Many people often view writing as a chore – a painful task that invades their peaceful existence or one that is forced upon them in a classroom or work setting. Even as a writer, I sometimes find writing a challenging, heart-wrenching act but in the end, it is what I do again and again.
For some, writing is like riding a bike. You work really hard to balance and build momentum – sometimes you take your hands off the handle bars and crash and burn; sometimes you breeze through the streets, storing up the adventure in that little wicker basket on the front end. Whether you crash and burn or master an impressive wheelie, most typically choose to keep on riding, take risks, hop on the two wheels, and continue with the journey. Read more »
Six years ago, it seemed like my world was falling apart. I was newly single, struggling with the stigma that accompanied divorce; I was working three jobs to make ends meet and provide the basics for my children; and I was finishing up my degree, with hopes of a better life – all while mentally struggling to make sense of a new lifestyle as a single mom.
At the time, one of my jobs as a reporter for a small religious newspaper put me in daily contact with people who sacrificed themselves for others without a second thought. They truly knew the meaning of giving. Ironically, though, during my bout of self-pity, all I could see was the devastating reality I was living.
As Thanksgiving rolled around, it was difficult for me to truly reflect on my blessings until one person changed my life with a subtle action. Read more »
We are clearly a society of whiners. We whine when life seems unfair and we whine when things don’t go our way. We whine to get out of tasks we should do and whine when we are forced to do these tasks out of necessity.
Even worse, when our whining loses its touch, we resort to excuses.
I’m guilty, too. I’ll whine that I’m tired in the morning thus creating an excuse not to go for a run. My whine temporarily makes me feel better and my excuse justifies my lack of motivation. The task at hand loses value and my lazy butt stays in bed for an additional 30 minutes. Ironically, later, I’ll probably whine that I’m putting on a few pounds.
While whining breaks down our resistance, our excuses enable us to head down the road to no-where-ville. Read more »
I rarely remember my dreams, but once in a great while, I wake up vividly recalling the night’s events. The scene is clear, my thoughts are still wandering, and the “lesson” or moral of the story hits me smack dab in the face.
Last night’s lesson was about “what ifs.” In my dream, I was an eager 18-year old heading off to college in California, thousands of miles away from my southern Illinois family. As I toured my new campus and dormitory, my heart was beating fast as my newfound freedom excited me and the pressures of being alone overwhelmed me.
It was a new culture, a new society, and a new environment. My typical routine, sayings, and even my wardrobe did not match the “norm,” but I didn’t care. I was living the life I always wanted … or so I thought. Read more »
Years ago, I put together a scavenger hunt for my friend’s bachelorette party. I couldn’t tell you if she had more fun hunting down the goodies or if I had more fun creating the list of outrageous items she needed to collect throughout the night. I can tell you that it was one of the most exciting adventures we have been on throughout our friendship. I’ll never forget the look on her face every time she found (or begged) for an item on the list from a complete stranger.
Scavenger hunts are often reserved for special occasions and themed parties, but in my opinion, scavenger hunts serve a purpose in the newsroom, too. Plain and simple: reporters are on the hunt for stories everyday – little do they know that the clues are practically falling in their laps. Read more »
I took a stroll down memory lane today. I was dancing underneath a disco ball to Aerosmith’s “Angel” while awkwardly trying to stay at arm’s length from my dance partner, a boy from one of the “public” schools.
Later, I was giggling with my girlfriends about the cute boy that tried to touch my butt and the even cuter boy standing in the corner. We would take a short break for Tombstone pizzas and maybe even a video game or two before heading back to the dance floor – a place where we felt on top of the world and totally rad. Read more »
As a reporter, I’m no stranger to working on deadline. A story comes in, I do my research, conduct the interviews, and then write the story – all usually within a day’s time. However, deadlines do not just apply to my freelance work. Deadlines apply to every single aspect of my life.
I’m on deadline as a teacher – preparing lesson plans in time for class to start. I’m on deadline as a mom – rushing to get to soccer practices and dance lessons by the time each one starts. I’m on deadline as a home owner – keeping the house clean, the family fed, and the dog away from our valuables.
Deadlines are draining and sometimes a royal pain. Read more »
One of the most exciting aspects of teaching is the fact that I don’t always have to teach. I’m not referring to the summer breaks but rather those teaching moments where the students teach the teacher.
I specifically chose a career in higher education because I want to be a lifelong learner. I want to learn just as much from my students as they learn from me. It’s a partnership – a coaching relationship – and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Read more »
There’s something both rewarding and heart wrenching about missing someone. If you’re missed, it makes you feel valued and appreciated. If you’re missing someone else, it helps you to appreciate and value that person even more.
After five days away from my family last week, I’ve come to realize that missing mommy is healthy and painful at the same time. Read more »