It is OK to celebrate small victories

It is OK to celebrate small victories

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I have made some progress in my kitchen and in my health.  These are things that are important to me right now.  I am getting my environment ready to write a book.  I am preparing myself to be healthier when I write.  So tonight I plan to sit back with a nice glass of wine for a mini celebration of my progress.

The trick is to keep going.  A small celebration is OK, but it doesn’t mean I am done working on my projects.  Far from it.  The old me would have stopped, because I got something accomplished.  The new me that wants a more productive life, wants to finish it all. So I am taking a break.  Having a treat, and then getting some prep work done for lunches this week.

It looked like I missed throwing out expired bottles of salad dressing and the like last year.  That makes sense, as a year ago I was under medical restrictions concerning movement.  I was fighting a knee infection, and not able to move around as much as I like to. It was a scary experience, being told to stay as still as possible to prevent spreading the infection, and it was hard to comply.  Yet here I am, working on a deep cleaning project of my house, a year later.

I am back to normal (as close as I get, anyway) and focused.  My end goal is a book.  Then another.  It will take three to write a trilogy.  However, if I didn’t start with my cleaning projects first, they may never get done.  That’s not OK.  I have to be healthy to be productive, inside and out.  So I am not procrastinating about writing, not at all.  I am being realistic.  If I don’t make myself do this first, it won’t get done.  I know myself.  I will get sucked in to my imagination, and not come up for air for days.  Maybe weeks or even months.  The point is, I am doing it.  Working on my home, and working on making myself healthier also.

It is hard to sit at my desk, and not work on the immediate area.  I am creative, and would rather make a mess than clean it up.  I have to focus on the kitchen now, and another project will be my living room/office cleaning.  As my husband and I generally do work on the living room together, I will have help in that room.  Which is good.  I am not living here by myself.  I sent my husband out for groceries while I got ready to tackle the fridge.  I wish I could say I was ready when he got home, but I was in the middle of it.  So he put the freezer things away, and helped a little here and there.  He made me a kaiser roll with ham and swiss.  A regular roll is not on my plan, but sometimes if someone offers to make you something to eat, you have what is offered.

Another reason I do not want to start working on the living room/office right now is that I won’t finish either room.  I get distracted easily, and if I am working on multiple projects simultaneously, chances are one won’t be completed, maybe more than one.  So I have my reasons for working on things in order.  Once the whole house is clean, then I will begin a maintenance routine, something quick and efficient.

In terms of my health, the scale was nice this morning.  I am working harder to stay on plan, so I can start losing weight.  It is so much easier to be lazy about everything.  Last year I decided that what I was doing then was not working, and I decided it was  time to make some changes.  Trim Healthy Mama was in an ad on facebook one day, and I thought it was worth a shot.  I am still working on it, and have lost weight.  If I stick to it, it works, and I do try.  This year I am trying harder, and this will show me more results.

My snack for my celebration will include cheese, turkey pepperoni, some pickles, and that glass of wine.  I have a bottle that has been open a little too long, so I am going to have a glass from it.  Then I will have to go back to the kitchen.  I am not going to finish tonight.  I am going to finish up some dishes, and find some order in the chaos that happens when I clean.  Things move to where they are not in the way until I find a place to put them to stay.  And when I go to bed tonight, I will have a restful sleep after such a productive day.

As long as I continue working on my projects, I can have little celebrations along the way.  And chocolate.  85% cocoa chocolate IS on plan, and something I am also happy about!  Celebrate the little successes along the way, and keep going.  Whatever you are working on, do it.  It will be a giant snowball of positivity when you finish, and when you are on a roll, it’s easier to keep going than to stop.

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I wish I had gherkin pickles.  Oh well, another grocery run in 2 weeks will fix that for me!

I made my husband look at the completed fridge.  Hearing him say, “Nice!” as he looked at the way I have organized our food was validation.  I did a good job.

A Kind Word Goes A Long Way

Give yourself a little Grace

Give yourself a little Grace

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Copyright ©2017 Tish MacWebber

All rights reserved

Grace has its place

in my everyday life

I need it because

it grants a respite

If you allow

yourself some grace

it lets you be human

in the daily race

for perfection

The unobtainable goal

can taint you

deep inside your soul

By letting a little

grace in your life

It removes the guilt

that causes you strife

Stop looking up

at the bar over your head

Grab on and pull

look over the top instead

Take that dose of reality

and swallow it down

Learn how to float

rather than drown

Take a break; catch your breath

it will  be okay

Don’t worry yourself to death

tomorrow is a new day.

