27/52

Something I wrote recently:

When you’re alone and the noise from ‘society’ stops, that’s when Creation is able to slip in. Almost unnoticed. And that’s when you’re able to notice the bird calls. Recognise the sound of leaves rustling. Become aware of the the peace.

The breathing slows. Vision clears. You notice the cool air on the skin, refreshing it.

Suddenly it all seems so easy. Switching off. Tuning out from the incessant ‘go-go-go’ of the world.

Just stopping. Looking up, looking out. Looking around. Noticing – instead of how far there is to go – of how far you’ve come. Of reflecting. And yes, also, of celebrating.

Deep breath. Clear the mind. Notice the pace of life around you. Really notice. And decide when to rejoin – and rejoin the insanity on your own terms.

And then I took this photo to go with it 🙂

Here’s wishing you a refreshing week too, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

5/52

Last week, a falling gum tree branch took out the power to my house. I wasn’t there at the time, but others were, so it was all made safe, and fixed, by the time I arrived home.

Meaning that I never got to see the live power wire sparking its danger on my front lawn; I could only imagine the culprit branch lying beside it which had aimed for the power line in its efforts to cause maximum hassle and annoyance.

Imagine my surprise then, to find this:

That tree branch, at its base? Easily 30 centimetres diameter. That’s not a ‘branch’, it was a whole ‘tree’! No wonder it took out the line – it came precariously close to goring my writing studio (okay, gardening shed) there too!

And it was a whole lot of fun to clear up, too. Just sayin’…

Have a wonderful week, dear Reader!

NaNo sentiment

I caught a tweet yesterday morning:

And although I laughed at it, appreciating Stephen’s wit in revealing truth, there was definitely an element of wistful longing in there, too. That I can’t join in the NaNo fun; that November is always just so gosh-darn-ludicrous that even finding 15 minutes to write per day is tricky, and happens far less often than I’m happy with.

So, via Twitter (on the rare occasions I get to scroll through my feed during November) I watch my writer friends all participate, and I sigh and think, “If only…”

But I wonder if I *would*, if I actually were given the time and the headspace to do it.

NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short, is a month-long writing challenge, to write a novel – 50,000 words – in the month of November. 30 days. 1,666 (ish) words per day.

Can’t do that in 15 minutes. The title stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’ because it was started by some San Francisco Bay writers in July of 1999, who set out to each write a 50,000 word novel by August 1st. They did it, then decided to invite others to join them. 19 years later, and it’s now an international event – which I can’t join.

Not yet, at least. Not with my current level of organisational ability.

I wonder if next year, it would be an impossibility too? Because that’d be cool: to join them in their 20th year of NaNo-ing!

Should I, do you think? Would you? Something to ponder, anyway…

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Perseverance…

So I posted last Monday about how happy I was to get back into by morning routine. I was determined to follow it, to regain the momentum I had lost. And the routine went well – for three days.

By the fourth day, I had allowed doubts to creep in. Not about my routine as a whole – I still fully believed it worthwhile – but the reason behind it.

You see, the main reason I get up so early and head to the gym is because it’s something I do for ME. It’s quiet, no-one’s around (meaning no questions or expectations) and in the stillness I can focus on God, read His word, and pray for my loved ones uninterrupted. And get 15 minutes to write! Then home by 6am, pumped and ready to face whatever the day will bring.

But the thought that my relationship with God is just another item I ‘tick off my list’ on a daily basis rattled me. Is that really all my relationship with God had come to? “That’s not a relationship! That’s just routine!” The accusation flummoxed me, and – as I so often do – I tried to counter it in my own strength.

“Of course it’s a relationship, not just an item in my routine,” I thought – and to prove myself right, I let the routine slip and tried to maintain the relationship without the structure, in amidst the myriad of ‘things’ which accost my day on a minute-by-minute basis.

I failed. My relationship with my Creator faded – and I tried still harder, because now it seemed as though the Enemy was correct and really, the routine *was* the only thing holding my relationship with God together… and I failed still more. My week ended up pretty much a write-off.

And yet, the minutes and hours passed and another week has just begun. God is still there. I am also, still here. And I can start over.

With His help, this time! Taking my questions to God, and hearing His perspective on the matter.

– Jesus, after all, got up early to spend time with God.

– *Something* has to be put first every day. Why should it *not* be God?

– It’s not bad to have God as the first person I interact with each day. It might be ‘routine’ but it’s a helpful one!

And that’s the way God designed life to be, anyway. Skills are hard won initially, but eventually become automatic. I’d love it if I automatically turned to God for everything, not just the first moments of my day! Maybe this is a first step, though.

So. Just some thoughts this Monday morning. Here’s praying you may have a wonderful week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Yes! *arm flail*

Morning routine, we meet again!

 

It’s been a while, but determination beats… well, quite a lot of things, actually. And I’m determined!

How about you, dear Reader? What routines do you miss when they’re not there?

And have a wonderful week!

– KRidwyn

#AtoZchallenge Day 25 – my most fun ‘Y’ tongue-twister

Jumping straight in…

Local yokel yodels youthful jokes

And seeing as yodelling seems to have become popular again, this is a timely post 🙂

And I wonder what you thought of my tongue-twister, as well?

Have a great day, dear Reader 🙂

— KRidwyn

[The #AtoZchallenge is a daily blogging challenge which has been running for quite a few years now, with hundreds of participants worldwide. Blogging happens each day in April except Sundays, and on each letter of the alphabet, starting at A and finishing with Z.]

And again…

It’s been two years since I regained access to this blog, and I still remember that OMG feeling clearly, the day I could publish on my own website again.

