Parallel Maturities


boy walking
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Hand-in-hand, we walk together

On parallel paths.

But my path is not your path.

You must soon go your own way.

I must continue on the path I have chosen.

You will leave me behind,

Following the path you make for yourself.

I will continue walking.

We may be apart,

our paths may never intersect,

But we are both going

In the same direction.


via Daily Prompt: Parallel

Daily Prompt: Genie


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I just finished reading Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson. In the novel, the main character, Ursula, dies and repeats the same life over again. In one life, she lives only one second as she is strangled by her umbilical cord. In the next life, she is saved by the timely arrival of the doctor who was absent during her first birth. In each lifetime, she lives a little longer. Each time she returns, she brings back impressions from her previous lives that allow her to avoid the deaths she has experienced in her previous lives.


This novel made me think. What would I do if I repeated my life? If a genie appeared before me right now and offered me the chance to relive my life, would I take it? I know there are mistakes I have made and things I have done that I would like to change or erase, but would changing these things alter my fundamental sense of self? What would I change? Would changing one thing change the course of my life? What if I never met my husband or never had my son? The risk of not having them in my life would be too great to contemplate.

Of course, my life is as it stands. No genie is going to appear, so my mistakes are safe from correction. Everything I have done in my life, good or bad, has led me to this time or place. Every mistake has offered me an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person. Each one, no matter how mortifying, has made me who I am.

via Daily Prompt: Genie

Daily Prompt: Fret

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One thing I am trying to remember in my 52nd year is that fretting about everything won’t make anything better. Last year, I spent endless days worrying about my job which I ended up losing anyway. All those tears and the sadness that darkened my days didn’t change things and ruined my time when I wasn’t at work.

I am trying to learn to be a “glass is half full” kind of person, rather than looking at everything that is wrong all the time. Maybe, I can’t find a teaching job, but, on the bright side, I don’t have to deal with bratty kids or kids who don’t want to learn. I don’t have to go to work every day and face disrespect.

Each day is mine to fill as I wish and I am trying to make the most of it-to fill my days with writing and to revel in finally being able to stay home with my son.

via Daily Prompt: Fret

Daily Prompt: Crank

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I have found the best way to crank up my creativity is to keep writing. I find that, when I take a break from writing, my creativity decreases. I need the daily routine of putting my ideas on paper to keep the ideas flowing. The more I write, the more ideas I seem to have. That seems counter intuitive, but I find that it is true.

Usually, I write in the evening after my son has finished his tasks for his online school, after I have worked on my dissertation, and after my chores are done. Throughout the day, my mind will simmer as it prepares itself for the writing ahead. By the time, I sit down to write I find that the plot point I was worrying over usually works itself out or an idea will come for my blog or a journal entry.

LIke exercise, the regular routine of writing keeps my brain agile.

via Daily Prompt: Crank

Disrupting Fear

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Sometimes,  to disrupt my feelings of insecurity and fear, I need to step out of my comfort zone and do something different. Last year, around this time, I had just found out I was losing my job. I had been a teacher for 20 years, the last 15 years at the school where I was non-renewed. I was faced with uncertainty. What would I do now? I was going to apply for other teaching positions, but having been nonrenewed for performance, I knew that finding another job was going to be difficult. I had to think of alternatives. Teaching was not my passion. For me, it was just a job. What was my passion?

I knew that I was happiest when I was writing. I had had a couple of pieces covered in small journals, but that was years ago. As I dealt with the increasing demands of teaching, my writing had gone to the wayside. But I still had ideas floating around in my head that refused to go away.

Last year, I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to look for ways to start a blog. That is how I found WordPress. Writing on WordPress helped give me hope that there were other things I could do with my life besides teaching. Writing was one of them.

