This assignment asks Why am I blogging, what is the interest or focus. The reason I am blogging is I think life is interesting. Despite challenges, there are ways to be emotionally fit to handle our troubles. When life is falling apart, there are some things we can do to change our circumstances and live fabulously. There are times we are helpless in our circumstances. Men, women, teenagers, victums of abuse, everyone is capable of making a difference in their life and that of others. My blog is devoted to the betterment of our personal lives with adjustments to the habits and routines we keep.
Does time pass you by? Life’s responsibilities keep us busy enough. Yet, a sneaky thief may be invading your life. It steals valuable time that could be used for more rewarding activities.
Consider these ten rewarding activities, then find out the thief you may be mindlessly aiding.
1. Productivity: Productivity requires time set aside to reach goals. Using our time wisely gives us the reward of something tangible.
2. PERSONAL ORGANIZATION: order of our enviroment, finances, and diet require good habits that are routine. Instead of seeking fulfillment from shallow pursuits which take money an time. Using our time wisely to get things done causes us to feel more accomplished. When our enviroment is organized an less cluttered we are free to be creative.
3. Exercize: making time for a daily walk or going for an exercize class a few times a week is very satisfying. This investment pays off in a few ways including the possibility of staving off weightgain, controlling our blood sugar levels, and having our clothes fit better. A workout three times a week can help us maintain. A workout 4-6 times a week can help us to lose weight with a sensible diet.
4. Food we take in: Well planned meals can give us energy, save money, and improve our health. The other day I saw my thin friend eating a salad while she was sitting in her car waiting on someone. I was impressed by her forethought. Another friend whom is losing weight packs a little cooler an takes it everywhere, when we meet at the donut shop she is snacking from her pack.
5. LIMITS: People feel so threatened by LIMITS which are boundaries. Limits can be a protection. Excess of anything can be costly.
6. Social Activities: Making time to do something with your mate or children is essential for healthy bonds. Inviting aquaintences, extended family members, etc., to go to the zoo or museum can build lasting relationships.
7. Take time for yourself to replenish: Daily Bible reading and prayer have done much to empower a person to make healthier choices in their life.
8. Plan Ahead: By having a yearly, quarterly, bi-monthly, monthly, and weekly goal plan can help make life more rewarding. Including areas just discussed in this article in your plan can change your life.
9. Living your Dream: What have you dreamed of being or doing? Whether it is learning carpentry skills, educating yourself about photography, learning to do great sauces and gravies from scratch. It is important to view these as relaxing activities so they will no longer be put off to imagined better circumstances that may never come. I did not know I would be in a car accident that would make it so I could never play golf. I sent my children for Golf lessons, I should have been getting them too. You may be waiting to write that book or take the cooking class or joing the crochet-knitting group at the senior citizen group.
10. Sleep: Try to get some sleep on a schedule. Consider your natural circadian clock. Are your activities circumventing your natural rhythm?
The thief revealed: Time, how you spend it. Do you imagine your relaxing is coming home to watch the television? Playing games on your pad or cruising the net for a couple hours. Messaging is the greatest interupter. I saw a person having a nice run whom stopped to check a message. If we are cleaning the garage or doing housework, writing, cooking, exercizing, crafting, doing personal bible reading, or enjoying social activities we are rewarded by protecting our focus. More people complain of problems focusing which interpheres with accomplishment and satisfaction. Electronics have their purpose, yet, without limits can bring our lives to ruin. We overspend, we have no time to exercize, eating less mindfully, looking at our phones during a fine meal provoking jealousy, our domestics are harder to manage, and taking time to learn a craft or hobby becomes a distant thought. Do not let an aid become a thief in your life. See what adjustments may improve your life.
Take a moment and look in the dictionary, like I looked in the Merriam-Webster, The word, Challenge. I just never thought of all the definitions for this one word.
Challenge, such as, prove your point. Or, As in a dual, or other forms of defending yourself or a cause, or a decision.
I like the application they made in their dictionary on-line that helps make the point of my article. I have my article lined up and I love to look up a word occasionally. To use the dictionary reaffirms what I believe it to mean, or it rounds out the meaning of the word and all the uses and applications, thus making it so I can be completely confident. Can you make use of the dictionary more often?
