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Today is Sunday, 01 November. Today is a pretty significant day. It’s a brand new month, the time changed (fall back one hour), it’s All Saints Day, and it’s the first day of NaNoWriMo. Like many people, I’m profoundly affected in a negative way by the shorter days, diminished light, and colder temps of late autumn and the winter months. Once it gets dark, I tend to want to head for my bed and sleep which is obviously not a good or productive practice. However, I find that if I’m involved in a project of some kind, I can handle the next four months better, and I avoid total hibernation.

Last year, I tried to participate for the first time in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month and failed terribly. At the time I chose that endeavor I had no idea that I would be in my first play. I could not wholeheartedly commit to both my first role in a play or my first novel, so instead of writing 50,000 words in one month, I wrote 1,505. Acting in my first play won the majority of my time with NO regrets. The silver lining (always can find the silver lining) was I actually tried, failed, and now I’m giving it another try. Why not? 

I decided that NaNoWriMo will help me with another writing project I started in September. My hope is with the help of the NaNoWriMo community, more time, and support from my other writing group, I’ll meet my writing goal this year. 

In Other News:

  • Kelsi and I are in the process of rescheduling our Zoom conversation about our Halloween Fun Lists. We were supposed to converse on Thursday; however, Hurricane Zeta landed in Louisiana, leaving damage and hundreds of thousands without electricity. Well, Kelsi was one of many who had damage (minor, thankfully) and lost power which did not get restored until yesterday. 
  • My treadmill is finally up and running. When Shelly was given a treadmill many, many months ago, she gave me her old one. I’m so grateful, especially with it getting dark earlier and the onset of cold weather. I don’t mind walking in the dark, but I despise walking in the dark when it’s really cold. 
  • On Saturday afternoon, I will be attending an in-person audition intensive class in New Orleans with casting director, Matthew Morgan, of Morgan Casting. I’m super excited! I met Matthew for the first time in one of Lance’s workshops. He’s an awesome guy with a wonderful reputation as a casting director. I’m looking forward to taking an acting class and working with Matthew.  
  • In three weeks, I will be on vacation from my day job for one whole week to celebrate Thanksgiving. It will be a much-needed staycation. I CAN’T WAIT!

November is also a time that many people focus on gratitude. I don’t post much on Instagram, but during this month I’ve been toying with the idea of posting photos expressing my gratitude. I greatly enjoyed having something festive to do daily during the month of October, so the thought of doing something daily throughout November is appealing to me. Of course, I should be writing daily (wink wink). Do you do anything special in November or when the time changes, dear reader? Happiness!

Daylight saving time: Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

~ Anonymous

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It is time for me to buckle up my seatbelt for this week’s wild ride. It’s finally here…TECH WEEK! My castmates and I have five days of rehearsal left until our play opens on Friday, November 1st. At this point, I can only imagine how this week will play out since I have never experienced tech week as an actor. Right now, I am fired up and ready to perform!

NaNoWriMoThere is more exciting news to announce today. Not only is November 1st the opening night of my play, but it is also the beginning of NaNoWriMo. And yesterday, I signed up to participate for the first time this November (#18 on my 19 for 2019 list). Of course, when I included this item on my list for 2019, I had no earthly idea that I would be performing in a play. I am currently in the prepping stage. I probably should have started prepping back in September with the NaNo Prep 101 Workshop. Nonetheless, I am excited and will do the best that I can to write a novel with at least 50,000 words in it by the end of November.

Another wonderful opportunity that I’m taking advantage of starts on November 4th. Deepak Chopra is offering another meditation experience called The Path of Empowerment. And, it’s free! I’m already signed up and encourage you, dear reader, to sign up as well.

As for my weight loss journey (#4 on my 19 for 2019), I have temporarily stalled this week. I have not lost any more weight, but I also have not gained any weight back. In addition, I have not been eating enough veggies which I think is contributing to bathroom issues. Thankfully, I am drinking enough water, and I am avoiding added sugar most days. I confess that I did eat a chocolate chip cookie at lunch on Fun Fair Friday and a mini chocolate pie (compliments of my mother-in-law) last night after dinner. I anticipate this week (with it being tech week) may be a challenge; however, I need to figure out another way to deal with the stress besides eating junk food.

In Other News:

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I am reading The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today by Joel Osteen. I have always enjoyed Joel Osteen’s work whether it be a book, a podcast episode, or a televised event. I love his positivity. This book is about the way you speak about yourself and how it can determine your destiny. Even though I try hard to be upbeat and positive the majority of the time, I am guilty of allowing negative self-talk to creep into my narrative and expressing negative feelings towards certain situations or circumstances. Osteen’s message is all about the attitude and the gratitude. For me, I need to work on having more patience and eliminating the complaining while I’m waiting. I need to focus on being me and not get distracted by others. I have so much I want to see, do, and experience in the second chapter of my life. I have to truly believe my time is coming, be intentional in my pursuits, and practice gratitude for the blessings that I have received and continue to receive daily. I AM BLESSED! Those three words are the beginning of the declarations I want to make a reality.

Today is the start of a wonderful week for me, dear reader. I hope it is for you, as well. I have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to in the next few weeks. Heck, tomorrow, I have the day off of work and get to take my amazing friend Michelle out for lunch. I haven’t seen her in ages, and I am thrilled we get to spend some time together. Happiness!

