ROW80

September 2 Check-in Soaring slightly

This week, I must have been primed to have what I read reach into the shadows to shine light on aspects of my personality.  Jenny Hansen’s post
on starring in our own life hit me.  Her post is about Marianne Williamson’s book  A Return to Love.  I found the part  where Williamson says we are more afraid of our light than our darkness so very interesting, and true.  I was brought  up to be invisible and silent; my greatest goal was to fade completely into the wallpaper.  

The reasons are complex, and would need their own post, but part of it includes my mother telling me very early on I should not speak up, I should especially not let others see that I was smart. I realize now she had her reasons, because I seem to have been born a smart aleck.  In first grade, my classmates bullied me because the good sister had me read aloud to the class while she took a break. Every year, it seemed there was a new reason to be spotlighted, and vilified. Eventually, the bullying made the smart aleck go underground, and I became a chameleon–tell me what you want me to be, and I will be that.  It sounded like a good plan, but it didn’t work out so well.  I lost my strength, my soul.  Actually, that’s not true–my strength and my soul grew into a caldera in the closet, fed by my journalling and my writing about women who could be brave and strong and smart without losing all their friends.

I do have my darkness.  I’ve been raped, beaten, abandoned; I’ve been homeless and gone to bed hungry.  It takes a better person than I am not to have the darkness build in those circumstances. But when Williamson said that we fear our light because we don’t want to offend others, my life before age 30 rolled out before me. I still have the remnants of fear that people won’t like my work or me, but I’m much farther along the path than I was at 30.

The second post that hit me was Kristen Lamb’s on maturity,
especially her line about the day job being there for a reason. I accepted this day job when I was struggling with wanting to write full-time, but knowing I wasn’t ready on many levels.  It hit me that my day job really is there for a reason.  I have to be the adult everyday, even when I don’t want to be.  I have a lot of responsibility, but I also have a lot of authority. I believe in strong women and I write about strong women, but I still suffer from impostor syndrome, and do not believe I am strong.  

I nearly spewed my coffee when a colleague of mine described me as a “steel magnolia,”  but she’s right.  My day job is helping me understand my protagonist, a woman who overcame the odds and social conventions to build and run a company, despite being called names, vilified, made fun of, having her intelligence and learning doubted.

And to finish the trifecta, while looking at the website of a new follower, I saw a quotation that resonated: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got, and you’ll always feel what you always felt. Recently, I decided that not trying new things was suffocating any creativity I have.  New things may not work, but as I say at the day job, “Will anyone die? No?  Okay, let’s give it a shot.”

What, you may ask, does all this have to do with writing?  Well, while still honoring my tortoise, I am going to up the ante a bit.  Jenny Hansen challenged me to stop inching and soar, so this next month, I am going to write for at least an hour a day.  In the midst of everyone’s Fast Draft and Camp NaNo, I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me, it is.

Welcome, Ryan and David, to the blog. Thank you to David who had the great quotation I mentioned above.

Check out some of the ROWers here. They will appreciate your encouragement.

My goals and progress are below:

Writing:

  • I will write at least one half-hour a day. Updated to one hour a day.

  • I will continue to refine my main author blog, which may involve combining the Lapidary Prose blog with Elizabeth Anne Mitchell. I just can’t get excited about this goal, but I think it makes sense.

Community:

  • As I’ve returned to being a sponsor, I will visit all my 8’s twice a week. Slowly, but yes, I’m doing it.

  • I will catch up with Facebook, Twitter, and my other sites for no more than an hour daily. I have been keeping up with this goal.

  • I will reply to all comments on my blogs. Again, slowly, but I am keeping up with comments.

Exercise:

  • Walk at least 1,000 steps a day, preferably 2,000, tracked by a pedometer. I got 1,000 steps 6 out of 7 days. I’ll take it.

  • Use the stairs going upstairs; if I want to, I can cheat going downstairs. I’m now doing this, even for multiple stories at work, even when I *really* don’t want to do it, so I think it is now a habit.

