Uncategorized · Writing

Balance (Five Minute Friday)

Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”
~ Jana Kingsford ~divider-clipart-divider_line_med

I started writing and photography as a means of self-therapy.  I feel like I’ve reached a healthy place.   I am ready to add something else to the mix.

Whenever I think of all the things I’d like to do, I begin to feel overwhelmed.  I do not want to shut down or quit.   So, I will carefully add just one or two things to the mix while making sure I continue to write on the Five Minute Fridays prompts and participate in 52Frames‘ photography challenges.

It’s critical for me to remember it’s okay to fall off the bandwagon with new endeavors as long as I maintain the other areas of my life. I will keep dusting myself off and keep trying with the new “goals”.  It will be okay if I don’t achieve consistency with the new objectives right off the bat.  Slow and steady wins the race.
divider-clipart-divider_line_medI didn’t spend a whole lot of thought or time on this bit of writing.  As with all things, consistency is the key.

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
~ Unknown; the quote is often attributed to Plato but is not confirmed ~

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Uncategorized · Writing

Deep {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday is taking time off for the holidays.    As for myself, I do not really wish to take a break from writing.  Consistency, at this time, is very important to me.  So, I am in search of a word (or question) prompt for both December 28th and January 4th. If any of you have a word (or a question) you wish me to write on, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  I’m not making any promises; but, I will do my best to respond to a couple of requests.

All quotes, parenthesis, etc., and etc. below were inserted after writing. Enjoy.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medI tend to write down quotes which make me think or tug at my heartstrings (or are deep). I ran across words the other day which made me think.  Of course, I had to write them down in my quote book.

“If intentionality means acting according to your beliefs, then the opposite would be operating on autopilot. In other words, do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing?”

Why am I doing what I’m doing?  The immediate answer was “survival”.  I began bullet journalling as a means of accomplishing the very basics in life.  The daily logs would help me keep on track and the journal method would keep me sane.

It was a struggle in the beginning because I was extremely depressed at the time.  I hadn’t done any list tracking or journalling for a long time. So, things such the daily log were done on auto-pilot for a while.  I still am depressed; but, I am not as bad off as I was from the start.  I am slowly getting out of the pit I was in.

Once I reach a point of stability, I sought a means of forcing myself to “get out”.   I’ve long enjoyed both writing and photography.  So, I decided to do something with both.  I joined groups at the beginning of this year in order to hold myself accountable to my resolutions.

So, what would my answer be to the above question now?  Why am I doing what I’m doing?  What is my intentionality (if any) behind it all?

I would not only say “survival” but I would also say “seeking a way to gain meaning to my life and work”.divider-clipart-divider_line_medI am being intentional in getting out via writing and photography. I’ve also been wanting to improve my skills in photography.   Last week’s 52Frames challenge (“roll of 24”) brought me down to an extreme low.

What in the world am I doing?  Why am I even still trying? The weekly challenge only proved to me that I have no skills, still do not have enough understanding of how everything works, etc, and etc. It was the worst week ever.

I have dreams and I’m nowhere near close to being able to achieve them. So, I despaired. What do I do now?  I don’t know what to do and if I did, I wouldn’t know how to go about doing them.

I remembered other photographers in the group saying it took them seven or 10 years to get where they are now.  I’ve only been actively pursuing this less than a year.  I regained a little hope.  I’m dusting myself off and getting back on track.  To get where I want to be, it’s going to take persistence and hard work. I can’t quit now.

And Dan, sweet Dan, gave me a “job” yesterday of taking a picture.  I will be “processing” the pictures I took later today after I get the usual daily tasks completed.

  1. The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

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Uncategorized · Writing

FMF: Value


Note: This was picture shot for an old, now defunct, WordPress Photography challenge.
If you’re interested, you can see details here.

