So: one year later

Why hello, 47! It’s been exactly one year since I’ve written last. So, happy birthday to me! And also to my friends Sylvia and Steve who share this auspicious day with me.

Funny thing: Sylvia and Steve are also writers. Hopefully 2015 was better for them than it was for me. For me, it wasn’t the best year for writing anything other than cards, letters, the occasional silly verse, and of course, work-related copy.

Writers’ block wasn’t the trouble.

Nor was time.

Nor topics.

It was tenacity.

Fear was my excuse. Fear that I wasn’t writing anything interesting. Fear that I was repeating myself. Fear that my stories weren’t worth telling. Fear that my opinions were too polarizing. Or not polarizing enough. One fear after another. Building, building, building. Until it seemed easier just to forget about it. Do something else. Move on. Forget about it.

But then, in the early part of 2016 the signs started coming. A kick-in-the-pants blog post here. Some passing comments about missing my posts. An inspirational article there. And finally this post which makes a pretty cool point about fear a lot more eloquently than I do.

So, my gift to myself today on my 47th birthday is to live life with more joie de vivre and less fear. Before I decided to put myself out there with this promise/threat/vow/whatever you want to call it, know that I’ve been practicing for the past few months and you know what they say about making things a habit. You need to do them consistently. It’s worked for a bunch of other stuff in my life so it’s gotta work for my writing. Because if I don’t use it, I might lose it, right?

Well then, now that all that’s out there, rather than spend any additional characters looking back on the lack of well-crafted sentences, pithy comments, and tales of garden pests, I’ll share a non-comprehensive and certainly not all-inclusive list of the things I’m looking forward to in this 47th year:

-hearing that my mom’s hip replacement surgery went well today
-attempting the steps to each dance in my ZUMBA class tonight
-seeing which of the Gs is going to be tonight’s Downton Abbey marathon lap dog
-reading even more than I did last year
-continuing to work towards better health and fitness
-getting the spring plants in the ground and laying sod (another once again!) this weekend
-painting walls and cabinets a bright white
-spending time with an eclectic and inspiring mix of friends and family
-being inspired by the unexpected, the generous, and the kind
-writing whatever I want

Until next time,
xo Julie

PS: I’m trying to convince an artistic friend of mine to make me a little fear chair to put on whatever table/desk/sofa I’m using for my writing desk du jour. Portable so it could come to work! Even travel with me wherever I go! I think he could make a killing on Etsy. There’s got to be more of us out there who are doubting the talents that make us the happiest and need a visible reminder to hang out with us and give fear a place to sit. What do you think? Would you want one?

Water Lily

No mud. No lotus. It’s been one of my favorite thoughts for the past few months.

 

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So: overrated fear


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Meet Julius. He’s my new BFF.

If you would have asked me about him a week ago, I would have said he was big and scary. That his giant eyeballs and enormous teeth gave me the willies. Or that he’d flip me off his back like a little fly. And I was terrified that he would toss me off his back and stomp me into the ground.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Julius was quite the gentlemen. He knew I was scared. But he took his time to get to know me and show me he wasn’t going to hurt me. And in the end, he made my first time very special. It was a very enjoyable couple of hours.

So, Julius changed my mind about horses. They’re kind of like super-sized dogs that you can ride. And now, I get to cross being brave enough to ride a horse off my bucket list. Can’t wait to do it again. Maybe on a beach with Bruce on some fancy vacation. Or maybe at a ranch in North Texas.

Clearly, my fear was overrated. Good thing I dared myself to be brave. Check that off the bucket list.

It felt like I had ridden a horse before. It was weird. Sometimes I feel the same way when I’m out messing around in the Urban Farm. Even though I haven’t done something, it feels like I have. Weird.

Here are a few photos of today’s fun in Austin with my dear friend Simone:

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so proud of myself! and Julius!

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Julius and his pals Zeke and Ranger

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beautiful ranch scenery

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looks like something out of a movie

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so serene

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ah nothing quenches fears like seeing a sign like this one

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Simone and Topper, Julie and Julius

Special thanks to Jessica and Emily at Texas Trail Rides for getting us into the saddle and on the trail. It was an excellent experience and one we will never forget.

Today’s gratuitous dog photo:

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the 4G network likes to sun themselves • photo by Tracy