The application that the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary said ” It’s a game that will challenge a child’s imagination.” , and the second was “The work doesn’t challenge him anymore, and he’s often bored.”
In life, there are times that a person goes through the motions of living almost habitually. Almost with dread approaching the same routine, and stagnation has set in. Where is the optimism and joy? Motivation, what is motivation? As a person commented on my blog, they feel they hesitate too much and too long before attending to something. I will have to talk about that later, as I am often guilty of the same. Missed opportunities is all I will say about that at the moment.
Motivation, look it up in the dictionary please! When life is not stimulating and your caught up in the same old worries and pressures it is time for a challenge.
When we were children, remember when we would do the Library Summer Reading Program? We had to read so many books during the summer and that was the challenge, not only did it keep us out of our parents hair, it was truly beneficial. It kept us busy and hopefully out of trouble as our minds were lost in the plot of the story. We worked at reading our books and we were proud of ourselves as we achieved and fulfilled the challenge. Challenges can be healthful and enjoyable.
Think of things that you previously enjoyed and let go of because of the responsibilities in life. Years just continue going by. Is there something you have been interested in and just have not pursued? Here is a brief list: gardening, painting, reading, spiritual interests, exercise, dance, education, golfing, community events, operas, orchestras and live bands. There is also crocheting, knitting, writing, woodwork, weightloss, personal organization, improving your finances, container gardening, visiting museums, bowling, spring cleaning, better posture, remodeling, cleaning the basement, attic or garage. There are life changing challenges such as improving your image, updating your appearance, improving your marriage, enjoying your family life. The list goes on and on, and maybe you can make yourself a list.
Have a wall calendar or a personal calendar just for your challenges and keeping track of yourself.
Steps to successful challenges.
1. Time period for your challenge must be established. Will it be a 14 day, 30 day, six week, eight week or a 90 day challenge? What day or evening each week can you devote to achieving your challenge? If it is a physical fitness goal, is there three to five days a week you can devote to this new routine? Once the time period and days are established then what can you do to feel the rewards of working on your new challenge?
2. Preparation, if you want to get in shape but you have been putting off getting the membership, get signed up. If you want to paint, then set up a corner or room with all your supplies. If you need supplies you can contact the local senior citizens center in your area and sometimes supplies are left there by ones that are no longer interested and they may give them to you, and they may let you join them for the classes to get you going with your artwork. Put things in motion now. Get out all your supplies, go buy what you need, and set a time aside for when you can work on it. My friend Diana, she has special needs children she adopted, and on Tuesday, one day she is alone at home, she paints pictures, it is relaxing and satisfying for her. I am proud of her for doing this, it is a sanity keeper.
If you cannot afford supplies, check craigslist, or post in the wanted section what you are looking for. Please,’ hoarders’, do not bother, leave it for those truly interested in doing something with now. Did I step on your toes, I am sorry, I do not want to add to your accumulation. You can check the wanted section and if someone has a need and you have in your stash what will help them, then generosity is rewarding in itself to share.
If gardening is your interest, dig up some pots and fill up with new gardeners soil and plant some seeds. It takes a couple months to get some good size plants to put in your garden. PBS has some great gardening shows, and the Gardening section at the library has a lot of books on gardening. Whether it is flowers or vegetables, get them started. I bought some bulbs a couple months ago at Walmart and I wanted a monochromatic garden. A four foot by 12′ section of Johnson grass and weeds were an eyesore and we have planted and deweeded there for years. If you know anything about Johnson grass, it grow deep, it is nearly impossible to get rid of. My husband tilled deep and we believe we got most of it out. Several days of raking and hoeing to be sure. The bulbs come in a variety of heights from some being 8″ up to others being 42″. I wanted the rear 2′ x 12′ to be a light pink monochromatic but the front two to be pastels including the same hue of pink with all the other colors.
