This word has been rattling around in my head all week. The difference a day makes in the learning process of a new skill. The difference in our mood when we’re doing something we enjoy. The difference between finding your joy and trudging along in a rut.
Time is precious. I think we value it more as we get older. When I was young I lived for the present and could only see what was happening in the ‘here and now’. I wanted to stay in bed late at the weekends, especially if I’d been out the night before. I can’t do that now. Those early morning hours are my favourite time of the day.
Some might say it’s a good thing; live in the present, be mindful, don’t worry about the past and let the future take care of itself. But like everything, it’s getting the balance right.
Time is so easily lost. We don’t always realise until later that we wasted our time on things that were of no benefit to us or those around us. Sometimes we waste time on people who don’t appreciate us. We often let people steal our time too. Sometimes we regret not having spent enough time with those we love, especially those who love and respect us back. It’s with experience and wisdom that we learn to recognise the difference.
Rose opened the shabby old shoebox. ‘All my favourite things,’ she said softly with her hand on her heart. ‘You kept them.’ She rummaged through the box and lifted out a brown rubber watch. Laughing she said, ‘Matt gave me this when we were eight.’ Nancy dabbed her eyes with her hanky. ‘I’m so sorry Rose…and ashamed. I’ve missed so much.’ ‘We all have Mam. I’m sorry too, for staying away.’ The doorbell rang. ‘Are you ready?’ Rose asked. Nancy nodded. Yes, she was at last ready to welcome her son-in-law Matt, and to finally meet her twenty-eight-year-old grandson.
If you you like creative writing but don’t have much spare time, these flash fiction challenges are fun to do. They exercise your mind – and your writing muscles. It’s quite therapeutic too. Check it out over onCarrot Ranch.Thank you for reading!
It’s all about the Covid-19 these days, isn’t it? Oh…and the US elections, but I’m saying nothing about that.
I decided at the beginning of the pandemic that I didn’t want to blog about it, because it was everywhere. All over social media, on television, newspapers, so there was no point in me adding to the assemblage.
I contracted the virus in April, and I didn’t write about that either. I hadn’t the energy or the motivation to write very much at all. It took me months to get back into a proper writing routine. My summer was quiet, like everyone else’s. My mood was low and my energy levels were up and down like a yoyo.
However, I wasn’t the worst off, thank God. It’s been very difficult for a lot of people everywhere. People’s mental health is suffering now more than ever, for so many reasons. Financial worry and uncertainty for the future is a huge factor. Domestic abuse is another. And loneliness. It really is a terrible time for so many. How long will it take to fix the carnage? All we can do for now is our best. Make the best of what we have.
Lessons are being learned too. People have become more appreciative of their time and their families. During the first lockdown I realised the true value of school. My child missed the social aspect of the school environment, and I missed the routine and the discipline that school teaches them when it comes to doing their work. Home schooling began as a novelty, but I got frustrated with the maths. Was never my strong point! And I have to admit, I missed not having those few hours all to myself because it’s the best part of the day for me when it comes to writing. I need quiet and zero distractions.
I was glad when the schools re-opened in September. Although Little Miss Nine didn’t settle back in as easily as I expected her to, she’s okay now. My novel is once again the prime focus of my day. That’s my joy you see. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and often the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. It gives me meaning and pleasure. I’m hopelessly in love with the art of creative writing.
What do you do every day that brings you joy? Even amidst all the upset and stress, you need to find something that will bring you joy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be walking, cycling, painting, reading, listening and dancing to music…the list is endless!
Someone once said to me. ‘Find your joy and joy will find you.’ I had a good week with my joy. Last week was a frustrating one because I spent all of it on research – just for one scene. It was worth it though. I’m satisfied that I got this one scene finished and the plot is where I need it to be. I’m satisfied that I gave enough of my time to my family – face to face or by phone – who are of course all a joy to me too. And I’m sure you’ll say the same thing. But don’t be afraid to find a different kind of joy. That one thing that’s for you and no one else. Something that your mental health and well-being will benefit from at all times. And even if your joy might bring you frustration now and then, that’s okay. Your joy may be some sort of a challenge, and we know how challenges can frustrate us sometimes. And look at how good you feel when you complete a challenge.
Part of my writing routine involves a simple challenge that Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Blog sets every Thursday. She gives a prompt that we have to use it in a 99 word story. You can find out more about that HERE.