What is a value?  Seriously.  Think about it.  What has value?  Ethics, core values (fundamental beliefs), property (things), etc., and etc. all have an assigned value (or the lack of value). The degree of value varies from person to person and oftentimes, it is what drives a person.

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I have always placed a high value on my faith.  But, there are times when I neglected to read and study God’s word regularly.  If I placed such a high value on my relationship with the Lord, should I not nourish it through prayer and reading of His word regularly? I have fallen on and off the bandwagon throughout the years.

It’s hard because I have been neglectful for a long time.  I have been slowly and surely returning home to Him. I pray. Often.  I research His word, frequently.  It’s challenging to make reading and studying his Word a regular event because I’m essentially alone in my walk with God.  I feel alone.

It’s also difficult due to my personality, which tends to be all or nothing.  In other words, I may pursue something of high value to me at the cost of all others. Finding balance isn’t easy for the likes of me.  divider-clipart-divider_line_medI feel like I should explain (expound) further; but, I am not ready nor do I have the inclination to do so at this moment. Later. Maybe.

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Uncategorized · Writing

FMF: One


11.19.2018

I quickly set up the arrangement above and shot it this morning after I written for today’s post.  I had to have the whiteboard in the background (Dan held it up for me) since the original kitchen background was too busy.  I then discovered the cutting board was cut off and distracting.  So, I cloned parts of the cutting board. It’s not perfect; but, I liked it better than the original.  There are flaws; but, I’m not doing anything more to the picture.  And besides, it’s good enough for this post.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medI am lacking inspiration this morning.  It’s Thanksgiving week and for the first time in my life and in our married life, we are not going to be with family or friends.  We will be together and alone.

Dan is looking forward to just us cooking and being together.  I’m on the fence.  I am not sure how I feel about not being with family over a major holiday such as Thanksgiving.  On the flip side, there is no stress or worry about what others think of me along with conversations flowing around me.   I won’t feel so helpless in a crowded kitchen.  I will actually be of help and a participant in the making of this year’s feast.

When I am with family, all I can do to help make the gravy. This changed last year.  It used to be my Mother’s gravy which was also miraculously gluten free.  The gravy was the one thing I could help with and now I had nothing. I felt useless. I observed so much last year that made me feel isolated, helpless, and alone.

The gravy was also one thing that tied everything together.  Most of us within the family would pour it over mash potatoes, turkey and even the stuffing.  Since I could no longer have stuffing1, I would look forward to having gravy.  But, that too was taken away from me.  Can you imagine the pain and sorrow of no longer being able to have gravy?

I know, it’s silly.  But, that is how I felt.

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Interesting. My writing flowed into the one-word prompt nicely.

By the way, I adjusted rather nicely after I had to go outside and have a melt-down. Dan managed to tear himself away and found me.  Even though I was deeply embarrassed to be found crying, He helped me recover.  And, it was still a delicious dinner in spite of the lack of gravy.

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Uncategorized · Writing

FMF: Burden

We should try our best to pour out all the burdens in our spirit by prayer until all of them have left us.
~ Watchman Nee ~
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I have no trouble laying down my burdens at the feet of my Savior.  I often cry out to him when I am in the throes of despair.  It is He who keeps me alive.  Without Him and my faith, I would not be here today writing this five-minute post.

However, It’s not easy to share my burdens with others. My fellow humans are so quick to judge or do not want/desire to understand, have no patience, etc., and etc..  Too often pat answers are given sending me further down into the depths of darkness.

I’ve learned early on in life to not express myself.  I was extremely young when I was told to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps”.  I  had to ask the person what that phrase meant.  He basically explained I was way too sensitive and needed to toughen up. I remember silently resolving to keep my thoughts to myself and cry alone.

It is not easy to share burdens with anyone because I know all too well what it’s like to be laughed at and told I could not be serious1.  It’s not easy to share frustrations only to be told they do not understand2.   All those things and much more in my young life sent me further into isolation, darkness, and despair.

