Posted in Writing

Write Like An Olympian

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did. My sister invited everyone to her place and we had quite the spread. It was a good time.

Photo credit: jameskm03 via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

My kids’ last day of school was Tuesday, so it was my last day, too (for the week). I’ve enjoyed my little break and I’ve been diligently working on my writing. I’m motivated. I’ve got three stories going, but right now I’m making one of them my top priority. I finished it, but now I’m making changes, making it better. It takes time to get everything right.

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

And that’s what I want to talk about today. The time it takes to invest in your dream. Everyone tells you to chase your dream, and I agree with that whole-heartedly, but you have to be prepared to make sacrifices, too. Because chasing our dreams takes time. We have to practice, practice, and practice some more, honing our skills until we become proficient.

We may have to give up going to the movies with friends because we need to work on our story. If you aren’t willing to make those sacrifices maybe the dream you’re pursuing isn’t what you really want.

Look at those Olympic athletes and all the time they’ve invested in their dreams. We have to think like Olympians.  We have to decide what our goals really are and make decisions that align with them.

For example, one of my goals is to be a successful writer, the other is to be the best mom I can be. Therefore, when I thought about working outside the home, I wanted to work around my kids’ schedule. So I found a job at their school. I write when I’m not working and hone my skills every day. I write or read every single day, even holidays. 🙂

 Intelligent woman reading book

Photo via PourquoiPas via Visual Hunt

There’s a lot of work involved with writing, there’s research, writing that rough draft, revising, and handing it out to Beta Readers, and then more revising. All of this takes time, but that’s okay.  Do you remember that old slogan?

 

We will sell no Wine before Its time?

That applies to writing your novel, too. 🙂

 

So take your time and make your novel the best it can be. When you’re writing, think of those Olympic athletes who prepare for years to compete at the Olympics. They invest hours upon hours to spend a couple of minutes in front of the judges. We have to keep that in mind when we’re writing, the same principle applies.

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So write. Write like an Olympian.

Photo credit: Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. Do you have some advice for writers? If so, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Slice of LIfe

Living without Regret: A Slice of Life Post

 

Write. Share. Give.

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life post. I have one more week before I have to go back to work, and I’m sad my summer is almost over. It went by way too fast.

I’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s amazing to see these young people achieving their dreams. It inspires me to believe that I can achieve mine if I work hard enough.:)

Photo credit: ClaraDon via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

I’m encouraging my youngest to watch the events as well. I’m hoping they’ll inspire him, too. He’s quite agile. I can see great talent in him. He’s already doing front and back flips on the trampoline. He’s got that gymnast build, too.

He also has the drive. He sticks with something until he masters it. I remember when he was just a wee lad, how he’d get these transformers and work so hard at getting them to transform. Some of them were quite difficult. Tears of frustration would run down his face, but he wouldn’t give up.

I think it’s the same drive many of these athletes have. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be watching my little guy at the Olympics someday.

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I have to be careful though. I have to make sure that I’m not pushing my dream for him onto my little guy. I want him to choose his own dream. I don’t want him to look back on his life and have any regrets.

Living without regret is an awesome thing, and I want that for both my boys. I think that old saying is true. “We only regret the things we didn’t do.” These are very wise words. How about you. Are you living without regret? Is there something you wanted to go for, but didn’t? Maybe the timing wasn’t right? Now might be the time to do it! Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

To read other Slice of Life Posts click here.

 

Posted in Family, raising kids

The Opportunity Costs of Life Decisions

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. As I watched the Olympics the other day, I started thinking about all the sacrifices these athletes make to compete in the games, and that started me thinking about opportunity costs and life decisions. What is opportunity cost?

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The definition is:

The loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

Opportunity cost is why some people become paralyzed when making a decision.  They’ve got so many options available to them they can’t decide which one is the best.  So, how do we make these choices and hopefully not regret the choice we’ve made?

Well, first of all, you have to decide how to measure the value of each alternative. This is where it gets sticky. Because how do we measure the value? Is it by how much money we’re going to make with a choice? Is it by how we’ll be remembered by family and friends? Is it by the instant gratification the choice will give us?

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The answers to these questions are deeply personal and can only be answered by each individual. There is no blanket answer for any of us, but here’s how I make most of my major decisions and maybe it’ll help you with yours.