3. Purchase a magazine or book of your interest. Then make your challenge.
One obvious challenge was The Skirt a Day Sewing book by Nicole Smith. A couple years ago when I was in the hospital for five days having surgery and facing more threatening surgery, my husband kindly went and bought this book for me. I read it cover to cover and it kept my head out of my depressing and distressing circumstances. Endorphin Therapy, I love it. I have yet to do the 28 skirts and I have reread her book a couple times. A delightful light read, very instructive. In fact I contacted her on her webpage once and she replied and was so very helpful about a fitting problem I deal with when making skirts and pants. When I get some of these other projects done, I look forward to doing this challenge. I am a bit of a slow worker likely I would have to give myself six weeks to do this challenge. Of course this is an example of a challenge.
The most recent challenge I was involved with was with my Friend Mattie, she is a great sewer and I love to sew. We picked a pattern she had and being that we had a convention we were going to see each other at in a couple weeks we decided to make the outfit for the convention. She did an amazing job on hers and she looked very elegant with her lovely brown skirt and Jacket. I did not have the same pattern so I used a blouse pattern and modified it. The Jacket had the front angled from the center at the bottom to your left upper chest with the buttons going up at the angle. Having a lot of fitting issues and having to draft up my pattern, for instance, I have very small narrow shoulders, therefore, I had to take four inches, yes, four inches off the shoulders and make the armhole adjustment. It was such an exciting project. My biggest challenge was my sewing machines broke down. My daughter-in-law Lindsea is so kindly letting me use her machine for a bit, I received it the other night. Mattie and I attended this large convention we attend three times a year every year and she had on her new outfit with a cute little hat. I had on my jacket and the color was spice, and the texture not quite tencel or suede. And although I did not get to make the skirt in time, the jacket matched a skirt I had very well. We both received a lot of complements and the challenge was rewarding. As sewing buddies, we have this two week challenge to just clean up our sewing rooms and finish a couple of projects and get them out of the way. She gets to decide on our next challenge. I cannot wait.
The cookbook challenge, take a cookbook you own and scan the chapters or sections. Pick a section and work it for the month. Such as one chapter a month. Or, let this be Sauces Month. Learn how to make alfredo, and gravies, etc. Or do a crock pot recipe once a week.
I make notes in my books and magazines when I accomplish the project and I put the date on it too.
A magazine on woodworking, you can do the project. Make notes, and show time spent on each step. Make the notes in the magazine and take pictures.
Some want to make Bible reading their challenge or goal, yet it can be daunting. Keep it inspiring especially if you have not been successful with daily reading in the past. Would you want to break it down into Bible characters and read the chapters regarding them, Like the book of Ruth, or about Abraham, then do that and really think about what you are reading and how some of their qualities can enrich your life. Or, Would you want to read the gospels? I love to read the book of Psalm and the book of Proverbs. It is not about how many chapters you read each day, it is just that you devote time each day to prayerfully do it. I love the Imitate Their Faith series and book on jw.org .
Make a list of your interests, masterlist and a timeframe. A lot of our cellphones have reminders, and to-do lists where we can enter information to help us stay on track with our goals and challenges. Make use of them.
4. Have a buddy or an interest group that you are involved with regarding your interest. It will keep you going and encouraged.
Time is difficult to manage especially with the obligations people face. Some people come home and fall on the couch and turn on the television or computer for some mindless activites that fein relaxation. It is ok, but the reward is to trade up the time for more personal achievements. Now you will no longer be stagnating and you will have something to look forward to.
Overniight, we have gone back in time, and moved into another month. Whom says the days are shorter, If our days are shorter, how can we make more of our time? We may have gained an hour.
There are four ways we can get more of our time. If we are depressed or discouraged about darkness descending on our day earlier we must come up with an alternate routine.
1. During this time change why not go to bed an hour earlier, and get up an hour earlier. What can a person do with an extra hour in the weee mornin’ hours? An exercize plan can be easily achieved with the extra time. Domestics, chores, laundry, can be managed more efficiently when done earlier in the day when working an established period of time. It makes the feeling of accomplishment and optimism a more common occurrence.
2. Getting ahead on paperwork, taxes, etc. is great evening work. Put some good classical music on and organize your paperwork. So many put off paperwork and get extensions when this last quarter is a great time to get a jump on it.
3. Free classes online are offered in as many fields as you can imagine. These long nights are a tremendous opportunity to learn more in your field or another. If you have been interested in a particular subject and have not had the time, now is the time. I saw a class from Yale on architectural history, and one from Harvard offering Drawing lessons. You can learn more in the career you practice or you can learn what you need to change careers.
