Sunday, July 31, 2011

Half Way

When this whole 90 blog posts in 90 days started, I jumped in hoping that the exercise would vet a few floating thoughts that clog my mind and sometimes make it hard for me to focus on the moment in front of my face, or tasks I need to get done. I also thought that the schedule would force me to write - a skill I need to polish. (If you've been following, it's obvious) The daily assignment is to write about anything. There were days when I thought that I would have no problem coming up with things to write about. Other days when I've had too much to say, writing words failed me. I turned to stories. Or I profile people. Thank goodness I'm old enough to have a few tales and know interesting people.

There are a few topics that I simply won't share. I hear this voice in my head saying, "No matter how much something impacts your life, if it's not just about you. Think about what writing might do to someone else." I read memoirs or biographies for pleasure. I find knowing intimate details about other people or reflections of others' lives compelling. Some of the stories I read make me wonder what the subject would have thought about being in print for my eyes to see. I won't jeopardize my relationship with my husband, or some of my family members with personal issues. If I'm still writing when I'm 70, I may air out some skeletons. Only if I think the airing will help the reader (my kids) understand why I am/was so nuts.

Maybe it's that I follow the hesitation rule of social media: if it gives you pause - pause. This mostly pertains to writing about work. As much as my work defines who I am, I won't jeopardize my relationship with an institution, colleagues or my network. I've simply worked too hard building trust to smash it on something as trivial as a personal blog.

As I face the other half of the challenge, I'm still wondering if I'll find something worth reading later. If you are reading this blog - thanks. It means a lot to me that you would give your time. I appreciate your patience and support.

In 45 days, I've gotten to the point where I can't sleep if I haven't blogged. Mostly because I know others in the Tribe are struggling to stay on the challenge; and mostly because there are two others that remain faithful to daily posting. I'm hoping that I can last longer than one writer, who is going to have a major life event in the next month. Maybe there will be a day that he will not blog. And woe be the day that happens - he'll never hear the end of it. The other writer is the most disciplined person I have ever met. I know he's going to see this to the end.

Moving forward, the half way mark has given me confidence to start another X in X days assignment. I'm ready to take on one more challenge to see if I can stick to it - and adapt a new habit.

I'm publicly declaring a 30 work outs in 30 days. Real exercise. Walking the dog for 30 minutes without breaking a sweat doesn't count. Driving the dog to the dog park doesn't count, unless I'm running the perimeter of the fence while he's chasing other dogs. I might even run some hills after he's spent. I've gathered a bunch of "try this at home" exercise routines and I'm making a chart. I'll mix it up, but I'll schedule the work outs and I'll have the kids mark off whether I did it or not. This chart will also be the leverage I use to encourage them to get back into daily practicing.

I've let them take the summer easy with music lessons. I'm not really a Tiger Mom - but making them stick to something is part of parenting. I want them to understand perseverance, and rewards from doing something even when they don't want to do it. They both have some natural ability. But they also both need to work at it. If school isn't going to challenge them (their Iowa test scores were in a very high range of achievement), playing a musical instrument will. I've told them that they can't quit playing their instrument until they graduate from high school. They have great teachers - this is not torture. I do let them go to the bathroom in the middle of a practice session. But I know when they're stalling. I want them to know that I won't accept BS - and at 8 years old, they are already starting to shovel a little. Playing an instrument is not about musical achievement. It's about concentration, critical listening and figuring out what they need to do to improve without someone else telling them what's wrong. They get great rewards when they play well. There's lots of casual recitals at their teacher's studio; plenty of chances to take center stage, lots of hugs and encouragement from teachers, older students and other musicians.

I have my mom to thank for not letting me quit things I started. She made me see my obligations through until my quitting wasn't going to let someone else down. She also warned me about taking on too much - and knew that I was going to have to learn limitations the hard way. I'm the kind of person who usually says, "Watch me" when someone says, "You can't do that." I've got to learn how to be more selective in the challenges I take on. Maybe I'll figure that out. Maybe I'll keep burning the candle at both ends and hope that I'm made out of super long lasting wax.

I recognize my own BS. And my friends know when I'm full of it, too. This blog challenge has made me a little bit less of a BS-er. I'm sticking to this until Sept 14th. Then I'm buying myself a suit. Wouldn't it be nice if the suit were fitted to a smaller size?

I think this personal discipline is getting dangerous. Who knows what's next? Maybe an empty inbox!

#45 of 90in90 for #LUBlogTribe
I want to personally thank Jeremy, Todd, Ashley, Donald, Liz, Mike, Karl, and Sarah for doing this with me. I also want to thank the folks from Twitter and Facebook who see my posts and link over to the blog. Comments or not, my stats tell me folks are reading. Most especially, I want to thank my mom for reading this. She's not on twitter - just barely on Facebook. But she stops by the blog every day because I don't call her enough. I can only imagine how exhausting I must have been as a child. Thanks for putting up with me.

1 comment:

  1. If you're ever looking for a workout buddy, please let me know. Even though I've lost a ton of weight I still can't bring myself to exercise on a regular basis. Reading your posts inspires me to be a better writer. If you keep writing, I'll keep reading.