I usually post my flash fiction over on my other blog. Tasheenga Writes Here (Yes, she’s Indian and she’s my alter ego)
If you know me you’ll know that I love nature. There’s nothing as refreshing as a walk on the beach or a stroll through the woods. I love all the seasons but Autumn is my favourite; for many reasons. I love the crispy morning air, the cool temperature, weaning myself back into my winter woolies and warm boots.
An Autumn wood is always beautiful. The earthy smells are so invigorating and uplifting. The damp fallen leaves have their own scent too; sweet and sometimes musky. Even the trees have their own unique smell!
Last weekend we took a walk in Drummin Wood, which is located between Foxford and Pontoon R318 (Co.Mayo). The first thing I noticed was the wood’s natural beauty. It’s untouched; pure and authentic!
One of my favourite things about blogging is the support and friendship received by fellow bloggers from all over the blogosphere. I’m part of a wonderful blogging group called Big up Your Blog. It’s a drama free group where everyone loves to help each other. No meanies allowed and everyone plays by the rules. (Even fabulous people need rules.)
I have to say, I was thrilled when Shelley Wilson, mega blogger and author – find her HERE on her author blog and HERE on her motivational blog – nominated me for the Liebster award. No big deal? Excuse me, but I’ve been DYING to get nominated to take part in one of these fun posts that bloggers share with each other. So thank you Shelley. You made my day!
What is it Exactly?
The Liebster award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The idea is to welcome new bloggers into the blogging world and help them to get noticed. However, it seems that anyone established or starting out can be nominated.
The word “liebster” originates from Germany and has several meanings; welcome, sweetest, pleasant, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, valued, cute, kindest and endearing.
The blogger who nominates you asks 11 questions and then in return you nominate 5-11 bloggers with your own 11 questions. Lorraine from Wording Well explains in more detail.
There is no obligation to accept, but since it’s nice to be asked, it’s nice to keep it going.
Here’s what Shelley wants to know from me
Q1 Have you met any of your internet friends in real life?
No. I have yet to meet my internet buddies in real life. Some day hopefully!
Q2 What’s your favourite TV show? What character would you be from that show?
I don’t watch much TV but if I see the Big Bang Theory on, I’ll stop what I’m doing to watch it. Sheldon just cracks me up! I’d love to be Amy but in real life I’m more of a Penny.
Q3 What’s your favourite kind of blog post to write? (Book review, personal post, fiction, etc.)
I like writing about fun with friends as it makes me laugh. I enjoy writing the light-hearted personal posts on my fledgling blog, Tasheenga Writes Here. It’s just for fun!
Q4 What are your most and least favourite things about blogging?
The thing I love most about blogging is the camaraderie between fellow bloggers. I also love the buzz I get when I hit publish!! My least favourite thing? Time. I wish I had more of it. I try to squeeze too much into my life but that’s not such a bad thing I suppose.
Q5 Is there a genre you wouldn’t read? Why?
I like some science fiction but I’m not a fan of steampunk. I tried reading it a couple of times and I just didn’t enjoy it.
Q6 Which of your own blog posts is your personal favourite? Why?
My all time favourite post is ‘Come Dine With Me Please – Part Two’. My friends and I play Come Dine With Me, and this was Jackie’s night in our 2016 competition. It’s my favourite one because it was such a fabulous night. I believe that fun with friends is the best therapy. We don’t take each other too seriously and just enjoy a good laugh and having the banter.
Q7 Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and do they help/hinder your blogging/writing? If no, what would be your ideal pet?
My six year old is allergic to cats, dogs, horses and cows. So my husband is my pet and don’t get me started on whether he helps or hinders my writing!! A bit of both to be honest. But he’s brilliant and I adore him!!
I’m a cat and dog lover. My daughter has the most beautiful cat who I wish lived with me!
Q8 What’s your favourite type of takeaway food?
King prawn biryani. Nom Nom!!
Q9 What would be your ideal career? Why?
A professional spa goer! Getting paid to visit spas and then write reviews about it. Why? Because I love spas and I don’t get to go enough. And I love writing!
Q10 Which author do you like to recommend the most?
Terry Tyler. I haven’t read all her books yet but I recommend her to all my friends and anyone else I chat to about books.
Q11 Who’s your go to band/artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
André Rieu! Love him!
And now I would like to nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster award;