Writing a Letter

Today I had Lauren write a little letter to her teacher for next week. She just wrote down some of the things that she did this summer, such as swimming, going to Gramma and Papa’s, and playing My Little Pony.

I helped her with spacing, capital letters, commas and spelling. It made me see how far she has come in just a few years. She’s a SIXTH GRADER now. I can’t even believe it.

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When You’re In A Bad Mood

It’s hard, day in and day out, doing the same things. Feeling the same feelings. Fighting the same battles. I used to have a really tough time getting out this hole – deep, dark, bottomless. I’ve learned some tips to make my bad days seem…not so bad.

DRINK WATER

It’s obviously the healthiest beverage choice, and the cheapest. I keep a 64oz container of water in the fridge, ready to go when I need it. Staying hydrated is important anyway – but this is the best choice when you are grumpy. Caffeine makes me jittery and hurts my stomach, which doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, no matter how good it may taste at the time.

GRATITUDE

I am grateful for so much in my life. My kids. My family. My friends (it still makes me smile, writing friends. I spent many years alone.) After all that’s happened, I look back on how far I’ve come – and my kids – and remember that God used that experience to shape me into what I am now – and what I have yet to become. Sit down and make a list of everything you are grateful for today.

MUSIC

Listening to some music usually helps me feel better. I use Spotify, and have certain playlists I go to when I’m feeling icky. My current favorites are the Moana soundtrack (especially Shiny) and my Christian radio playlist. Unfinished by Mandisa and Hard Love by NeedToBreathe are some really motivating ones!

EXERCISE

I hate exercise. I hate being outside. I hate being sweaty. But there’s something about moving, burning calories, that makes me feel so much better when I’m done. My current go-to is walking, but I’ve been thinking about trying yoga – I know my kids would love it – and the benefits are endless. Do you have any tips, YouTube channels or advice on how to get started with yoga, especially as someone who is not flexible at all?

MAKE A LIST

Sometimes, I make a simple to-do list, adding things like: eat breakfast, wash the dishes, take a shower. When life gets crappy, seeing even routine things crossed off a physical list can be powerful.

JOURNAL

Write it all out. Get it down on paper, or type it out on your computer or phone. It can help you sort through what’s making you so grumpy. It’s like venting to a friend. Or…

CALL SOMEONE

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Most of the time, they will be more than willing to listen and they may even have some suggestions. Bonus points if they meet with you in person. Sometimes, when you feel crappy, you don’t want to be alone.

GET A HOBBY

Find something you genuinely love to do. For me, it’s taking photos of my kids, writing YA paranormal fiction and reading through the Harry Potter series.

Sidenote: if you have meds, take them! If you don’t, and think you might need them, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about it!

When all else fails, lounge on the couch and binge-watch some Parks & Rec or Supernatural. Sometimes, you just need to feel crappy for a little while. Just don’t let it go on too long!

Another Day of Therapy

I wasn’t scheduled to see my therapist until September, but she had a last-minute cancellation so I was able to get in. I was in a fairly decent mood going into it and I feel like that makes me less anxious about it.

I tend to quit things that are hard or that I don’t see progress from. I’ve been to therapy before – in 2017 and 2018. But I didn’t stick with either of those for longer than a few sessions. I’m an introverted introvert – I hate talking to people, I don’t like leaving my house, and I really hate to be judged. However, I think I’ve found a therapist that I feel comfortable with, and I actually want to go to each session. I get disappointed when I have to wait a month for my next appointment. I take that as a good sign.

This is only my fourth session with her, and I don’t know how much progress I’ve made, if any. But I know that I need to stick with it and see where it goes from here. I’m taking 18 credits this fall so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about!

Photography Club

Today’s session was spent recapping the last two weeks, and informing her that I joined some local groups. The first one is a photography club. I am not confident in my photography skills (though I hear great things from people). I would like to be more confident, get some critiques on my work, and work on my skills as a photographer. There are monthly photo themes where we can submit our work for critique at the next meeting, and also several events throughout the community that I could help photograph.

One upside to this club is that it forces me to get out into the community, attend events, and photograph things I wouldn’t otherwise photograph (I mostly take photos of my kids and Cat). Of course, being an introvert, that is also a huge downside, because I would rather stay in my house than go out. But I’ve already paid my yearly dues and my first meeting is in two weeks!

Writer’s Group

The other group I joined just last night is a local writer’s group. I haven’t been able to write fiction since I took a creative writing college course in the Fall of 2017. I got some really harsh feedback from the instructor and since then, I can’t sit down and write like I used to. I loved writing, and wrote only for myself. To hear the things that were said about me and my writing just shook me and I can’t seem to get over that.

My therapist is hopeful that this local writing group can help me through that, give me some inspiration to actually write, and also get me out of the house (I prefer writing on the couch while binge-watching Supernatural for the hundredth time). The first meeting I am (hopefully) able to attend is next weekend. The only issue I may have is finding childcare since the meeting is three hours long. I don’t have family nearby to help out anymore, so I’m not sure what I’ll do. I know I can’t bring them along – that’s too long for three kids to sit nicely!

Unless there is another cancellation, this will be my last therapy session until the middle of September. I really am a little sad about that. Tomorrow, however, is another acupuncture session, so we’ll see how that goes.

7 Reasons Why I Write Fiction

7 Reasons Why I Write Fiction | Beth Gets BraveI’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I went from writing about the future (how I thought my life was going to go, who I was going to marry, etc) to writing paranormal YA (young adult) fiction. Yes, I realize I am 31, but I find it’s easier to write about a teenager falling in love with a supernatural being than writing about a grown woman. I may never publish anything that I write, if I finish anything at all. But I need to write.

  • it lets me escape my own reality for awhile
  • I love going back and re-reading what I’ve written, and get mad when it ends too soon (because I never finish anything…)
  • it gives me something to do in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep
  • it’s fun (most of the time)
  • I love doing NaNoWriMo (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo (April & July), even though I’ve never hit the 50,000 goal…yet…
  • it gives me a chance to improve my writing, because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not that great with grammar and following all the rules
  • I get to meet some pretty awesome writers on Twitter and Instagram. And next year, I’ll join a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin for even more support

I hope to finish at least a short story, and post it online somewhere. I hear Wattpad is a good place for new writers, especially for fan fiction (which I also write).