The Hemingway Experience

Hemingway

There are some writers that are revered among literary circles the world over. They have written classics that have changed the way readers view the written word, provoked the thoughts of the masses, and become beloved stories in personal libraries everywhere. As an English major, I have read many, many celebrated authors. Some, I quite enjoyed; others, not so much. The thing about famous works or writers is that they are often overrated. I’m looking at you, Shakespeare.

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Back In Time For The Holidays

Writing

For the last few months, this blog here has been pretty quiet, though I’ve tried to be an active reader and commenter so you all know I haven’t completely disappeared. It’s not for lack of wanting to or lack of inspiration.  I could give you all the typical run around of being so busy and focused on other projects, but there’s just more to it than that.  A while ago I decided, much like some of my favorite bloggers also seem to have done, to focus on living life rather than writing about it. And boy have I been living! Continue reading

Who Moved My Blog?

When it comes to change, most people are reluctant.  There is a certain fear associated with exchanging the known path for the unknown.  Questions run through the mind: Where will it lead?  What might happen if everything you know is suddenly thrown into a spiral where up is down and black is white?

Folks react differently to change.  They get angry and sulk.  Denial sets in.  Some fall into a depression, sad that their known world is no longer known.  Some jump for joy, thrilled that the monotony is over.

Business leaders see this all the time.  They have to prepare their workforce to make sure any transition is seamless and understood by their employees.  My organization is currently undergoing a consolidation with a sister organization.  This week, we got our first look at our department’s new structure.  Some people were upset, having to work for a new manager and in a new position.  Very few were happy with the proposed change.  Others, like me, focused on the fact that having a job in the new organization was more important than where that job fit within the new structure.

Maybe I’m callous when it comes to workplace change or maybe I’m more comfortable with the challenges of working with different people in a different environment.  I am not as bothered as many of my co-workers are with this new stage in the organization’s life.  But I get it.  These people have been doing one job for decades and want to ride out their last few years before retirement with no pressure to perform any other tasks than the ones they can do with their eyes closed.  There is a certain comfort in the stability of knowing what to expect in day-to-day life.

But some things are easy to change.  Who hasn’t wanted to change their hairstyle, their outfit, or even their blog?

And that gets me to my big announcement.  After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to make a few changes around here.

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“Did I Really Earn This Or Did I Just Wear You All Down?”

When Sandra Bullock won her Academy Award for The Blind Side, she gave a speech that was thoughtful, moving, and humble.  She radiated grace and everyone was thrilled that America’s sweetheart had finally won the accolades she deserved.  I am not quite as graceful when it comes to recognition.  My inner self breaks out into a happy dance and shouts, “I won!  I won!  I won!”  So when I received my second award in three weeks, I just about embarrassed myself at work when I squealed with delight.  Thankfully, no one was around to witness it.

The Oscar of the blogging world?

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You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

As many of my darling readers know, this is the first blog that I have ever felt gave me any kind of purpose and I have been so encouraged by the comments I have received and inspired by the blogs I follow.  A writer for life, I rarely share my work with people, but through WordPress, I have found that I should have been doing this a long, long time ago.  I love knowing that my words have reached dozens of countries around the world.  Simply put, I can’t stop now!

Today I received some fantastic news that has me grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  I have been awarded my first blogging honor by the fabulous folks at Mother Sugar.

*squeal*

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Chase Your White Rabbit

With so many forks in the road and decisions to make, how does one ever know if they are taking the right path?  Making the right choice?

Unfortunately, life is not as simple as the Choose Your Own Adventure book series popular in the 80’s and 90’s.  If you reached the end of the story, you could always go back and make a different decision to see where that would lead you.  As a kid, I read one of the stories—I’m pretty sure it was #52 Ghost Hunter—and I got to the point where the character fell to his death.  I remember being frustrated and confused.  How could I have chosen the course that had resulted in such horror?  Weren’t all stories supposed to have a happy ending?  Since I didn’t like that particular conclusion, I decided to retrace my steps and change the story.  Ironically, I didn’t like that ending either and the first one became the one that stuck with me for decades.

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Why I Waste My Time Blogging

A month or so ago, I had a conversation with a woman in her late-50’s/early 60’s about the internet.  The topics ranged from protecting one’s personal information to hours wasted on social games and networking sites.  Then she said something that caused the wrinkle between my eyebrows to deepen and the corners of my smile to fall: “And then there’s blogging… what a waste of time.”

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Motivation’s Leave Of Absence

By its very definition, motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

We all have something that drives us to achieve.  For the woman who spends hours at the gym and counts every calorie, it’s fitting into a pair of jeans that was worn in high school and has since resided in the far recesses of a closet.  Others slave away at the office in order to buy a dream house or a lavish vacation for their family or even to stay afloat in the current economic state.  A father pitches ball after ball to his son in preparation for the one day he hits a home run.

Motivation is wonderful when it comes to giving you just what you need to move forward, to reach a goal, to take a risk.  It lifts you up and makes you believe that you will hit your target.

Unfortunately, motivation can sometimes be a neglectful character in our lives.

I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution and vowed to write something at least once a week.  When I began, it was incredibly easy.  I had a ton of topics I could dive into and I was eager to share my thoughts with whoever would bother to read them.  The novelty was like a bright and shiny new present in my life and I couldn’t get enough.

And then I hit a slump.

Yes, dear reader, you may have noticed the infrequency of my postings.  I have yet to break my New Year’s resolution, but I have begun to regard this blog as homework, something to be pushed off until the last-minute and then half-assed just to get it done.

It’s like that episode in Sex and the City where Carrie is going through a dating dry spell and resorts to writing about her sock drawer.  Yeah, that’s about how I’m feeling these days.  My blog has become my sock drawer.  My muse has gone and has left no trace of the sparkle she once bestowed upon me.

Should I cease this silly little blog or should I press on hoping that something will propel me into interesting thoughts once again?

I choose to keep going.

I find that I have been drawn to the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress and the plethora of new blogs I have been introduced to.  There are so many people out there who question life the way that I do, travel to places I long to see, and cook food that I would love to eat.  Plus, it is inspiring to see that others also struggle with writer’s block and the motivation to keep their posts coming.

Therein have I found my new motivation.

It’s not about what is not moving you along, it’s about what is.

The key to motivation is to keep going no matter what.  Maybe motivation camped out on the bleachers when you were running laps around the track.  Maybe motivation grabbed a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after that last horrible first date.  Maybe motivation was out sick the day you couldn’t finish the report at work.

The wonderful thing about motivation when it’s gone: it always comes back.  And it usually returns like a power surge.  All of a sudden, words flow again.  Ideas that once seemed completely lame appear to be relevant.

I found this to be true when I started spinning.

The first several classes were brutal.  The exercise was intense and I felt like the bottom of my pelvis would never fully recover from those brutally uncomfortable seats.  Months later, I am still spinning two days a week and everything has changed.  My endurance has increased, my speed is faster, my legs can push through tougher resistance, and my bottom is no longer bothered by the seat.  Plus, I burn at least 600 calories in each hour.  Not too shabby.

I guess what is important to remember is this: there are times when you will not find the motivation that you need to reach a particular goal, but pushing through those rough times will bring it back in full force.  You can hate the entire workout or day at the office or the time spent struggling to teach someone a new concept.  You’ve just got to keep going to reach that goal.

As Nike’s slogan says, “Just do it!”