Tips For Those Who Journal

These tips are meant to assist both new and veteran writers with consistency. Choose the ones that work with your lifestyle.

  1. Decide how often you should put aside time to write.  My personal preference is daily.  Others may choose to write weekly.  Decide what works best for you and make an effort to keep that schedule.
  2. Choose your writing style.  I’m freeform.  Others need outlines or guidelines.  For instance, you may want to start with a recap of events. Next you could outline goals.  Your next entry could track progress on goals set etc.
  3. Choose your writing format.  This goes hand and hand with setting a schedule.  I journal manually.  If you journal daily and manually, it’s a good idea to keep your journal in plain sight.  My ideal writing time is right before bed.  Keeping my journal on my nightstand keeps me consistent.  (Worried about privacy? I’ll address that in my next post.)  If you’re a spontaneous manual writer, consider a small journal that can easily fit into a purse or pocket.  The same concept applies to those who journal electronically.  Keep your laptop or tablet near something you use daily.  Make sure your platform is mobile friendly for spontaneous posts.
  4. The most important tip is to not allow yourself to become discouraged.  You will miss a day, or two, or three.  That’s okay.  Life happens.  What’s important is that you return to your routine.

 

 

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How Journaling Saved My Life

Everyone needs an outlet. Sometimes life can get the best of you. The good news is you always have a choice in how you respond. Admitedly I haven’t always chosen the right response.  Fortunately I’m able to recognize my missteps and learn from them.  Self awareness is imperative in growth.  It is my hope that sharing my mistakes will prevent others from making those very same mistakes.

One of the most beneficial lessons I’ve learned is also the simplest.  Slow down.  That’s it.  For me, slowing down simply means not making major decisions when emotions are running high.  I have made the worst decisions when I was angry, sad, overly concerned, or depressed.  Taking a moment to live in the emotion helps.  I use the time to explore how I got to that emotion and if I should even be there.

Then there are my dark days.  They are not ominous as they sound.  My dark days are just an extension of me slowing down.  For me a dark day is a day of quiet.  It’s a day focused solely on meditation and prayer.  Dark days work miracles for my anxiety.  The thing is, with scheduling, dark days can sometimes be impossible.  That’s where journaling comes in.

Journaling is therapeutic.  It provides much needed release. It creates a record that can help in reaching self-awareness.  It can be done nearly anywhere.  It doesn’t have to take much time and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing.

The release I get from writing out my thoughts is priceless.  I started writing poetry at a young age.  Unfortunately I didn’t save my work.  I wrote to heal and would discard it afterwards.  I wish I hadn’t.  There’s so much value in written word.  I’m making a commitment to myself to stick to my writing and to save it.  I know in my case it will ultimately lead me to find peace during the darkest storms.  Perhaps journaling can do the same for you.

Seafood Soup

Some days I wake up with multiple meals on my mind. Those days make my week easy. Meal planning, done. On other days, I know I want to cook but have no idea what. Those are the days I wander the grocery store aimlessly waiting for something to jump out at me.  Well today a seafood medley jumped out at me.  It was in the frozen food section; a medley of shrimp, scallops, calamari, and mussels.  Instantly I thought, “soup!”

This would be my first attempt at a seafood soup that wasn’t Maryland Crab or cream of crab but really soups are easy.  As I headed towards checkout I made a mental list of what I would use for the base.  Well today is the day and below are the results.

I have to say, I wish I made a bigger batch.  This soup turned out perfectly.  I started with butter and flour.  Once blended I added my garlic and onion powder.  Next, i added vegetable broth and tomato paste.  I stirred until it was a smooth consistency.  Then I added a generous amount of old bay seasoning.  Lastly I added my defrosted seafood and let it simmer.  The result was a smooth and flavorful soup.  I will definitely be making this again.