This year, I am going to step out of my comfort zone again. I am going to sign up for Christian Mihai’s program, From 0 to 5K in Six Months. I had the same fears I had when I started my blog. What if he doesn’t like what I write? What if I’m no good? I realized I had to step out of these comfortable fears that keep me from taking the risks I need to grow.

via Daily Prompt: Disrupt

Daily Prompt: Froth

A froth of emotions curdles my mind. Should I or shouldn’t I? What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like what I write? My writing stutters across the page. I know I need to step out of my comfort zone, but I am frozen behind a wall of fear.

via Daily Prompt: Froth

The Long Haul

I’ve had to learn that if I want to succeed as a writer, I need to show up and write every day, even if I don’t feel like it. If I am going to be in writing for the long haul, I have to dedicate myself to it. That means sitting down to write even when I don’t feel well, like when I have a horrible headache and can barely see. Or when I don’t have any ideas. Or it’s the wrong time of day.

I have found that just by showing up every day my brain will give me something to write about. If I am stuck, the act of showing up gets things moving again. It’s not enough to just mull over my ideas. I need to commit to them by writing about them.

When I was a teacher, I had to show up every day, no matter what. Some days, it didn’t matter if I had a fever of 103; I still had to show up. I am trying to treat writing the same way. It’s my job. I might not be earning anything with it right now, but I am still a writer.

via Daily Prompt: Haul

Brain Freeze

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Sometimes, when I sit down to write, my brain freezes. My ideas are frigid, locked behind a wall of icy fear. What if I’m not good enough? What if the final product doesn’t match the image in my head? On these days, my writing stutters across the page, like feet trudging through the slush. I can’t get a foothold on the story I am trying to write. I slip as I chase my elusive character. She won’t tell me who she really wants to be.

Other times, the ideas race from my brain into my pencil, like a river rushing after the Spring thaw. Everything is so clear. I race ahead of my character, my hand barely able to keep up with the words tumbling from my brain.

via Daily Prompt: Frigid


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I hate the word, “triggered.” It seems that everyone, whether they have suffered trauma or not, has something that triggers them. As much as I hate the word, it is the only word I can use to describe my reaction to Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard. Feast is Howard’s memoir about her undergraduate years and her battle with body image and eating disorders. As she described her feelings of inadequacy and shame about her body, I couldn’t help but think about my own life-long struggles with these same issues.

My stomach churning, I went to bed and almost cried. I thought of all the decisions in my life. The times I thought I should have turned left, but instead turned right. Then, I heard my son, Hunter, laugh. He and my husband like to stay up late, so I was in bed before they were. Hearing him laugh shook me out of my misery. I realized that all my decisions have lead me to this place, with my son and my husband. My life isn’t perfect and my career didn’t turn out as I thought it would, but I can still be proud of everything I accomplished.

I wanted to quit reading Feast, but I made myself finish it. By the end of the memoir, Howard learned to deal with her issues and to become a powerful advocate. I felt, if she could do it, as young as she is, I could do it, too, with all the experiences of my 52 years behind me. That is what I am trying to do. Always moving forward, never backward, like a shark, carving through the water of my present and my future.

via Daily Prompt: Churn

Bucket List

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I have been reading this series by Lillianna Blake called Single Wide Female. In the series, the main character, Samantha, has a bucket list of things she promised herself she would do when she lost weight. After losing 80 pounds, she finally decides that she is tired of waiting to explore the items on her bucket list. She is still working on weight loss, but she is tired of putting her life on hold until she is thin enough to live it.

I found this series at the right moment in my life. Something just clicked for me in my 52nd year. I finally felt ready to lose the weight that has plagued me my adult life. I started exercising a couple of weeks ago. I ignored all the little nagging doubts (and the pain in my hip) and just started. I lost five pounds. It doesn’t seem like a lot but  that is the first weight I have lost in over a year. Last week, I joined Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time. This time around, I was ready for the structure. I don’t view my diet as a limitation any more but as a stepping stone to a healthier life. I have now lost seven pounds.

Another dream I have always yearned for is to become a writer. Like my weight loss, I started slow. I started writing in my journal. I found a book that would help me tackle the idea I have been thinking about. I started to write more regularly, maybe not every day, but enough to keep the flow of my writing going.

While I don’t have a bucket list that compels me to skydive or walk across hot coals, I am feeling like I want to move out of my comfort zone. I want to see what is out there for me.

via Daily Prompt: Explore