Archives for October 2016

Blog theme ~ Gratitude and Desire

Note: I need to figure out the rules for what constitutes blogging, writing the post or posting it. This was done yesterday but I made a mistake in posting. I’ll give myself credit for consecutive days even though it wasn’t posted on consecutive days.

365 Days Blogging – 2 of 365
Handstand Push-up’s – Worked on 5 Tibetans
Dinner with friends – 0 of 12
Words of Fiction written – 0

In yesterday’s post announcing my 365 days of blogging birthday challenge I mentioned that I have a theme. And for the big reveal…. Gratitude and Desire.

We have a custom around our house, and I suspect we’re not unique, where when someones birthday is approaching we ask them what they want. For as long as I can remember my answer to this question is nothing. I’m lucky that I have a lot of nice things in my life and I thought that the best way to show my gratitude was to not want anything. It actually turns out to be just plain laziness.

I’m starting to see gratitude and desire as a yin and yang of accomplishment.

This actually plays out in a few of my books too. In The Seamus Chronicle Seamus has a strong desire to finish his dark energy reactor and provide power to the world. Not until the Robinson family makes it across post-apocalyptic America and Seamus realizes how lucky he is to have his family does he come up with the final steps to get his invention working. His desire was powerful and driving, but without gratitude it wasn’t enough.

On the flip side, gratitude alone doesn’t lead to much beyond good feelings. If Einstein stopped working after his first successful proof and basked in the gratitude for being allowed to work on such interesting problems he wouldn’t have gotten to the Theory of Relativity.

I suspect many of us have been shamed into not wanting something. Have you ever told a friend that you want a raise, a better job or a new car only to be told you should be grateful for you already have? Well they’re not mutually exclusive. You can be grateful that you have a job and still want a new one.

In our current world, desire left unchecked by gratitude is a larger and more visible issue. It turns passion into obsession and compassion into competition. These are going to be big themes in my next two series.

I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to write fiction, but I want to sell more books. So while I share about what I’m writing and how I’m working there will be a consistent slant to the information that acknowledges the challenge of balancing gratitude and desire.


Happy birthday to me ~ My birthday challenge

365 Days Blogging – 1 of 365
Handstand Push-up’s – Worked on 5 Tibetans
Dinner with friends – 0 of 12
Words of Fiction written – 0

Today is my birthday. I’m  45 years old and finally starting to feel like a grown-up. As this day approached I realized that I need to challenge myself if I want to avoid going from grown-up to senior citizen in the blink of an eye.

Honestly the adult-ish feelings have been growing since January. When I sat down to look at my 3-5 year plan I realized that in 5 years I will have a child graduating from high school. My youngest is only two years behind which means we have fewer years remaining than we’ve completed.

As a parent most things in my life are driven by my kids. I’ve been fortunate to stay at home with them (thanks Jen!) but that means I’ve also abandoned much of the adulting that goes along with having a job outside the house. It’s one of those cases where the see-saw has tilted completely and the kids are sitting on the ground while I’m stranded up in the air. We’re in an easy routine, but there’s not a lot of movement.

One of the things that these adult feelings have reminded of is that I need to challenge myself ifI really want to grow. Looking back I realize I’ve felt this for a couple of years but didn’t see it. You see for the last few Decembers I have tried to figure out something I could do every day for the next year. You may have seen those people who have sex, drink a beer, or walk 30 minutes every day for a year. all wonderful ideas, but they just don’t resonate with me.

When it comes to something I want to do every day for a year I’ve never been able to come up with something unique and different. But I was looking at it the wrong way. I don’t need to be different globally, I only need to do something unique for me.

With that lesson in mind I’ve come up with 3 challenges for myself over the next year. They address my professional, health, and personal goals.

  1. Blog everyday for a year ~ Mostly I’ll be sharing what I’m working on and what is influencing my thinking. I have a theme and a plan which I think is a good start. As of today, I don’t have 365 brilliant pieces of content to share, so some days will be short and sweet but even a project update can be a post.
  2. Be able to complete five consecutive hand-stand push-ups ~ I stole this from someone famous (maybe Tim Ferriss or the late Scott Dinsmore). To accomplish this goal I’ll need to be in great overall shape which means it’s not about a number on the scale.
  3. Enjoy 12 dinners with friends (that would be up from 0 this past year) ~ All families are busy, but I’ve used that as an excuse to neglect relationships with my friends. Expanding my world beyond the people in my house is probably the best way I can think of to spur personal growth.

So depending on how or when it is you came across my site, this is how I got here.