Do you have an activity that you turn to when your world feels out of kilter? An activity that you usually avoid whole-heartedly; that you’d put off doing even after your dealth? For me that’s cleaning or organizing my house.
I loathe cleaning and organizing my house. I tend to think of it as a waste of time, akin to Sisyphus pushing that stupid rock up the hill only to have it roll back down. Try again tomorrow, only to have it roll back down. That’s what cleaning and organizing mean to me. Within hours the dust will magically reappear and maybe, if I’m lucky, the clutter on my desks (yes, I now have two) will stayed uniform for a few day not hours.
However, I’ve noticed that there are times I get the bug to clean. I’m experiencing one right now, even though it’s a beautiful day outside and I have many pieces I could/should be writing. Eureka, that’s it! I have so many stories, posts, and books that I’d like to be tackling. I’m extremely behind on my training miles for upcoming races. I’m mentally overwhelmed and I’m feeling guilty. Since I can’t actually runaway, I use cleaning during these times to shutdown for a bit. That’s sort of true because I’m actually allowing thoughts to marinate and organize on the mental back-burner while I clean and organize my actual living space.
I’ve used this coping mechanism while attending graduate school this last time. Final papers week I tended to have a very spotless space. I’d get into a fury of dusting, vacuuming and minimizing the stacks of papers strewn about until they were corralled into a place or two. Yes, it’s avoidence. Yet it worked and still works for me. I’m not getting actually graded (or paid, sadly, but maybe some day) for my writing, paid for the books I read nor am I the caliber runner that I see any actual race medals for merit in my future. Actually all three are done because more time than not, I enjoy and receive great satisfaction from these endeavors. Yet I hold them up to a level of importance that I don’t want to do a halfass job of them. So I clean to cope until I get that next burst of creativity and renewal. I’m actually avoiding cleaning by stopping to write this burst of transient thought that came while dusting a room. Vicious cycle it seems!
Can you relate? Do you have a chore or least liked activity you will be drawn to when you trying to avoid something else? Share…
Imagine my surprise when tildy1 of the beespeak nominated me for the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award”. I was surprised AND flattered. What a nice vote of confidence since I have only just started blogging myself. I thank tildy1 and appreciate her vote of confidence. Please make sure you check out her blog because she’s a talented writer!
Upon being nominated, should you choose to agree to this mission and before this message self-destructs….oops…wrong situation. I promise nothing is set to self-destruct upon my doing, I swear. OK, being serious, I must put the award logo on my blog (which I’ve done – see above). I must thank the person who nominated me (also see above). I must answer ten questions that were provided to me (see below). I am then to nominate 10 blogs myself and provide ten new questions for these lovely ladies to answer. Well, here goes nothing or at least me proving that I can successfully follow directions.
The Ten Questions I am to Answer:
1) What is your favorite vacation spot? – Locally it would be St. Augustine, FL. What history, vistas, and great food/drink. Otherwise, I’d say Asheville, NC for the views, air, hiking and beer/food. Hmmm, a pattern.
2) What are your favorite pizza toppings? – Lots of veggies, little cheese, lots of sauce and sausage.
3) Have you ever taken a writing course, and if so, what kind? – Does English Composition for Freshman year college count? That’s the only official one I’ve ever taken unless you count portions in my high school English classes.
4) How do you find the time in your busy day to blog? – Well, you would think that being presently unemployed that I’d have all the time in the world. Some days that is truly the case, for which I’m grateful to be able to explore this side of my abilities. However, I have a lot of work I’m doing on my documentary project/website, trying to find a job and now going to class on Saturdays. Therefore, I sometimes don’t write until late in the day or have to put it off until the weekend.
5) How do you keep up with the news? – I tend to watch only the 6:00-7:00 local and NBC Nightly News. I now rely on stories coming up on my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds and what John Stewart has to say.
6) What was your favorite game as a child? – The board game “Sorry”. I drove everyone up the wall yelling “Soooorrryyyy” imitating the whining voice from the commercial.
7) Which magazines do you read? – Typically something like Runner’s World or Women’s Running and trade magazines for the long-term care/healthcare industry.
8) Why did you start blogging? – I wanted a way to link the video interviews from my YouTube channel to another forum. Then in this forum or blog, I wanted to be able to write about my thoughts and experiences.
9) Share one helpful writing tip. – As noted before, I’m not a trained or very well-educated person in regards to writing. That being prefaced, I try to realize that sometimes I just need to stop thinking/planning and just write. Worry about the errors and fixes after I get either a large portion or the whole thing written. I over think and overwork my ideas and that has tended to make me freeze.
10) Tell us about your blog. – My blog is titled, “Sofia – Wisdom of the Ages”. It encompasses a project that I had wanted to start several times and many years ago. I’m interested in documenting the life histories of our older adults, those that have lived during major historical events and adults in general that are facing or have faced major illness. I interview them to document their histories but also what they have learned, how they may have changed as a result of these milestone events and what wisdom do they want to pass on to next generations. The blog allows me to share via multimedia and to also write creatively about these interviews and the subjects that may get discussed.
Here are my ten questions:
- If stuck on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?
- The age you’ve liked experiencing the most so far?
- Your favorite subject in school?
- Name something from your Bucket List, if you have one or if asked to make one.
- What is something you are most proud of accomplishing up to this point in your life?
- First author that comes to mind….now…
- First word that comes to mind regarding this author.
- What is/are 1-2 focus of your blog?
- What is your dream job?
- If you could interview a famous person from any time period, who would it be?
