Live a dare #TheRunningWriter

Live a dare

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I dare you to be happy.

I dare you to be great.

I dare you to try new things.

It’s challenging sometimes to be happy and positive. We face lots of challenges in school, work and in life.

We face hardship. It’s inevitable. But it doesn’t have to control us. Control our thoughts. Control our lives.

I dare you to smile in the face of disappointment.

I dare you to love your enemy.

I dare you to trust in the face of pain.

We are not defined by our situation. We are strong. We are capable.

Be blessed, my friends.

Interpretation is key #TheRunningWriter

Interpretation is key.

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If you stop and think about it, most arguments stem from misinterpretation.

I looked up the definition: A conception of another’s behavior

One party understands or internalizes what they see or experience.

It happens all the time. Even with my husband of 22 years. He can do or not do something and I try to interpret what he meant by it.

And if I’m not in the healthiest frame of mind, those interpretations can get a little iffy.

Thank God for the Reality Check.

I use this a lot, because I know my mind can wander. I’m an author who loves creating fantasy worlds and characters, so you can imagine what kind of off the wall things I can think up.

The reality check is key, because it allows you to find out what someone really meant by what they said or did.

It’s pretty basic, too, and looks a little like this:

“So, I just wanted to check something out. When you didn’t show up for our lunch date yesterday, was that a blow off to me?”

It’s super important in marriage, too, because when you are so very close to someone, misinterpretations can happen on the littlest things.

Let’s use an example of money since that’s often point of contention.

“So, when you told me I didn’t need to get another pair of shoes, this is what I heard: quit spending so much of our money on stupid stuff.”

Now this is an extreme example, but consider it.

Any time you’re upset about what someone close to said, please reality check it. More times than not, how you interpreted it is not what they meant.

If you let things fester, it’ll build up inside you and you might do or say something you can’t take back. And all because of a misinterpretation.

Stay strong my friends.

Don’t keep score #TheRunningWriter

Don’t keep score.

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Leave the scorecards for the golf course. They do nothing but mess with your soul when you use them in daily living.

Keeping track of who hurt you. How they hurt you. Who did what to you, etc.

Keeping score is not only tiring, it keeps you focused on people wronging you. Then you’re always looking for it, protecting yourself, and you ultimately miss out on the good things in life.

It can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which means since you’re looking for it, you will find it. Even when it’s not there. You may even create it.

That’s a tiring way to live. So leave the scorecards for the golf course, my friends.

Practicing patience #TheRunningWriter

Practicing patience.

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Lots of us have uttered this common prayer, “Lord, please give me patience.”

Whether it’s because your kids are trying your every last nerve, work is overwhelming, you’re waiting for something huge…. doesn’t matter. Patience is hard.

We even joke at work about how we shouldn’t pray for patience because God will give you chances to practice it.

Waiting is difficult. And today, in our society of instant gratification, it’s even more difficult.

I’m totally guilty of it. When my agent submits my books or book ideas to publishers, it’s difficult to wait for the answer.

It’s easy to keep focusing on it, thoughts rolling through my mind: What if they hate it? Wonder if we’ll hear back today? Should I text my agent? Come on, how long does it take to decide? What if….

See where I’m going with this? And it’s easy for my thoughts to take a dark turn, too.

Early on in my writing career, I did go through this. Constant refreshing of my email. Checking my phone for missed texts. Constantly thinking about possibilities.

It wore me out. Talk about a weight on my mind and heart. The thing is, it spread out to other areas of my life.

When my mind is constantly preoccupied by obsessive worry and what ifs, I get a little snippy and short tempered.

And I so don’t like it when I’m like that.

But how do you handle the wait time? The time between the question and the answer.

Keep moving forward. Instead of me sitting and waiting to hear back, I keep writing. Keep my creativity going. Keep growing.

So I tell my agent that I’ll just keep writing stories during the wait time because she’ll just have that many more options to share with potential publishers.

Another helpful thing: friends. Oh my goodness I’d die without the supportive shoulders I cry on. That’s a huge reason I stay sane during the many wait times in an author’s world.

Exercise, too. If you guys follow my social media, you already know how important exercise is in my life. It helps reduce my stress, organize my thoughts, and pass the wait time.

I’ve been known to talk story ideas into my iPhone Notes app while I’m running. So it not only helps me stay sane during wait times, it’s a great way to think of new story ideas and keep the creative juices flowing.

So do you pass the wait time?