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Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Numbers...

In the past, November has been all about counting words. Getting to 50,000 words or more in a shitty first draft of a novel was what the past six Novembers has been about. It did not matter how busy I was at work or what was going on in my life, I always managed to barf out a novel. This year has been different, but my goals are still wrapped around numbers...decreasing some and increasing others. In previous Novembers, I needed to write. Writing was fun, it made me happy. This year, it just didn't feel the same. The goals I wanted to hit by December 1 had nothing to do with word count...I wanted my blood sugars to be better, clock hours at the gym, and hit my first weight goal. As the month is winding down, just like in previous Novembers, the truth will be in the numbers. How many days did I get to the gym? What will my A1C number reveal? What will the scale read?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Perfect Sunglasses...

I feel like I really, really, really need these sunglasses. Are they not the prettiest things you have ever seen? Well, at least in terms of sunglasses? Now that I am rocking the contacts...I can increase my sunglasses collection because I won't have to get prescription lenses for them...which is a royal pain. Too bad I already asked Santa for Black Bailey Bling Uggs. In thinking about it, these sunglasses would look really cute with them...super cute with them.

They are Victoria Me!! I have been working hard the past three months...maybe these could be my reward? In the spirit of continuing to be healthy, getting to the gym, and having more fun...these sunglasses would totally help continue to foster all of these things. I can see myself in them already...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


As I think back over the span of time between last Thanksgiving and this Thanksgiving...the common theme is transition. Last year we were doing things up big because Grandma's favorite holiday was Thanksgiving and she wanted a Christmas with lots of sparkle. So, that is what we did. We enjoyed every second and were fully present for each moment...that is what I am most thankful wasted opportunity. The time as it leaked into the new year was marked by tremendous adjustments as we stood by Grandma's side in the last of her days. I am thankful that we were there. The time in the after was of figuring out how you move on and piecing together what your life is to be. I am thankful that each of us (in our own way) is figuring this out. I am thankful that my Mom, Sister, and I have each other...with a solid support can accomplish anything.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flipping the Switch...

There is a switch in your brain that you know eventually will flip on. You don't want it to flip prematurely and yet the waiting can be incredibly frutstrating. My grandpa always talked about the three P's - Patience, Persistance, and Perseverance. The first P of the list has always been the toughest for me. Yet, one of the last things my Grandpa ever said to me was..."Joy, you know what makes you so great?" I prepared myself for his response to be like one of my favorite things he used to say about me, "You're annoying, but you come in handy." Instead, he simply said, "Your patience." My hearts still swells thinking about hearing those words. It is the fuel that drives me. Patience.

I knew this past summer when I came back from Camp that I wanted to finally get off of my butt and work hard at all aspects of my life, not just my job. I had been hiding for far too long. I had been ignoring my health for too long. I didn't want to make any more excuses. I was ready to do the hard work. I wanted to do the hard work. There have been three things serving as my motivators...1) a camper at camp who faced their limited diet like a champ, 2) my doctor, upon letting me know that she was leaving the area, told me that she believed that I could do this (this being...managing my T1 Diabetes), and 3) watching the University of Maryland Men's Soccer Team.

Evidently, the switch that flipped was the realization that if being a workaholic is part of my core...then I needed to adapt that drive to everything in my life. Why it took me so long to figure that out I have no idea, but I'm glad I did. I work hard at the gym. I work hard to balance things at work so that I can work hard at having fun too. I work hard to stick to a consistent diet so that my blood sugars are in tighter control. Working hard at work is a given...I have been doing that consistently for the past 17 years.

The lesson was that I needed to remember the three P's for all aspects of my life...not just my career. If the concept of work and getting things done is my motivator, well then I should use that for everything I do. It has made all the difference actually. There are times when I feel completely transformed. I'm not the same person I was when I left camp. I'm not the same person I was the first time I saw a soccer game. I'm not the same person I was when I said goodbye to my doctor. I think I'm finally becoming me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Life in Actions not Words...