Personal:

  • I have let many dear friends fall off my radar these past few months.  I will stay in contact with the group daily, if only briefly, and weekly individually. Fail at the individual contacts.  I need to manage my time better.

  • I will stay in better touch with my daughters on Facebook or by phone.  My sons are back home, so my only trouble connecting with them is that they have vampire schedules. A little better this week. I have been able to spend some one-on-one time with each of the sons; I need to be better about the daughters.


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10 thoughts on “September 2 Check-in Soaring slightly”

  1. Just like Jenny’s post took a lot of guts to share, so did this. You’ve made me choke up Elizabeth. You are amazing. That’s one of my favorite quotes too.

    Love your goals and it sounds like you’re doing well with them. Wishing you all the best for the upcoming week.

    1. Oh, Raelyn, I didn’t mean to choke you up, and I’m honored that you think I’m amazing.

      I’ve seen versions of that quote before, but it really hit me this time, in concert with Jenny’s and Kristen’s posts.

      I’m getting better at the goals, or perhaps better at figuring what fits and what doesn’t. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful week!

    2. I’m with you, Raelyn. I totally choked up. What a lovely post, Elizabeth. You made my whole week with this shout-out.

      p.s. I totally love your goals. Especially that you included a few personal ones!

      1. Thanks, Jenny. I’m glad I made your week. I always find your posts helpful and thought-provoking, but this one knocked me off my pins. I needed my thinking to be turned on its head, and I needed your kick in the butt to stop inching!

        As for the goals, I wanted to find more balance in my life, so I thought, why not make them goals? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is a great post and I have to admit my eyes pricked a bit too. That quote is amazing and needs to be written somewhere in my flat for me to see at all times. The whole idea of the day job being there for a reason, I need to think about that more!

    I hope you have a wonderful week and you reach all you goals 🙂

    1. Oh, Em, I’m so sorry for the delay in replying! I didn’t find your comment in my spam folder until today. Thank you ofr coming by and commenting–I cannot figure out why WP put it in spam *confused*.

      I have put that quote on the cubicle wall by my computer at work; I need to find a place at home for it as well.

      The day job idea was a weird one at first, but the more I thought about it, I really could see how it was helping me.

      Thank you again for stopping by. I hope you have a lovely week!

  3. Hi Elizabeth, what a brave and bueatiful post. It touched my heart you have been on a long hard journey similar to my own but you have found your way back home; to the true and authentic you. You demonstarate real courage and a fighting spirit that will take you wherever you want to go in life. Remember you are loved and precious and you are orginal and have many talents always. Kirsten is a very inspiring person, If you are not already I suggest you join WANA. Which was founded by Kisten and is a supportive community for all artists. I am so glad I joined and for all the great friends I have made there. Take care and I wish you luck with all you do.
    Athena

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Athena. Kristen is very inspiring, I agree. If you don’t know Jenny Hansen, she is also very inspiring. I am in WANA, although I don’t hang out there as much as I would like to do. I have taken one class through WANA International, and hope to take more. You might want to check out The Round of Words. It is a wonderful community as well.

      Thank you also for your kind words of encouragement. It has been a long road, but I know it has made me who I am. It sounds as though you have had much of the same experiences; best of luck with all of your endeavors!

  4. Dear Elizabeth, (by the way that is my youngest daughter’s name) It seems in some ways we have a lot in common. I was bullied growing up, so much that I don’t even want to go by that name anymore and haven’t for over ten years. We both have been through a lot and it would seem to help both of us to realize how strong we really are. I admire you for continuing on. I believe we will both make it through and succeed in our goals.

    Great job with your goals so far!

    Peace,
    Morgan

    1. Dear Morgan, my first reaction to your comment was to feel sad that you had gone through that, but then I realized that it has made you strong. By the way, Elizabeth is my middle name, which my family and school never used, and therefore feels more like me. I have always liked it 🙂

      I feel sure we will both thrive and succeed. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Peace to you,
      Elizabeth

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