These things and holding them close to heart did not end upon giving my life to Christ (1979). The thoughts that drive me into darkness, despair, and depression are fewer and further apart but they still come to me once in a blue moon. Being a Christian doesn’t mean all things are rosy and perfect. I still have difficulties in life.  But, now I have faith and can confide in Someone who understands. divider-clipart-divider_line_med

  1. for thinking of suicide
  2. what it is like to be deaf

Footnotes:
I did plan to kill myself before setting foot in high school. From the day I gave my life to Christ, I knew I could never ever commit the final act knowing how God feels about murder. (Suicide is the murder of self).

If you see me rise up speaking passionately concerning all things suicide, bullying, and youth, it’s only because I deeply understand what may drive them to commit the final desperate act.  The inner pain, despair, and feeling oh so alone drives you to want to end it all.   This could have been me if not for God and Viola Mae (my Gram).

If you see me speak of certain things repeatedly, it’s because it’s close to my heart and/or something I’m currently struggling with or working through.  I am not having an easy time sharing myself (my thoughts) with my husband who is my partner in life.  You would think after 24 years of marriage, it’d be easy. It’s not for me.

 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
~ Matthew 11:28-30 ~

 

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Uncategorized · Writing

FMF: Repeat

Most of life is routine – dull and grubby, but routine is the momentum that keeps a man going. If you wait for inspiration you’ll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.
~ Ben Nicholas ~
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Every Monday morning seems to be the same ol’ same ol’ routine unless I am sick and then things tend to get delayed.  But, it’s the same, more or less.   And, it’s my day off.  At the very least, I do not cook dinner.

I tend to wake up, lay in bed and groan. And this is around 5:30 (now 4:30 due to the time change) in the mornings. I would often take a single Excedrin because I feel bad physically.  Often, I will try to go back to sleep and fail. I usually end up laying there for about 20 or 30 minutes hoping the pill would kick in. More often than not, I will become functional and thank God for a brand new day.

I get up, put on some long PJ pants, and when it’s cold, I exchange my short sleeve PJ shirt for a long sleeved one.  I then head down the hallway for the kitchen, fill up my up my old-timey big thermos mug with water, gather up my vitamins along with my breakfast bar.  I sit down at the kitchen table and write down in my bullet journal the things I must do, such as ‘finances’ (bills, budget, etc., and etc.), for the day.

I then head for the couch to get on the laptop.  I often eat while I write.   I always write first before getting online to do the weekly finances and then I play on social media.

Lather, Rinse and Repeat. Weekly.

Every Monday is a brand new beginning and yet, it rarely changes especially in the mornings.
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Uncategorized · Writing

Write 31 Days: Close (Day 31)

This is the last day of the writing challenge that happens every October. I enjoyed pursuing this endeavor even though I suffered from writer’s block several times.  I am not sure if I will do this again next year.  We shall see when the time comes around again.
divider-clipart-divider_line_med“I open at the close” is the first phrase that popped into my mind upon reading today’s word prompt.  It’s a phrase that appears in one of the Harry Potter books. It appeared on a snitch he captured in a game of Quidditch.  The phrase meant the snitch will open when Harry faces,  resolves, and accepts the fact that he must die.  More importantly, it was also a beginning which led to the demise of Voldemort (evil).

I really like the phrase “I open at the close” for personal reasons.

We all will face death someday.  I’m am terrified of the unknown(s).  However, I have faith at the close of life, my soul will leave this imperfect body and head for sweet Beulah Land — that home I’m longing for.  Death will be the closing of life on earth and a new beginning in Heaven.
divider-clipart-divider_line_medI know I have a weird sense of thinking. My logic and thoughts often meander and are far-fetched; but, it works perfectly for me.

In closing, I hope by starting and finishing this writing for 31 days challenge, I’ve improved as a “writer”.  And, in return, you all got to know me just a little better.  The regular schedule of Five Minute Fridays, on Mondays, will now return.

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