Friday, June 2, 2023

Quick FMF Linkup

 I'm out of shape... bad. 

Spring 2023 didn't lend itself to much exercise, as I was going from one place to another and as pretty much gone from home from daylight to dark. I know that doesn't stop other people, but I"m not other people, and I'm learning to accept somethings about myself, such as the fact that I am not a 5 AM treadmill walker... 

so this means that when I first started walking again in May... I was sllllooooowwww. 

And also puttered out easily. 

I am a quitter by nature, and this slowness and puttering out made me want to just stop and curl up in my chair and read...

Reading comes easily to me. It always has. I wish I could lose weight and get into shape by reading. 

What I am discovering in my "old" middle age of 43, though, is that things that used to come easy don't. 

It takes me much longer to read a book than it did. 

Much longer to walk a mile than it did. 

But maybe that's a good thing...

because when you're savoring a good story it just means more. 

And when you're walking and looking up at the sky and listening to the creek and feeling the breeze on your cheek it's about more than just a physical walk. 

Slow and steady wins the race, so I'll settle for not being too QUICK most days. 

After all, any progress beats going backward. 

*Linking up with Five Minute Friday, where a community of writers chooses a theme word and writes about that word for five minutes, no editing, no changes, no over-thinking. This week's theme was QUICK. 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Where I've Been

 It's been quiet around these parts. 

I've got a lot of words, but putting them together in a way that may make sense might be a little hard. 

I've been working and doing clinical and then in late July the world in my part of the country seemed to stop turning. 

Two months later, here I am, feeling behind and generally overwhelmed. 

Today I slept until noon. It was the first day that I had nothing to do. I don't say that to make me seem important, because some of those days were full of fun things, but I've not had much white space. 

Too much activity can be deadening to the soul, and I was feeling it. 

Even as I found myself thinking more about God, I found myself not taking the time that I needed to hear from Him. 

I kept asking Him to show Himself, but my brain was too busy going in a million directions to pay much attention. 

So after I woke up this morning, even though my to do list was long, I forced myself to just. be. still. 

I read. I watched a couple of sessions in a Bible study. I ate dinner with my husband and took a long, hot bubble bath and took another nap... which is why I'm sitting here at midnight wide awake. 

So much for a good sleep schedule. 

I have spent most of my life trying to do... to achieve... to prove myself worthy... and it's exhausting. Maybe you feel it, too? 

So today, as I was reflecting, I allowed myself time to just breathe. 

One of my favorite reflection tools is a journal developed by Emily Freeman based on her book, The Next Right Thing. One of the questions there today was: where do you feel most yourself? 

As I thought of these past few months, I realized that I'm learning to like myself a little more, just as I am. I'm becoming more transparent in my flaws. I'd like to think that helps other people. 

But where I feel most like myself is when I am sharing myself in words. 

So I realized I needed to start doing that again. Sure, I post on social media, but I need to commit to it. 

Because my words matter... and I truly feel that it's my gift. I can get so caught up in what other people are doing. We all have our own gifts. We all can do different things. I'm not organized and I'm not a leader... but I can write words that sometimes make connections and make others feel and think about where they are. 

So, I'm back. I'm sure life will get crazy and I'll be quiet again, but for my sanity this is something I need to do. I hope you'll join me for whatever that looks like. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Vol 2, Ed 5

 We've made it to February 1st. The days are starting to get a little longer, and today I even walked outside, in the sunshine, in a pair of capris...

but we're being told that kind of weather isn't going to last long. 

Ice is in the future, and I'm trying not to dwell on it. 

So today, I put one foot in front of the other and looked to the sun. 

Today I sat down and wrote out some mantras for this month. Things like deep breathing, living in the moment, embracing the interruptions...

I struggle with all of those things. 

I can't make myself better, but I can try each day to hold on to the glimpses of improvement. 

February is American Heart Month. One of my goals is to exercise more and try to cut back on my stress eating.

Books I read

This week I finished Prepare Him Room. I really enjoyed this Christmas devotional, mostly because it centered on reading through the book of Luke, so the end of this book centers around the Passover and the Crucifixion and the Resurrection... all things that we don't tend to think about at Christmas but are important to consider. 

I read a total of 16 books in January. Completed Genesis and Job in my Bible reading. Wrote every day in my one line a day journal. Organized some of my books and some of my digital pictures (it's a start). Definitely some room for improvement in February. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Vol 2 Edition 4

 Life hacks- those of you tech savvy people probably already know this. Me, I sometimes struggle with turning on a computer, so... 

