Growth | The Daily Prompt

As the crowd counted down to 2018, and we all looked to the sky for a fireworks spectacular, I thought about what my “word” would be for the new year. My word needed to be something that would capture what I wanted to happen. One word that would describe my goals and aspiration. One word that would push me to be better.

And in that moment – as the neon sparks illuminated the sky and friends sang along to choreographed songs they kinda knew –  I shivered and smiled and sang right back. Song after song brought back memories of 2017. I reminisced about all the changes I’d had over the year, the goals I had accomplished, and the bucket list items I still wanted. In that moment, I decided what my word would be.

This year’s word is growth.

I worked on my 2018 goals by working through the Year Compass. If you’ve never heard of it, I highly recommend it. It certainly takes time if you do it correctly, but why wouldn’t you? It’s your life after all. And most certainly your year.

After a full morning spent thinking through 2017, followed by a full afternoon drinking tea and dreaming about 2018, I completed the challenge. I’m sure I will adjust a few things as the weeks and months progress, but it certainly has given me a great layout for the year to come.
I’ve divided my 2018 goals into these categories:
  • Financial security
  • Health
  • Travel Plans
  • Personal Improvement
  • Spiritual
  • Community
  • House Projects
I’ve broken down these categories into goals – sectioned out into 90 days – on a massive Trello board, with deadlines. All of my goals (now that they have been broken down) are absolutely obtainable. Well, most of them. I may still have “be a movie star” on this list, but I’m a dreamer. And I like to dream big.

And, all of my 2018 goals will help me grow into the person I want to be. A better person. A positive person. A person with hope and dreams. A person that is grounded in her faith and spends time with the people she loves. A person who uses her creative talents on projects for her house, projects for her job, projects for her community.

This time next year, I hope that I can say I’ve grown.

What about you? How will you grow in the new year? Or better yet, what’s your word for 2018?

“The important thing is somehow to begin.” — Henry Moore

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The Daily Prompt | A Note

Topic: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Today, I discovered a note in my apartment parking lot beneath my car. Some sweet guy had left this for his love, but sadly it had fallen off “Amy’s” windshield. I opened the folded note to a context that was brief yet endearing – just a few words to remind her how beautiful she was and that he couldn’t wait to get home from work to see her. It read as though they were about to take a journey together. I wonder if it was a honeymoon, or a big move, or just a new transition in life. With each word, you could feel his excitement, love and adoration for her.

How refreshing to know those Prince Charming’s are still out there! Simple gestures that can brighten someone day…even someone who was never intended to read it.

I dropped the note back to the ground, with the handwriting face up, hoping that she too will pick it up, but this time know it was for her!

The Daily Prompt | A Funny Video

To change things up a little tonight, I’m adding a clip from the Tonight Show staring Jimmy Fallon that aired last night. Jimmy Fallon is one of my favorite late night TV hosts, and combine him with Julianna Margulies – what a perfect combo. She totally nails this!

Please watch, and I hope you laugh with me!

This is dedicated to all the creatives like me who absolutely can’t help but come up with little jingles and parodies like this!

The Daily Prompt | Commit To A Writing Practice

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?
Twist
: Write this in 15 minutes and post it.
Time Started: 6:50pm

Let me first say, I do not like this challenge. How can I just pick a top three? And, the most important? So, they are the three most important songs in my life because they mean something to me, or they remind me of someone or someplace, or because I like the dance to them and how they make me feel?

And I say it again- ONLY three??

Here’s my starter list. I had enough time to at least link to some lyrics, so that after I hit post, I can read the lyrics and think about why these made my list! Some are self explanatory for me, some make me laugh or want to dance, and some take me down memory lane. Maybe after a little thinking, and more than this allotted time frame, I can narrow down to three!

  1. Amazing Grace – John Newton
  2. Respect – Aretha Franklin
  3. How Great Thou Art – Carl Gustav Boberg
  4. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
  5. The Dance – Garth Brooks
  6. Proud Mary – Tina Turner
  7. Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
  8. What a Wonderful World – Louie Armstrong
  9. I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett
  10. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I cannot wait to see what every in this daily post challenge posted. What songs am I not thinking of? And, why did these make the list today?

Working in music for 5 years probably made this challenge even more difficult, because there was a catalog of songs that I believed in and listened to every day. And that was huge a chunk of my life!

The twist to this one is to write within 15 minutes of uninterrupted silence, and post it immediately. It didn’t say we couldn’t come back and edit it!

Hope you enjoy reading my list of three plus songs!

Timer is up. Posted 7:05pm

Daily Prompt: A Room with a View

I’m taking y’all back to my backyard when I was a little girl, where you will find my room with a view – our old popcorn tree. No need to count how many years ago that was. I’m sure you understand the time frame.

