Thursday, September 8, 2016

One Hundred Days Of Writing...100 Days In...What I Learned Along The Way

It’s after Labor Day, and besides not being able to wear white (not that I have anything white to wear) or go to the local swimming pool (because it closed on August 1 when the kiddos went back to school), it also means that I am nearing the completion of my one hundred days of writing. In fact, when I finish this post I will no longer be nearing the finish line, I will have crossed it.

Hooray for me!

I have thought about what I wanted to write about in this post for several weeks. I could list the breakdown of the words and what got added to which project but my eyes begin to glaze over when I start to talk about numbers and if it bores me then it certainly will bore you, too. No, I’ll leave the numbers to the math teachers and calculators, but all of them do add up to over a 100,000 words (which if you do the math is…well, you know).

Hooray for me!

So that leads me back to the original questions: Why write for one hundred days? What is so special about that? Does anyone care? (All good questions, mind you, and there are probably several more that could be asked but who wants to waste time with that.)

The answer is simple: To prove to myself that I could.

I made a decision to do something and I followed through and accomplished the task. For me, decisions have always been a challenge. Here’s an example: Do I start with a salad at Golden Corral or go straight for the mashed potatoes? (Good Heavens! Why would you even waste any of your stomach space for lettuce and cucumbers when there is macaroni & cheese and ribs to choose from?) 

And rolls! With honey butter!

(Well, maybe I did an okay job on making this decision but it was tough to decide between Ryan’s Buffet and Golden Corral.) Actually, this decision wasn’t difficult either because Ryan’s has closed its doors recently because of a bankruptcy filing.

But, I think you get my drift.

I could go on and on about this and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Someone once told me that you could become paralyzed by the possibilities and not choose anything at all (Personally, I will always choose the mashed potatoes over the roughage, but that’s just me.).

I did more than just write these past 100 days. I also had at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, most of it being a walk around the outside of my house. It’s a 114 paces around the house and is mostly covered so I tried to walk early in the morning or right before dusk so the heat wouldn’t make me wilt (I don’t like wilted lettuce, either.).

I’ve lost about seven pounds, which isn’t as much as I wanted to but my clothes definitely fit better. I’m even beginning to chip away at the cellulite on my hips that has remained as unmovable as the gridlock in Congress over the last eight years (Be gone with ye, oh patrons of little use.).

Hooray for me!

Another thing I have started doing is keeping an (almost) daily journal. I don’t start each entry with ‘Dear Diary’ but as I have gone back and read over some of my past entries I was surprised at some of the things I had written. Not earth shattering, by any means--some days the entry might only consist of what I had to eat, but I also recorded where I was, who I was with and how I felt. It’s hard to recollect an average summer day, months, if not years in the past if there isn’t a record of it (My memory ain’t what it used to be.). And aren’t ‘average’ days some of the best days that you can have? 

Hooray for me!

Lastly, this challenge wouldn’t be complete without a story about me and my mom and finding help in the most unexpected places. The following is our conversation from a few days ago:

Mom called me:

Me: “Hello?”

Mom: “What are you doing?”

Me: “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you straight to your face.”

Mom: “Hmm. That bad, is it? Are you trying to balance your checkbook again?”

Me: “No. Worse.”

Mom: “You started another low-carb diet?”

Me: “No. But, that’s true, though. Ain’t much worse than that. Except going to a buffet that serves rice instead of potatoes.”

Mom: “You’ve got a point there. So what’s your problem?”

Me: “I’m trying to sew a button back on my favorite shirt.”

Mom: “I thought Jimi Hendrix was your favorite shirt. It doesn’t have any buttons.”

Me: “It doesn’t. I guess it’s my second favorite shirt then.”

Mom: “Oh, I see. So what’s your problem?”

Me: “I can’t thread the needle.”

Mom: “Well, you know I showed you how to do that when you were in 3rd grade.”

Me: “If I still had the eyes of a 3rd grader, I’d be finished by now.”

Mom: “Oh, I’m sorry. That hole is hard to see.”

Me: “Tell me about it. Hold on a sec, there’s someone at the door.”

Mom: “Okay.”

I went to answer the door and returned a few minutes later.

Me: “Guess what?”

Mom: “What?”

Me: “Problem solved.”

Mom: “Who was at the door?”

Me: “I think it was the Jehovah Witness people. I still had the needle and thread in my hand and when I went to accept the literature she was handing out it almost fell out of my hand. I told her I’d been trying to thread the needle all day and you know what she did?”

Mom: “What?”

Me: “She said since I didn’t slam the door in her face and accepted her literature, it was the least she could do and reached into her purse and pulled out an eyepiece that looked like Colonel Klink’s and threaded that needle on the first try.”

Mom: “What about that. That’s my girl. Be kind to everyone. All the time. And one last thing?”

Me: “What’s that?”

Mom: “Be kind to yourself.”

And that, my friends, is the main thing I learned in my one hundred days of writing. That’s why I wrote ‘hooray for me’ several times in this post. I think everyone in life could use more cheerleaders and it must start with you. The last thing I said to my mom before ending that conversation was “You know, Mom, I’m a pretty terrific person.”

Her response couldn’t have been any better unless I had written the words for her. “Sure you are. You’re too hard on yourself. You’re headed in a good direction and keep setting goals for yourself. Just look what you’ve accomplished this summer? Small steps eventually lead to a marathon completed.”

Small steps eventually lead to a marathon completed.

That statement really sums it up for me. Whatever it is that you want to get accomplished can only be achieved one way and that is the decision to start. Just  decide. You can do it.

Hooray for me!

And, hooray for you!


Pam Sievers said...

Congratulations and indeed, hooray for you! Average is so underrated sometimes, isn't it. I love the lessons along the way - am trying to learn the same thing as I plod through my book. Take a breather and let the inspiration sink in for the next project, Job well done.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Hooray for you. It is good to challenge ourselves and our biggest and best cheerleader should be ourselves. Be proud of your accomplishment.

Amy said...

Nice work, Gianetta! On everything, including this post. Hooray for you!

Amy said...

Nice work, Gianetta! On everything, including this post. Hooray for you!

Unknown said...

Thx so much for sharing this with us. I'm so happy for you and your accomplishments, and I thank you for inspiring me and reminding me to "just start." You're the best. Keep up the good work.

Gianetta said...

Pam: Thanks! Keep up your writing! You can do it!

Starting Over: Thanks for being a loyal reader. I appreciate it!

Amy: Thanks a bunch!Can't wait to see you in 2018!

Leslie: Thank you!I owe you a letter....



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