If you are trying to "save" a website, you can click "print" and then "save as pdf" and you have a document. This came in handy uploading the documents into my promotion notebook that I'd put off for months...

If you have too many audio books or podcasts to listen to, play them on a higher speed. Unless you enjoy listening to the reader. Case in point, I've been listening to some of my podcasts on 1.25 speed, until I turned on my friend Emily Freeman today and I was reminded that one of the reasons I like to listen to that podcast is because I like her calm, soothing voice... so I slowed it down. 

Wordle- I'm obsessed. Ok, maybe not obsessed, but I am enjoying this game. 

Lighting a candle helps make the day better. 

22 for 22- 

-Walk a 5K for a charity once a month. I've only got 6 days left this month... so I'm hoping for warmer weather on Saturday. Or Sunday. 

-Organize my phone photos. I started out doing good with this. I downloaded the Amazon app and uploaded all of my photos there. The plan is to do this once a month, and then eventually sort them into folders. This just hasn't been on the priority list this month. 

-Use my one-line a day journal- I've been doing this. Recording something that made me smile, or made me sad, or just something I did. Thoughts I had. Bible verse I read. Just something to help me remember the moment. 

Tuesday Tidbits on the blog- 4/4 on Tuesdays in January =) Also a goal of writing every day... journaling, writing, instagram posts, etc. I've also been meeting with a couple of fellow writers each Wednesday and it is delightful. 

What I've Read This Week

1. The First Songs of Christmas- another devotional book I took my time with. 

2. Crying in H Mart- This memoir about a daughter dealing with the loss of her mother is a delightful read. Enjoyed reading about another culture and how she navigates both her American traditions along with her mother's Korean ones. Much enjoyed. 

Next week will be February- here's to the long, dark shortest month of winter... but summer is coming =) 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Vol 2, Ed. 3

 News in the Bates house this week: 

Caleb tested positive for COVID. He's doing ok, just tired with a headache, but this leaves me working from home. It's funny how we've been in this "new" normal for almost two years and it still seems like we are living in a dream. I'm not sure we'll ever go back to "normal" again... but I know so many of us are just getting tired of it. My thoughts and prayers are with all my healthcare friends. 

My classes started at EKU. This is my first semester doing clinical... and it's been a little overwhelming. My courses are 8 week courses. I wasn't prepared for how much work I'd have... even though I knew it. Guess I've been living in denial. 

I've been thinking a lot about distraction and multi-tasking and productivity and focus... probably because I don't have any focus and am not feeling very productive or motivated at the moment. More on that later, I'm sure. 

Books I Read This Week: 

A short list. 

1. The Heart Between Us- About a bucket list, a set of twins who have grown apart, and how they find one another and themselves. A great read! Highly enjoyed!

2. The House of Kennedy- It's James Patterson, who I enjoy. And Camelot, that I'm obsessed with. And details about ALL the Kennedy family. Two thumbs up

Take care of yourself. Don't take yourself too seriously, either! Much love! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Vol 2, Ed. 2

 #22for2022 continued...

-Get my passport/Real ID. 

I want to travel more. I'm not sure in this COVID world that it's possible. I don't know about you, but the thought of getting on a plane right now makes me nervous... but I'm going to get it so that I'll be ready. 

-Watch a movie every month. 

I had originally thought I wanted this to be an older movie, a classic, if you will, that I've never seen. There's a lot of them out there... but then I realized that just because it's a classic, it doesn't mean I'll like it... but I do want to watch a movie at least once a month. I love going to movie theatres, but we have so many options with streaming services as well. I guess what I like about movie theatres is the atmosphere. I don't look at my phone, I'm not tempted to get on my computer and work, and I'm devoted to the movie in front of me. I'm learning that in our world today, distraction is the enemy and we can't NOT multitask... but when we do multitask, we are never really in the moment... even if the moment is an imaginary setting. So I guess this is more about escapism, or being present... or a combination of the two, which seems like somewhat of an oxymoron. 

-Complete a puzzle every month. 

I'm not sure this is feasible. I see people on social media posting about how quickly they've put together these huge puzzles and that's just not realistic for me. I find this hard. It's hard for my brain. I have to concentrate, and as I think we've established, I'm not good at that.... 

but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. 

and hard things, different activities, are good for your brain. 

