Thursday, July 19, 2012

Days of Learning, Days of Growing

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

This past couples of weeks has been interesting. Have you ever had a time in your life when you seem to have gone back to school, but you don’t go to class? It’s as if everywhere you go, everything you encounter are lessons of one form or another.

What do you do with the experience of meeting a person casually who begins telling you their life story at that moment, for seemingly no other reason than because you happen to stand next to them? And what do you do when something in what they say “clicks” in your head audibly, telling you that this bit of information, this insight is something that must be remembered?

Here’s another example. I’ve been concentrating on several small projects lately aside from the blogs and website. I send out at least two, sometimes three, submissions each week; poetry at least once and fiction. I’m putting together a growing list of submission markets for both genres.

My biggest project at present is my book of poetry “The Moon Sees All.” It’s out with my beta readers. It’s being poked, prodded, and evaluated for necessary/suggested changes to make it absolutely irresistible to publishers. That’s an enormous step for me.

My rejection rate is decreasing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’d just like to know the reason. In the meantime, I’ll accept this change and the blessing.

Life seems more settled for me in many ways right now. I actively write less, but produce better, given the acceptances lately. I don’t feel harried any longer, which is another blessing. On top of all that, these tiny lessons in changing my thoughts, attitudes, aspirations, etc. have begun bearing fruit in small but effective ways.

Perhaps, in the end, that’s really the take-away for life. Small changes—choosing to spend the day enjoying the outdoors and appreciating those natural gifts we can only experience where they live—repay us with fresher minds and hearts. Our spirits are rejuvenated because we focused on something outside ourselves for a while.

Doing the dishes allows for quiet thinking time. It isn’t the task that’s so important, it’s the time you spend with yourself, considering and pondering those caches of thoughts tucked away in mental closets that you’ve not had time for lately. Mundane chores, while necessary to a tidy household, are also opportunities to review, renew, and reconnect with that piece of yourself that you’ve neglected.

At least, that’s what I’ve concluded. For instance, a few weeks back I showed everyone my office area and how bad it was in the disorder department.  I’m about to get radical with it. I’m clearing out those things that don’t grow corn for me anymore.

About half of the items occupying my space will be eliminated in the next few weeks. I am simplifying my life, my work, and my intentions. The goals remain the same. It’s the approach that needs a clean sweep.

And there you have it. Part of my studying has led me here. The rest comes from lessons encountered willy-nilly in unexpected places.

Things should get really interesting before long. I’m looking forward to it.

Now, let me ask you again. Have you been given surprising lessons lately? Leave a comment and tell me about them. We all have them. It’s whether we recognize their delivery or not.

Until later,



  1. Surprising lesson for me:Less is More but only if I actually do the less instead of perusing and partaking in every poetry prompt instead of editing WIP.

  2. That's an excellent lesson, too, in so many ways. And I know the frustration involved in stopping the perusal and fishing mode. It's always so much easier seeing the potential in another prompt, another market, etc. than it is to actually sit butt in chair and create that item of potential.

    Good one. So glad you added it to the list.