These are the ten lovely ladies and their blogs that I nominate. (I apologize if you have already been tapped for this)
- Burgess Taylor
- Wtf am I on About Now?
- Love Happy Notes
- No More Can’t
- Amber Amulets
- Laura Gabrielle Feasey
- The s.o.u.l. Inspiration
- People, Places, and Perspectives
- Deborah’s Deliberations
- Over Forty Witticisms’
I have had much delight reading the above women’s blogs on a regular basis. They have inspired me, encouraged me and helped me learn. Some of them have also made me very hungry. Thank you for all you bring into my world and letting me be part of yours!
I’m going to go ahead and call myself a runner. In truth I both run and walk. Some runners would say that this doesn’t make me a true runner. In the end, it doesn’t matter because I still get across the finish line. Once I put my mind to starting a race, I will finish it even if it means I may have to crawl or be dragged. There are many who finish before me and some that finish after me. It humbles me. But I remember to be happy since there was a time I was told my future might be the physical inability to do so.
You see I have a habit of letting “can’t” get in the way. I told myself, “I can’t” for many things and many times in my life. I let people tell me “can’t” and I believed them. It was when I finally took up running for the umpteenth time in 2009 that I learned that “can’t” needed to be removed from my knee-jerk reaction list. I was very sick in 2009. I was being seen by several neurologists. I had numbness and tingling down the left side of my body. The thought was I had multiple sclerosis. I was scared out of my wits. Thankfully it was my neurologist, Dr. Snyder that told me the MRIs and other tests were negative. However, he couldn’t explain my symptoms. He and his nurse practitioner told me I had to keep moving. Several friends encouraged me to give run/walking another chance; to take it slow this time. I swallowed my fear of being the slowest person on the road and I shut out the voice of “can’t” get past a mile running through my head. I kept at it and actually started enjoying myself more often than not. I was afraid of a future using a cane or worse, a wheelchair. The doctor noticed I was doing better and wanted to know what I was doing. I told him about run/walking. He grabbed his prescription pad, wrote something and handed it to me. It read, “Go run a half marathon”. I responded with, you guessed it, a sentence with “can’t” in it. He responded, “Yes, you can. Doctor’s order!”
Man I hated him at that moment. It was to be the best thing a doctor ever did for me.
I kept at it. I built mileage slowly training with a Galloway group for beginners. I slacked off at times but I got back into training because I didn’t want that look of disappointment from my doctor. Some people thought I was crazy trying to start running at 40. I kept going and I felt stronger for it. I finished my first half marathon in February of 2010. The next day I moved back to Tampa from Jacksonville to return to graduate school a second time to study gerontology. The slow process of training for a half marathon and seeing I could do it had given me the confidence to change many other things in my life that year. It ended up playing a pivotal role in my life and the way I’ve viewed things since.
I’m coming off a year of injuries. I haven’t loved running as much this past year as a result. I even thought maybe my body just “can’t” do it anymore even if it stops the numbness from returning (oh, it’s still there). But then I remember all that I have done since 2009 despite first thinking “can’t”. I now know I can do so many things once I put my mind to it. I’m tougher than I realize. If I can endure the physical and mental pain I experience when I’m running long distances and I’ve been out on the course for 3 hours then I can at least try to tackle other things life throws my way.
I almost didn’t start my first 12 hour ultra race this past August. I went because I didn’t want the DNS (did not start) on my record. I went with several friends who helped me that day, told me I could. The running community is filled with great people who will hold you up when you need it most. My feet were a mess by the 5th lap (15 miles). I wanted so badly to quit. It was the only time “can’t” was to be used as a motivator. “You can’t quit now Linda. You’re halfway there to a medal!” It was one of the hardest and most painful days of my life so far. But with complete strangers, friends and new friends made out on the loop cheering me on, I made it through the 10th lap with 20 minutes to spare. If I could find it in me to finish that day, then I know I CAN do anything. Just watch me!
Link to inspirational photo
My heart is heavy today. I can’t stay focused and my mind is easily distracted. You see, I was informed last night that a friend had suffered a severe brain injury and was fighting for her life. (She continues in the ICU today.) I got notified that another friend fell and was in the ER seeing if she had broken her wrist. Then in the next hour a friend posted asking for prayers as she had three friends in separate places battling severe injuries. Wow! What a night!
We all know life is a gift; that it can all go south or end very quickly. I hope and pray all of them will get well very quickly despite any odds they may have against them in some cases. Regardless, I’m feeling powerless. But isn’t that the case anyway? We don’t know when this ride is going to end. Again the message that time is of the essence coming at me but with full force these last 12 hours.
My friend Calla (Ms. Sassy- if you know her) would tell me to get back in the game. This is her journey not mine right now. I have to say that is the goal of even writing this little piece now. Get it off my chest, out of my mind and get back to doing/living. Create something positive today and move forward not stuck mulling. Mulling away the day doesn’t help Ms. Calla. It just wastes time which I’ve gotten reminded we don’t have as much of as we think we do. Come back to us soon Ms. Sassy Calla. We need and benefit from the light you give to our lives.
I’m an individual curious about the wisdom contained in all of us. Previous societies cherished and recorded the wisdom of their tribes’ elders for next generations to use for their benefit. Why did this practice end? After working for over 20 years with the elderly, I’ve had the honor of hearing some great stories and insights. I’ve had some good advice, bad advice and some that took more living to truly understand. But all in all I’ve been honored that these individuals trusted me with their stories. My hope is to begin recording the histories of our elders in my little corner of this great big world. I’ve got a steep learning curve and procrastination is no longer a wise option. There is much to be learned from them and time is of the essence.