I look at how I want to be remembered. Yes. I know it’s kind of morbid, but I think about what people might say at my funeral. Do I want them to talk about how I worked so hard I never saw my family? Or do I want them to say, how I was an inspiration to my kids, and how I helped provide for both their emotional and physical needs? Do I want to be remembered as someone who created a showpiece of a home, or someone who wasn’t too hung up on what people thought if my house was messy?

Photo credit: brownpau via Visual hunt / CC BY

 

When I ask myself these questions. It puts things into perspective. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that what other people think is more important that their own opinion, so I have to live that way myself. I want my kids to have good memories of their childhood and not live in an environment where they can’t build forts or make brownies because I’m hung up on what a mess it’ll be. Because of this, I have to deal with people occasionally seeing a messy house.

I can deal with that. The joy on my kids’ faces when they build a huge fort is worth the cost of people thinking I’m a bad housekeeper. I am bad. There’s no mistake about it. I don’t enjoy cleaning. I’d rather be writing. So we’ve got clutter.

But I digress. By looking at how I want to be remembered, I was able to make that decision to stay home with my kids and feel good about it. There are times when I’ve had doubts because staying home meant I’d have to make sacrifices.  I’ve sacrificed all the income I would’ve brought into the home if I worked instead. This was a huge opportunity cost of my decision, and made the choice hard because security for me and my family is also important to me.

So loss of income was a huge cost of my decision, but what about the gains? The gains are important because they offset the costs. This is where deciding what we value comes into play. What I’ve gained from staying home is a great relationship with my kids. I don’t know about you, but the value of that is priceless. I can’t put a number on it.

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I’ve also got well-adjusted kids (knocks on wood). They don’t have behavioral issues because I was able to focus on teaching them how to handle their emotions like frustration and anger. I get compliments from their teachers all the time. They tell me they wished they had a whole classroom full of my boys. I’ve even gotten these compliments from teachers who haven’t had my kids. They’ve just witnessed my boys being kind and considerate to their classmates. Now, my goal wasn’t to receive pats on the back from my kids’ teachers (although it is a great feeling when they say things like this). It was to raise healthy well-adjusted humans. So, when their teachers make these comments I know I’m on the right track and again that gain is priceless.

 

Photo credit: daystar297 via Visualhunt / CC BY

Please understand I’m not saying a working mom can’t raise well-adjusted kids. All I’m saying is that staying home worked for me and it was worth the opportunity costs. 🙂

So there you have it. That’s how I make the major decisions in my life. How about you? What are your opportunity costs? How do you make your decisions? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Uncategorized

What the Olympics taught my Kids

Hello! I hope everyone has been enjoying his or her summer. It has been a busy one with vacations and family outings. I took the boys to the zoo last week and they had a blast! It’s fun to watch them learn, they are so curious about everything.

When we have some down time we’ve been turning on the Olympic Games. I’m truly amazed by the talent and drive of the athletes. Many of them are much younger than myself. (I’m not going to say how much younger! Just younger! LOL! )

As I watched the Olympics with my boys I wondered what message they were receiving from watching these athletes. Was the message, “the only things that matter are the results?” I certainly hope not. I want my boys to enjoy the journey to their goals as well as the “destination”. In my humble opinion this is the definition of happiness.

I feel very strongly that we, as parents, need to stress to our kids the qualities that these athletes possess, such as perseverance and determination, not the fact that they win or lose.

My five-year-old asked when we were watching gymnastics. “How does he do that?”
“He practices a lot,” I said as I gave him a hug. “Remember we get better with practice.”

I was so glad he asked that question so that I could explain that perseverance and determination were good qualities to have and that everyone needs to practice, even Olympic athletes.

Later when we were watching the men’s 400m race. We witnessed Oscar Pistorius running with able-bodied men even though he was handicapped. What an incredible lesson for my kids to learn!

They learned that obstacles can be overcome. Not only did Oscar have to deal with his handicap; he had to fight a legal battle to run in the Olympics. He didn’t let his handicap stop him or the Olympic officials themselves.

It would have been incredible if Oscar would have won. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Kirani James from Grenada won the gold medal. But in a great act of sportsmanship he traded his nametag for Oscar’s. What an incredible show of admiration to the handicapped athlete!

My boys watched this and they asked so many questions, mostly about Oscar’s running blades. But…I was able to sneak into the conversation a few points about overcoming adversity and the great show of sportsmanship that Kirani illustrated.

It was a great night and watching Oscar made me realize that everyone runs into obstacles, just different ones. So, don’t let obstacles get you down most of them aren’t permanent. And if they are permanent there are ways around them.

I hope everyone has a great day! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!