A Writing Project

Last weekend, two friends and I ventured to Nashville, TN, aka “Music City,” for our first annual girlfriend getaway. We left behind our husbands, the seven children we have between us, our busy lives that demand most of our energy everyday, our routines, and our expectations. We took with us a feeling of freedom, a sense of appreciation, suitcases of simple summer dresses and sandals, and a readiness for whatever was next.

I have so much to say, so many amazing moments I want to share with just about anybody who will listen (or read). My two friends are singer/songwriters, and since we went to Nashville to take part in the annual Songwriter’s Festival that takes place there, we spent a lot of time talking about the songwriting process and writing in general. (Thankfully, we also spent a lot of time writing a song and even more time singing.)

We decided to support each others’ goals to “write more” by creating a writing project. My friends, Karen and Janet, are writing songs, and I’m writing blog posts. Our project is called: “10 Ditties in 10 Days.” It began yesterday and will continue through June 17th. I’m starting a day late, but I’m still committed to meeting the goal of writing 10 posts (feel free to set them to music if you want to :-)).

10 Ditties in 10 Days

Here are our rules:

  • Write something everyday.
  • Give yourself permission to write something that’s not perfect.
  • Stay committed.
  • Don’t get hung up in the details (“Do I have to write a whole song, or is just a verse or chorus okay?” or “I usually blog about business stuff, so do I have to create 10 business blog posts?”). Just write.

So here’s the coaching part: I want to focus more on my blog, but I’ve been resisting posting to it on a regular schedule for a long time. I know it takes about 28 days to create a new habit, but 28 days seems just too much to commit to right now. So I’m gonna take a baby step and commit to 10 days of practicing a new habit I want to form. And I’m sharing this goal with two friends who are committed to the same thing. And I’m sharing it publicly so you can see me working through it and help keep me accountable.

Want to join me? Leave a comment below and let me know you’re participating in “10 Ditties in 10 Days.” I’ll check in on you (just leave me your email or twitter handle.) I’d appreciate you keeping tabs on me and bugging me to keep it up. I really want to do this, but right now it feels hard. That’s how change feels sometimes.

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What I learned on vacation

Well, I’m still adjusting to the time difference between Colorado and Windsor, Canada. Amazing the difference two hours can make. My family and I spent eight days in and around Copper Mountain last week with my husband’s family. Honestly, the sooner we can move to Colorado and live the rest of our days there, the better. I’ve found my nirvana.

Even while on vacation, I pay attention to what there is for me to learn. Maybe I should say “especially” while I’m on vacation, since getting out of my regular routine provides me lots more opportunities to see and hear things I wouldn’t otherwise. I learned, for instance, that my almost six-year-old son is a master at driving a bumper boat and squirting its water gun at anyone on the lake he could reach. Since he had never “driven” anything before, I was amazed at how quickly he learned to maneuver the boat and to control its direction.  I learned how quickly he could develop new skills, and I learned how to get out of his way.

From my four-year-old son, I learned a lot about jumping and flipping. Tethered by a harness attached to bungee cords, he flew into the air as he bounced on a trampoline and did forward and backward flips with ease and grace. I learned that some things aren’t as easy to do as they might seem, and that some things little kids learn more easily than grown-ups do.

From my baby, not yet two years old, I learned how hearts can completely melt and total focus be attained by gazing up into someone’s eyes and flashing them a slow, steady smile. I learned again how feelings, immediately expressed, get understood perfectly, and that holding them inside doesn’t really benefit anybody.

From my husband, I learned that love doesn’t depend on behavior, or moods, or circumstances, but on being there for one another and for trusting in our commitments.

I taught myself something, too. Five hours alone in a house by myself once every six years is an amazing gift, but one I need more often. The day before we made our return trip home, I spent time by myself in our rented cabin reading a women’s magazine cover to cover (including all the recipes and letters to the editor in their entirety), drinking a glass of wine, watching the sun shine all over the mountains and trees, hearing the birds sing and the chipmunks chirp, feeling the chilly breeze on my skin and the soft fabric of the over-sized couch on my legs and feet. I tuned into KLCC radio from Eugene, Oregon and enjoyed immensely a four-hour blues program they were playing. I spoke to no one. I went no where. I ate and drank as my body dictated and rested my body and spirit the rest of the time. I haven’t had that much time to myself in six years. Even when I’ve not had the responsibility of taking care of my children, even when I’ve been on vacation with family and friends other times, I haven’t kept my own company and enjoyed it so thoroughly.

I’m lucky to have such great teachers all around me.

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