This tree was so beautiful. It was the first thing you saw as you walked out of our back porch, with big arms inviting you to crawl up them. She stood firm connecting our house to the backyard, as an entry point to the best place to play in the world.

I can still feel and smell the bark.  When blooming, her little white flowering specs on the branches were pure and simple and beautiful. I would climb up to the top of the tree so I could see what all was going on in the neighborhood. I’d create a crown with the monkey grass that encircled the base of the tree. I’d sit high in the branches, and pretend I could fly. I remember always trying to reenact some play from school or church on the elevated surface that surrounded her. I remember I had this massive boom box always with me, and there was one spot that could hold it perfectly. Swinging from her branches I would sing at the top of my lungs whatever was belting on the radio waves, and down below, I would create dance routines to the beat of the music. I could always be creative there. And, I could sit there and dream.

I’m not a big fan of heights, but for some reason I was never scared in that tree. I could climb her branches so fast, and never really thought about how high off the ground I was. I can remember the rebellion and independence that surged through my veins as I managed to climb those branches without anyone knowing. I always knew my sister was somewhere close, and I knew when my mom and dad were arriving home from work. I could run out and greet them, or sneak back into the house and try to clean my room by stuffing some of my clothes into drawers. It felt safe, and that was all I needed.

And, best of all, when I was tired of playing or finished with my performance, my family was just a dinner table away.

Daily Prompt: Overload Alert

Topic: Overload Alert

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein
Do you agree?

Ok, I admit it. I’m a Millennial. Yes, I constantly check my phone. And when I say constantly, I mean in increments of every 15 minutes or less. I’m completely addicted to it. But, how can you not be addicted? We now have a powerhouse of information right at our fingertips. We can instantaneously find correct information, with processes that are oversimplified and, honestly, our search never requires much thought. But, is this something we should embrace? Are we even using common sense to make decisions or absorb the information?

What’s the capital of Sri Lanka? Google it. What’s the best way to wear my booties? Look it up on Pinterest. Should I keep renting, or save to purchase a home? Scroll through the listing on Zillow. Heaven forbid my phone’s battery is below 5%, and there is no plug in site. It’s amazing how quickly I can find one!

When did I become this person that relies solely on that little device in my hand?

Let’s say I Google some word I need to define, maybe spell it phonetically – as I often do – only to be taken to the wrong answer. In my haste, I would have no clue that result was incorrect nor take the time to double check my facts. How does that commercial go? Meet my new boyfriend. I found him on the internet, and he’s French. They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true. Hmmm…

I even catch myself not processing information when I’m checking the time. I will look at my phone, and put it down, only to pick it right back up because I was just going through the motions. I still will have no idea what time of the day it is, and have to recheck.

Am I ever even thinking about what I am reading in my news feed scrolls? I saw a news headline the other day, and instead of making my own decision about what they were reporting, I clicked on the article to see what their opinions were. What did they think? I was looking for an opinion in a news source, which is supposed to be unbiased.

How have I become someone who is told what to think?

But why think? The answers are supposed to be right there for me. Easy, and no thought required. Why do we need to use our common sense, when we can find the answers we need at that moment just as quickly? Who has time to think about anything?

When I saw this prompt, I immediately started thinking about Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 459. Do you guys remember that book? The society began to accept the way things were. Whether they were overworked or over involved, they no longer had time to read or even question anything. Books became available only in abridged forms because people just did not have time to read them; and then books are outlawed altogether and firemen were hired to just burn them. I need to go back and reread this book. I’m sure with my recap you agree. But, it challenges the reader to ponder this same question.

Through this prompt, I just discovered another book I want to read too. This quote was what really got my attention: “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski,” in What The Internet is Doing to our Brains – by Nicholas Carr.

After much thought on this topic, I still have hope. Our society must make a conscious effort to use reasoning in our daily thoughts and reactions. We just have to let our minds work and interact with those that are like us, as well as those that are not. It’s the only way we can make informed decisions that support both our minds and our hearts.

I know that even as a Millennial I still have hope, because I will always ask why. It’s my favorite question.

And yes, I probably will still Google it too, just for backup.

Creative Writing Challenges

I’ve joined two new challenges to help with me focus my blog and my writing. In order to keep myself accountable and produce great work, I’m going to share my assignments with you on here under my Stuck on Creative section of my blog!

Challenge One –  Blogging 101: Zero to Hero

This challenge is more specific to my blog, so you many not even notice these changes. But they are designed to help me customize what I am writing, make sure my entries fit my personality, give me a little direction, and as help me engage with the community!

Challange Two – Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit

This challenge will be a little more difficult, in that it will push me as a writer. There will be prompts and twists that I will be challenged to respond on my blog. Hang tight to see what all this entails, but I will publish as much as I can!

Here we go!