“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it’s welcome.” – Kristin Armstrong
Over the summer, my daughter’s manager asked me to speak about this blog to their department. Even though the presentation was for a small group, I at first felt like screaming and running from the room. I’ve done some public speaking, but not recently, not regarding my blog, and not at my daughter’s workplace. I feel strongly about the mission for Women Making Strides, so I gathered my courage and prepared a talk on the topic “Pause and Reflect on Your Self-Care.”
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know its mission:
“A woman who makes strides appreciates being alive and takes active steps to care for her body, mind, and spirit. She accepts challenges along her path and uses her God-given talents to better the world.”
You also have an idea what the talk was like. Like my blog posts, the talk included quotes by women and questions for the listeners to reflect on. A change of seasons is a good time to reflect. After my own reflection, I realized this presentation was the most significant event of my summer. I had to overcome fear to give the talk, and I worked hard on it. It was worth doing, although only five people attended. What was significant for you this summer?
Summer flew by for me but was filled with joie de vivre. My husband Ken and I went to several concerts and a polo match. We had guests from out of town, and we went into Chicago a couple of times. We went to a Worldwide Marriage Encounter convention and enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Ohio River.
The highlight of our summer was a vacation trip to England, Wales, and Scotland. Many of my favorite books and TV shows are set in these countries. We saw the play Mousetrap by Agatha Christie when we were in London, and we went to Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, where Downton Abbey was filmed. There was much variety on this trip, from castles to shows to watching a Scottish shepherd guide his sheep dogs by whistling. What were the high points of your summer?
A couple of low points this summer consisted of me falling. The first time, I sprained my ankle when I stepped in a deep hole outside the convention center. It was a mild sprain, so six weeks later, I went running at our local arboretum. Suddenly I was flat on my face. I had fallen and landed hard on my front teeth on pavement. I had scrapes and bruises and damaged my glasses. What were the low points of your summer?
After these two falls, my initial instinct was to give up running. But after thinking about it, I decided to work on my balance and try to avoid distractions—both times I fell, I was carrying something.
I learned something else this summer at a WW (formerly Weight Watchers) meeting. A woman stated that her goal was to walk from her front door to her back door twice that week. I don’t know her history and I’m not judging, but I thought, “For me, that seems like a tiny step, although maybe it isn’t for her. What tiny step do I need to take?” I realized I needed to get back to running after my falls. I had been procrastinating because I feared falling again. Also, I needed to get back to tracking WW points. That day, I took these “tiny” steps. For both that woman and me, it was so much better to take those steps than to do nothing. And next week maybe we’ll both do a little more. What did you learn this summer? What tiny step do you need to take?
Looking ahead to autumn, I’d like to lose about five pounds before the holidays. I am looking forward to Northern Illinois University’s homecoming (This post explains why. ) Also I plan to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. What do you look forward to this Autumn?
You may have noticed it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post. My most recent blog post was published on June 21, but I’ve been writing this blog for seven years. I took a break from writing this summer and reflected on whether I wanted to continue writing it.
But giving that presentation revived me and reminded me of the importance of the Women Making Strides mission. We women in particular often put our own needs last. But the world seems a bit crazy nowadays. People are lashing out at each other, sometimes in violent ways. I wonder if we all took better care of ourselves and lived by the Women Making Strides mission, might we be better able to deal with our “crazy” world? Might there be more people who would treat others with kindness rather than lashing out? This blog is my small effort to make the world a better place.
I ran out of business cards recently, and my daughter Katie, who is a graphic designer, freshened up the design for me. Placing the order online, I paused when saw the $42 fee. Was I really committed to writing the blog? I decided “Yes.”
And I signed up for life coaching again, because I want support for my efforts to be a Woman Making Strides and for my dream of finishing my mystery novel and getting it published. Life is short, and I don’t want to let my dreams slide. What are your dreams?
I’m also reaching out for your support. If you have suggestions for this blog or ideas for blog posts, please let me know. And if you like my posts, please share on social media, post a comment, or “like” them. Thank you.
Sue…I LOVE your blogs and look forward to reading them when they hit my inbox. God gave you a gift to write and touch people….which I know you do to me. I am so glad that you have come into my life as an inspiration to what women should be. Keep up the good work….and don’t ever feel defeated with your writing. It is appreciated…and uplifting…for me. Also, jealous of your trip and glad you spend the time with your husband. Hugs!
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Hugs to you, Shirley. Thank you, you made my day.
Sue – like the others, I love your blogs. You are so honest, so unpretentious about your life, your desires, your successes and your difficulties. It is so refreshing. And I love your questions that make me think and reflect. I have no idea what type of book you are writing but I hope the main character is a lot like you. I cannot imagine a character that readers could love more. Thank you Sue.
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Thank you, Sherri. You’re sweet. I will go back and read these comments when I feel discouraged. Maybe I don’t need a big crowd of readers–the ones I have are the BEST. The book I’ve been writing is a mystery novel but it has a sub-thread with two women. One (the main amateur detective) is sort of who I’m STRIVING to be. The other is taking those first steps toward being a runner (a role I’ve also been in and probably identify with more, haha.)
Wow! Lots of questions that deserve introspective answers. I’ll try to answer each of them some time this week and then post another response here. Maybe those answers will also serve as a thread for another blog post! Thanks.
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Thank you much, Joanne. I’ll be trying to post more often also, although right now that means committing to once a month. I look forward to your next post.
Recovering from a fall, or a setback of any kind, is always a challenge. I like the way you value the small steps. They really do make a difference. PS this is my first time here and I left the page, disappointed that I couldn’t leave a comment. Fortunately I returned and found the word comment, but it did take a bit of hunting!
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Thank you for your visit, Juliet. I use a standard WordPress template, but it needs updating. I will keep your comment in mind when looking for a new template.