Friday, January 28, 2011

More Exercises

I did a lot of writing today. And some important reading (which I'll get to at the end).

First, I polished my weekly parenting article. (I'll link it next week on Tues when it gets published).
And I went through some of the next exercises in Writing Life Stories book.

Scenemaking Exercise two:
voice over patrol. examine your scenemaking piece and look for voice overs that interrupt the readers dream.
Done! I had no voice overs at all!

Scenemaking: Exercise three:
Cracking Open II - the Sequel. go back to your piece and see what's still there to crack. look for "next thing we knew" or "we" or "it" or "they" and look for surprises.

Scenemaking: Exercise four:
Day of the Week - try starting with a particular day of the week because the idea is to go from generic exposition to a specific day and time. this is vital because it can be vital to scene.

Scenemaking: Exercise five:
To the Movies. rent movies and think about scene. can you convert a scene into writing? think about my would a director film my scene?

Scenemaking: Exercise six:
Apology - start a vignette by confessing my inability to remember everything of the details. Apologize profusely, admit that you must make a few things up and set the scene and then attend to your drama.

Scenemaking: Exercise seven:
Tell the &$# Damn Truth for Once - look back to your map, pick a scene to dramatize with the truth.
Done! I've been trying to refresh my memory and be as honest as I can - as I remember it.

Secondly, remember that very important reading I mentioned?
From Don Miller's blog today entitled; Commit to the Work and not the Goal
"Instead of committing to lose weight this year or write that book, simply commit to do the work. Five days a week you are going to write, who cares whether a book comes of it or not."

it's not going to get done if I don't do it. I know that's the theme since I've begun this journey. Some days I say in jest "Where's that book?" ( I mostly say this when money is tight or I dream about a vacation or quitting my job). Like every other wanna-be blogger on the planet I secretly hope someone reads my article and thinks I'm brilliant or discovers my blog and publishes me immediately. Lofty, crazy goals eh? Unrealistic? Absolutely! A book with my name on it isn't going to fall out of the sky any more than dinner is going to be made by itself tonight (I gotta get out of this arm chair and feed the Tribe soon).

Did I mention I an having an allergy attack at this very moment? I can't stop sneezing and my right eye is swelling up. It itches like crazy and if this benedryl doesn't kick in I may just collapse of discomfort.

The odds are so stacked against me. I have complaining twins. Laundry up to my eyeballs. A husband who is home all day and can't wait for me to walk in the door. A teenager I am desperately trying to stay connected with and sons who think they are way cooler than me. (Well, with this swollen eye I can see why they'd think that!)

I'll end with this. A retired teacher stopped in school yesterday. I think she was assisting the kindergarten benchmark testing. She stopped to tell me she cuts out my articles and sends them to her daughter in law. She said they are great and wanted me to know that I'm "influencing people in other places". I thanked her profusely for taking the time to tell me that but in my heart I hoped this mother in law wasn't sending my articles in a bossy-I-told-you-so! kinda way. That certainly won't help ease the inlaw drama at the next family get together!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I started this journey because I was deeply distrubed that I could not remember much about my life.
In Don Miller's book, A Million Miles
he says that (and I paraphrase) if we can't remember much about our lives, then maybe it's because we didn't do anything memorable.

I just had an amazing memory.
The post prior to this, Scenemaking Cracking Open
seemed too difficult for me. I wasn't looking forward to trying the exercise. I even struggled to get a phrase from which to work.
But I wrote. I wrote about one of my strongest childhood memories. My fingers typed away as I recalled the self soothing technique I developed as a child. My house. My bedroom. How it felt to lay in my bed. All the books I read there.
It's a silly story about my green house, green shag carpet and green traffic lights. It's a strong story that evoked tears. I felt powerful as I remembered. I closed my eyes and imagined. I could see that same view. It was amazing.
It made me feel so good.
Thanks, Bill Roorbach.
I don't know if I even made a good scene. I know I loved the way I tried.

