Today, the very talented Kelly Letky turns 50. That’s quite a milestone to celebrate, and I’d like to celebrate with her. She exudes such wisdom through her poems and carefully sown words. So let’s raise a glass, grab a slice of cake, and celebrate in honor of a great writer and woman!
I’ve decided I’d like to give the August Break project started by Susannah Conway a try. I need to ease back into posting, and I’ve been drawn to “photo ops” lately. The words aren’t coming as easily, but I still feel compelled to express myself. Look for some photographic goodness during the upcoming month.
I’m proud to announce that I’ve finally compiled, edited, designed, and published my first eBook, Electrate Essays. To snag yourself a copy, visit my website: http://meredithshadwill.com/electrateessays.html. After purchasing, your copy will arrive within 24-48 hours. Hope you enjoy!
I’m taking a leave of absence from my blog, most likely until the end of the month. This gluten free experiment has brought up other questions about my health, and these are serious matters that I need to address without the guilt of leaving my sites untended. In order to cultivate myself, I must care for myself. And I won’t buy into that whole “a writer must write everyday to be a writer” nonsense — every other person gets vacation time and sick days. This writer will write one more thing before putting up the keyboard for a couple week’s respite.
Since life was busy happening, my Foodie Friday post got postponed until next Friday. But that didn’t stop my brain from hatching a clever idea — why not go for a Follow Friday post instead? It’s the perfect way to share some love without being confined to the 140 character limit of Twitter, and I’d love to show appreciation to the set that inspires me to write. So in no particular order, other than the one Twitter gives me…
@memyself_mommy — Because she’s spunky and shares some pretty cute quotes and pictures
@BrendaDellaCasa — Because she always knows what to say, leading you to believe she’s got you on candid camera
@thenicknick — Because she’s an awesome writer who knows how to stay happy in even the most trying of situations
@whollyjeanne — Because everyone needs a fairy godmother who’ll drop by, sprinkle fairy dust and sugar, and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside — all with just words and pictures
@TMFProject — Because we all need some in-your-effin’-face advice on how not to be a tool
@patrickrhone — Because he’s absolutely quotable and brilliant
@caligater — Because she oozes sassiness and feistiness, and she isn’t afraid to share her spark
@kaileenelise — Because she’s inspirational and creative (especially with those creative weekend to-do lists)
@Zumbalicious_ — Because she can shake it on the dance floor, keep those bellies full, and do it all while living in another country from her family
@DJazzo — Because she encourages us to love our bodies as they are while sharing her own struggles with us
@picsiechick — Because she spreads butterflies and love to everyone she knows and always has the best Soul-Family dailies
@noelrozny — Because when she’s not writing lovely words, she’s also showing her human side. Who doesn’t love meeting a like mind?
@juliedaley — Because she’s unabashedly female
@artemisretreats — Because she’s always got a small stone to share
@MABrotherton — Because illustrations should still be revered in literature
@MrsMediocrity — Because there’s nothing mediocre about her words and photos
@angelakelsey — Because it’s a small world and the Gator Nation is everywhere
@jinxingwinks — Because we’ve all been down dark roads (some darker than others), and it’s okay to admit that
@jesseblayne — Because surviving narcissism takes a very strong woman
@mentalmosaic — Because she loves writing and photographing and knows how to pace herself
@BrandeewineB — Because she is an artist (pronounced with a fake French accent). Just look at her work!
@kirstenogden — Because she brought us to the manifestival and let us celebrate in the month of January
@SandiAmorim — Because she’s spreading an appreciation virus at an exponential rate — and that’s a good thing!
Now let’s get out there and spread the love and appreciation!
One Thing by Colin Wright
Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.
I haven’t always wanted to become an English consultant, but I did once dream of owning my own practice back in the days of my veterinary dreams. Regardless of the focus, the main goal was the same: to become my own boss. I’ve just about always dreaming of running my own business, although now the focus is to assist others with the English language and its grammar rules. Over the weekend I made strides to go forward with this dream. I’ve put the information out into the universe, and now I’m working on obtaining clients. For right now, the main goal is to get clients. Once I have an idea of demand, I can begin transitioning into a full-time I’m-the-boss role. During the transition, I will need to reach certain benchmarks that indicate my success and how close I am to fulfilling my dreams. The purpose of being my own boss is to ensure work-life balance is achieved — to ensure I’m home with my family when I need to be, getting the proper exercise, eating and drinking healthfully, and maximizing my expertise.