Well, I had the opposite feeling just the other day. That sickening ‘dread’ that makes your stomach sink because it feels like you’ve swallowed a massive boulder that’s weighing you down, but you have no idea how because your throat’s constricted tighter than… well, let’s not go there… and your brain is spinning with ‘how on Earth did this even happen’ thoughts. Yup, that was me.

Still is, truth be told.

Because I discovered that my ‘Note’ containing all my login details for every website I’ve used for the past three years,

Had.

Disappeared.

Note, as in on the ‘Notes’ App on my iPhone 6S.

The one that keeps ALL the thoughts which overflow out through my fingers and into a space which I thought was whatever-the-opposite-of-vulnerable is.

Yup.

Gone.

And obviously I must have accidentally ‘deleted’ it over a month ago, because it wasn’t in the deleted notes folder either.

I cried. I argued with my phone (not that that helped). I pleaded with God.

But nope. It was gone.

Sigh.

Lesson learned, maybe? Just start using Evernote like I always promised that I would, even though I find its interface extremely user-unfriendly and even though I absolutely HATE the idea of storing my personal thoughts in the cloud.

Oh well.

Better that, that to have lost three YEARS worth of login details, yes?

Whoops.

Here’s hoping your week this week is a good one, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

On priorities… And distractions :-)

I’d like to think that I am a pretty focused person. That I can concentrate easily, and work quickly and efficiently to get tasks done. I pride myself on being organised, able to complete challenges, and meet deadlines, having put in a maximum amount of effort toward the job at hand.

And I’m sure that compared to some, I am rather organised and focused. To others however, I am aware that I fall far short of the mark.

And I think it comes down to priorities.

You see, although I do have priorities, as I wrote last week that I haven’t been great at planning for them. They have been wishes in my head, goals for me to try to make, without concrete plans to follow to achieve them. And without concrete plans, distractions easily get in the way.

Fear can also breed. Because I am often afraid that I won’t actually achieve what I have sent out to achieve. I’ll be a failure. A failure in my own eyes, and – even worse – in the eyes of others. I guess this concerns me, because I hate the idea that others could laugh at me, or think less of me, because of my lack of significant achievement.

So I keep my goals close to my chest, don’t speak them out, so that I can’t be accountable. That way, if I fail, I only have myself to blame.

Failing in public is far too much pressure for me.

I’m not entirely convinced of the wisdom of this, however. Being accountable to others – like setting myself a Goodreads challenge of 156 books read in 2018, for example – is a motivator in and of itself, I’m thinking. So perhaps I should view fear as simply a tool to be harnessed, a strategem which can assist me in achieving the goal I’ve set myself? Turn the idea around; make it work in my favour?!

And then: distractions. They make life so much more interesting, don’t you think? The shiny new idea that tries to take you away from the focus that you have. That’s so much more fun to follow than gritting your teeth when the work is so dry and repetitive, when it’s drudgery to persist in doing the hard yards and remaining dedicated to the job you have set out to achieve. In my mind, I equate distractions like Frodo trying to get to the Mount of Doom, but stopping off to ride a pink fluffy unicorn because that ring he was carrying just got too heavy and too demanding.

And distractions are easy to blame as well. An out! Yippee!

But I choose today to not let the distractions get to me. To remain focused on the goal I have set myself. To plan it out, as much as I’m able, so that things don’t get too overwhelming, and so I can succeed in what I’m planning to achieve.

How about you, dear Reader? Are you, like me, easily distracted? And is this a problem for you?

And, as always, have a great week yourself, dear Reader!

On resolutions – late ones…

So it’s February. And probably rather too late to be thinking about resolutions for the ‘New Year’… but then again, ‘better late than never’; ‘it’s never too late to make a change to your life’ and ‘while there’s life, there’s hope’ so I’m going to write about resolutions made in February anyway. And besides, if you only ever wait until January 1st to resolve to make changes to your life, that’s LOTS of days per year where you’re deciding to *not* change!

But I digress. I want to write about the quote: “Failing to plan means you’re planning to fail.” Supposedly Benjamin Franklin said that, one of America’s Founding Fathers and probably all-around wise guy. I’d heard it before, and always thought it was pretty cool. I liked the way the second half of the saying reverses the first half, and it still made sense.

But at the end of last year, when I failed so abysmally at both my Goodreads challenge and my reading through the Bible in a year, I started to look at the saying more closely.

I get the first half. That’s pretty simple. The fact that you fail to plan. As in: you forget to plan; you’re too lazy; you’re too busy maybe; or you don’t feel it’s worth while.

I get all that. And, truth be told, I’m in that boat myself quite a bit. I tell myself that ‘it’s because I’m too busy’ and ‘I’ll get to it later’ and ‘that’s okay, I can wing it – I’m good enough to do that.’

But in re-reading Franklin’s quote, it’s the second half which convicts me. I really had to stop and ponder that half, and realise that, for these two challenges at least, that was me last year.

You see, if I chose to ‘not plan’ HOW to meet my goals, I was actually CHOOSING to fail in my attempt towards that goal.

Mind equals blown!

If you know anything about me, you know that I love completing challenges. I hate to fail!

So when the saying states outright that my actions, in not planning, have meant I have actually chosen to fail; that I have intentionally failed, and that whenever I do this (don’t plan) then I am deciding that at a foreseeable time in the future, I will fail a challenge that I have set for myself? That makes me stop, sit up, and pay attention.

Because to me, that’s a ridiculous waste of time! Why even set myself a challenge, if I’m deliberately going to undermine my own efforts? That’s just dumb!

I need to plan my work, if I’m going to be successful.

So that’s one of my two resolutions this year. The other is still a bit too intimate, a bit too precious, for me to share. But this one? The fact I’m determined to do more planning this year? That I want to share with you all today, dear reader. And why? So you can hold me accountable, of course!

How about you, dear reader? Do you have any resolutions for the future?

And have a great week!

– KRidwyn