Cracking Open Scenemaking

from Chapter 3 Scenemaking, Exercise One: Cracking Open
go back to something you've written (possible the map making piece)
find a sentence or phrase that condences or skims past a scene.
build that into 2 pages of scene narrative - no voice over, no exposition

oh boy!

well I just reread the piece I did after I made my map - found it way back in November of last year. As I read it I think I did a pretty good job of scenemaking at the time - even though I didn't know what scenemaking was. I think that piece is actually, possibly a ton of different scenes. But after thinking for awhile, I've pulled out this sentence to turn into a scene for this assignment.

"everything was a shade of green"

well, here goes.....

My bedroom was at the end of the hall with the long, green shag carpet. My parent's room on the right and my Irish twins siblings on the left. I was the oldest in my family, born four years before my next sister. I often kept my door closed. It was my only personal space in our L-shaped ranch. The small room had yellow walls and one window. It may have been a southern facing window as I distinctly remember feeling sad the day I realized the sunshine was fading my bedspread. I loved that bed. A four poster canapy bed with green and yellow playful Holly Hobby bedding. I laid on the bed often. Sometimes to have piece and quiet. Sometimes to stay out of my parents way. Sometimes to read. I remember laying on my stomach reading in that sunny room until my body would ache. My posture would often give out, and I'd roll over completely stiff and achy, before my eyes would grow weary. I devoured books.
I made that bed, everyday, all by myself.
My mother never made my bed for me, she wasn't a great homemaker which I imagine to be pretty tragic for a housewife in the 1970s. We weren't a dirty family by any means but quite unorganized. Sterotype me as a first born if you will, but I longed for everything to be neat and tidy. Still to this day, I tend to be happiest when I feel like my things are organized.
So my bed was made by day and I know I even crawled in it neatly at night, smoothing the sheets and bedspread as crisp as possible while inhabiting the bed. I may have cursed the sunny window by day but on the nights I couldn't sleep I was thankful my bed was near the window.
When I would pull back the shade I could see the busy suburbs light up the dark night; the church steeple, hospital helicopter pad, the massive high school all supervised by traffic lights. I could see straight into the intersection of two major highways; 367 and 270. They merged each other in a terrible tangle of stoplights. People in their vehicles needed to be guided to worship, the emergency room and the tenth grade.
When I couldn't sleep I would pull back that shade and watch the world pass by. Ambulances would wail and flash their lights while semi trucks would lay on their horn depsite the fact that my neighborhood was resting peacefully within 200 hundred feet.
With my nose nearly pressed to the glass I would close my eyes. Sometimes I would count. Sometimes I would just wait.  When I opened my eyes I would look to the traffic light. If it had changed to green I gave myself a virtual point. If it was still red, I would close my eyes again guestimating, trying to only open my eyes on the green go. This was the way I lulled myself to sleep at night. Some folk counted sheep, I timed traffic lights.
I'm a city girl. The red, yellow and green blinking lights were a comfort to me. They were not just giving me permission to cross the street when I went about my day, they were also my bedtime story, they were my goodnight kiss. Everything about my childhood home was green. The exterior was green. The expansive lawn was green. My favorite bedspread was green and even the way I feel asleep at night was dictated by that soothing color.

A Creator Doesn’t Just Talk About Their Work, They Work

A Creator Doesn’t Just Talk About Their Work, They Work

Thanks Don Miller. Just when I began to feel brave enough to tell what I was up to (ok maybe 6 people know I'm actually trying to do this) you post this. You say that talking about your writing actually kills the writing. Something in my brain happens when I talk about it - it's as if I've done work on it. And clearly from this blog, I've not done work on 'it'. 'It' being my dream.
Got a great voice mail yesterday. My inlaw complimented my "Western Mother" article. I liked it too but she gushed (thx D) about how great it was, what a gift I have and did I ever consider sending my stuff in?
Who wouldn't like to get paid for their work.
Instead I'm lost - literally as I have no followers - in the land of the free blog. Where everyone has a right to write and access to publish their work via any www. they can buy or use for free (thanks and
you're an instant writer.
Me, it's my dream.
And I need to remind myself that even itty-bitty-tiny-mother-may-I-baby steps count.
That's the pace I'm moving at. Itty bitty.
But.....I'm moving. And it ain't backward.