 

It was dark when I got up before…

It was dark when I got up before…

it-was-dark-when-i-got-up-before

…and made my way to my desk.  As a writer, you learn very quickly that when you wake up in the middle of the night and an idea is floating around in your head, it is best to write it down somewhere before it drifts off into the darkness.  It can take many forms, a dream, a nightmare, a whisper in your ear, and sometimes it could be a word or a sentence forming a complete thought.

I have learned, through my songwriting, that an idea MUST be written down the minute it happens, because the second you forget it, there is no rewind button to find it again.  So I had an idea in the middle of the night, and I came into the living room to write it down.  I have a lamp at my desk, and it is easy enough to do.  I find I sleep better after I write it down, as it won’t be lost when I need to work on it.  This is also true because I don’t fall asleep trying to memorize what I don’t want to forget.

Sometimes a good dream can make an incredible story, or a joke.  For example, I shared this story in October before I had this blog set up, before I had even thought of starting it.

So this morning, my husband tells me a story that woke me up and made me laugh. It was about a lizard named Guano. Apparently, this lizard was bad news. He said he lit granny’s chair on fire, and she was still sitting in it, and he didn’t know whose grandmother it was. Then he commented to a guy; as he saw it looking at him with one of its googly eyes as it was riding down the street on a Harley, that he didn’t know lizards drank Jack Daniels. The guy replied, ” Happens in Montreal all the time.” (We don’t live in Montreal).  Finally, he then asked why the lizard is named Guano, because he obviously is not an Iguana. The guy answered with…wait for it…”We call him Guano because he’s bat shit crazy, man!” And that, folks, is why you should write down your dreams, because sometimes, there is a good story in there, or in this case, a great punch line! It was my husband’s dream, and it was very entertaining!

If I hadn’t written it down the same day it happened, it would have been lost.  A story like that is begging to be shared.  So,  when I have an idea at work, I e-mail it to my personal  e-mail at home, to be waiting for me.  When I have an idea in the middle of the night, I make my way to a pen and paper and write it down.  It is where the song Lucky came from.  We woke up in the middle of the night to a beeping noise.  The battery on our smoke detector was losing its juice, so it started beeping at us to change it.  In the middle of the night, of course.  The first line of the song started in my head, and within a few minutes, I had written the whole song.

If you are a creative person, or if you have a problem in your life that you just can’t figure out, I have two pieces of advice for you:

1) Sleep on it.

2) When an idea strikes, no matter where it comes from, write it down!

You will thank yourself for following these two simple steps, I guarantee it!

The Story of Tish MacWebber

The Story of Tish MacWebber

Once upon a time a man was introduced to his granddaughter, Patricia MacLellan.  When he met her, he called her Tish.  It stuck.  Tish MacLellan grew up in Cape Breton, in a house that used to be a church, on the world famous Cabot Trail.  She spent her summers at local beaches and at a place she calls The Cabin.  She learned to swim, and spent a lot of time rock hopping along the shores and coastlines of Cape Breton Island.  She had a wild imagination, and dreamed of owning a horse someday.  She still has her walkman with the best mixed tape ever, and it still works, even after putting all of those years and miles on it.

She loved to read, and began writing.  Creative writing is one of many hobbies that she spent her spare time on.  She kept a diary and when she got older, she called it a journal.  She enjoyed cross stitching and embroidery.  She learned to knit and to crochet.  In high school, she wrote her first song.

Her love for animals made her decide to take a pre-vet program at NSAC.  She was ill during her first year, and this delayed her completion of her B.Sc in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science.  While studying at NSAC, she met her future husband, Roy Webber.  They dated, fell madly in love, and made it official with a wedding.  The same day they got married, there was a hurricane.  It was all very memorable, and all who attended the celebration of their marriage had a wonderful time, despite the weather.

Before the wedding happened, Tish was thinking about the name she wanted after she married Roy.  She thought it would be a fun thing to create a new last name, and they could both become the first MacWebber Clan.  Roy did not agree to this idea, and did not want to make any changes to his last name.  Not even when Tish told him that she would create a brand new tartan for the new name.  Tish decided to go the traditional route and take his last name, and legally became Patricia Webber.  It didn’t take her long to adapt to her new name.

They moved around the Maritimes so much, that Roy’s family joked about them being gypsies.  After living all over Nova Scotia, they moved to New Brunswick, shortly after a brief time living in Prince Edward Island.  In Fredericton, New Brunswick,  they made new friends, had roommates, and eventually bought their own mini home.  They had cats constantly as pets for many years.  After living in apartments for the majority of the years they were together, Tish decided that it was time, now that they have a home of their own, to get a dog.  She  looks forward to that.  She still has no horse of her own, yet, the baby barn is not quite big enough for a horse.