Full Figure Comfort

I’ve been living my entire full figured adult life wrong and no one told me. A few days ago I flew into a rage…It’s funny now thinking back on it…but I was angered. Why? Because I was uncomfortable. That particular day my underwire was overly present. In case you haven’t figured it out, this post is about bras.  I have loved my bras most of my life but as my breasts grew my bras stopped loving me.  If I’m spending over fifty dollars for a bra I need it to meet all my wants.  Unfortunately, I was looking in the wrong places.  My wants are simple enough.  I like pretty things.  I am a collector of pretty things.  I want a variety of colors and prints.  I want lace and dainty details.  I also want support.  Lastly, I want comfort.

My anger ensued after arriving home from a long day.  I was maybe two hours past the limit on my bra.  That’s another thing that bothers me.  Why does the comfort level change with time? I don’t mean after several wears.  I mean in one day.  Why does the comfort level change within hours?  In a perfect world all my bras would be made out of supportive memory foam.  If you’re a designer and your reading this, I just gave you your next million dollar project.  That day my mind was made.  I needed a change.  So I started surfing the net looking for suitable wireless options.  This is what I found.

It’s comfortable, functional, padded, and pretty.  I bought one in black and another in pink.  There’s more, the price was right.  I paid $9.99 for two bras at Burlington.  This particular bra is Daisy Fuentes but here are some other options at the same price point.

https://www.burlington.com/b/Full-Figure-2-Pack-Lacy-Strap-Seamless-Bras-276408649.aspx?h=68739

https://www.burlington.com/b/2-Pack-Seamless-Wire-Free-Bras-278215018.aspx?h=50078,57058

https://www.burlington.com/b/2-Pack-Wire-Free-Bras-278101407.aspx?h=57058

https://www.burlington.com/b/Soft-Cup-Wire-Free-Bra-277631486.aspx?h=57058

https://www.burlington.com/b/Two-Pack-Wireless-Lounge-Bra-278021422.aspx?h=57058

I can’t believe I’ve been paying ten times as much to be uncomfortable.  This past week I have been a happier person.  I credit the bras.

 

Patience is Golden

I have seen “never” evolve into “now” a time or two. It is an unexpected beauty to behold. What it has taught me is to stay in the game. Don’t give up.  What you need is almost always on the other side of giving up.  Just don’t give in to that feeling of defeat.  I am so grateful to have witnessed my patience pay off.

It is a process I have to apply to every aspect of my life on an ongoing basis.  Patience is needed for every goal set.  If you have the strength to get past those thoughts of “never” your reward will be worth all the effort.  We’ve all been there; stuck in a state of doubt.  Maybe you are thinking you will never reach your career goals or relationship goals.  If you believe you won’t, that belief will become your truth.

Instead of living in doubt, live in determination.  Exercise patience.  Couple it with perseverance and watch the blessings flow.  I make it a point to show gratitude even when things aren’t quite how I’d prefer them to be.  The result is overwhelmingly positive.  Today may not be my day but I remain grateful and patient.  Gratitude and patience bring me calm and peace.  When I shift my focus away from what’s not going well, the “never’s,” it allows me to change my perspective.  It allows me to see how things fall into place.

Just like that a “never” can turn into a “now” when it’s least expected.

Turbulence is not a Deterrent

On a recent flight, I had time to really think about my life experiences. I thought about how specific events have molded me. It was a short flight but long enough for me to dig deep in thought.

It was an evening flight on a commercial airline that was half full.  I felt as if I was alone on the flight.  It was just me, the night sky, clouds, and occasional flickers of light below.  It was quiet outside of the hum of the plane.  I was tired and happy to have the much needed moment of peace.

It wasn’t long before that peace was interrupted by startling turbulence.  It was the kind of turbulence that has you bracing yourself.  At any moment I expected to hear an announcement saying the worse or see the oxygen masks fall from above.  That didn’t happen.

Almost as quickly as it began, it ended.  For me it felt like a much needed reminder of how quickly things can change.  It can feel like the end of the world.  Then in an instance, you’re in paradise.  That’s where I am.  So many experiences felt meant to break me.  Yet here I am, not broken, not deterred, and very much looking forward to tomorrow.

That moment on the flight was a reminder of all the things I’ve been able to overcome by faith.  It was a reminder to smile through the turbulence.  Paradise is just ahead.