4. Do not put off your creativity any longer. Are there projects you have been needing to finish? Give yourself a couple weeks to work on some of these cast asides and clear them off your to do list. You will quickley discover why you invested in the material you purchased and the time you already have put into the projects. Have you wanted to learn a new hobby or craft? There are many instructive videos online. Painting, sewing, writing, woodwork, Bible study, and knitting are all activities that are productive and inspiring. Many are learning hobbies and crafts to enrich their life. The winter months make it possible to have an evening a week to spend at the local library. Most Libraries have activities and social events scheduled, look them up online and see what you might enjoy.
If you have been yearning to get something done or you have put off learning something new, these longer nights or early mornings are a great way to get more done while ending the year with a sense of fulfillment.
Creativity is an amazing thing. A family I know, all the young ones are superior artists. Most can see something inspiring in everyday things. They also have the techniques down. There is one whom is very good but just copies other peoples work because her mind just doesn’t recognize a creative venture on her own.
I once knew a twenty year old whom was a great artist and she copied other artists and sold the paintings to people she knew. One of the artist was living. I asked her if she asked their permission to copy their work. She hadn’t. I told her that I would not want anyone to take my work and capitalize on it. I asked her why she is not doing her own paintings because her work was beautiful. She couldn’t think of anything on her own. I told her, take a picture of an animal or a landscape or a still life and draw or paint it. Limit yourself to just one color group, like purple, with only the lightest or darkest hues of the color on your palette. I do not know what she has done since, I hope she took the advise and that she is still painting.
Yes, I do feel it is a form of stealing and I would not want anyone to use my articles to fund their creativity. Everyone must find their own inspiration. If I am inspired by someone I mention them in my articles, but my information and the way it is presented is my own. The experiences that fund my own creativity are priceless and personal. I write to help inspire anyone to make positive adjustments in their life so that they and those that love them can all be benefitted.
It makes me so happy to hear that my work is appreciated by many. It saddens me that I have had a couple different ones contact me to say they are using my work to rewrite for their own benefit. I do not want my work rewritten for someone else to make money, I am working on my own projects and that is definitely a reward I look forward to. I feel that my work is presented generously, but I do not want it copied or built upon into something bigger where a person used my work to instigate their creativity on topics I present.
If a person is short on inspiration, or creative direction there are many creative workshops out there that help so much. There are books at the library that help people unlock the artists block. There are magazines at the Barnes and Noble stores that give a person many opportunities to practice and become productive again. Of course, personally, I use daily life as my inspiration, making notes at the time and writing up my articles. Brainstorming is a wonderful creative outlet for me. If I want to write about any subject, I just thought of the word CLOTHES. Now my mind thinks of the origin of clothes, Adam an Eve, and their fig leaves. When did a person decide to start being creative in their own community with their attire. Standing out as different and not being submissive to the norms set by previous generations could affect their social lives. And my mind goes on. Any word, think origin, history, present day, and future, and what is beneficial. That is a bit of a freebee for anyone out their that might want some inspiration. Other than that, my work is my own and it is for others to enjoy and benefit from. Just please, find your own work to write and present. If you want to do something with my CLOTHES brainstorm, please do, and I would like to know what you did with it. May success be yours with the clothes article. Just do some of your own brainstorming and writing on any subject. Or go to a life management skills coach and they may help you free the writing bee in you.
I have been writing for decades in notebooks and on computers, and now I am branching out and looking forward to publishing.
For anyone whom writes well but does not come up with their own inspiration, you can always be an editor, because you can recognize great work and you can help the writers you work for get their work published and distributed. That is creativity too. Agents are people whom look for work or recognize worthy work when presented to them. Help someone to do something with their work, and you help yourself too. If a person is determined to be a writer, start writing, be the Norman Rockwell in your life, if you see an odd or quirky situation, write it, every detail, and what is so interesting, why it captivated you, and how are we benefitted with this knowledge. Paint the picture in our mind so we can see what you see in the words you present, present it in a way that we would want to stay there. These are my own feelings on the matter.