So I have not updated about my word count during the past week. That is because last Sunday I had one of those moments where things just hit you...while at Panera surrounded by my NanoWrimo friends I realized something. For the first time in seven years the words were not flowing, the blank page was frustrating me. I always prided myself on being able to fill it no matter what. Something was different. Something had changed. Come to find out, it was me.

It was a very simple realization actually, but for me, those are always the most difficult things to grasp. The sun was shining outside of Panera and I kept looking out the window longingly. I realized that I don't need to do NanoWrimo this November. Instead of writing about life, I want to just live it. The past two and half months have been filled with tremendous transformations for me. I came back from camp in August knowing that I needed to change things. I needed to be a better me. So, that is what I have been doing. Focusing on being a responsible Type 1 Diabetic by eating normally and getting to gym. No tricks, no gimmicks. I have just been working my butt off and it feels really, really good.

I haven't written about all the changes I have been making, because I did not want to jinx things. The truth is, they don't seem like changes. I'm just living my life the way I always I knew that I could. I don't need food to feel better. I don't need a word count to make me feel better. I just need to be me. Joy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The thinking in between... (Word Count = 10,237)

I'm clocking time at Panera and I keep getting side tracked. My mind keeps wandering away from my story and I am having a really hard time focusing. There is something very different going on in terms of my writing this go around and I'm working my way through it. I used to derive a lot of happiness from the ever increasing word count, but this year it just doesn't feel the same. I'm in another place it seems, which isn't bad, it is just different. I think I'd rather be outside inside of in.

A Struggle and then Ease...(Word Count = 8,214)

I had a tough start today...the words were coming slow. I felt haulted in everything I tried to put together and then it hit me...get back to what you know. I think I forgot what it was about writing that I loved...the free and easy feeling of words flowing when you have a story that you really want to tell. I'm back to that story now...I lost my way...but I am back to it. As a result...I wrote 7K words today. I wanted to get to 10K today, but I am happy with 8K given how hard things were in the early part of the day. It has ended well. Going to sleep feeling really, really good. Tomorrow...more words...hope to clock lots of time at Panera with my NanoWrimo buddies.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Panera Session in November (Word Count = 2,020)

I'm clocking time at Panera for my first writing session of November with my NanoWrimo Buddies...exciting!! I'm seriously aiming to get to 20K words before the end of the weekend...which means I have a bunch of work to do. I have another goal...during one of the nanowrimo word wars I want to get 1K words in 15 minutes. And then I have one more...I am really, really going to try to stay tonight until Panera closes. I wanna shut this place down. I'm feeling it. Seriously...I can so do this. I am totally going to make this happen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Novel, New Routine... (Word Count = 1,212)

Another early rise and shine for me so that I can get this novel going...I got my first 1,000 words and that always feels good. My ideas are starting to shape around how I am actually going to tell the story. I notice now that when I am writing I am much more conscientious about things that I used to just ignore, like tense and head hopping. That makes me feel I have learned a thing or two during the past six years of doing this whole National Novel Writing Month thing.

Here is to hoping that I can keep up my new writing routine...which if I do...I will totally owe to a good cup of coffee, the sturdy kitchen table, and the quiet of the early morning.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And so it begins... (Word Count = 511)

I'm organizing my life around the things I love at the moment and it feels so good. It requires some flexibility and changing a few things up a bit...but hard work always gets you where need to be. The things I'm balancing at the moment include - writing my NanoWrimo novel, my job, time at the gym, cheering on the University of Maryland Men's Soccer team (GO TERPS), and being healthy. Since my family is my core, they are a given. I have actually never been very good at balance, but I am learning. It makes your life much more interesting and fulfilling. It used to just be about work and school. Then it was work. is what I make of it.

My novel was born this morning and with the first key strokes of my opening line it all started falling into place. My two main characters have names - Nate and Pinkie. I also learned that I'm writing third person omniscient. I also think I might be telling this story from two perspectives. I have never done that before. See, noveling is so exciting!! I did not know any of these things when I woke up this morning. The power of motivation and a cup of good coffee...with those two things you can do anything!!