Letter of Intention
I've decided to get a jump start on all the New Year's Resolutions that are going to start popping up everywhere. It's been heavy on my mind and I need to make some changes. They say that if you're serious for a life change, a few things have to be included.
1. It has to be something you're passionate about. Something you're willing to sacrifice for and not give up easily.
2. You have to be willing to create time and space around the things you want, especially if they are going to involve some serious habit or mindset shifts.
3. The specific things must be measurable. Otherwise, how else would you know if you are making progress?
4. You have to act on commitments and not feelings. So even when you don't feel like doing it or the "muse" is not speaking to you, you have to show up anyway.
And a Bonus one: You have to be SO TIRED of the way things are, you are willing to do whatever you need to change them. That saying that says, you can't keep doing the same things and expect something different to happen. I've realized that "things" aren't going to magically happen. And no one else will bring my dreams to reality... that's on me. And... I ain't getting any younger!
So guess what...
Don't be mad... but I've just dubbed thee, my accountability team. My accountability partners!
No really, your input and advice... and even admonishing will be valuable. In some cases, I'm convinced that I will not achieve these goals without outside assistance. They say it's all about who you know, right? Sometimes it just takes. getting in contact with one person and doors just start opening. Plus another group of "theys" say "it never hurts to ask."
Plus... miracles happen when people pray for each other.
So here goes... I'm laying it all on the line...
Goal Number One: Travel
This year I want to do the 1776 Tour. New York or Bust!! I've been putting it off and putting it off, but I suppose it's finally time to head up to the northeast corner of our country. I've never been to New York. (I've been avoiding it- not a big fan of all the packed streets and sidewalks) But it's still a place I need to check off my Bucket List- plus, I am anxious to visit all the surrounding states. There is SO MUCH HISTORY that I am dying to see up close and personal. I think this needs to be that year. MO, IL, IN, MI, OH, PA, NY, NH, ME, MA, RI, DE, MD, VA, WV, VA, ,NC, and winter in SC.
So... I am basically starting at ground zero; tebula rasa. I do have my truck, but I no longer have a camper of any kind... so... yeah... but I have every faith that this trip will happen! Just think of all the amazing photos and stories I'll have to share!
And speaking of stories...
Goal Number Two: A New Book
This one has back story. I owe you all a new work of fiction... I realize I am now four years over due. Believe me, it hurts me more than it hurts you. I have so many stories that are swarming in my head, but my heart just hadn't been in it. I could not push through all the mindset issues, and heart break that was invading my space to get behind the computer. That takes self healing and I believe I am on the other side.
I did, however, have the best time writing out all of the postcards to those who participated last year on my Oregon Trail trip. So what if... I created a story, in the form of letters... and a new, either set of letters or a letter and some additional material get sent out twice a month. The letters will accumulate into a completed book by the end of the year. It would be under a subscription model, but you'd get an actual physical copy when the series is completed.
I'd start with one storyline, but... I have so many story ideas rattling around in my head! And, of course, I will begin with the Oregon Trail series... how fun would that be to get letters from the characters on the Oregon Trail!! And then... because it's me... there will be other surprises along the way to make it more than just a book... more than just a story... it will be an experience!!
As with everything I'm working on, I don't have all the details figured out... but I believe the funk that has been stopping me has been successfully locked up and the key has been tossed away. We both deserve a good year of story...
Goal Number Three: The Kindness Challenge
That funk that I mentioned has also interfered with my annual Kindness Challenge. In 2023, I'd like it to be the actual challenge I've always dreamed it could be. I've been working on it for so long and I'm done putting it to the side. This year, in June, it's going to be the BEST Kindness Challenge EVER!
This is where I'll need some help. One of the things I'd like to do is create some small handmade items (I'm thinking bookmarks) and leave them around for people to find. Along with each item will be the FB page specific for the challenge that people can send in a picture of where they found their gift. I need people from across the country to "drop" these little goodies in various locations around where they live. Parks, coffee shops, hospital waiting rooms, grocery store shelves, libraries... where ever!! I'd love to see how far and wide we can get these little gifts. So my ask here is... if I send you these gifts, would you be willing to pass them out to sneaky locations while you're out and about doing your daily outings... nothing extra.
And also, I'd like to be able to offer some... workshops? Meaningful "classes" that could help people in ways to be happier, love more, feel more gratitude... all the Leading with Love things! I'm looking for people who would want to host these short workshops. I'll need at least 4 more... so if you know of someone who has written a book, works with people or kids, has a course they need to promote... or maybe it's you!! I'd love to know about it.
(This requires me to figure out video... Yes, I'm gonna be uncomfortable, but it's going to be worth it!)
I'll probably be posting some sign up things in April to start firming up names and places.
