A Time for Thanks

Thanksgiving is two days away for those celebrating in the United States, and I’m salivating at the prospects of pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, ambrosia and rolls, pumpkin pie and, well, you get the gist. For me, I love to plop down onto the sofa, stuffed to the gills with good food rumbling inside of my belly and surrounded by my loved ones watching my most anticipated event of the season… The AKC Dog Show, of course!

Yes, my love of dogs goes beyond borders, kingdoms and realms. They put a pep to my step and bring out the ooey gooey talking, lovey dovey heart of a child the second I lay eyes on my pup. *sigh* She’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a dog, and she never lets me down. Always devoted to my mundane habits of tap, tap, tapping away at the keyboards or midnight kitchen jaunts stealing yet another glass of water after my foggy mind attempted to write down a concept ripped from my dreams. Yep, she jumps to attention, her velvety soft ears pointed in my direction, and her gaze giving me the once over just to make certain I’m safe. I melt in those pools of soft chocolate, and I thank my lucky stars for the gift that she is.

IMG_9398IMG_9405 (1)

Of course, I’m grateful for my kids, too. Oh, yeah! My kids rule the roost in this family of complete and normal dysfunction. *wink* We’re no less dysfunctional than the rest, this I know, but we excel in our failed attempts at hitting the laundry basket or keeping all the peas on the plate. Sure, some land on the floor and get stomped and smashed to smithereens, trailed through the house in a final blaze of glory, while the pup even turns her nose up at it before plopping down on her half of the couch in a huff. “Silly humans,” she must think as she refuses eye contact for the next five minutes in hopes of shaming we mere mortals into tossing her a salmon flavored treat, down on our knees, begging for her forgiveness.

And I digress. Family. Right. You know, we’re all family if you think about it. My dog is as much a part of this family as the humans. That’s what I love most about my spouse, children and pup. If someone is ill, another fixes meals or picks up the laundry or simply sits by our sides binge watching Netflix or HuluPlus, sympathizing and caring in the best way we know how. We have our ups and downs, but our family is strong and have weathered many a storm. To this I am THANKFUL. GRATEFUL. BLESSED.

img_9245img_9246img_9249

So, while many are posting days of ‘Thanks’ during the month of November, I’m there with ya, shouting to the world how wonderful these people (Canines, too!) are by my side, but it’s no different than the other 11 months out of the year. I choose to live each day with a grateful heart regardless of the month.

One final word of ‘Thanks’ goes out to all my family near and far. Merriam-Webster lists “Family” as “a group of people who are related to each other,” or “a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head,” but I beg to differ. My family constitutes those in my household but extends to those special friends in my life that are neither ancestrally related or by marriage. My family circle is blessed this Thanksgiving with wonderful family and friends living in Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, Colorado, California, and Australia and is enriched by those I’ve met through writing from the UK, Norway, India, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and the list goes on and on. There’s lots to be grateful for, and I wish all my family and fellow #NaNoWriMo writers a wonderful end to November.

Best of luck, happy eating, and, of course, happy reading/writing!

KD

NaNoWriMo and Exercise

Hello November!! My love for this month grows exponentially each  year, and yet, my body wasn’t quite as prepared for the onslaught of writing and exercising that I’d imagined. Of course, I don’t think anyone can be completely prepared for the NaNoWriMo experience, but that shouldn’t stop anybody from attacking it.

It’s been a whirlwind of keys flourishing over the keyboard, hand cramps as a result of using a pen and paper routine before entering it into the digital realm, researching, writing, writing, and did I mention writing??? Yesterday, last week, today, and tomorrow all blur in total confusion, elation, and hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the mire of a fulfilling writing life, I mentioned in a previous post about dipping my toes into the world of exercise. I believe it’s important to have a fit body to be an effective parent, spouse, and, of course, writer. With a lot of autoimmune issues, I struggle to tread water working full time, writing and being in ten places at once; let alone exercise. Yet, I believe it’s possible, and so I push on, and this November has started brilliantly.

NaNoWriMo: The Marathon

You know, there are a ton of similarities between exercise goals and writing. The first one being the decision to do either. One day, we decide, “Today, I will exercise,” or “I will write…” The courage to begin is probably one of the hardest things to conquer, but we begin anyway, and we charge forth as any energetic, bright-eyed, hopeful person does. Of course, it doesn’t take long before our first stumble or road block in the form of injuries, fatigue or writer’s block rears it’s ugly head. It is to these moments that can make or break us.

Not only does the will to begin need to be etched in stone, the courage to continue needs to be forged in iron, or adamantium (whichever you prefer). Yep, I went there;-) We must lace up those shoes and hit the pavement to work our way up to the 26.2 miles of a marathon, and writing is no different. Our mental muscles must be worked from flabby to fabulous over a period of time which varies from person to person. No matter how long it takes, we must continue to run, walk or even crawl across that finish line in the end because only we possess the ability to do so.

Where to begin?

However, I got ahead of myself. Allow me to backtrack. After we’ve determined we want to traverse down the path of exercise or writing, we eventually settle into a routine of sports drinks, fruits and veggies, or triple shots of caffeine, nights filled with jotting down notes from dreams, and the ever incessant clack of the keyboard. I’d be remiss if I left out the multitude of google searches, thesaurus checks or reading other books for inspiration, but the same would go for exercise, too. In order to cross that finish line, we must make ourselves knowledgeable. So, off to the races we go.

Next…

Next, we try routines. Some work out while a mass of others fall by the wayside, but we keep going because our inner drive compels us to, or we envision all those people that told us we couldn’t or wouldn’t ever make it. We run from our fears or head them head on, but we run nevertheless. Yes, we pay our dues, and we come out better people for it. Sure, we may not end up where we previously envisioned, but that’s okay. We may start out practicing for a marathon only to end up running a 5k, or we may outline a lengthy novel that ends up being a short story, but who cares? It’s still an achievement.  It’s all a part of the process, and who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we end up running that marathon. It may not be pretty, but come Hell or high-water, we drag ourselves across that finish line and relish in the euphoria of accomplishing the once unthinkable.

Yep, exercise and writing go hand in hand. There’s lots of planning, training and perseverance in the slimmest of odds, but the results are well worth it. So, today I write to you frazzled, fatigued, and sore, but my mental muscles are growing in size along with the once puny muscles that quivered at the sight of weights. My first battle conquered, I plod on with hope in my heart and an arsenal of knowledge in my pocket.

While I tackle this month of writing and exercising, I’ll keep you updated on my failures as well as successes. Until then, lift, read, run, squat, and write on! I’m interested in hearing your tips for this month of writing, too. I look forward to your comments and messages!

 

Happy writing and exercising,

KD