I was walking to work this morning and I took a quick look at my WordPress app and quickly realized that it’s been two weeks already since my last post…eesh. I admit, I started to panic for a second as I normally do, you may already know this about me but I am a very anxiety driven writer. I get anxious when I write and I get even more anxious when I don’t, the in between is when all the words just happen to show up on my screen.
Alright, now that I have something on my screen along with your attention, let’s get to the point shall we? Occasionally, when I surf the internet or sometimes while I sit back scrolling through the blogs that I follow, I see the odd “word prompt” post. A single word, or even phrase for that matter, which is intended to inspire and engage the reader enough, to potentially get them to react and start writing themselves. I myself have tried to use this technique, I’ve found that when it comes to writing, it’s important to be open to trying new things. Sadly, in my case, I tend to overthink the word too much until the moments passes, then to me it’s too late. But, that was then, this is now, I’m going to give word prompts a shot and see what happens. I can’t say I haven’t thought about this before but whatever, I’m doing it now, I’m embracing the moment.
So my friends, like the title states, I’ll be prompt, I really just wanted to take a sec and let you all in on my little experiment. If it works out, I may even make it a recurring thing.
Oh, and just before I go, if there’s something that I post that strikes you a certain way or it’s a entry that you can relate to, go ahead take a little bit of inspiration with you and try it yourself.
That’s it for me, stay tuned….Word!!!
OK, 2018 is well on it’s way, we’re almost through January so I have to ask, how’s the New Year’s resolutions going? I thought about the old annual bid for betterment a few days ago while at the gym. Midway through a set I wondered how many people were there at that very moment because they are staying true to their resolutions. My cousin Ryan, who’s also my long-time gym buddy, have probably asked that same question to each other every single year since we ourselves started going about ten years ago. Each January, we’d see hordes of fresh faces that we had never seen before show up looking confused, a little out of place but ultimately ready and willing to start their journey toward a more active lifestyle.
It’s great seeing those people come through the gym doors for the first time (or starting back up), good for them, it’s about time they took charge and start taking care of themselves. It’s true, I do get excited when people tell me that they have gotten themselves a gym membership or have made their fitness a priority again, it’s motivating. Being the resident gym nut at work, people always share their fitness goals and woes with me. The stories including high-fives and way-to-go’s, I can listen to all day. It’s the stories of “life is just too crazy right now” or “I’ll start Monday” that reminds me how looking after yourself can easily stops being important.
Take me for instance, back in the fall I was struck with chronic neck pain, not sure exactly what it was, I honestly think it was stress, whatever it was, it took me out of the game. I have had aches and pains before, but this neck thing was quite possibly the worst I had experienced in my life…it sucked. Being the religious gym-goer that I am, agony like that almost made me turn my back on ever being 100% again, I was starting to think this was a lifer. I have a whole new respect for people who suffer from chronic pain, it’s not easy to live with for sure. Soon, I was scaling back my gym routine, not going as often, and I started to become OK with the littlest of excuses not to go workout. Ryan’s a new dad and a great dad at that, so understandably he had to cancel on me from time to time, when he did, I forfeited to the couch and was again, fine with that. It played with my head because I knew what I was doing and did nothing to curve it. For the first time in my life I was falling into the deep dark abyss of becoming lazy and giving up.
Finally, just after the holidays I had a moment, somehow I had finally awoken something inside me. I smartened up and told myself “Come on Ash, this is not you, not you at all”. So, once the new year rolled in I made myself a promise, you can call it a New Year’s resolution, call it what you want but something was about to change. Damned if I was going to let a little neck pain (it wasn’t little, “dramatic effect”), I wasn’t going to let any more excuses get in the way of getting better and get in the way of something that’s very important to me which is my health and working out. Fast forward to now, I am happy to report that Ryan and I are on week three of an eight week program, take that neck pain.
