10 things grateful, plus adios #AtoZ! 🦚

stormtrooper anniversary may 5 fiesta moterrey monroe

Man – I’m glad the #AtoZChallenge is over.

It’s fun. It’s just … extra. I love going to other blogs I’d not normally see. But the engagement is wonky, and I miss conversing with the regulars here. And visiting their blogs. And having time to post on social media and find your links there, too.

When you’re in the challenge, man, it feels like you’re kind of a narcissist.

Not to mention what it does to your non-blog life. I struggled to keep up, and sacrificed progress toward other deadlines. And sleep. Not snacks. I found time for snacks. But the rest of life was kind of a blur. Next time I do this, I’ll work ahead.

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#AtoZChallenge | Z is for zigzag 📩

stormtrooper shells 2019 getaway neptune beach

Some days zig when you think they’ll zag.

AtoZ2019ZTuesday was such a day. If you’d told me I’d cry some of my happiest and saddest tears in the same day – some in the same hour – I’d have, well, been eager to see how. I’d have never guessed. It began with a soccer match, on a senior day.

It ended with tears in silence as I learned all I could about a shooting at my alma mater.

In between, the day’s events intertwined and intersected. This is what I meant by my Y post yesterday. Time spent away from writing is time spent creating the writing through living. I can’t say it was a bad day and I can’t say it was a good one, either.

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#AtoZChallenge | Y is for yippee! 👩‍🎨

stormtrooper ewok 2017 cleanup kitchen

Yippee!

AtoZ2019YWe’re almost to the end of the #AtoZChallenge. Actually, the rest of the world has finished. They’re in the clubhouse. I’m still putzing around out here. Makes me nostalgic for yesteryear, when a guy like me was able to finish a challenge like this on time.

It’s not apathy – I still have this yearning to write, every day.

It’s the time that lacks, the need to yield to life in other ways. I want to keep learning about writing, about words. I also want to learn to talk like an auctioneer. This is a true story. I ask my kids if they’d rather I spoke like an auctioneer or learned to yodel.

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🈁 #AtoZChallenge | X is for Xs inside of words but not to start words (and this is for Weekend Reads VI which can be read on a Wednesday)

stormtrooper christmas 2018 holidays home

A friend and former Muzak client would look at that headline and say, “okay … let’s unpack this.”

I’m behind in the #AtoZChallenge. I’m in the midst of searching for the file at work that I’m not sure of what I’m looking for. I have a senior night game to prep for, for which the other team has only eight players – and I’m trying to channel my inner Mother Teresa.

(So I don’t put 11 on the field and smoke them anyway.)

And the X in the challenge was supposed to fall on a Saturday which was like weeks ago. And it’s tough enough to find words that start with X. How about words in a pre-harvested list of great posts to share? I was lucky to find Xs in the words!

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#AtoZChallenge | W is for What Remains (#gratitudeandshit)

stormtrooper bunny easter jubes home

These pockets of in-overbookedness don’t happen often.

AtoZ2019WRather than get a jumpstart on 53 things that needed jump-starting, I didn’t jump. And I sure as hell didn’t start. Not right away. A day brimming with a promise to put me ahead in everything where I was behind curtained sharply into a back-to-the-pillow nosedive.

The car got washed, the chicken, cooked (not grilled.)

And it’s 1:21 on Sunday morning, sleep time for another day of possibility, but I’m instead forging ahead to maybe close at least one gap – this A to Z Challenge. W, X, Y, and Z remain. One day remains in this weekend.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Virtually anything

stormtrooper shells 0419 getaway jacksonville beach

It’s going to be tough to claim victory in this one.

AtoZ2019VI’m days behind, trying in vain to catch up for the A to Z challenge. I wanted to write about vulnerability today, harkening back to some meditation fog observation I’d made about stepping in from the vestibule of life and really opening yourself up.

Me preaching the virtues of vulnerability would be like me spelling out the benefits of Valerian Root for menopausal symptoms.

I haven’t ventured out of the vortex of my comfort zone like that in ages. I’d be a villain to write that post. I wrote about valentine’s day once, the day after valentine’s day. This wasn’t long after Madison decided not to play for the Converse College Valkyries.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for using up all your subs (Go Ask Daddy)

stormtrooper milkglass 2018 pretty antique store

I can’t help it.

AtoZ2019U (1)When the kids say something about subs at a soccer match, my mind goes to steak and cheese. Or turkey and avocado. It’s just how it is and I can’t change it. But the distraction is mostly temporary.

When I sub a kid into a game, it gives us a bit of a forum to talk that we don’t normally get.

You’re my mom’s favorite coach, but not my dad’s one girl told me. A new player told me how nervous she was to get in. Hayden didn’t spend a lot of time there, but as she waited to go back in after getting her first yellow card, we both tried not to snicker too loud.

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Three Hundred Writing Prompts (Guilt)

stormtrooper love 2018 opp antique store

Way up here, there’s no Wi-Fi.

AtoZ2019TWhich is good. That means I can’t check email or get lost on Instagram. Again. It means it’s a good idea, while I’m on this flight, for me to have packed a couple of books loaded with writing prompts on my way to San Jose.

I got a little help from the girl next to me on the plane – after we’d sufficiently gushed over how incredible the cookies they give out are (I even scored three extra packs from the flight attendant – and folded up an origami peacock in appreciation).

My seatmate chose two prompts for me to write on from the book 300 Writing Prompts (Piccadilly 2017):

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Superpowers (a guest post from Cindy of Simple Steps)

stormtrooper potpourri 2017 soccer wilmington

I read so much these days.

AtoZ2019SI’ve migrated from Elephant Journal and Thought Catalog to Medium and Success Magazine. Plus, lots of blogs. So many blogs. Especially during the #AtoZchallenge. To write on the challenge and not read is like ordering caffeine-free Coke Zero.

On purpose.

All this reading can lead a writer to other writers. That’s how I found today’s guest poster, Cindy. Cindy writes the blog Simple Steps for Living Life. Learn to save time, money and sanity on her site. Good gravy, I could use to conserve a little of all three.

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#AtoZChallenge | R is for Ruining our lives, but also rules for divine timing and happier parenting (Weekend Reads VI)

stormtrooper firecat 2017 fiercesness the kitchen

Two pervasive thoughts dominate my brain usually.

AtoZ2019RI don’t have time for all this! But also, I’ve been given 24 hours to figure out how to do it all – that’s a lot of time! (I also think about Michelle Gingras, Stonehenge, and Havarti cheese, but that’s for another post.)

What’s left in the middle is that time is time, there’s no time like the present, you can’t make new time, and it’s time to go. Also, I might not have time to finish this post until tonight, which is sorta like getting to the fair 10 minutes before it packs up and hits the road.

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