Today I worked a half day. School let out early for teacher stuff. I'm at home. Eyeball deep in kids and laundry, chocolate cupcakes in the oven (cuz I'm PMSing. yep TMI, I know), dinner is before me, the house is a buzz with activity. I can't even sit down long enough to form a complete thought let alone dedicate the proper amount of time to an article or to a piece.

But darling husband just read Don Miller's blog too. Granted I prompted him too when I said, "Don Miller really irked me today!". Then I was banished. DH asked me to head to the nearest coffee shop (20 miles away, don't think so) so I could work uninterrupted. Heck it take 40 minutes just to drive there and back (ah the rural life). Instead I've taken over the dining room table.
Lap top open.
Writing Life Stories on my left.
My notebook and pen on the right.
and just in time
the oven timer is going off. The cupcakes are done!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My first Assignment

The paper contacted me today and asked me to dedicate my next parenting article to a hot topic in the parenting world:
Amy Chua's The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

excuse me while I go do some research!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!

(This article appears in the 1/18/11 edition of The Review Atlas a Gatehouse Media Company)

My little girl is a liar. It’s sad but true. I’ve taught her that honesty is the best policy. She knows I expect her to be truthful and that in our home we strive to live a life full of integrity but despite all my guidance she lied and even worse, hid the evidence.

Thankfully she’s a mere six years old and her con skills are a little underdeveloped.

She has the same homework everyday – reading. Her teacher sends home a book and everyday, shortly after our ritual afterschool snack, I sit and my daughter reads to me.

After yesterday’s reading however, I noticed the parent signature sheet (proof that I indeed listened to her read) sitting in the trash can. Well, I thought, this is a mistake nay, a potential catastrophe! Had I not rescued this precious paper from the trash we could have had a monumental meltdown in the morning.

But the paper didn’t have my signature on it. Instead all the lines were marked, “Read with father”. Quite odd. If my daughter read with her father why didn’t dear ‘ol dad sign it himself? So I investigated. When questioned, Daddy just shrugged his shoulders as he had no idea.  It was becoming apparent that our little darling reported work she hadn’t done. Certainly Daddy would have remembered sitting through eight torturous, er, I mean, fantastic chapters of the tale of a boy and his oversized dog. If you’ve ever been there and you know what I mean just give me a little nod, will ya? Listening to a new reader, no matter how adorable there are, can be painful. Once (and only once) during a riveting episode of Oprah I hit the mute button and simultaneously listened to my daughter read while following the closed captions scrolling across the screen. Not my finest parenting moment.
I digress.

 It was becoming clear that our little darling lied and hid the evidence. This just will not do.

When questioned my little girl had no answer as to how the paper got in the trash or who wrote “read with father” on her paper.

This little episode came on the heels of my last parenting article about Natural Consequences. Don’tcha hate it when your own words come back to haunt you?

I knew one thing for sure, shrugged shoulders would not be an adequate response to the questions I had. I was determined, and patient enough, to wait for the truth. “Well, when you are ready to confess how this could have happened you need to come tell me. Until then, off to your bed you go”.

Teary eyed she headed upstairs. If she had a tail it would have been tucked between her legs as she slowly moped off towards her room.

A few minutes later, here she comes. The same questions were asked and I’ll be darned if I didn’t get the same response, shrug.

“Back to your room!”

This time with tears streaming down her face my not-so-little angel returned. “Are you ready to tell the truth?” nod. “What happened?” shrug.

“Go back to your room and please don’t come down to talk until you really have some answers for me!”

An eternity later, she emerged from her room, head hung low, arms clutching her favorite stuffed doggy we kneeled down to greet her, giving her our full attention. She put her face in daddy’s neck, unable to look us in the eye. I could see she was broken. My eyes swelled with tears. I knew she understood the depth of her little white lie. Her broken spirit was painful, to her and me. But with great bravery she was able to overcome her own embarrassment and shame and confess what happened.