First of all, you’ll begin to notice some changes around here. I’m not big on a huge unveiling, though, because too many steps go into it. Instead, we’re going to take small steps from the current layout to a brand new layout — I’ve been completely inspired by Gwen Bell’s website evolution and Gretchen Rubin’s policy of doing what will get done instead of fantasizing about perfection (I’m loosely paraphrasing). I’ve started off by adding an avatar, courtesy of the lovely Axel. She’ll be designing a second avatar for me as well, and I’m sure I’ll figure a way around CSS to include both avatars in my layout. The color scheme will change, as with the content layout.
Secondly, I’ve also decided to go forward with introducing my tutoring services, in keeping with the concept of building upon a blank slate. I openly invite you to share this link with any of your Georgian and Tennessean friends. As a new school year approaches, I hope to bring my services to everyone in need — including those who may be economically disadvantaged. There’s no reason why financial hardship should be a barrier to educational success. We can’t break the cycle of poverty unless we extend the same educational opportunities to everyone.
On Tuesday afternoon, my laptop began experiencing serious problems with two of my most used programs — Mozilla Thunderbird and FireFox. A couple of hard restarts and several troubleshooting sessions later, I’m realizing I need to talk to Dell again to see if there’s something wrong with the hardware. I will most likely resort to backing up my files to an external hard drive and wiping the slate clean. However, the damage has been done. The epiphany has manifested. I am not in the right place in order to make my dreams come true. This is the last sign to cement that. This move has not been the beneficial boost to my life that it was promised to be. The first quarter of 2011 has been marred by disappointment, regret, frustration, and depression. I thought this was my year to focus on becoming self-employed. I was wrong. I’m reprioritizing and finding that above all else I must do everything I can to move my family into our own space once again. Retail and food industry no longer appear as unappealing as they did on January 1st. In fact, I hope I have more luck hunting for such jobs in this area than I did in a college town. I don’t see why a manager should be turned off by my degree. Just because one assumes I’ll be unhappy working in that position for very long shouldn’t mean a thing. Do they ask themselves the same question when considering high school students? I imagine they wouldn’t be content to work such a job forever, either, you know.
I had my opportunity to make my dreams come true before committing to this move. I just didn’t have the faith required to make it happen. I wasn’t willing to hold out hope that Congress would approve another unemployment extension. I assumed my funding would run out, forcing me to make the decision to leave behind that life and pull out a few tricks. I had a market in all the students attending UF. I had a market in the professors teaching at UF. Here, most of the locals likely can’t afford my tutoring fee. Here, I’m fairly isolated. And while my dreamer’s mind is telling me that I’m merely making excuses, the part of my mind that’s unraveling tells me that my soul isn’t being nourished in this current environment. If I don’t have the strength to overcome the sensation of defeat, how am I going to manage building my business? Quite frankly, I’ve been trying for over 3 months to take that time, and all my plans — from silly dinner plans to the bigger things — are blowing up in my face. I need to get my family moved into our own place, and I need to feel more secure before I can return to this dream.
My writing here will be more about a creative outlet and less about planning a business. I’ll likely feel a little less guilt about neglecting my blog as often as I do.
I had fully intended to take a picture of the so-called Super Harvest Moon yesterday, in the hopes of sharing it for Wordless Wednesday. In fact, I kept waiting for the moon to become visible in order for me to capture it during its rise on the evening of the autumnal equinox. First, there was another building and some trees in the way. Then, it was just barely peaking above the trees and looked nothing like the illusionary large moon they claimed I’d see — I assumed its rise behind the building was likely why I missed that. Then I took pictures. I kept trying to keep my hands steady, but apparently I was trembling more than I realized. I finally caved, switched back to trusty “kid mode,” and got a couple of lackluster images that would have required a lot of doctoring up in order to look good here. Well, at least it’s good at taking pictures of my kids! So sadly, no beautiful pictures of the Super Harvest Moon for you.