When Tish decided one day that it was time to take a chance and share her songwriting with the world, she thought about creating a blog.  Little did she know that it would build itself into a bigger project than she had imagined.  She had also always wanted to write a fantasy trilogy, being a fan of reading them, herself.  She asked her friends online what the best options were, and decided to go with a Blog page here, on WordPress.  Then another new friend stepped up and made her think beyond the surface of what she was building.  She revisited an old idea of hers to write her novels under a pen name, and she remembered wanting to become the first MacWebber.  So, there it was.  Tish MacWebber became her pen name.

Her beginner attempts at creating a blog page were good, but they weren’t great.  So she asked again for help, and her new friends helped her some more.  One of them took her page and changed it, and this was her new and improved starting point.  Tish absorbed all the information this friend had shared with her, and thought long and hard about the next steps.   She is very grateful for all of the help her new friends have given her, and she plans to return the favour, even if it is just by paying it forward.  When she asked about her colours, branding and logo, people liked it for different things, but it wasn’t what she needed it to be.  She kept thinking.  After about three weeks of mulling it over in her mind, things clicked into place, simultaneously.

She searched through hundreds of colour palettes, picking her favourites.  She found one that she kept referring back to, and decided that it was the one she would choose.  Then she made a tartan design.  She got her friends and family to give opinions on her progress as she tried to put the pieces all together.  Her father told her that a circle would not be wrong on a tartan, rather that it would be the french connection.  Her mother is french, so it fit.  The motto for Clan MacLellan is, “Think On.”  Her logo was developed with the phrase “Always Thinking…” because she is a dreamer that does think a lot; but also to honour her ancestors.  Her cousin helped her pick the final design, and through their online chat the “…” was added to the logo.  So that explains the colour, logo, and the circle.  But the circle is made up of diamonds.  The diamonds symbolize the marriage of all these things together, and connects all of the dots.

Tish does tend to overthink things at times.  However, when she does this in terms of being creative, and it works, it makes her feel amazing.  Being creative is her passion.   She is going to share it with the world, and see how far it will take her.

Friday the 13th, brought to me by an upset stomach and a wardrobe malfunction

Friday the 13th, brought to me by an upset stomach and a wardrobe malfunction

There are some things that it is prudent to be superstitious about.  Until today, I never really worried about Friday the 13th.  Then again, today was not like any other that I have experienced.

Once in a blue moon, I have issues with my digestive tract.  Today was one of those days.  From when I woke up this morning before the alarm, and even now, the tummy has been off all day.  It is usually related to something I ate, or a virus.  I am hoping for the first one, because it will work its way out faster.  So this morning set the tone for an unlucky day.

Made it to work, safely.  Many years ago, my husband was driving us somewhere on another Friday the 13th, and the wet pavement caused a minor fender bender with a taxi.  Nobody was hurt, just our budget.  Things like this happen, but they tend to stick out in your memory a little further when they happen on a Friday the 13th.

I knock on wood to scare away bad luck.  I don’t walk under ladders.  Some people have routines.  Growing up, there were lots of superstitions in Cape Breton.  Someone was always doing some little thing or blaming the spooks and running the other way throwing salt over their shoulder.

So the tummy trouble was not unusual in and of itself.  Then I made it to my break time. Normally, I make a trip to the ladies room on every break, so I don’t have to take extra breaks for that reason alone.  Some days this works.  Other days, I need the extra trip.  If it’s worse than that I usually stay home.  Today, I decided to go to work, and tough it out.

Don’t be scared, it is not a messy story.

As I was preparing to use the facilities, POP! There went the button on another pair of jeans.  The place it used to be now has a big hole where it was.    So I am thinking that I have 2 pairs of jeans for the next clothing donation day.  Good for my friend, again, not so good for my budget.

In the list of all the things to go wrong in your work day, this is not an optimal situation to be in.  Not the end of the world, in any way, but a small pickle to find oneself in, nonetheless.  I did what anybody in this situation would do.  I blamed the date, and found a paperclip.  I twisted the paperclip in such a way that I needed scissors to break out of it when I got home.  The pants are not too tight, normally, but today I found myself a little more bloated than normal, with the tummy troubles, and it caused this wardrobe malfunction.

So there you have it.  On a positive note, I survived.  The jeans were not so lucky.