I couldn’t have been prouder. I lavished my love on her.

The next day we walked hand in hand into her classroom. She made things right with her teacher.
We didn’t take away her video games. She wasn’t sent to bed without any supper. She didn’t get spanked or yelled at. She was able to play with her siblings that very evening and all her toys remained accessible. The only discipline my daughter received for her deception was a natural consequence. For her the weight of exposing herself and making it right, to suffer the look of disappointment in her parents eyes, were lessons enough. I suspect the feeling will hang with her the next time she thinks about telling a lie.

What my daughter did isn’t a new behavior. It didn’t even really take me by surprise. Within each and every one of us, going way back to the story of the first man and woman in the garden is the innate ability to lie, hide and cover up our mistakes. My job as a parent is to show her a different way to live, to teach her how to strive for better and make things right when she falls short. Because we all will fall short. May we, as people and as parents who long for a positive future for our children, learn to confess and apologize more easily for our shortcomings. May we be quick to forgive those who are responsible enough to do so. Why? Because I’m the Mom and I said so! That’s why!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


It's early today ... I've been inspired by one of my very favorite blogger/authors who says he gets up every morning at 5 am to work on his writing.

Clearly he has no children.

He says he goes to bed by 9 every evening.

Obviously he has no spouse.

I got up at 5:45 this morning with a gazillion things running through my mind - the most of which was, I had to pee. Nonetheless, I arose, showered, prepped a crockpot meal for dinner, prepped pancakes for breakfast and will eventually make 3 sack lunches. But at 6:31, precisly 29 minutes before the Tribe arouses, I am here at the dining room table getting in my 'writing everyday'.

Here are my notes from the book (and subsequently yesterday's entry was my attempt at) Chapter three: Scenemaking
  • The difference between telling and showing is life. And life is the root meaning of the word vivid, the highest praise a scene or writer can garner.
  • Trust the reader to gather all that's implied and get on with your story.
  • Exposition is telling.
  • Scenemaking is showing. Show, don't tell!

I'll try it: I sat in my recliner, blanket 'cross my lap. He sat in his recliner in the opposite corner of the small but cozy family room, the football game blaring from the television set. We're not senior citizens. Heck, we're not even 40 yet. I'm reading while he stares at his little iPod. The dog is content, curled up at my feet.

Was that a good scene?

  • Never distract the readers mind from the dream you are creating.
  • Scene occurs in place and at a time.
  • Exposition has no place and  is out of time.
from Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Drowning in love

Abigirl & me (from May 2009)

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Abigirl is clinging to me more than ever.
Her hugs are fiercer.
Her kisses wetter.
Her presence more meshed with mine.

As we drove home from school today, her twin sister wanted to be dropped off a block away from our house so she could 'pretend' to walk home from school.
She is silently screaming for independence.
Abigirl however, didn't even get out of the van when I dropped her and her siblings off at the door. She wanted to wait with me. Be there for the extra 3 minutes it would take to park the van in the garage.
She said, "Mom, I just want to be with you as much as I can".

I've noticed her need to be near me more and more frequently in the last few weeks. She's repeatedly asked to sleep with me, ask about my work schedule, invited me to her cafeteria for lunch....

Tonight daddy tucked the twins in. An hour after his goodnight, Abigirl is on the steps, calling down to me, "Mooooooooooooom! You forgot to hug and kiss me!"
When I obliged her, her sweet little body tucked in beneath her oversized blanket, her hair still sweet and damp from the evening shower, I leaned in to offer my lovin.
Her face was concerned.
I sensed she was unsure if she'd be punished for getting out of bed after lights out.
I was generous with my affection.
And again her hugs were longer, her kisses firmly planted, her love declared for me.
I equally loved on the twin in the top bunk and turned to leave.
As I approached the door I thought I heard my name, I turned to look.
I saw my girls looking at me.
I smiled.
I turned to leave and again I thought I heard my name.
I did. It was Abigirl, "Mom? I love you from waaaay down deep in my heart."
What could I do as I stood at her doorway, my heart drowning in a river of happiness?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Punishing Really Teaches Children Nothing

(weekly Practical Parenting article as seen in The Review Atlas 1/11/11 edition)

When asked, most parents admit that they often feel as if their discipline techniques are ineffective. Many of those same parents confess however, they don’t know what else to do. Therefore they continue to punish the same way, day after day, hoping that at any moment they’ll somehow, magically get a different, desired result. All the while parents are exasperated, struggling and hating feeling like a bad parent.

