Sunday, February 28, 2021

#sosmagic: The Power of Notebook Rereading

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.#sosmagic

#sosmagic: The Power of Notebook Rereading 

I'm reaching the end of my current writing notebook. Before I shelve that notebook and begin the next, one of my rituals is to look back and reread some of the things that I was thinking or noticing as I filled that book. I am almost always surprised what I discover; I forget things so easily. Remembering by rereading my writing often serves as an unexpected gift. Rereading this notebook was no exception - I was reminded of a recent surgery and my recovery period.   

In late November, I had carpal tunnel release surgery on my right wrist (my writing hand). In the first few days following my surgery, my wrist was swollen and bandaged. Although I had limited mobility in my right wrist, it was difficult to do the most simple things, like shower, put on shoes, or even open a convenience container of food. Yet I wanted to keep writing, so for a few days I wrote using my left hand. 

Below is a haiku I wrote shortly after my surgery (left-handed):

Carpal tunnel fix/
Icing, elevating hand/
Repeat new routine. 

Immediately following my surgery, I found myself full of gratitude for my body parts that worked well and didn't cause me pain. I was thankful that I could write or type using my left hand. During this time, I thought often about people who need to adapt to a sudden disability/pain and how challenging this must be. 

Three months after my surgery, I have full mobility again in my right hand and wrist. However, until I reread some of my notebook writing, I had forgotten how difficult the first few days following my recovery were. I am glad that I have a record of this time - a sharp reminder of how precious and sacred our bodies are.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

#sosmagic: For the Love of Writing

I’m joining an open community of writers over at 
Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.#sosmagic

#sosmagic:For the Love of Writing 

Ruth's question nudged me to consider my current writerly life. In a challenging and exhausting school year, what motivates me to spend each day writing?

Ruth's writing invitation reminded me of a recent podcast I listened to - an episode on NPR's Life Kit. Poet Maggie Smith, was interviewed about finding hope in difficult times. Towards the end of the podcast, Smith offered listeners three suggestions for how to keep moving forward. Her first step especially resonated with me:
"One thing that always helps me is making time each day, even if it's a little bit of time, to do something that makes me feel like me, life my core self, apart from whatever trouble or stress of whatever else is going on in my life. And so for me, that's writing."
Since I listened to Smith's words, this thought has been spooling in my mind. What can I do every day that makes me feel like me? 

Like Maggie Smithwriting makes me feel like me. Although I publicly share a small fraction of my writing, carving out a time for writing every day centers me. 

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
William Wordsworth

I often fill my notebook with messy thoughts. Writing helps me sort through my myriad of issues using a healthy outlet. The act of writing calms me. Rereading my writing often reminds me how hard I am on myself. 

I love that writing helps me notice small moments.
I love that writing helps me practice gratitude.
I love that writing helps me show up as a more generous, kind person.
But mostly...I love that writing makes me feel like Trina.

What do you love about writing? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Slice of Life Challenge: Cat Envy

"I am so jealous of the cats today. They have this wintering thing figured out," I remark.

"All I want to do is crawl back in bed," My teenage son replies. 

"Me too."

We both sigh. 

It's 7:30 on a chilly Wisconsin morning. The current temperature outside is -8 degrees Fahrenheit, not including the wind chill ranging from -20 to -30 degrees. I am freezing just thinking about getting into the car to head into school. 

My elderly cats have already burrowed in the fleece blanket on my queen bed. As usual, their bodies are nestled next to each other. Emma covers her petite face with her paws. I can distinctly hear Victor, my fourteen-year-old cranky domestic shorthair, loudly purring. As an over-active groomer, he has a soft, red sweater on to prevent him from further damaging his skin. My cats don't even pick up their heads as we turn off the lights and exit the bedroom. Their eyes are closed. Their tales are tucked in. They look so warm and comfortable. 

I yearn to crawl back into bed and snuggle in my warm covers, emerging when it is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. 

Instead, donned in wool socks, multiple layers of warm clothing, stocking hat and upcycled sweater mittens, I step outside to begin a new day.  

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Saturday, February 6, 2021

#sosmagic:The Kindness of Neighbors

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.#sosmagic

                                                            #sosmagic:The Kindness of Neighbors

"Thank you so much," I said, my voice muffled by my scarf, winter hat, and hood. "I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this."

"No problem. It feels good to help someone else," my neighbor responded. 

On Thursday we were pounded with over six inches of heavy snow. As a single mom on a night when my kids were at their dad's house, the amount of snow that I needed to clear away was daunting. I had been working on shoveling my driveway. At that point I had been shoveling and sweating for forty-five minutes, and I was only about 1/3 of the way finished. 

"Thank you. Thank you. You will save me so much time," I said. 

He smiled, "I have had help from others at times, too. I am more than happy to help you out." He turned towards his blower.


My neighbor faced me.

"I must confess. I feel a little guilty. I have a snow blower that a friend gave me last winter. It's been sitting in my garage because I am not sure how to use it. I am intimidated by mixing the oil and how to get it started. My friend mentioned that I can get a special kind of extension chord to make it easier to use. Seriously, I meant to try to get it figured out soon, but it just hasn't happened yet. I don't want to take advantage of your kindness." I looked sheepishly at my neighbor that I had only met once before.

My neighbor smiled again. "Ah! I can help you figure that out some time. Just ask." 

"That would be great."

He continued with his snow blower and finished clearing out my snowy sidewalks and apron. His thick mitten waved as he ventured back home.

My heart warmed with gratitude. Once again, I am humbled at how kind and generous people can be

Slice of Life Challenge #21 Day 31: Easter Preparations

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting  a slice of my life , hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Slice of Life Challenge #21...