Thursday, February 14, 2008

Days of Dreams: Valentines for US!

Happy Valentine's Day, one and all. As a writer of women's fiction and romance, this day feels very special. But then, Valentine's Day is always special.

This morning, in the shower (the place where brilliant ideas spring) I thought of how many of us do special things for our loved ones on this day. Cards and candy for the children, cards for relatives and friends, and in my own case, I'm cooking a candlelight dinner for my husband. But as I stood in the shower, warm water flowing down my back, I realized one thing--I hadn't thought of a Valentine for myself.

Now, you might ask, if my dear husband comes through with something special for me (as he always does) why think of something special for me? Shouldn't the focus be on him, my lover?

Yes and no, I say. Suppose my husband wasn't around for some reason? Suppose I'd never married? Suppose I was 'twixt and 'tween significant others? Or I didn't really want a significant other at the moment. Shouldn't Valentine's Day, the day for love, be celebrated in those circumstances, too?

So today, I've decided to give myself a Valentine, in the form of a walk around the park. Exercise keeps me healthy and strong, helps me shed pounds I need to lose. Exercise reduces my stress. These things are true gifts.

So...I'm even going to take my walk before I buy groceries for dinner. That way, I'll be in the perfect mood for cooking and setting my candle-lit table.

Other gifts to myself are good nutrition, another blessing I'm working on. Even a spray of perfume--the scent a gift to last hours.

On this day, during this week, I'd love to hear about valentines you give yourself. And if you haven't thought about this before, you know what to do. There's still time, after all. Just like any day can be a mini new year, any day can be your valentine's day.

Happy day, one and all!

xo, ciao,


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Days of Dreams: A new month

It's February 3rd already, and I had intended to write this blog on February 1st. But life is like that. More often than not, things don't go as we intend.

Now that we've moved into the second month of the new year, I've been doing a lot of thinking about recommitting to goals. In January, we feel like we have a clean slate, with all possibility before us. Fresh from celebration of year end holidays, we start on a high, formulating goals for the new year. We begin to take action to achieve them.

Then, real life taps us on the shoulder. We get a cold or flu. Our kids get sick. Our spouse works late, or has stress on the job, or we work late or have stress on the job. We can't seem to find time for our writing, and what we do write doesn't flow. Details vary, but we each have our story. No wonder we don't have time for exercise, or we grab that candy bar or bag of cookies or bowl of ice cream. One action leads to another. They feed on each other. This leads to what I sometimes call "The Februaries."

Hang in there! Traveling in the boat with you, I certainly don't have stunning answers, but I've been mulling over this for the past several days. One solution, I think, is to realize that every month, every week, every day can be a mini New Year.

So, it's February first now. Yes. I know. February 3rd. But I'm redefing the date--today is merely February 1st + 2, a perfect time to review goals and recommit! No focusing on what wasn't accomplished in the past month. If I focus on anything, I'll remember what I did right in January.

I'm going to look at my goals again, the ones I posted on this blog. Would it help you to do this, too?

Then, I'm going to recommit and start up again. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I'm reminding myself tomorrow is another day.

I'm also appreciating recent comments made by Janice and Jordanne.

Janice talks about waning excitement now that February has arrived. She's noticed posts slowing down on some of her goal-oriented e-mail loops, and talks about struggles with her current writing project.

Jordanne sends some wisdom about JOY being the real stuff of life. She offers us a quote by Sathya Sai Baba: "For at least the next week or two, ask yourself these two questions each and every day: Did I bring joy? Did I find joy?"

These two posts remind me of the preciousness of the mutual support we give each other here. Janice's post inspired me (finally) to write this blog entry because I could see she and I have been noticing the same thing. Jordanne's post inspired me to realize that our mutual support brings JOY to our process.

So, may we enJOY the steps we take on the journey toward our goals. May this new month be the start of more JOY as we take steps toward progress. May we realize the JOY in the struggle and the process, however shaky.

At this new beginning of February, I wish you a month of progress and JOY.

Thank you for your support!

xo, ciao,


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