This doesn’t have to be.

When asked how they discipline parents usually admit they use time-out and punishments. Rarely does anyone admit to spanking or verbal reprimanding (although I’d wager most parents do one and/or the other to some extent).

There is one glaring problem with this type of discipline; it never teaches what you expect your child to do. The reason why we take the time (and waste our breath) punishing our children is because we don’t want them to repeat an undesirable behavior. But instead of telling them what is acceptable we yell, punish and threaten our kids. How will your child ever learn what is acceptable behavior if you never tell them?
Because discipline is not working for so many of us we constantly flounder between different techniques. If we could just land on one style of discipline that actually worked we’d sleep better at night feeling a small sense of accomplishment.

Here’s the thing; all children, I repeat all children, by and large explore, dare and challenge their parents. Ornery is normalcy.

Watch how the cycle of ineffective discipline works. Joey wants a toy his brother Junior has. So he hits Junior. Hitting is wrong so you jump into the situation and verbally scold Joey. In frustration Joey hits the wall. This makes you angry so you send him to the time-out chair. He won’t stay. So you yell louder and take Joey by the arm to his room. Joey is very angry at you so he kicks the walls while lying in bed. You enter his room and tell him if he doesn’t stop you’ll take away his new bike. He’ll declare his hatred for you. You’ll give him a lengthy lecture on how that hurts your feelings and he’ll be forced to say he’s sorry for something he’s not.

All that time, energy and effort because really all you wanted was to teach Joey that there are better ways to getting a toy that he wants.  

Legitimately little Joey felt frustrated. He flailed around hitting and yelling and being naughty because he didn’t know how to deal with his feelings of frustration. I propose this entire scene could have played out differently with one small change from the very beginning.

Allow me to introduce you to a little parenting technique experts call natural consequences. When Joey hit Junior he should be reminded that hitting is not allowed and is an unacceptable behavior. The loving adult should tell Joey what he could do instead of hitting when he wants a toy. If Joey hits again he will not be allowed to play with his brother.

I recognize this suggested technique seems a little anti dramatic. I mean, isn’t an infraction like hitting worthy of a big, long, drawn out punishment? However, hitting Joey for hitting his brother makes no sense. Do you think you can teach him to not hit by hitting? Likewise, yelling, forcing an apology and removing snack time are irrelevant to the behavior you desire. We grownups understand the loss of privileges because our adult minds can connect that concept. Very young children are not as advanced thinkers as we are. If you want to curb improper behavior, you’ve got to make the punishment fit the crime.

If Joey hits Junior, Joey cannot play with his brother. Period. No arguing. No yelling. No fussing with a time out chair. No threat of removing privileges later. It’s simple. If you can’t play without hitting you don’t get to play.

If you don’t eat your dinner, you can’t have dessert. If you spill you drink, you clean it up. If you throw your juice cup you loose it. If you smash your toy I’ll take it. If you write on the wall I get your markers and you help scrub the wall. If you play with mommy’s cell phone, I’ll put it where you can’t reach it. If you forget your homework you get a zero.

You would be surprised at how effective and simple this technique is to apply in your home. Threats are eliminated. Bribes become obsolete. You no longer have to hold your child down in the timeout chair. Over time I believe you will see a marked improvement in your child’s behavior. As you simply and naturally allow for consequences when inevitable infractions happen in your home or between siblings, you’ll notice your child making connections. As those mental connections are made, your child can begin to curb his own behavior thereby making your job as a parent easier.

And who can argue with that concept? The way we handle discipline as parents can actually make our jobs easier or harder. I vote for easier! Why? Because I’m the Mom and I said so! That’s why!

