Although I am new to this whole blogging deal, I have what they call “writer’s block” in the world of writing from time to time. Yep, after pouring my heart out to you in my (non-mini-blog) post last Sunday about a very sensitive subject, I had a really hard time focusing on this week’s big post. Therefore, I have made the following executive decision:
Whenever writer’s block occurs and/or the feeling (or lack there of) strikes, my editor (Erin Edits) will guest blog and I will play the editor part for the week; thus reversing roles.
As so, we shall call it ERIN EDITionS.
Erin is not only my cousin who happens to be a fantastic writer (and fellow lefty at that), but she is also one of my lifelines. She and her 2 sisters (and 1 brother) are the closest family version of siblings I have as an only-child.
We recently discussed having similar writing styles–I told her she is way better and she had the following comeback:
“Not better. Slightly different. I am more structured in my description, you are funnier in yours. But both conversational styles. . .”
I must agree, I am WAY funnier. 🙃 But she definitely wins the better writer award in my book.🏆
Today I share Erin’s first EDITion with you.
I went to bed last night with the local weatherman’s words dancing in my mind:
The coolest temps since May are on the way!
Sure enough, I woke up early this morning to temperatures in the 60s, something we haven’t experienced in south Louisiana for a hundred-something days.
I am a runner. At least, I loosely refer to myself as one. I ran track as a youngster, and I completed two half-marathons in my separated/newly-divorced days. Training was a much-needed outlet and routine for me in the beginning stages of it all, and I “walked” away with a mad respect for real long distance runners. More importantly, I gained a healthy appreciation for and satisfaction with the simple 30-45 minute run. And by run, I mean walk/run intervals as needed, just get your heart rate up and push yourself.
Well, I decided I would run the LSU lakes after I dropped my boys off at school this morning. A great way to start the day because (a) it finally feels awesome outside, (b) I just entered the “I turn 40 in less than six months and I am going to have a rockin’ body if kills me” phase, and (c) with my new quasi self-employed/student status, I actually have time to do so.
My kids go to school at the K-12 laboratory school on LSU’s campus. While Baton Rouge is somewhat lacking in natural beauty, the campus lakes are stunning on a day like today. And I reflected on just that as I parked my car at the Baton Rouge Beach (I know, seems like an oxymoron and kinda is), quickly stretched, and started my “45-minute run” playlist.
Man, I was feeling good! I actually ran through the first three songs without walking. Whoop! Then all of sudden, in the middle of Meghan Trainor’s “NO”, my wireless headphones (so cool, right?) did that weird dying sound and then left me high and dry.
NO, is right.
I stopped to stretch my legs a bit and considered turning around. It was 15 minutes back to my car or at least 30 minutes to continue around as I initially planned.
Screw it, I am going to keep going . . . in silence. Gasp!
Anyone who knows me knows I am not at all the silent type. I talk too much, too fast, and too loud. I think too much, too. Whatever, is what it is.
I am working on that, actually; among many other things including slowing down, saying no, letting go, being selfish, and all the other trite but right things we over-achieving perfectionist women must eventually come to terms with. And as I lovingly over-analyze myself these days, I do believe that I am a good listener.
Even though my fast-forward ADHD brain interrupts too quickly and too often, I truly hear what others say. Listening is how I learn and how I feel connected. Sometimes, the only thing I have to offer someone I care about is to listen to them, and often enough, that is what they really need anyway. But I suck at silence. I mean, there should be talking, or music, or writing, or at least background TV noise at all times. . . Right?
But this typical morning run played out differently than I had anticipated and I was forced into silence; perhaps quiet is the better word.
About ten steps into the quiet, it became one of those moments of heightened sensitivity.
The sun was brighter.
The sky was bluer.
The lake glistened.
I witnessed leaves actually falling from nearby trees (who knew!), and I could actually feel, almost to the exact degree, the cooler air around me.
Without music blaring from my headphones, I could hear real life.
I heard the birds chirping and the hum of the weed-eaters as I ran past a yard crew at work. I heard the cars passing by me and the sorority girls gossiping as they waited for the bus. I even heard a turtle (or something) plop (onomatopoeia!) into the lake from the water’s edge. I heard two elderly ladies laughing and chatting as they walked side-by-side, and I heard a husband encourage his wife “to keep going” as they neared the end of their run. I even heard the “good mornings” from those going in the opposite direction as me, something I usually only lip-read.
Voices are so nice; Namastè.
As I reached the middle of my run, I began to hear the rhythm of my own steps hitting the pavement, every once in a while crunching (another onomatopoeia!) a fallen leaf. I heard my surprisingly steady breath and the beat of my own heart. In this dreaded silence, I was able to listen to what I needed to hear. It was nothing profound (or was it?), but I felt some much-needed peace and an intense awareness of what really matters. For the remainder of my run, I was able to find center and clear my own mind.
Today, the Universe forced me to experience the quiet I needed.
Like every single mom, I have no idea what I am doing most days. And on the rare days I recognize what I even might want to do, I usually have no idea how I am going to do it. I am sure everyone can relate to that feeling. There is so much to decide and to weigh, so much to put in order. We have roles and responsibilities that don’t seem to leave room for anything else.
When reality feels so overwhelming and suffocating, how do we dream of more? We just do. That’s what dreaming is.
It is creating the idea of something we really want to experience (ask/pray), trusting that a way will be made (believe/faith), and then realizing that dream (receive/miracle). While it may be cheesy, it is a completely legitimate lesson I was reminded of today. I was able to recognize some very real ways God is working in my life (when I stop getting in the way and trying to figure it out myself.)
My role on this blog is usually editor, but I asked Claire if she would post this from me as a “guest-blogger.” As mentioned in my section on the main-menu, I have spent my entire career writing, editing, and communicating other people’s thoughts.
Today, I felt brave enough to share my own, and I appreciate the opportunity to take a small step outside my editing box. Thank you, Claire.
Lately, I tend to pray for guidance and signs. I love to recognize examples of what I call “proof” of Universal alignment in my life. This post is a great example, but right before sending Claire my first draft, I experienced another fun one.
We were texting back and forth about an idea we each had for the graphic style of our title pages. My future blog (and title) is still a work in progress, or dream as you might now say. But, Claire had some ideas for improving her title page and liked the thought of creating a title-related image for my guest-blogger gig.
We discussed asking a mutual (and extremely talented) friend of ours to sketch something for each of us. This friend also created the cover-image for last week’s post: “Does Everything Really Happen for a Reason?“. Our text convo went as follows:
Claire: I’ll prob just let her run with mine. Whatever she wants to do…Just can’t say the f-word in the title. Lol. (Claire and her potty mouth!)
Erin: I kinda want mine to depict a left hand actually writing my title. Because I write on paper first.
Minutes later, I sit down at my computer (of which the homepage is set to Google) to type this post from my handwritten draft. . . and this is what the screen looked like:
Wrong (right) hand, but what are the odds?
Turns out, Ladislao José Biro, the inventor of the ballpoint pen, was born 117 years ago today. But, I’d like to think of it as a “sign”; and a good sign at that.
A sign? Stars aligning? Is the Universe in support of our new blogging venture?
Maybe. And hopefully!
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