-Record three things I'm grateful for each day. 

I've tried doing this different ways over the years. This year, there's a box in my planner so in my nightly reflection/planning for the next day, I take a couple of minutes to jot these down. I tend to focus on the same things over and over. I want to be more aware of small things, things I don't always consider. I'm hoping as I make this more of a habit that will come. 

Thought for your week-

Just because it's good for somebody, doesn't mean it's good for you. We are all different. A "must see" show or book may not be a must see for you. A "diet" that works for somebody else may not be what your body needs. Somebody's "master" organization plan may just leave you in chaos, confusion, and overwhelm. Figure out what works for you, and let the other stuff go. 

Books I Read 

I really wanted to post a book stack each week, but only one of these is an actual book format.. the others are on my Kindle or audiobooks... so this will have to do. 

1. Walk to Beautiful

2. The Dummy Line

3. Sole Survivor- do you remember a serial killer that attacked two UK students back in the late 90s? I didn't... but this is her story, and it's fascinating. 

4. D is for Deadbeat

5. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

6. The Music of Christmas

7. When Christmas Comes

8. God Hears Her: A Joyful Christmas

None of these were started in 2022. The Christmas ones were started on December 1. Each have daily devotions. I don't read them every day, obviously. I skip around and try to read at least one devotion a day from some Christmas devotion book... but continue them on into the new year... because Christmas really isn't just about one day a year, anyway. 

Be blessed, friends. <3

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Volume 2, Ed. 1

 Happy 2022! I've been quiet around here as the end of the semester got crazy...

but it's a new year, and while I'm the same old me, I do want to keep working on my writing. 

I didn't set any resolutions this year. I did create a 22 for 2022 list as recommended by the Gretchen Rubin podcast. A few of my goals this year (I'll focus on a few each Tuesday). 

1. Organize my books and create a catalog. I had reached the point where I didn't even know what books I had in my bookshelf, and instead of bringing me joy it was making me anxious, so I pulled out all my books and sorted them alphabetically. I still need to go through and make a list of what books I have, and then I'll go through my Amazon wishlist and delete any books that are already in my possession =)

Another thing I found was that I had 50+ books on my "currently reading" list on Goodreads. Some of these were print books, some on my kindle, some Bible studies I had abandoned... so I deleted them all and will add as I read. Seeing that many titles made me anxious that I'd never get any finished. 

2. This is on down on my list, but since we're talking books, my goal is to read 120 books this year. I read 100 last year, not quite my goal of 150, but I read fairly large books, so that's ok. I've started listening to some books on audio. I don't like fiction books in that manner but a good memoir read by the author is enjoyable. 

3. Another goal that has to do with reading- "read" the Bible through again. I'm using the Bible Recap plan on Youversion, which is a Chronological plan. Again, I like that app because it will read the Bible to you. I usually do this first thing in the morning as I'm getting ready or driving to work. Since the first, I've been taking a few minutes to jot down where I see God and reflect on what I hear. There's a podcast that goes along with it and also a book that is pretty much a summary of what she says in the podcast, so each day if I do all of that I'm engaging in the Word in three different ways... which is a good way to learn. 

4. Visit 3 state parks I haven't been to. 

5. Visit 12 Kentucky counties I haven't been to. 

6. The year of CS Lewis- a book a month. This month I'll be reading The Screwtape Letters. I haven't started it yet. 

My word of the year is worship. I realized I needed to stop making everything about me, because I can't change me... and start making it about God. I had been thinking of this word for a while and then saw this video on facebook after the Western Kentucky tornado and I knew worship was my word. More on that to come...

Books I've Read this week: 

One of the bad things about not reading all physical books is you don't get the joy of a bookstack... so this will have to do. 

1. Greenlights- I listened to on audible. The author narrated it and it was pure pleasure to listen to his smooth voice. There was some pretty heavy language in parts, but it was a sweet story and I jotted down tons of quotes from his "prescriptions" and "greenlights". 

2. Station Eleven- this is a new series out so I wanted to read the book first. It's one of the best books I've read in a really long time. Not the best situation to think about in light of COVID, but the characters are weaved together so good and it kept me engaged. 

Hope you've had a great start to the New Year. May you be blessed all year long. I'll try to be more consistent in writing this year and I hope you'll join me for my random thoughts. Love y'all!