Monday, January 10, 2011


a list of random memories of things to turn into stories someday:

  • crazy Marion & the bathroom scene
  • 3 times I think I've actually heard God speak
  • stumped what to eat for lunch in the Denver airport
  • the $100 tithe
  • when I first asked my darling out
  • the tatoo story
  • Baby A was born first. that was it. she'd never be first in anything ever again.
  • the day the dr. said "It's Twins!"
  • Miscarrying
  • going from a presenter to headliner and back down to presenter again
  • mixed feelings Jan '11 why do I believe I am more than I am?
  • The first boy slumber party
  • 2010 income levels are stupendously low - how to survive
  • Missionaries accept donations - how does one do that with grace?

Exercise 6, 7 & 8

I have totally stalled on this Memior book.
It got me off and running and this Exercise 7 (which I previously written about) has totally caused me to run out of gas.
So I picked the book back up today have decided to move quickly through exercies 6, 7 and 8.

6 Time line
7 Time line pt 2 (uh....NO!)
8 Idea Notebook - I already have this is a form. I def. use my Blackberry and it's little memo pad for all the stuff I want to jot down quickly.
9. New Leaf - Apparently E. Hemmingway's wife packed up all E's first works and took them with her on a train ride. She lost the luggage somewhere on that trip. Mr. Hemmingway is reported to have saying that that was the best thing to have hapened to him. Bill Roorbach says I too, should pack up everything I've ever written thus far, have a ceremony, and lose it. Pack it up. Put it away.
uh....NO! not gonna do that either.
I totally can't find Christmas presents because I hide them so good. I am in no way going to put away what very little things I have already accumulated in written form. Are you kidding me? This is a terrible idea. I'll put it somewhere safe and never find it again.

Let's move on....

Wait for the Smoke to Clear

Facebook status update from 1/9/11:
"there are some occasions in life where you should stand and wait for the smoke to clear. Too quickly and without discernment we often run much too soon".

My darling husband asked me where I got this quote from. As if I wouldn't quote the creator of it. It was me! This was an original quote that accumulates from two recent experiences.

1. I'm getting ready for a coffee with my girlfriends, listening to Alanis Morrisette sing:  "...I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone. I certainly do. I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time. Feel free. Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays). You wait and see when the smoke clears.
You live you learn..."

2. I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love and Elizabeth Gilbert writes of an experience where she intended to sit still, absolutely still for a long period of time. Unfortunately she choose dusk, in India, and was swarmed by mosquitos. And yet she didn't flinch an inch. She writes, "...for 34 years on earth I have never not slapped a mosquito when it was biting me. I've been a puppet to this and millions of other small and large signals of pain or pleasure thoughout my life. Whenever something happens, I always react. But here I was disregarding the reflex. I was doing something I'd never done before. A small thing, granted, but how often do I get to say that? And what will I be able to do tomorrow that I cannot yet do today?"

And I'm thinking. Wondering. Turning this thought over and over in my mind. Not specifics, just a general consideration, if you will, of the fact that I might have misused the 'flight' concept of 'fight or flight'. I think I may have took off,
checked out,
thrown out the baby and the bath water on more occassions that I should.
What if instead of running I wait?
What if instead of panicking I plant my feet firm?
Haven't I had experiences in life where I ran my mouth off too soon?,
Lost sleep in my bed mapping out my next move, your next move, then my next move all in vain?
How often have I seen smoke and was fooled?
What if it was only a smoke screen?
I think there is a good chance I need to be more discerning with my own life, with my words, with my actions and reactions.
Am I getting older?
Is a glimpse of maturity knocking at my door?

Could I become more patient -discerning- and in doing so accomplish feats otherwise not possible when my feet are running? I have no interest in sitting in a swarm of mosquitos. That was Gilbert's life. I want to create my own life. My own storeies. My own bravery. I want to stand in the crux of my own life - I  can see it! I envision my (skinny) silhouette standing against the haze of clearing smoke revealing a glorious _____ (fill in the blank).

