A left-handed exercise

A friend of mine has just started a group on Facebook about journaling.

I joined the group because journaling is something I did for awhile, but quit when I started my blog. I enjoy journaling and plan to take it up again, but, more on that later.

In the meantime, I have gotten several really great ideas from the folks in this little group.

So, today, I am going to write with my left hand. Although, I am somewhat ambidextrous – I often eat with my left hand, always shoot pool with my left hand,sometimes toss a Frisbee with my left hand and always deal cards left-handed – I do most everything else right-handed.

Forcing myself to write left-handed has been very interesting! It’s hard to do! It requires an intense level of concentration. During my first attempts, I was reminded how learning to make letters with a pencil when I was a tot was very difficult. And, how every day, in school, we practiced. And, how eventually, some of us got better at it.

I’m certain I’ve read articles claiming that doing an everyday mundane task differently than the norm is great exercise for the brain.

Below are some samples of my left-handed writing:


Looks pretty good, me thinks!

I don’t know any Jacobs, nor do I have a child in school, I was just practicing!

Wow! I feel smarter already!


Are you giving anything up for Lent?

I normally do not give much thought to Lent, although, I have, in the past “given” up something important to me for the required 40 days.

My most recent memory of “giving up something” is when I gave up cussing for a friend that thought I sounded trashy when I talked!

It’s been several years ago now. I remember it being hard in the beginning, and then, getting easier as the days progressed. She helped me see that being clever did not require adding the “f” word to my conversations.

So, I have been good about the cussing for quite a while now.

Somehow, the 40 day Lenten requirement to change a behavior worked for me and I have decided to do it again.

Ok, having said this, let me forward to 2012 Lenten Eve.

I’ve decided to add a prayer to my morning ritual. I know that those of you that really know me know I am not one to say prayers!

But, there is power in prayer, no matter what god you pray to.

So, beginning on the first day of Lent,and extending to the very last day, I plan to say this prayer:

Dear Supreme Being, God, or my internal self,

Help me to stay focused and work on my home business.

Help me to be kind to everyone I meet, even if their actions make me angry.

Help me to prepare meals that are heart healthy for both of us.

Help me make my home a place that people like to visit.

Help me make the best decisions.

Help me smile at every stranger I meet.

Help me censor my words so they inflict no harm.

Keep my husband safe from harm.

Help my husband do the right things at his job to stay healthy.

Keep him safe while travelling the roads to and from work.

Help him heal his body by taking better care of it.

Help me take better care of my body.

Keep my extended family safe from harm and happy with their lives.

Thank you for giving me another beautiful day to enjoy.


And, every morning I will say this prayer.

Will it make any difference? What do you think?






When one door closes…

Do you remember the blog I wrote a short while ago about the year of 2010 as being the one in which I would live fearlessly? I had several ideas I was mulling over, one was starting an on-line magazine about Lake Marion. It was going to be the site that every local and every tourist was going to want to check out! I had wanted to start this endeavor ever since I quit the newspaper business over three and a half years ago. I had never gotten around to getting started, always one excuse or another, but mostly it was fear of failure that kept me from taking that plunge. Well, since this was my year of living fearlessly, I decided to quit thinking about it and take a step forward. So, about a month ago, I finally bought my domain name –lakemariononline.com. (Actually, I bought three domain names – lakemariononline.com, lakemariononline.net, lakemariononline.org because my site was so gonna rock that someone would surely try to piggy back on my success by using a similar name.)  

I had chosen a magazine web theme that looked great and wouldn’t be too hard for non-geek, non-techno-savvy me to use. I had quite a few notes on what I would be including in my first issues and pictures already worked up and ready to go. On my next long weekend, I was going to begin putting it all together.  Then, just several days before that weekend, I found a glossy magazine on the shelf in the restroom at work. I began to peruse the pages and realized that the publisher, who already had a daily newspaper with a staff of reporters and photographers on the payroll, was now producing a magazine, too, full of the same content that I had planned to have in my on-line magazine. Why, after all these years of publishing a daily newspaper, did this company now want to start a magazine? Well, same reason that I was, I reckon, it was a damn good idea!

So, I began to re-think my idea. Maybe I shouldn’t compete with the big dog. But, then again, why couldn’t I compete? After all, I used to know people in the industry and it wouldn’t be that hard to reconnect with the shakers and the doers of the community. And, I really had wanted to do this for a long time. What to do?

And so, for the next week, I pondered what the impact this magazine would have on my publication. I was still thinking that maybe I could do my thing. Until, I saw a billboard on my way to lunch one day. It advertised a new, online only magazine – Lake Marion Living. A SECOND COMPETITOR! I rushed back to the office and got on the internet to check out this new thorn in my side. Yep, there it was. But, this was worse. Much worse. This magazine wasn’t just similar to what I had been planning, it was exactly what I was planning. 

I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. Just like that. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!

A second billboard touting lakemarionliving.com has gone up just up the street from my house. I drive by it everyday. And, everyday, I am reminded of this painful lesson: if you have a great idea, don’t sit on it for too long, as someone else will surely think of it too, someone that won’t be a scaredy cat like you, and jump on it first!

It is time for me to let go of this dream. I know that. I’m working on it. The hard part is ignoring that one tiny whispering voice in my soul that says, “You never know, maybe someday…”

In the meantime, I have been contracted to create a website for a friend who is in business for himself.

When one door closes another one opens, yada, yada.