesday class to the patio of the 57th Fighter’s Group and celebrate our hard work, new members, and friendship. SilverSneakers represents senior citizens and their ability to incorporate the three “F’s” – Fitness, Fun, Friends. Just because there may be some silver streaks shining on our heads, or maybe a hat needed to cover up the hairless head, we have the opportunity to workout five days a week in all areas of exercise and health.

We do Yoga, but not on the floor. You’d be surprised at what the body is capable of twisting and turning, stretching and balancing. We have a couple of days where we exercise our muscles and and strengthen all of our movements and increase the range in which we can move. We also, as a well known chef would say, KICK IT UP A NOTCH. We kick our heels high, strut our bodies, and give out hearts a work out with a cardio session and then…in the last class on Friday, we push the notch up another beat and for those who want to experience the floor, mats, and crunches, get it all. If one is unable to get to the floor (SilverSneaker’s way), they can do the same exercises from their chair.

I am fortunate to be their instructor and have seen many participants go from barely moving to could apply for high-steppin’ positions. And the men, walk in with shoulders straight, back, proud, and a new bounce to their steps.

When I stop and think, who could have such a wonderful position? We have been with each other in sickness, pain, sadness, celebrations, graduations of grandchildren, laughter and some tears. dip

So, gents, give the ladies a short bow, and ladies give the gents a small dip with the tips of your skirts. We have lots of work and fun to continue until October. Yep, then we’ll have our 3rd Annual Fall Festival. And who knows, if the temps are cooler, we can sit beside the fire pits and tell tall tales.

My thanks to all of you for five years of making you sweat, breathe deeper, laugh harder, and watch a new you appear.

May the SilverSneaker Gods be with all of you.

Patricia

WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

Two friends

Hey all of you. We’re back and we’d also like to know where did the time go? We’ve been around for quite a  while and one day we could do the high step to any song. Now we low step to the slower paced music.  Let’s give you some of our own thoughts on the juggle of time.

When you are young, time has no meaning. The younger you are the more you want time to hit the fast track. Then, in your young adult years, you still want time to push ahead and forget to see what goes on around you and with others. In your middle-age years, time becomes a friend and a foe.  A friend in which you can stop, do nothing, catch up on old friends, be yourself. A foe, by which you judge how many years you might have left. In old-age — well look at us. Time has lost its importance and we can now be with our friends, no make-up, no one to say….it’s time…..but never for what. We can be silly, laugh hard, with enough Depends, and enjoy the whole world, smell all the flowers along the sidewalks we want to.

We have also looked at the other side of time and want to share some points with you. So you are a writer and writers need to have lots of time to dream, juggle opportunities, try out new ideas and just when you settle down to do all of this non-writing and psychic yourself to another level — you notice the laundry to get done, the checkbook to balance, the organizing of your bookshelves. All of these outside tasks haunt you. Let them go and go and go. They will always be around, but your new force of energy and thoughts may not. So go with the force of energy. Get your words down, pronto. Do not even think about household chores. Go grab the words out of your head and throw them on the paper or screen. (Note: a pen or fingers on the keyboard.

There may be days when the words fly from your head to your fingers and you cannot miss one second. You are a writer and words are what you need. New words, old words, made-up words, this doesn’t matter as long as they fill the page and the thoughts you have for your new material. In other words, we call this ‘going with the seat of your pants on fire.’

Look at all the things around you. Yeah, things in your home. Can you remember where or when you got this or that? Listen to your children bickering or singing and wonder where they picked up the song or the words they should not use. Yee – gods. Yep you have the beginning of a new character out of listening to chatter.

Ever wonder where you got the energy and the enthusiasm for a scene? Do not wonder. Do not worry. Grab the feel, the sensation, the terrifying moment, and run, do not walk, your fingers to the paper or keyboard. Strike while the flame is hot and you will surprise yourself.

Forget about everything but your writing. Well, not  completely. You do have a family, dinner to cook, and as you look around, you see time isn’t so far off and soon your kids can cook for you, as you keep writing and gathering time as they prepare the meal.

Maybe we need to slide into the background and let you figure out some new insights to your writing time. Just remember, even dust bunnies have stories to tell. Do not let time dictate to you, but turn time into your friend. We are always as close as your computer and SMILE. We’re here for you.

Simplify your time and your writing will get stronger. We will be back with some other suggestions and conclusions to making time last longer. Just look at us and you can see we’ve been around for a while, and we have both decided to stay a while longer.

Until next time,

Write.