I don't know what awaits me. But I know I'm not gonna miss it because I ran away.
Wisdom come to me. Jam 1:5
Help me to know when to stand and when to run. When to talk. When to listen.

"there are some occasions in life where you should stand and wait for the smoke to clear. Too quickly and without discernment we often run much too soon".

Monday, January 3, 2011

Parenting Article - finished & unEDITed version

I sat down to write my weekly parenting article and was totally peturbed with myself for waiting till the last minute to write it. It's weird some weeks, it totally comes easy to me..if I am inspired throughout the week from maybe a conversation I had with a parent at work or even something that happened with my own kids at home (it is a parenting advice column).

But sure enough, the holidays got the best of me and I didn't write during my hiatus from school. Which means I was way out of the habit and I was down to the wire to get an article done.

So I had an idea - what if I didn't edit my submission? What if I wrote down all the mayhem that takes place in my head when I am writing that? Would it be entertaining? Would it be embarassing? If nothing else it would be an entry for this hit-or-miss blog I am working on.

Here's what I wrote UNedited. Follwed by a link to the actual article.

Have you ever met anyone who said on December 31st that they kept each and every New Year’s resolution they made?
Me neither! I mean, can you imagine being at that New Year’s Eve party and some jack wad is bragging over his beer
Of course not, a man could never keep a resolution for an entire year.
Wow, well that was mean. (and I don’t mean it anyway)
But you know there is some anal-retentive, OCDish woman out there who’s tried and has almost succeeded. She’ll tell you she successfully kept her resolution all year, but she hasn’t. She almost did but in her mind that’s close enough. She’s not your friend of course, just some random braggart. Cuz you could never be friends with someone who’s that successful. We tend to befriend people who make us feel good about ourselves. Overacheivers get on my nerves too.
Even though I am regularly accused of being one.
That’s a story for my therapist. Not that I have one. But don’t think I don’t know that I need one.
Anyway, have you ever met anyone who’s kept a resolution all year long? Of course not! Who can honestly do that? I guess if you resolved to go to sleep every night or eat everyday, that could realistically be done. But that’s a touch absurd. And it wouldn’t count anyway.
This is not nearly professional enough. Let’s get serious.
You know what would be funny, if I posted this as it actually came out. I write so weird anyway (not that I know what nonweird is when it comes to writing). I always do this though. I just type it out. ‘It’ being whatever comes across my head. Then I weed through it to find the meat. Huh! Wonder if it would be interesting to put it side by side. This mess and what actually comes out of it….
Start over.
Have you ever met anyone who said on December 31st that they actually kept each and every New Year’s Resolution they made?
Me neither! I mean what type of person can actually pull that off?
Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that we will fall short on our own promises, most of us have lined up our verbal vows and promised to avoid sweets, swearing or cigarettes. Meanwhile resolving to ramp up our exercise routine, at-work attitude and church attendance.
There are some of us who refuse to make resolutions. These honest hearted folks understand well their capacity to fail quickly. They wonder, "Why even should I even make a decision knowing I can’t see it through." You gotta give them credit for their honesty. (or stupidity depending if you’re a glass half full half empty person)
Actually I hate that saying. Because why start an argument over a fact that is correct both ways. I mean if you’re a glass half full person, what gives you the right to make a glass half empty person feel bad. The glass is in fact half empty. Yes it’s half full but its also half empty. So you’re both right. So who cares? This is the most mute point I’ve ever heard. It causes folks to argue over something when the answer really is yes and no.
Wow. Can an answer be yes and no?
Hmm I could think about that one for awhile.
But back to my article.
Why do I wait till the last minute?
I had 2 flippin weeks off and here I am the night before plunking it out…
I wonder if I’ll have the nerve to actually post this as I thought it.
There are some people who refuse to make resolutions because they understand this yearly dilemma. "Why", they ask themselves, "should I make a resolution I know I can’t keep past January?".
Good reasoning.
So where’s the middle ground? Is there a middle ground?
Well ask the Danes! I recently read that Denmark is full of some of the happiest people on the planet. Guess why!
No really guess why…..