Goal Number Four- Meet and Greets
I have been in a funk for too long. Hiding out and playing small. In my travels, I would love to reach out and meet you! I'm hoping to be able to do some book signings or some podcast conventions along the way, so keep your ears open for when I'm in your neck of the woods!
But the meet and greet I'm most excited for are Bag of Bones Podcast LIVE! I have to figure out the tech side of things and work out some collaborations, since I'm going to some of these historic places, what if we turned it into a party?!?! You could come and hang out with me as I'm recording and episodes and you can ask questions and we can interview the experts... how fun would that be??? Still plenty of history, still out traveling, but... extra!
Why have an "ordinary" podcast when you can add a little "extra" to make it...
There's still a lot of work that needs to be done to even get me pointed in the right direction, but I think this post stands as my "letter of intention" to me... well, and I guess to you too! Lol
It feels like I've been a bit lost lately succumbing to the waves around me, forgetting that I know how to paddle and that God is there to grab my hand, if I choose to reach out. I don't know how I keep forgetting that part of things. He is my lifeline. He wants me to be healed and driven to meet my purpose. I tend to lose site of that too often.
This year... things must change. Life is too short to depend on others for my own happiness. It doesn't work like that. This is my letter of intention and purpose.
2023...here I come.
A Change in Direction
The Travel Life Calls...
There's something about having to face your humanness that is very defeating. Not that I thought I was superhuman, by any means, but... stronger perhaps than others my age? Or so I liked to tell myself. Turns out I am just as human as the other fifty somethings and now a bit more fragile.
Because of the broken ribs, I've had to get my fair share of xrays over the last couple months. They have revealed more than two broken ribs. I am not one that seeks out the medical professionals at all if I can help it, so I honestly had no idea what was happening underneath my skin and I liked it that way.
Now don't be upset with me if I don't lay out all the dirty secrets here at your feet, but it should be enough to say that the doctors have discovered I have advanced scoliosis and my neck is... uh... crumbling away. They flat out told me things were going to have to change. My body was breaking down faster than it should. They said they doubt I can go on doing the things I've been doing any more and I would have to start treating my body a bit more tenderly.
I took this information and internalized it. I cried for a bit. I followed the doctor's orders and was a good, well-behaved patient.
I tried to envision the kind of life that he said was in front of me.
And then I thought... if this is really it... if these are the parameters of my future, I'd rather be happy than waiting for something to happen. What would make me happy? Being with my children, was my first thought. Since it's not fair for my children to have their adult mother sit on their doorsteps and interfere with their lives and be under their feet all the time... I had to think what ELSE would make me happy? That's easy...
Traveling. Camping. Revisiting History.
With my children's blessing- because they don't want me under their feet either, I decided to make that option happen... not sure how, but I'm going after it.
Right at this juncture, without all the sappy backstory, I literally have nothing. No home, no camper, no job, what few items I do have are sitting in a storage shed in southern Missouri. I have a truck. An ornery black cat and my lap top. I'm not in a wheel chair yet, and have no intention of going down that road until there are no more options.
I must shift my thinking. I must find a way to get back out on the road again.
This is the longest way around to have to tell you that A Touch of Spice will not be coming out December 2. Even if I finished the last word today, it couldn't get published in time. It's a Christmas story... and I want to keep it a Christmas story, which means it won't be able to be released until NEXT December. (It really is going to be a cute story and worth the wait, I promise.)
I opened up the History Revisited Group on Facebook again which I re-named Ginger Life Travel and was honestly a bit overwhelmed with the graciousness and amount of support that was extended to me. I felt so loved.
I really have no plan, but the group gives me hope. And... permission. Permission to be happy so long as I agree that they can accompany me on the journey via FB. And, I really am sorry the book isn't coming out this year. (It's been a really hard year, okay?) But I believe in order to be able to hear God's whisper,
He had to take away all the distractions and people that were in the way of me hearing my instructions.
He may tell me that I can't travel for long, and I need to be okay with that.
Also... and I guess this would be the "good news" there's nothing like getting a diagnosis that says you may not live as long as you thought to get your fired up about what legacy you are leaving behind. I have a LOT of stories I want ... NEED to tell. I guess I'd better get on it.
It's true, we don't know how long we have, but when someone comes along and so rudely tells you that you're not going to live forever... it changes the way you think about things.
Suddenly you don't want to waste time on people who don't deserve you. You don't want to waste time doing things you don't love. You don't want to waste a single moment not making sure those you love, never doubt it for a second. And... you think about the mark you will leave on the world. What will people say about me after I'm gone? I'd better make sure I have a good turnout while I still have some time.
My change in direction is... I am NOT going to "take it easy" and wait for my body to disintegrate. I'm going to go out and chase life. Meet new people. Tell others what I see in my travels and what I learn along the way. And I'm going to write. Write. and Write and Write!
So I am sorry you may have to wait just a bit longer for the next book... but not THAT much longer, I promise.