V.J.'s Weekly Challenge #79 – subtraction

I adopted my father’s rage at a young age, and learned to wrestle with the best of them, typically boys, ’cause Father said never hit a girl. Most days, I’d return from school with debris in matted hair and torn stockings. Mother would shake her head, muttering:

“No one will ever love you.”

I heard: you’ll never be good enough for love, so I married a man whose every complaint was prefaced with: If you loved me enough, you would….

It wasn’t until I was thirty-nine and he decided to move on that I declared war on the messages that were influencing my choices.

“I am good enough for love!” I shouted to no one in particular, like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum.

Then someone suggested I lose a few words to make the mantra more empowering.

“I am enough for love!” I tried on for size, deciding that the good was redundant.

Then: “I am enough!” or “I am love!”

and eventually settled on “I am!”

I am is a much lighter loader to carry, and oh, so freeing.

This week think about what you might subtract from your life to free up energy – emotionally, physically, or psychologically. Naturally, creative discretion is yours – this doesn’t need to be a personal subtraction; global issues work too.

To participate, create a post on your own site and link back here. Or leave a comment. Looking forward to all responses.

Decisive Action

Life presents challenges and I stumble to keep up. Chronic illness continues to form the backdrop of my life, so it becomes the baseline for any actions I take. Ric and I made a commitment to our health and our community this year, and that means that I have been more physically active than usual. Since my envelope – capacity for energy – has not increased, I am called to make decisions.

Taking a break over Christmas was part of that process. Still, the emails continue to pile up and the number of unread posts becomes insurmountable. I am seeking a solution that simplifies my life once again. Here is what I’ve decided:

  • Posting less. For now, I am trying to post only once per day, alternating blogs (I have two). Longterm, I would like to achieve a device-free day.
  • Selective reading. Some of you wow me with your prolific creativity, and I try to follow and encourage, but it has become too much. In order to spread my attention across the blogging community, I will limit myself to one or two posts from a single source.
  • Scheduling posts in advance. I love the prompts, as witnessed by my weekly challenge. Keeping up with them all, however, just adds to my current stress. I will participate when possible, but preference will be given to pre-scheduling posts. It’s like buying a bit of security.

This forum for connecting means so much and I want to continue to grow my relationships. Would love to hear how you juggle it all.

Thanks to all who participated this week. I missed your unique insights. Nice to be back.

Eugi’s Causerie
I Write Her
Reena Saxena
Stuff and what if…
one letter UP
Zebra’s Child
bushboys world

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

Scenes From Ontario Winter

I cast my shadow over white banks
assert my presence, proud, defiant

Will find beauty in deserted golf courses
and colour in a monochrome season

I am haunted by a Winter state of mind
resolved to stretch myself despite creeping chill.

(Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is winter scenes. This Winter I am challenging myself to endure a season that typically I escape. I am determined to find the blessings. So far, so good.)

V.J.'s Weekly Challenge #78: action

Rumination is one of my fortes. I get something stuck in my head and it will spin there nonstop if I let it, even disrupting sleep.

It happened recently with one of our daughters. I took something she did personally, and blew it out of proportion, convincing myself that there was no hope for our relationship. (Did I also mention that my rumination tends towards the dramatic.)

It went on for days and nights until maturity grabbed me by the collar and insisted I do something about it. Rather than open the wound further by confronting her, I decided to take action instead. I sent her a text offering to babysit the kids while she and her husband went out for dinner.

A peace offering for my soul.

The thing about ruts is that they remain until we are willing to take the necessary action to lift ourselves out of them.

This week, marking a new year, think about where action is needed in your life, or in the world in general. The word itself does not need to appear in your post, but the movement should be obvious.

To participate, create a post and then pingback here, or leave a link in the comments. All are welcome.

Look forward to your responses.


The best openings are the one’s we carve for ourselves.

We spent New Year’s Eve reminiscing about eighteen years of togetherness. Stayed up past midnight, and talked about our future. Hope coloured our words.

Sculpting has been on my mind – not literally, but in the sense of chipping away at the outer facade to invite emergence.

Ric has shed fifty pounds of excess weight, and I am now joining him in that quest. We are entering this new decade with renewed vigour. There is much we still yearn to sample.

I’m lining up my tools, examining the material before me: changes lie ahead. Bit by bit, I will ply my craft, shed the excess, intuit the contours of this life I’m co-creating.

Emergence takes time, commitment, and a willingness to be open.

(Image taken from The Grand Trunk trestle. This town we have settled in stirs my impulse towards the creative. So grateful to be here. Hope it inspires you as much as it did me. I will be back Monday with a new weekly challenge.)

Wintry Rebellion

Tracks on ice remind me that even in the depth of winter there is movement. I am conflicted by the onset of cold: resigned to spending more time indoors, and already feeling the restlessness set in.

Art projects line up, encouraged by the many related gifts I received for Christmas. Writing calls to me too – so many unfinished works vying for space.

Perhaps it is the confinement itself that I fear, having known what it is to be truly homebound, and never wishing to relive the experience. I have come to love the outdoors; have embraced nature as my sanctuary. Can I tolerate the separation?

Ice crusts, encloses,
yet passion flows – fire carves
path – driven to thrive.

( Happy New Year all! Image from personal collection.)