Daily Prompt-Record

So much of my time is spent recording. I’m a setter or goals. I’m a maker of lists. I record my progress through lists to keep myself tethered to the goals because if I don’t, I’ll forget what they  are…because I have so many.

 

I belong to a book club. I’ve set a reading goal for myself for the year. Everytime I finish a book, I update my progress so I can keep track of what I’ve already read. Then I think of three more books to read, and I write those down. In a perfect, organized would, I would focus on one book at a time, but generally I’m focused on a few at once. I read one. I listen to another. Then there are books that I’ll read over a period of time.

 

I have fitness and dietary goals which I may or may not consistently pursue. I have an app for running and a calorie counter in addition to another app that keeps track of my steps. I use them sporadically. Sometimes, I go through phases where I want to keep track of my calories so I plug in the data for my meals. Other times, I just want to keep track of my steps so I look at my pedometer. When I used to run, which has been a while, I kept track of my pace which is where the running app comes in. I have my running app, my pedometer and my calorie counter all synced so if I do happen to keep track of my food, the calories that I burn exercising will automatically be deducted from my daily caloric intake. Hopefully, I’ll never have to go on the lam. If “the man” ever to wants to find me, he will not only be able to track my location but also the pace at which I’ll be running!  

 

At work, I keep a spreadsheet of all of my daily tasks. I have them split up by tabs and color coded to indicate my progress.

 

I have a house with a yard, and many many overwhelming projects for my home. I recently downloaded another app that, get this, keeps all of my lists in one place. My grocery list, my home projects, groups I belong to, Health and Wellness, writing projects, etc.

 

This listing of lists is all very exhausting, in a way, but I know that if I don’t exert some effort to record my thoughts, they will pile up and after a while, I will use up my memory and some of them will disappear from my head. I call this a data dump. If you have an idea or goal then completely forget it, that thought was included in the data dump. It’s like your brain decided that it just wasn’t important enough to hold on to so it gets archived. Maybe it’s gone forever, maybe not. It might be on some elusive server in the recesses of your mind, but who knows if you will ever be able to retrieve it in a way that makes sense or if it will just come out in some crazy dream..which might create a good idea for writing…and so it would go on a list. Would that be recycling?

 

Don’t get me started on sticky notes…   

  

 

Sunday Visits

via Daily Prompt: Vivid

Earlier this week, I wrote a little bit about the season of Lent and referenced a Wikipedia article. After my post, I decided to read back over that article. I noticed a sentence that intrigued me: In some Christian countries…the faithful attempt to visit seven churches during Holy Week in honor of Jesus Christ heading to Mount Calvary.

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It gave me an idea. I’m not going to visit seven churches during Holy Week, but it occurred to me that I can find seven churches to highlight during this season, whether they be churches that I have attended or saw on vacation or noticed as I was passing by. Armed with my next idea, I decided to head to downtown Wilmington to take some pictures. I already had a church in mind and I also wanted to visit a bookstore at the Cotton Exchange for a separate mission. While I was at it, I figured I would grab a coffee. 

 

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I recently bought a new camera and figured it would give me an opportunity to break it in. Unfortunately, since I did not plan the adventure ahead of time, the camera was not charged. I read the instructions and realized it would take 310 minutes or something like that to fully charge the camera. I did not have time to wait so I decided to go forward and put my best effort into taking the most vivid pictures possible with my phone camera.

My first stop was a small local bookstore, Two Sisters Bookery, where I bought a book about a character who used to live by the salt marsh at Carolina Beach. I will discuss him more at a later date.

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Next, I headed to Java Dog Coffee House, where I purchased a chai latte and some fruit. I ate the fruit in the cafe then strolled the riverfront for a few minutes while I sipped the latte.

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Finally, I headed to St. Mary’s Church, where I attended school in 7th and 8th grades. I parked on the street by the church. As I approached the church, I noticed the beauty of the architecture, a Spanish Baroque style, in a way that I didn’t really appreciate as a kid. It really was a beautiful building. I did a little research beforehand and apparently, St. Mary’s was designed by the same architect who worked on the Biltmore Estate and Duke Chapel. I walked around the block, circling the church and the school. Memories flooded back to me.

