Quick notes – saved for later

For the past few years, I’ve kept a folder in my OneDrive titled “Article Options.” I jot a quick one line note and save a document when I’m on the go. I intend to write a full blog post or article LATER. And later rarely comes…I either forget what I wanted to say, or the topic is no longer relevant by the time I get around to it.

So for my first post of 2021, I’m sharing a few of those note titles with some thoughts on each. With these titles taken care of, I’ll look forward to new inspiration in the coming year. Now that my business book is published (HOORAY!), I have every intention of blogging weekly – about whatever might be on my mind, so hopefully the ideas will keep coming.

Why I don’t schedule exercise: We all know how important it is to keep our bodies moving. Sedentary lifestyles are not good for the body or the soul. 2020 hasn’t helped much. But 2020 or not, I’ve always resisted scheduling time to exercise. My resistance isn’t to the exercise – I love to walk, ride my bike, and dance. I even enjoy lifting weights now and again. And keeping busy with physical, manual labor is one of my favorite hobbies. That said, I also love activities that involve sitting on the couch and not moving – writing, watching television, jigsaw puzzles, reading. My resistance is to SCHEDULING. I’d much rather set an intention to BE ACTIVE than to create a schedule that has me “exercise” every day. Then it becomes a CHORE to be completed rather than an activity to be enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes I have to really push myself to get moving and use little tricks to keep me motivated. And sometimes I go days, even weeks, without enough activity. But I still prefer to watch my patterns and examine what may be happening that makes the pendulum swing in one direction or another. The very act of choosing to “fit in” (or not) activity each day around the many other happenings in my life gives me great insight into my emotional, mental, and spiritual state.

Do you schedule activity and exercise or fit it in with an intention to stay active?

Favorite child: As I binge-watched The Crown a few weeks back, one episode revolved around the idea of a favorite child. Margaret Thatcher clearly had a favored child. She admitted it, without shame. The Prince insisted that every parent does. The Queen, certain she didn’t, set up meetings with each of her children to discover if she, indeed had a favorite. She did.

But I’m here to say, I don’t! I have three children. My relationship with each one is very different – but I can honestly say that I do not have a favorite. I immensely enjoy each one’s company – whether that means having robust, engaging conversation with one or sitting quietly watching tv with another, I appreciate any time I can spent with any one of them. They each have unique personalities, strengths and quirks – and I will bend over backwards to ensure to the best of my ability that each one is as protected and empowered and happy as possible.

I don’t believe that I’m alone in this. While some parents may have favorite children, I don’t believe every parent does. What do you think?

My love hate relationship with Starbucks: Sometimes I think I “should” seek out the small shop owner for a cup of tea instead of giving my money to “big business” Starbucks – especially when I hear things like they wouldn’t let their employees wear Black Lives Matter shirts. These click-bait headlines didn’t provide the entire picture – but my natural instinct is to “cancel” my patronage. Then I realize that when I go into a small business – for tea or to shop – I rarely know the political views of the business owner and I even more rarely ask. And how many small business owners would LOVE to make it big like Starbucks? Should we begrudge their success? Especially when, from everything I can tell, they treat their employees fairly for the most part. At other times, I think Starbucks has replaced certain elements of the Catholic church for me. Just like I could go anywhere in the world and know exactly what I was going to see and hear if I attended a Catholic Mass, no matter what Starbucks I go into, I generally know what I’m getting. And when I’ve frequented a particular Starbucks location over a period of time because I’ve met students for tutoring, I’ve definitely found community with the staff and other patrons. To be honest, the courtesy, friendliness and concern my Starbucks acquaintances have shown has surpassed what I’ve found in church over the years. And the Starbucks communities have certainly been more welcoming and accepting of everyone than the Church tends to be.

Do you struggle with a love/hate relationship with any business you frequent?

Friendship: I have a problem with the saying, “A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.” I want to shout – If you are not “yourself,” it is impossible to ever find a true friend. We should always be ourselves – and people will either accept and love us as we are, or they won’t. And if we aren’t ourselves all the time – who are we and how do we know if someone would accept us and be our friend if we don’t dare to be ourselves with everyone.

What do you think? Do you struggle to be yourself in an attempt to make friends?

But I know a change is gonna come: The words to a song by Sam Cooke. I’m not sure if I heard the tune on the radio, a television program or in a commercial – but around September or October 2020, I kept thinking of this song. I keep hoping a change will come – especially in relation to racism. At the same time, I’m disappointed with how quickly the cries for justice that followed George Floyd’s death have faded into the background, how easily we slip into acceptance of the status quo, and how it seems that some folx believe that a few days or weeks of protests and some catchy slogans will fix everything. This road to justice is long and requires constant vigilance and work. I’m grateful for all those working to build a more just society. And I keep hoping that a change is gonna come.

Do you think change is coming?


    • And how much more – just hours after you posted this uncertainty – do we see how “premature” your thoughts of us getting better as humans were. Seems crazy watching what’s happening now…thanks for joining the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. OH BOY… so many great comments I could make, but I will limit myself 🙂

    First of all… CONGRATULATIONS on completing the book!! What a great milestone victory.

    Secondly, you know how I struggle with exercise but I think I recently found what might work well for me: virtual races (complete with victory medals upon completion). I registered for my first race Sunday (Beauty and the Beast) and hope to complete the 27.5 miles by the end of the month.

    Thirdly, I binge-watched The Crown in December and now I can’t get enough of the British Monarchy! I absolutely recall the episode you reference and was shocked the queen admitted favoritism. I do love all three of my children equally BUT… I do relate better to some than others. These are personality issues, not parental love issues (in my humble opinion).

    I will stop there but suffice it to say… I’m excited to reconnect. I hope to write a 2021 blog post soon and begin posting on a regular basis to my Cozy Book Nook blog. In the meantime, I’m focusing on genealogy posts at familystorymatters.blogspot.com 🙂


    • Oh Molly – two other blog platforms? I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up! Have you watched Bridgerton — a totally different view of the British monarchy but a fun watch. That idea of a virtual race is exciting – but do you have to run or can you walk? I may just hop on that bandwagon. Thanks for joining the conversation.


  2. Wow Janet – there’s a lot here to process! Congrats on the book – that’s awesome! And regarding exercise, I make myself put on walking clothes and shoes when I get out of bed and take myself for a 30 min walk every day – no excuses and that ticks off a few thousand steps. My husband and I often go for a walk in the evening too – that adds more steps and no “scheduling” needed.

    I don’t have a favourite child – mine are chalk and cheese but I love them both for what they bring to the table and for the interesting people they married. I heard a tongue in cheek story about someone being open to their children earning favourite child status – like an award – I quite liked that idea!

    I’m not sure about all the changes that have been going on – it seems like the pendulum swung too far and now everyone’s too scared to say or do anything that might cause offence or be seen as cultural appropriation – even novelists are pulling back because it’s too hard to write stories that have all the “correct” characters and not be seen to be trying to speak as another person’s voice. Troubling times indeed…..


    • Leanne,
      That’s great that you have such a walking routine — as a night owl by nature who has recently dealt with a great deal of insomnia, a morning routine is tough. And I love the phrase “chalk and cheese” – that’s new for me. I hear you on the novelists pulling back – I’m in that boat right now trying to figure out how to write characters. My son, who is biracial and has a keen eye for character development in literature, movies, etc. – is helping me to see the difference between developing a character and making race (or another primary identity) the issue upon which the person develops. I’m learning, I hope. I think listening to the concern is the most important thing to do right now until those who have been silenced for so long have an opportunity to speak…Thanks for joining the conversation.


  3. I can see why each of these made it into your potential blog list. I’ve had similar posts… nothing meaty enough for a full, but too intriguing to walk away from. I’m also not really a scheduler for exercise, although I do for my Zumba class – but it’s a Tuesday or Thursday thing…. pick the day that fits with other things. I think I might get back into some scheduling with yoga, when I’m comfortable in a group setting again. But I think I’m more a “be active” than “walk 30 minutes everyday/strength train on Tuesday” kind of person! Other topics – no kids (so no favs!), not a Starbucks goer but I can definitely see your point and love the community feeling you talk about, not sure I hide myself but also not sure I am the authentic me all the time either (in friendship or anywhere), and gosh darn I hope change is coming…. but it’s hard to tell if it is (especially looking at what just happened). Great to see you back in the blogging world!


    • Pat, I’m glad to see I’m not alone in the “be active” category. After years of overscheduling (in the convent) – I am resistant! And gosh darn – I hope change is coming, but I’m afraid it won’t be pretty. Thanks for joining the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It was so much fun to get this peek into your mind!

    I schedule exercise for every day I’m not sick/injured/otherwise not able to work out because of how much it helps my mental health and sleep. It makes such a big difference in my mood and sleeping patterns that I want to reap the benefits as much as possible.

    I struggle with Starbucks, too. I go there, but I also visit local, LGBT-friendly coffee shops (especially if they have yummy vegan pastries! 🙂 )

    It’s been my experience that having a favourite child isn’t common. When it happens and especially if it is blatant, I’ve seen it cause a lot of damage in families. So I’m grateful that most parents cherish all of their kids equally. This is the only thing you mentioned that I’d think poorly of someone for if they were the sort of person to pit their kids against each other or make it obvious that child X will always be #1 in their mind.

    Everything is a YMMV sort of thing. There’s room for lots of different opinions. 🙂


    • Oh, I totally understand the mood and sleeping patterns issue connected to exercise! And I’m glad I’m not alone in the struggle with Starbucks. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some parents who clearly favor one child over another – but it is unnerving! Thanks for using the YMMV acronym – that one’s new to me! Thanks for joining the conversation.


  5. Hey Janet!

    YES! Congrats on finishing the book. After all this time and hard work I’m sure that feels awesome. And I’m guessing that most of us have a file full of “blog ideas.” I’ve been keeping one that just gets fatter and fatter as time goes by. I go through them once in a while and occasionally they will spark some passion but not always. Plus I end up throwing a few away that no longer seem relevant to any thought in my mind.

    But worse is my bookmarks on my computer. That list is HUGE with topics that I find interesting but aren’t quite ready to write about. While I don’t always know what I want to write about on any given week to start with, it isn’t from a lack of interesting and worthy topics. Just like all of yours. With imagination we can take a tiny idea and create all sorts of stories out of it if we take the time. Isn’t writing wonderful? ~Kathy


    • Ah Kathy – bookmarks! I actually spent some time at the beginning of the month cleaning up some bookmarks (while binge watching a mindless, enjoyable show). And yes, writing is wonderful – and I look forward to the day when I either retire and can write more – or writing becomes my day-job. LOL. Thanks for joining the conversation!


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