My faithful readers, there lies my point. Never let yourself become idle, never allow yourself to give up, sure life throws a lot at you but if you don’t take care of yourself then you might not be around to enjoy it. Yes, work is crazy, I agree juggling kids can be impossible, and there doesn’t seem to be enough time, I get it, I really do, but listen, where do you fit into all of this? You too deserve a little time for yourself to enjoy the things that for some reason has fallen to the wayside. The gym is my thing, but take this example and apply it to what you have lost along the way or have given up on. Giving up is easy, oh, and if you need something like a New Year’s resolution to do it then by all means, go for it, but let’s take it up a notch and make it one better, let’s all go ahead and make it a life resolution.
Well now, would you look at that, it seems I have made it to another blogging milestone. Got a shiny new badge telling me that Earth to Ash has reached 100 posts, I know it’s probably only a drop in the bucket for many, but for me it comes as quite the accomplishment. That’s a lot of time, a lot of creativity, and a lot of me. Just about two years ago or so, I was tossing around the idea of a creating this blog and here I am 100 posts deep into this journey of mine…crazy. The thoughts, feelings, and reactions that I would normally just keep in my journal, were now for the world to read and I am so glad that I held my nose and jumped right in.
Once I received the 100 post milestone I took a look back at some of my older entries, the good, the bad, and the ugly, it was fun seeing the evolution of Earth to Ash from way back to its birth to what it is today. I am still very much green to this process but I’m learning each time I hit publish. I’m am fortunate to have met some great bloggers out there who I appreciate as fellow writers and more importantly as friends. There is a huge sense of community here on WordPress and I have to give a shout out to those who have helped me along the way. Thanks again for sharing your appreciation for my writing and thanks for the guidance and support that you have given me up to this point and hopefully beyond. I want to also thank all the rest, the non-bloggers, the silent passer-by’s who read my stuff on a regular basis, thank you for your readership and for coming back post after post.
OK, so I promised myself I wouldn’t rabble on with this entry, I just wanted to take a sec and acknowledge reaching a goal such as this. I intend on knocking out a few more goals this year in 2018, not only with my writing, but also with my life in general, I’m excited to see what’s on the horizon. The evolution of Earth to Ash is still in its infancy, so who knows where things will go next but when it comes to achieving goals, just remember that it’s not where you have been but rather it’s where you’re going.
Oh hi, remember me? Yeah, I know…it’s been awhile. I had to pretty much force myself to take some time and write, I’ve coined it “force-writing”. I was hoping the Christmas season would bring me more material that I could keep up with, especially how reminiscent I tend to be, but it just wasn’t the case. Though, there were a few times while relaxing with a festive drink in hand and wearing my ugly sweater, I would get all inspired only to switch gears and start googling Christmas movies. I can admit now that I got caught in a bit of a holiday funk and each time I felt prompted to write, I allowed myself to get easily distracted. So, now that we are about to be heaved into a new year, there’s no better time to kick things off and get back on track.
I hope all of you have enjoyed a great holiday season along with a wonderful new year, safe, sound, and with the people you love. All the parking lot tetris, long line-up grief, and that grinchy scowl you received when both those carts wouldn’t clear that aisle are all but distant memories. Christmas is a wrap! (see what I did there) Another holiday season a success, and before you can enjoy that for a second, it’s January 1, 2018, a new year…now what?
Well, now we all get to slowly start moving back toward our regular lives, back to the old routine, shoot me now. But, before we do, New Year’s gives us that last bit of holiday vacation bliss and also the perfect opportunity to reflect. The good, the bad, the happy, and the sad too, all 2017 in account while we set or sights on 2018. Oh yeah, you also get one last chance to stay in your pj’s all day.
I am going to consider this post another successful “force write” session, seems like the juices are flowing again, the Christmas block has passed, your patience very appreciated. With this momentum, I intend to make 2018 a big year for Earth to Ash, I had a huge 2016. I would have never expected this blog to be where it’s at today, so far, so fast, thanks again for being a big part of it.
I received a text from my father a couple of weeks ago, you may be thinking, yeah…so what? Well, the “what” is the fact that I have not spoken to this man in more than twenty two years, we had a falling out a very long time ago. There’s more to that story but I won’t get into that now as it is of a private nature. What I would like to talk about is the fallout that ensues when family or friends choose not continue their relationships with another. No matter what the reason may be and no matter what the dynamic, losing that connection with someone can be hard and this time of year it can be really hard.
You know, I have tried on many occasions to fix things with my father, each effort took a piece of me, especially around the holidays. As I got older and with each passing year, I was able to put things in a better perspective. I had grown up and now I was able to see things differently and quite frankly, I was fed up with being hurt. So about fifteen years ago, at Christmas, I made one last ditch effort and wrote a letter. It was a peace offering, an olive branch as it were, it was do or die for our relationship and I was prepared either way.
Well, a few days into the holidays, unfortunately, my letter was met with the response that I was expecting all along and at that very moment I didn’t feel sad, I actually felt free. Something inside me was lifted off my shoulders, no more did I allow the chains of hurt drag me down any longer. Christmas from then on would never again have an asterisk by it, yes it was indeed another year without a father, but it was also another year surrounded by so many others that were there and have been from the start. That experience really opened my eyes and certainly my heart to all that unconditional love that was already right there in front of me though I was too consumed by what was not.
I guess what I’m trying say, is that at Christmas, we can all get a little sentimental as we take stock of where we are in our lives. Personal inventory of who we love, who we miss, and who we’ve lost along the way. Time is precious and there’s no way to go back and change things like we would want to, therefore, we have to take advantage the time we do have. Turns out that text from my father was just him reaching out for something that he needed and not some “oh my god, it’s my dad” moment, so I completely ignored his request and as I mentioned above I just moved on.
In closing, I hope that after you read this post, you will take the time to reach out to those who you love or miss loving. Maybe someone you’ve lost contact with, an old colleague you keep changing plans with, or more importantly, that special someone, to tell them that their somebody who really matters to you. Mend those old fences, fix it if it’s broken or simply just go ahead and tell those in your life that they are loved. It may be fact that Christmas comes but only once a year, just realize though, your love can go on forever…
Now go hug somebody will ya?
I had a conversation yesterday with a colleague of mine and we were discussing Christmas traditions and the role they play in making the holidays special. As per Google, “Traditions” are the transmission of customs or beliefs passed down from generation to generation. Like me I’m sure, most of you are familiar with these annual festive rituals, and also like me, they most likely started when you were a kid. It’s something each year, that has to absolutely happen in order for you to say it was a Merry Christmas. They become more and more necessary, helping recreate those nostalgic feelings that we’ve all become so attached to. One example of that is being home for Christmas, there’s something about being home for the holidays. The memories of being home with your family and friends are memories that will last for the rest of you life.
My grandparents passed away some time ago and I used to have a hard time with the fact that Christmas would now become different. So different that I felt like the holidays would never have the same feeling anymore, like I would never be as happy. The tradition of going home and spending time with the family at my grandparents’ house, my house, where I was raised would become just a memory. Forced to turn the page on that chapter of my life and say goodbye to something that was so dear to my heart was very hard for me. The house was sold, family slowly drifted apart and we all began to move on. Yeah, for many years following I struggled, holding some resentment that the nucleus of the family were no longer the highlight of such a celebrated time of year. It made me mad, upset for sure, but mostly, it left me with a void that I felt would never be filled again…until.
Until one time, a Christmas or two ago, I was sitting around reminiscing, and dwelling on what was missing. Then something spoke to me, even to this day I say it was my grandmother herself. Like a real life scrooge moment, I heard her gentle voice, her soft whisper fell upon my ears, she told me that it was not like me to be feeling the way that I was. She knew me better than anyone else on this planet and she was upset that I gotten lost in the past, mad that I was being so stubborn. “Enough of that” she said, and just as she had for my entire life she consoled me with her words… “Places don’t make memories Ash, people do”.
After that, I started to look at this time of year differently. It made me understand that thinking that way was only hurting me, and ultimately hurting the people around me. Sometimes we have to leave the people we care for behind, sometimes people we care for have to leave us, but what we have to remember is that our heart is a very big place. It’s big enough to hold as much love as you can imagine, and extra big during the holidays. Christmas is not about what you don’t have, but it’s more of what you do have. Take those traditions of the past and share them with your present, there may be a chair or two empty at the dining room table but no matter what you’ll always have plenty of room in your heart.