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St. Mary’s was the place where I met my friend, Mary, when I was twelve. We used to walk around the schoolyard on our breaks and talk about the things that fascinated us most: Duran Duran, makeup, Tiger Beat magazine and even books. We are still friends today.

St. Mary’s was the place that introduced me to the nuns: Sister Lillian, a large woman who was also a softie; Sister Patricia, a tomboy who used to play dodgeball with the boys; Sister Josephine who didn’t seem to have any sense of humor at all and Sister Mary John, a tiny little bulldog of a woman. 

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St. Mary’s was the place where I experienced my first real crush. The first time I met someone and actually felt like I was in love. Of course, I wasn’t; I was twelve, but I thought I was.  Unfortunately, it ended very badly. I didn’t belong to the right clique. Friends of the boy poked fun of the situation, and in an effort to diffuse the attention from himself, he turned on me one day and chased me off the playground, calling me the worst name I’ve ever been called in my life. It was a pivotal experience for me. 

St. Mary’s was the church where I first attended a funeral for a classmate. When I was thirteen and in 8th grade, one of my classmates, Martha, along with her mother and a sibling, was killed in a car accident. I remember the parade of caskets at the funeral. It was pitiful.

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As I walked around the building, I saw the courtyard where we played as children. The gate was open.

After a few moments of reflection, I decided to leave. On the way back to the car, I saw my shadow on the sidewalk. It reminded me of something. I belong to a little meditation group and I remembered our instructor talking a while back about something called shadow work. Without getting too deep, the idea is that everyone has a shadow self, a part of himself or herself that doesn’t always feel, do or react the way that we want. The idea is to get to know that part of yourself instead of avoiding it like we all do; and then eventually make friends with it, if possible, since it is part of who you are and there for a reason.

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It occurred to me that maybe I had kind of done that by visiting St. Mary’s. I had added St. Mary’s to my list of churches partly because it was local, and I did have a history with the church. I knew it was a beautiful building; I knew that the architecture was impressive; but I also had a wide range of experiences there-good, bad and ugly, as they say- during some very formative years. My little field trip made me ponder many things beyond architecture. It helped me to look at my complex relationship with St. Mary’s church. 

 

 

Deep Thoughts on Jiggle

via Daily Prompt: Jiggle

About a year ago, I posted the following Facebook status:

This morning when I was in Zumba class, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and felt a little remorse at not having lost the 10 lbs that I’ve been vowing to lose for well, about 10 years now; but then Pitbull reminded me that it’s ok if a big booty jiggles, sometimes. Thanks for the words of comfort, Pitbull.

What followed was a host of likes, LOLs and comments about the wisdom of Pitbull to which I responded, tongue in cheek, “Well, he is an international lover so he knows these things”. One friend wanted to know if he mentioned belly fat. I told her not specifically, but my interpretation of the lyrics was that any kind of jiggle was a good thing.

Now, I’m not going to deny that Pitbull’s lyrics are sexist (or vulgar, as my mother would say :), although I do have to admit that when one of his songs comes on in Zumba, I am usually all over it. Most of them are pretty fun to dance to. Great beats. In today’s pop culture,  vulgarity seems to come with the territory. Not saying that it’s right, just that it seems to be the norm. But I digress.

What I am trying to describe is the shift in my mindset that occurred within the 20 seconds that I saw my reflection in the mirror, frowned on the inside, judged myself then heard the lyrics and became amused. Amused at the fact that this man with a (seemingly) overblown ego has built a entire career praising something that is one of the banes of my existence. Jiggle. It’s ironic, and yet it offers perspective. There are a lot of ways to look at jiggle.

I’m sure the healthy approach is somewhere in between Pitbull and myself. I’m also sure it doesn’t really matter, but maybe I’ll get there one day. 🙂

  

Smith Creek-Against the odds photo

Against the Odds

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This was taken when I was walking at a local park a few weeks ago. It was an overcast day. I noticed an interesting pattern in the clouds so I decided to snap a photo. At the time, I really couldn’t see that well so I just aimed and took the picture. When I pulled the camera back, I still couldn’t see the image very well, but I could tell that it was more special than I had anticipated. I was simply taking a picture of the clouds, but I got much more.