While Denmark is heavily taxed and suffers from less than perfect weather
Denmark is heavily taxed and has less than ideal weather conditions but they are rich in one thing: realistic expectations.
And I think they might be onto something.
What if the formula to a Happy New Year’s
What if the key to creating a really great New Year’s resolution is to stop reaching for lofty, unrealistic improbable, self imposed expectations?
Here’s just a thought, but what if instead of promising to never eat sweets for an entire year, vow instead a more doable action, say indulge on the weekends?

I was talking to my g’friend about this the other day. I’m gonna text her to see what she said. Ooh! She’s calling she suggested:
Instead of dieting vow to eat smaller portions or 3 chocolate candies instead of the whole bag
If you want to exercise more never say you’ll do it everyday instead shoot for 2 a week
And why in the world would you try to do something so difficult as quitting smoking or some sort of addiction without professional help.
Or instead of resolving to read to your kids everyday, vow to read to them more.
(some back to reword this)
Granted these suggestions are not exactly measurable. But maybe that’s the point. But maybe that’s the key to happy New Year resolutions. Maybe if we cut ourselves a break this year and -give up our addiction to self judge,-
give up our narcissistic need to constantly -see how we are measuring up and simply be. – measure our progress and simply be.
Be more active. Be kinder. Be a hard worker. Read more. Save more. Spend less. Smoke less. Drink less.
, kinder, a harder worker, save more, spend less,
measure our successes we’d stop and realize we are missing out on so much more aren’t shouldn’t
hmmm come back to this – fell like my resolution suggestions are a bit judgemental…let me ask the facebook world what some of there resolutions are/were…maybe that’ll inspire me.
Hre they are: have more spontaneious fun
Second guess myself less
Stop making resolutions
Create calmness, decreas chaos
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Deal with the paper sooner

Failed resolutions give us cause to give up. We think, "I can’t exercise everyday! Why did I say everyday? I quit! This is too hard!" and we stop walking the treadmill and we never get any healthier. I’m just asking, isn’t one walk a week on the treadmill a good place to start?
Add words like more, less, sooner, often, be better….
Ug I’ve been sitting here too long.
What’s that smell?
Oh yeah, I forgot I had left the ground beef draining in the sink.
I hate grease.
Ok, let’s finish this out.
Crap, I got my sleeve wet when I was in washing the collander.
Ok here we go…
So what if this year we resolve to not give up resolutions but instead to approach them in a new and improved way. Let’s celebrate forward momentum instead of lofty goals. Let’s avoid setting our self up for failure and subsequent quitting, by simply being a little gentle and realistic with ourselves.
May you, in this still newly fresh year, find joy the joy and peace and health we all long for. May it come to you as you as easily as
May it come to you
May you realize it will not come to you through the endless cycle of promises made and broken but instead by your willingness to not quit. May your tenancity guide you. May you be happy in this new yar not because of the the things you’ve acquireed but because of the difference you can and will make. This is the gift I want I can give my children. A life lived with purpose. A life that continually moves forward and doesn’t quit when it stalls. We all will stall. We all fall short. We all want to quit unrealistic resolutions. Instead press on this year. Why? Because I’m the mom and I said so! That’s why!
May it come to you not by quitting, but by sticking with it. May you be happy in this new year not because of what you have but because of what you intend to do – what things you have but because you really can do better. How much better, well that’s up to you really. May your resolution be intact . But may you find in
What if when it came to New Year’s resolutions we celebrated forward movement instead of heady goals? What if we could avoid failing, which subsequently leads to giving up, by simply being a little more realistic with ourselves? with realism?
and thereby giving up, by realism?
What if we resolved to read more? Play more? Spend time with our kids more?
I hate ending this thing. It’s always such a chore to end it. What do I do now? My tag line totally doesn’t work…this isn’t even a parenting article and my articles always end with
"Because I’m the mom and I said so! That’s why!"
Freaking tag lines.
I’m quitting now. Walking away from it and polishing it off in the morning. I always work best like that.
Walk away and come back to it with a fresh mind.
I wonder if I’ll really post this.

link to finished copy here

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