Category Archives: stress

To Blog Or Not to Blog???

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To blog or not to blog that is the question???? corrected CMo orange

My readers, fellow bloggers, and writer friends get to decide the future of Pensees. (P.S. the other blog was Bloggy Mountain Breakdown, people didn’t read it so I decided it was a waste of valuable writing effort, I am closing it today, end of that discussion).

I need your help and a healthy dose of reality. This is an open forum for debate, it’s your turn to talk and my turn to listen. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings I am not hypersensitive and I don’t hold a grudge.

Here’s the skinny. I have not posted since January 1, 2014. This is why:

(1.) I entered a few writing contests and that took all my writing time.
(2.) I started a new job. Anything new is challenging and time-consuming.
(3.) I wrote and taught a ladies Bible Study at my church. It took several hours a week of intensive teaching preparation.
(4.) I learned that anything posted on a blog is legally published (wooohhoooo I guess that means I am published)so I can’t submit to other publications anything that already posted.

(I can hear my favorite English teacher sucking all the air out of the room because I used the passive voice at least twice in the above sentence, sorry Cecelia Johnson).

Those four things are not excuses, they are legitimate reasons.

Now my own observations and insights. Are people blogging much anymore? I notice well published and publicized authors are writing short blogs weekly. But, they are using social media to do most of their contact with their reader base. They link to their books, articles, amazon.com links, etc…

Many younger women (ages 25-40) were blogging all the time about their lives, kids, jobs, husbands, and homes. From those gals I am now hearing, “I do well to check Facebook, let alone read other blogs or update my own.”

So what’s up in the world of bloggers? Do we go, do we stay?

If you don’t have time to comment via the blog, Facebook message me.

HELP, I only have an hour or two each day and few hours on the weekend to write. Do I spend it blogging or do I concentrate on larger works? Maybe I should finish the novel that is outlined and ready to write.  Or I could press on to start the memoir that is in my head (and it’s on a few post a notes all over the office)?

Anyone out there feel my pain? I look forward to hearing from each of you…

Waiting and Wondering,

cmo

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Facebook and the Green-Eyed Monster

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green-eye jpgWhat kind of emotion does Facebook evoke as you look at the news feed each day? I asked myself the same question the other day. I have been a part of Facebook for several years. It is a great way to network, promote, and market. I like it because I can stay in touch with friends and family, too. When I started using it, I was thrilled to see faces I haven’t seen in years. With a few words and a little time, I could reconnect with others. I enjoyed celebrating the posts of an ever-growing friends list.

But the other day, I realized I have a bad attitude when I look at Facebook. The old green-eyed monster, also known as, envy has an ever-growing corner of my heart. I log in to Facebook and I see people (Facebook friends) living in beautiful, decorated homes. I notice others on exotic vacations to sunny destinations. Still others have seemingly perfect kids and grand kids. Their lives look like a celebratory observance of the ordinary.

My life repeats itself daily. I get up, go to work. I come home and fix dinner. I go to bed and get up and do it all over again. On the weekend, I get up and do laundry, I run errands and run myself ragged fb-depressed1getting it all done. That doesn’t make for a an interesting feed on Facebook. If I made up information I couldn’t live with myself. That is my reality no matter how I dress it up or embellish it.

So, what is one to do when you notice a bad attitude in the heart? First, you recognize the problem, then you confess it. Finally, you nip it in the bud (Barney Fifeism)! Simply and quickly I plan on uprooting the sin from the corner of my heart.

Envy slowly spreads and infiltrates our entire being. In scripture the book of wisdom is Proverbs. In Proverbs 14:30, it says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Today, I honestly write this blog with authenticity and transparency. Lord, remove the envy and replace it with a heart at peace.”

What feelings surface in your heart when you look at Facebook? Comment below, we can all learn from one another.

Yoga Anxiety

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yoga classI have been feeling stressed lately and a friend of mine recommended I try a yoga class at the ladies gym in town. She said it helps you relax and she loves the instructor. I didn’t think I had anything to lose, after all, they sit on the floor and stretch and breathe. So, I bought a cute little yoga outfit, cropped pants, sports bra, and tank top. I should have known I was in trouble when it took me five minutes to get into the torture device a.k.a. sports bra.

When I arrived at the gym, the class was ready to begin and the instructor told me to grab a mat and to take off my shoes. AHHHH, YUCK, use a mat someone else had used and take off my shoes where others walk and sweat. But, I obeyed her because she was built like five foot  Marine sergeant. As I hesitantly took off my shoes and sat on a germ infested mat, the drill sergeant was talking to another student about how she was trained by some yoga guru in California. The second reason that I knew I was in trouble, she trained in California, the land of yoga, meditation, health nuts, and exercise.

Everyone sat cross-legged on their mats so I did, too. The tiny teacher told us to breathe in and out our nose. I was thrilled that I could do that move. She instructed us to relax ouryoga pose shoulders and let the day fall away. I could do that, too. I was loving it so far. Then, she said an unfamiliar word and all the women popped up, head down, bottom in the air, feet apart. By the time I unfolded my crossed legs she said another unfamiliar word and the women popped up again then went into another move and pose. I didn’t know what to do. Go back to head down move just to catch up or put my left hand on my thigh, right arm over my head, and lunge into the next pose.

In the first five minutes of the class I learned that yoga is more than learning to relax, it is contorting the body, it is moving from pose to pose, and IT IS TORTURE!  That little blonde California- trained girl was awesome and I was not. Every time I put my head lower than my body I had a pain in my temple, shooting light in my eyes, and I knew immediately I was getting a yoga migraine.  yoga headacheBlondie kept saying breathe, breathe, breathe to the class. I couldn’t decide whether to breathe or try to keep up with the moves.

It was such a beautiful thing to watch as these ladies of all ages knew exactly what to do and their thin, lithe, toned bodies obeyed. To keep from throwing up I decided to simply sit and watch. I felt foolish and the longer I sat there, the more anxiety I experienced. I thought back to when I was in my thirties and I did aerobics everyday of my life. I have never been athletic but I have been physically active. I felt like an aging loser. No wonder I have gained weight I can’t even sit cross-legged without getting stiff. In about two minutes, I knew I had to leave the class or I was going to have a full-blown panic attack. My heart was racing and all I could think about was the migraine that was coming on all too quickly.

I beat myself up about that class. In my pursuit of relieving stress, I ended up with a lot more anxiety. When I arrived home I told my husband and we had a good laugh. That night when I said my prayers before going to bed, the Lord brought to mind scripture after scripture. But the one I remember most is Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”  His Word reminded me to cast my stress and anxiety on Him.

Will I still experience stress? Yes, I will. But now, I will run to the Lord first and He will sustain me. His Word guarantees His sustaining power.

Will I go back to yoga? Probably not. But I did learn a good lesson about the importance of exercise from my ONE yoga class. I am not getting any younger, if I want to be fit, I better get back on the treadmill while I can still walk.