EEEEEE MAIL

The Otherlife

Have you ever felt like you’re covered up with EEEEEE MAIL? About the time when you think you’ve gotten to the point of done, the next ten or twelve arrive and the blood seeps to your brain. You are certain you can feel the dripping on your keyboard.

We need everything faster and faster. Ideas sooner and sooner. Instant this. Instant that. Quick and quicker. More and more and more. Can you even remember what a Sunday dinner of pot roast  smells like? What about the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans? When was the last time you sat down on an Saturday morning at your own table and had sausage and pancakes with the whole family?

We can’t eat all this fat. We don’t have time to cook like our mothers or grandmothers did. We are ……What are we?

Do you remember when you wrote a letter, scribbled funny things on the sides (we would call these margins), licked the envelope, slapped a stamp in the corner and walked to a mailbox? Can you feel the nervousness of waiting for a response? And, when the mailman came and no letter, the let down feeling. As you wanted to cry, scream, yell, the postman returned with an envelope he’d misplaced.  Communication. The written words filled your soul with happiness. You were content to sit down and enjoy every word in the letter.

I went on a short 3-day vacation and returned to EEEEEE Mails.I won’t deny the number of messages were outstanding and I felt wanted and needed, or maybe not. So, little by little, I am learning to slow down, learn how to interrupt the message as to their importance. Then I do not want to give out numbers to people I know.  Even if you divide the number of emails on a certain day into 3’s; some are not going to get answered.

I gave up and went to bed. My dream woke me up screaming and grabbing at hands around my throat. (Still in the dream.) I got up and fired up the computer. I was drowning in messages. I shut the thing down. No more. I will find a solution. I need my sleep toooooo much.

The next morning, I ducked my head, turned away as I hit the on button. Nothing. No emails, No messages. My breath did a huge intake, and then I realized – yes we do need all the communication and made a vow to myself:  30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the late afternoon. My friends and followers need my attention and any help I can give. I do need to be the judge of what’s important and ……yeah you know the rest.

I may not get to every email within 24-hours, but promise you will hear from me in some unique form. Now, I can go to bed, sleep all night, and wake up looking forward to all the mail I receive. And, I promise to all of you, I’ll answer and please take your time to respond, unless I ask for 911 assistance.

May the gods of EEEEEE Mail be with you in all the days, months, and years that follow. Please let me know you’ve smelled a pot roast cooking in your own oven, even if you had to find it; and treasure the family breakfast on a Saturday morning. These are priceless moments and if you are in the middle of a great family conversation…..

EEEEEEE Mails won’t matter.

SLEEP, where are you?

What did you say

We can do a lot of things for ourselves, but when It comes to sleep, we let ourselves get caught up in the ‘do what feels good’ era.

How many times do you go to bed, toss and turn, move the pillow over and over, and wonder why your mind does not shut off? Do you know how many hours of sleep satisfy your body? No, not what you think you need, but what your body needs. As we get older and older our sleep patterns change. Research shows we need between 7-10 hours of sleep. OH. NO. Not me. Older people have slept for a lot of their lives, now we can stay awake and enjoy ourselves.

Where have you been? In the less induced stage of sleep? Or have you slept on the same mattress and box springs for the last thirty (30) years? When you get into bed, does your body roll to the center? Do you find yourself hanging on to the edge of the mattress?

Look at another area. Is your bedroom dark? Do the shades keep out street light’s point of view? What about thunderstorms? I can sleep through all the clangs, bellows of the thunder, but let one streak of lightning bolt through the sky.,….Wham, I’m awake.

Things you can do for you and your sleep, which will affect your life and your writing:

Do not watch a murder mystery and flop into bed. You might think this will give you insight as a writer. It will keep you awake, tossing /and turning.

Turn down the temperature. Sure you can feel the snuggle under piles and piles of blankets, but do you smell the allergies and feel the dust bunnies on top of you? What about a soft CD playing sounds of the ocean’s reach to the shore and back out again.

Sleep plays an important part of of life: our moods, alertness, physical appearance, and attitude. We need to eat three meals a day, we need to drink more water, and realize our bodies operate 24/7. Why not give them a break from the harsh reality of daytime living and let us sink ourselves into sleep? Our best dreams come while we are in sleep. This could be our best insight to new and wonderful stories, which lead to new and great novels.

May you have a wonderful sleep tonight. May the gods of sleep be gracious to you. May your brain awaken with a renewed sense and the feel of a fantastic novel be at your fingertips.

Happy dreams.