“One voice will point out that you’ve reached your limits. You’ve gone as far as you can. You don’t have what it takes. The other voice is clear and matter-of-fact: “You are well able. You can do all things through Christ. Your best days are still out in front of you.” Now, here’s the beauty. You get to choose which voice comes to life.” ~ Joel Osteen

 

 

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The sights and sounds of the waking day are incredible. 16196-illustration-of-a-hot-cup-of-coffee-pv[1]On my front porch relaxing in a rocking chair, I embraced the new day by watching the sun peeking through the trees while squirrels scampered across the lawn and birds hopped about looking for breakfast; listening to the chattering of the birds; smelling the fresh air; feeling the coolness of the morning air, and tasting the smooth richness of coffee. All five of my senses were fully engaged at that moment in full communion with the new day. Bliss! At that moment, fully PRESENT, I felt bliss. And, a sense of gratitude washed over me for the opportunity to appreciate the stillness, the beauty, and the absence of time. No place to be right away or a strict schedule to follow is my idea of the perfect way to start a new day.

Generally, my day begins in the darkness of early morning with no interaction with the outside world until Andrew and I make our daily drive to school. The natural world is not the focus (unless it is raining) in the car; it is each other. We are no longer at the same school; therefore, we talk the entire time we are in the car while listening to music. Upbeat, alternative music like the Violent Femmes, The Cure, or Twenty-One Pilots. In a different context, our morning drive is a perfect way to start a new day. It sets the tone for what each of us will face for the next few hours. Therefore, the mornings where I can linger and greet the sunrise are appreciated differently and are not taken for granted because they are a rare treat. Mornings like today are a reminder to slow down, admire nature’s beauty, and practice self-care.

It is amazing that today is the last day of January. It is also my younger sister’s 44th birthday. Happy Birthday, Rachel! January has provided me with a terrific start towards the changes I want to make this year. February offers me some exciting opportunities, as well as an entire week off from my day job. I registered for Danielle LaPorte’s free Fire Starter Sessions Audio Course and joined the Fire Starters Sessions group on Facebook. I had purchased the book back in the spring of 2012; however, I was not ready for the message. If all this course provides me with is the inspiration to pick up the momentum, it will be worth the time. I also registered for two Blogging University courses through WordPress: Writing 201: Finding Your Story (February 1-26) and Blogging 101: Zero to Hero (February 8-26). If it gets me writing daily, it will be worth the time.

What are your plans for February, dearest reader? Hopefully, it will include opportunities for self-care and a little fun. Until we meet again, embrace your day with an open heart. Happiness!

“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.” ~ W. H. Sheldon

 

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Oh, how I feel like a writer sitting here at a table in the cafe of Books-A-Million with my laptop, sipping on a skinny mocha latte…observing people, tapping out words galore, getting lost in my thoughts. Aaaah! I could get use to a writer’s life. At this point, my only obstacle is myself. So, how do I go about changing this? How do I get out-of-the-way of myself? What do I need to do to feel more like a writer? These are the questions I must answer, and answer soon. Okay, that sounds a bit dramatic. Soon…really? I’m thinking it will have to be a gradual process. I’m thinking it will occur to me the same way my weight loss journey occurred to me. I have to affirm it, and then keep my word to myself. More on this later.  

In the meantime, I want to discuss a couple of changes. There was a major weather change over the weekend. I admit, I am a bit of a weenie when it gets below 60 degrees. I like cold weather provided I’m not in it for any length of time. So, I have to make a slight change to my running schedule, and I have to get some warmer running clothes. As much as I like to run, I just could not make myself run this morning in the dark, in the cold at 4:30AM. It was 51 degrees. Then, I had an epiphany…run after dropping Andrew off at school since I did not have to substitute today. It will still be cold; however, the sun will be out. So, this is exactly what I did this morning. Now, Wednesday I will not be so fortunate. Either I will have to invest in some warmer running clothes, or I will be running Wednesday afternoon. Now, I do live in Louisiana, and the weather could change back to warmer temperatures by then. So, I’ll just have to wait and see. HA!

I may still get up at 4AM. I could do all sorts of things with the time, especially since I’m not sleeping. Perhaps, I could write on those cold mornings since I’m being too weenified to run.   

Sometimes, I think I prefer routine. Other times, I think I prefer change. I think it really depends on how the change comes about and if I have control over the change. When it comes to my workout schedule, I thought I wanted more of a scheduled routine. I’m finding, except for my runs, my mood and time of day determines what other type of exercise I want to do, whether it is walking, biking, strength training, etc. Running is something I would do every day if I could physically do it. So, I’m again mixing up my schedule. As long as I get at least three runs in per week (four runs would be ideal), as well as two strength training days per week, I am thrilled. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and allowing for more flexibility. This is definitely a change for me, and my lovely type A personality.

Well, my faithful readers, I have lost some more weight. I’m now 132.5 pounds. *Applause!* I have 7.5 more pounds to go before I reach my goal weight. This is a total of 20.5 pounds lost. I’m ready to reach my goal. For the first time in a long time, I’m actually looking forward to shopping for new clothes. My clothes are baggy, even my bras. Hee Hee! I must say that this has been an extremely wonderful change. I feel better physically and mentally. I’m repeating the run/walk schedule from last week: Walk 10 minutes, run 9 minutes. Walk 1 minute, run 9 minutes (repeat twice).

What other changes are in store for me in the next few weeks? Will I finally find a steady job? Will I be able to stay the course I’m currently on and spread my wings even further to discover more of myself? Or, will an unexpected windfall come my way? Don’t laugh! It could happen. Happiness!

Oh, and one final change goes out to mon frere, Moonius Maximus, who officially changes today from 42 to 43 on the celebration of his birth. Love you, mon frere.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ~ James Baldwin

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