Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ten Quiet Minutes

Ten minutes to focus on nothing, that’s the goal. I won’t call it meditation, that’s too intimidating. Just want to settle my mind.  

I start the timer, and close my eyes.

My other senses heighten, and immediately the click-clack of a familiar set of canine nails on hardwood can be heard getting nearer and finally stopping. What the hell, I’m already sharing the recliner with a feline, best not to discriminate among the species that share my home.

Dammit. Already off on a train of thought and only twenty seconds in.

I peak one eye open and Cyclops-style eye contact is all it takes. The piglet is in my lap. No, I don’t have a pig, but I do have a pitbull/beagle cross (a Pigle, get it?) who is affectionately referred to as the piglet. He settles on my lap and begins to make a convulsive gulping. I’m focused on him now, forget quiet time, I’m not getting puked on—

After a few more seconds, he rests his head on the cat. She meows her dissent but doesn’t budge.

Ah. Quiet time can begin.

Hey, you know this would make a great blog post. MAYBE I should do one on each of the seven daily habits I’m trying to develop this year. Yeah, I could even—

Bad. Girl.

It’s quiet time. Deep breath. I repeat a couple of different sentences, testing out a mantra or two. My life is full of blessings. Stuff like that.

Piglet sighs, raises his head off the cat, and rests it instead on my shoulder. It’s amazing, when you think about it. You’d think dogs, cats, piglets, they have ample quiet time. But it’s not really quiet. A distant car door slams and Booker, my shepherd, gives a tentative huff. Zip raises his head and mumbles a warning. ‘Hey, did you hear that?’

No more sounds invade the quiet and I think I’m finally getting the hang of this quiet stuff—

The timer bleeps, indicating my ten minutes is up.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year’s Resolution: Forget world peace, I’ll take peace with my body

Everyone is talking about the New Year, and I’d be totally lying if I said I wasn’t one of those enchanted believers in New Year’s resolution magic. There’s something about the idea of new beginnings, starting clean, anew, refreshed. Magic.

This year is different for me.

Last year’s resolution was to not set a weight loss goal. Like pretty much everyone, everywhere in the first world, it’s been a struggle for me. Up, down, and regardless of placement on the spectrum, never really feeling happy with where I was at, even when I could look back at pictures and nod appreciatively. Believe me, I get the tragedy in that.

So last year’s main goal was, I guess, an anti-goal. The goal was to not set a weight loss goal, but focus on being healthy. To get right with the body I was given led me in May to do a 30 day challenge. I’ve done all the diets, tried not to eat this, only eat that, etc, etc. None of it ever works. Admittedly, that’s a shitty attitude to take when undertaking a 30 day challenge, but that’s honesty for you.

But here’s the thing. It worked. In ways that were total curveball material. Pet allergies? No need for that daily antihistamine. Not a morning person? Psshh. Sure you are, when you eat correctly. Can’t survive without pasta? Don’t even want it anymore. And the biggest shocker was that, to a large degree, I’ve kept up those eating habits, hitting a weight I haven’t seen since my college years.

So, moving into 2015, when I was looking at goal setting, there was a bit of twiddling my thumbs. For the first time in my adult life, I feel healthy. Which gives me space to make my resolutions 100% writing related. The focus and hone on those things is kinda scary. Like, there’s no where to hide, no ‘well, I did accomplish those other things.’

So, here it is. The 2015 resolutions. I’m going to:
·       finish a draft of book two.
·       write 12 short stories.
·       read at least 40 books.
·       query at least 50 agents (unless I get picked up by #5, then I’ll query 5 agents.)
·       write at least 18 blog posts.
·       enter 4 contests.

All that.

Oh, and if you’re interested in the 30 day challenge that was a game-changer for me, go here: