Playing Favorites with A Flexible Saturday and Your Schedule – Daily Quote

Dear Saturday, you are my favorite. Anonymous

Shh, don’t tell the others. Friday gets lauded for her weekend kickoffs, but you still must deal with the 9 to 5 grind. Sunday is for family, napping, and getting ready for the week ahead. Monday, poor Monday. She is the black sheep of the flock. Tuesday and Thursdays get lost in the shuffle and overlooked. They serve as the workweek workhorses when you close the door, put your nose to the grindstone, and get projects accomplished. Wednesday and her hump day antics are in a class by herself.

But Saturday is the day I get to define. Whether my schedule calls for a whirlwind of running errands, down and dirty chores, a backyard BBQ, or forgetting the alarm and waking with my internal clock, Saturday is ready, willing, and able to adapt. Saturday can be anything I require. She is flexible, ready for a full day of work or relaxing on the couch. And best of all, she never complains about what we do or do not have planned. Who could ask for more?

What is your favorite day?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Avoiding Medicine Induced Fuzzy-Head Syndrome and Relying on A Regular Joe – Daily Quote

nothing-can-replace-sleep-but-coffee-can-do-it-best.-i-love-coffee.-kelley-ohara

Spring allergies have hit me squarely between the eyes. Stuffy-headed, my red, watery eyes makes the world a blur. Constant sneezing and sinus pressure take their toll when you are running full speed ahead. While allergy medication can relieve the pressure and ease congestion, it messes with my ability to concentrate, form coherent thoughts, and worst of all, it makes me sleepy. In my delusional, drowsy stupor, my mind swirls, dreaming up improbable scenarios. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, attempting to have tea with the Mad Hatter. Maybe a quick nap isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Ah, sweet sleep. It is a rare commodity when your brain is battling a cocktail of antihistamines and decongestants. We, humans, are hard-wired to worry in the dark of night. We spend hours staring at the ceiling, tossing, turning, and entertaining concerns about the lack of shut-eye. The spinning wheels make matters worse. Sleeping during the daytime is a luxury I cannot afford. Coping mechanism number two is multiple cups of coffee. My hot brew helps ease sinus pressure while the caffeine combats a throbbing headache, and viola, no fuzzy brain. Step aside, I have work to do, and I need another cuppa Joe.

What comforts you and makes you feel better?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Here’s to an Uneventful April Fool’s Day – Daily Quote

It's National Drink Wine Day! Just kidding. It's April Fool's Day. Let's Drink Wine Anyway. Anonymous

I’m not an April Fool’s Day fan. I’ve always considered it a bit cruel to play pranks on a person for the amusement of others. A harmless word twist or ingenious subterfuge can make me smile, but those are rare. The best example of a clever April Fool trickery was perpetrated in 1987 in Norway. They posted an announcement saying the government would distribute 10,000 liters of wine confiscated from smugglers. Hundreds of Norwegians turned up carrying empty bottles and buckets. I’m sure I would have been standing in that line, and I can imagine my extreme disappointment when I learned the entire report was a hoax.

It’s not nice to promise free wine and then not deliver. Was there a joke? If so, I missed it. ‘Tis a good thing I have a ready supply in my stocked cellar for such occasions. I think I will serve dinner with a suburb chianti. An enjoyable meal with friends, stimulating conversations, witty banter, and shared laughter is a much better way to mark the first full month of spring.

Do you enjoy pranks, or should I pass you a glass of wine?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Create Your Daily Battle Plan, Engage Your Enemy, and Grab Your Dreams – Daily Quote

no-battle-plan-survives-contact-with-the-enemy.-colin-powell

I’m a scheduler, a planner, I live and die by the agenda, and I relish crossing off the items on my To-Do List. Creating my battle plan, devising tactics for reaching my goals, and knowing what to expect given various scenarios keep me sane. Knowing where I’m going keeps my anxiety monster resting in his cage and helps me manage my stress levels. My plans are never perfect. They are riddled with crossed-off appointments, scratched out and rewritten chores, inserted spur-of-the-moment activities, and scribbled notes for when my priorities change.

People question why I bother when everything is subject to modification, adjustments, or deletion at any point during my day. I persevere because it is my drill practice, my training session, and my dress rehearsal. I conceive my strategies, tactics, and plotting with a single purpose—to win the day, moved toward my goal, and reach my objective. Long-term destinations are elusive when you wander along pretty but aimless paths. Fording rivers is much more difficult when you attempt the crossing in the middle of the rapids during flood season, rather than choosing a better season and an alternate location.

I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict the challenges my day will throw at me. Making plans does not ensure I won’t encounter obstacles, but it helps me to anticipate, adapt and devise solutions on the fly. It also helps me to say no to some fun diversions. While I might enjoy them, I would also regret indulging in them if it meant I missed taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime event. That is reason enough to continue.

How do you approach your day?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Dump Gray, Gloomy, and Depressing, and Embrace Your Favorite Color – Daily Quote 

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I don’t know about you, but gray is my least favorite color. The trend of gray kitchens, gray barn wood flooring, gray countertops, and walls painted—wait for it—gray leaves me more depressed than I care to admit. The weather doesn’t cooperate when it sends gray, dreary, rainy days, and I would rather spend my time on a misty moor crying for Heathcliff.

Whatever happened to sunny yellows, loving pinks, and gleeful greens? There is a school of thought which says color therapy helps improve our mood. Color can heighten awareness and energy, decrease stress, reduce anxiety, and increase our productivity. True or not, opting for bright hues seems prudent.

Spring greens can support feelings of hope, strength, and serenity. Sky blue encourages peaceful thoughts, wisdom, creativity, loyalty, and spirituality. Clear, energetic yellow, my personal favorite, makes me feel happier.

What is your favorite color?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Accept Failure, Welcome Work, and Chart Your Path Toward Success— Daily Quote

sometimes-we-can-only-find-our-true-direction-when-we-let-the-wind-of-change-carry-us.-mimi-novic

Why do we fight tooth and nail against change? Everyone has their reasons. It’s easier to say “No,” and remain within the comfortable confines of familiar habits than to take a chance on the unknown. Routines and our customary practices make us believe we are in control.  Familiarity lulls us into thinking we possess the skills needed to complete our daily tasks.

Perhaps the one reason everyone can agree with, but nobody wants to admit, is that change requires work. In the beginning, change can be exciting, and our motivation is at its highest. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve their life, learn to play the piano, spend more time with family, or earn more money? I do. Where do I sign up? My intentions are noble, and I buy workout clothes, toss junk food in the garbage, and vow to exercise on my brand-new stationary bike at 5 am every morning. It’s a promising start, but several weeks later, the machine has become a shrine of cute outfits, and a layer of dust covers everything. What happened?

I recently ran across another thought-provoking explanation, called “Kanter’s Law.” Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School, says, “in the middle, everything looks like a failure.” The middle of the exercise plan is sweaty, grueling work. Maybe you stuck with your 5 am schedule for a week.  Every evening, as your reward for your accomplishment, you celebrated with a cookie and wondered why after the first week, the number on the scale was not smaller. The standard for the middle stage is two steps forward and one step backward.

Happy endings don’t lie at the end of a straight line. Hazards riddle the road, and failures to advance are guaranteed. Failure is a part of the change process and a natural stepping stone towards success. Determining what works involves risks. We must discover what doesn’t work, making adjustments, and continuing to take one more step forward.

What will you fail at today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Balancing Your 9 to 5 Against the Work That Keeps You Sane and Makes You Feel Alive – Daily Quote

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I have a set schedule. I write at nine every day. Rain, shine, I commit to two hours of writing and deliver a finished piece. From sourcing and creating an image to the first draft, through multiple edits, a title, proof-reading, and scheduling a post, my timeline does not change. I find working with a rigid outline forces me into preconceived conclusions. But working without direction or a destination is a recipe for disaster. There is a delicate balance between writing without limits and writing with purpose.

Given too many choices and no expectations, I can’t decide, and my story goes nowhere. I need rules, constraints, guidelines, a theme, and a challenge. Restrictions like word counts, time limits, and themes create a puzzle to occupy my critical mind. Specific benchmarks quiet my inner censor, which allows my subconscious brain room to play.

The hardest part is getting started. I stutter and fumble with the first sentence as I sift through possibilities and eliminate the pieces that don’t belong to the story I am telling. As my fingers type, I settle into a rhythm. Words sing, my thoughts coalesce, and surprises happen. I relax, I let go of self-consciousness, and the tale emerges.

The finished piece needn’t be “good,” whatever that is. Sometimes I get lucky, and readers connect with the concepts. Those two sacred hours are the best part of my day. My practice keeps me sane and makes me happy. I won’t be giving it up anytime soon.

What is your writing process?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Ten Reasons to Celebrate Winter’s End and Spring’s Arrival – Daily Quote 

one-swallow-does-not-make-a-summer-but-one-skein-of-geese-cleaving-the-murk-of-march-thaw-is-the-spring.-aldo-leopold.

Spring is here. I have been waiting for Spring.  I have a long list of things I am looking forward to.

  1. No more turtleneck sweaters, sweatshirts, and heavy winter coats because
  2. Warmer temperatures, and
  3. No more snow or shoveling snow, or slipping on ice, and
  4. No more cabin fever. I am being optimistic, and assuming self-isolation will grant me a few hours in the
  5. Sunlight
  6. Cadbury Eggs, and
  7. Girl Scout cookies (I have boxes safely hidden from prying eyes)
  8. Saying Buh-bye to a New Year’s Resolutions because of #6 and #7
  9. Bright colors
  10. Flowers, songbirds, and my budding garden.

What Spring things are you looking forward to?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Happy First Day of Spring — Daily Quote

spring-wont-let-me-stay-in-this-house-any-longer-i-must-get-out-and-breathe-the-air-deeply-again.-gustav-mahle

Spring is here, Spring is here, Spring is here. Can you tell how excited I am? Winter may try to remind us of his fury, but Mother Nature will ensure that he does no more damage than a tempest in a teapot. Already the first golden jewels have appeared. Capture those images quickly, for soon, they will deepen and transform into every shade of green. Sap runs in my Maple trees and colors the tips of their branches with a deep burgundy glow. The buds have softened in the sun’s warmth, and they stir, ready for a long uncurling stretch like a cat waking from her nap.

Green speckles erupt in my garden’s dirt. Crocus and tulips hear the call and push back the covers from their deep slumber. It is time to grow and bloom. I sense what was almost imperceptible a few days ago, and I cannot resist the quiet song. The slow, plodding drumbeat increases its tempo. The birds sing, and a robin adds his voice to the choir.

Mahler is right. When Spring arrives, we can breathe deeply again. Winter causes us to constrict, hunker down and conserve the little heat we have. The forecasters predict temperatures to soar to 60 degrees this weekend. It’s not shirt sleeves, shorts, and flip-flop weather, but working in the garden under a sunny sky, I expect to shed a layer or two, soak up some vitamin D, and remember how to breathe.

Have you been waiting for Spring?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Ignore Work-Life Balance, Pour Gas on Your Internal Fire, and Ignite Your Passion — Daily Quote

ive-learned-over-the-years-that-when-i-go-to-that-place-of-passion-within-me-theres-no-force-in-the-universe-that-can-interfere-with-my-completing-a-project.-wayne-dyer.

We ordered Chinese food this week. I’m a sucker for Moo Shoo Pork, Double Stir Fried String Beans, Salt and Pepper Smelt, Eight Treasure Tofu Pot, and well, I like everything on the menu. Oh, and egg rolls. Don’t forget the egg rolls. The entertainment portion of the evening is reading your Fortune Cookie. Mine made me cry because we all know the predictions in Fortune Cookies are always 100% accurate. It said, “You will start that thing you have been putting off.”

I have sound reasons for delaying this thing. First, I’ve had too many projects in various stages of completion. Each one vies for my attention and makes me juggle competing demands, worry over unnecessary delays, and run in continuous circles. I have used postponing the start of my pet project as a carrot. Once I have cleared the deck and finished these annoying, never-ending tasks, then I earn my reward.

The second reason I have banished my shiny new “thing” to wait in the wings is that it is a passion project. Once I begin, I know it will consume me. My muse will become my obsession. I won’t have time for anything else because I intend to devote every available moment to my project. Work-life balance won’t exist. My work and my life will intertwine, and there will be no conceivable way to distinguish between the two. I won’t want to separate them.

I will forget to eat, and I won’t notice when someone enters the room. I’ll lose track of time and become irritated when my body requires sleep. Some people deem this level of focus a sacrifice, but not me. There is nothing in the world I would rather be doing. Creating my work brings me happiness and inspires me to drive past reasonable limitations.

Galileo Galilei said, “Passion is the genesis of genius.” I can’t wait to pour gas on this glowing ember, start a blazing fire and let my passion run wild.

Do you have a “thing” you have been putting off?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer