Tag Archives: choices

15 Minutes

6 Jan

Fifteen minutes.

Do you know how many unproductive things I can do in that time? First, there’s my DVR box full of TV shows to be watched (or deleted). There’s also my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feed that can be compulsively refreshed every other minute. Lastly, I usually drag my feet long enough heading to the gym just to convince myself that my body needs a nap more than it needs the exercise; nap wins.

Committing fifteen minutes a day to sit down and write is not going to be easy. No, it’s not a New Year’s resolution but more of an ongoing conviction that won’t leave my Twitter feed. I have been inspired by this tweet from writer Jeff Goins and his blog about not making resolutions but rather “resolve” to reach my goals. Jeff, makes it fairly simple to develop a good habits as a writer, but these three “rules” are generally applicable to anyone who wants to excel in their craft:

  1. Set aside at least fifteen minutes to practice, write, etc.

  2. Show up to do it.

  3. Give yourself grace, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

Three steps seems simple enough. It’s not some crazy crash diet, nor is it some insane workout regimen. Though I haven’t been posting every day, I have been writing for at least fifteen minutes either on my phone, journal, or computer, and I’ve never felt more productive this whole year. Yes, it has only been six days; I am aware.

so yeah….

How have your resolutions been holding up so far?

Twitter Text Ten

24 Mar

It was just two weeks ago when every news source, media outlet, and social network had Japan in its headlines and ticker. I can already feel the level of urgency to help Japan dwindle as we get caught in the whirlpool of other world affairs and entertainment scandals.

As I’ve been using Twitter as a news source for the latest headlines and opinions, these are the tweets of others that impacted me the most in regards to the crises in Japan, urging me to support and continually pray for Japan.

Private Profile
Modern technology allows us to be exposed to suffering all over the world; may our generation, in turn, become the most compassionate. (March 13)

Jason Pollock @Jason_Pollock Japan is already out of the trending topics. It’s amazing how short our society’s attention span has become. #DonateJapan (March 15)

Japan Photos @JapanPhotos DO NOT send money to Christian charities for Japan earthquake. We need blankets and food, not boxes of bibles & Fundamentalist propaganda. (March 11)

When I first read the tweet from @JapanPhotos, I was offended, but then I just had to shake my head and laugh in absurdity. Yes, though I am a Christian, sadly a lot of religious organizations exploit situations like these and waste resources while people are in need. So I’ll just leave it at that.

I’ve marked these tweets as “favorites” as reminders that Japan and many other countries are in need of prayer and support, and it doesn’t take much out of us to help.

We have so much here in America, and our resources are so accessible with today’s technology.

If you text often, here are a couple of easy ways you can still contribute

 

1) Text REDCROSS to 90999 to Give $10
Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

2) Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to donate $10 to Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response Efforts

It takes less than a minute and costs little compared to what we spend on entertainment in a week.

So if you’ve already given to another organization or are planning to give then that’s great! If you’ve been meaning to get around to it, but need some direction, here’s your chance!

Just follow the directions above (and below).

 

 

 

 

No Words

17 Mar

This past Sunday, while hanging out in the coffee shop at my church, I read to my peers the latest tweets from my Twitter feed regarding the tragedy in Japan. An elderly woman whom one can assume to be in her 60′s or 70′s listened intently as she hovered around us and mixed her sweeteners and cream into her brew. To our surprise, the elderly woman interjected with:

“Well they (Japan/the Japanese) deserve it after sneaking up on us 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor… This is what they get.”

::NO WORDS::

Yes, it was silent for a several seconds with our mouths to the floor from the disbelief. It was like the “spirit of Pat Robertson” all over again.

Someone broke the silence with “I’m not even going to get into this right now,” trying to show self-control by diverting their attention to their cell phone.

I responded with a snowballing “Rrrreally?? Umm…This has NOTHING to do with anything that happened seventy years ago, and it’s actually quite tragic, and NO ONE deserves to be going through any of this right now…”

That’s all I could say as I found my voice rising, my vision blurring, my head and hands becoming hot, and my body inching towards the ignorance personified before me. My heart rate increased. My blood boiled, but I had to remember my place and behave rationally.

I was surprised that she didn’t bring God into the picture with us being at church and all. If she did, I probably would’ve ended up in prison…or on the news…not really…but yeah….no…

In situations like this elderly lady and her view on why Japan got what it “deserved,” it takes a lot to not jump down someone’s throat, fingernails first. I’m wondering what kind of ignorance is going on out there right now because when tragedy hits, people are so quick to point and blame, hindering help and healing. Though this situation still haunts me, reminding me of the mess Pat Robertson left last year his comments about Haiti, I know that I have forgiven her. It wasn’t easy. Heck, she’s set in her ways in her 60′s or 70′s, and who knows what she has experienced? She’s been corrected, and it’s between her and her Creator now.

I mean if you were in that coffee shop with me, what would you have done or said to her? Nothing? Anything?

 

 


Urine Trouble

17 Feb

It was one of those “A-HA!” moments that I just had to share.

When I first saw the design of this bathroom I thought: WHY would they put privacy dividers between each urinal with the exception of the kids’ one?  Seems pretty inappropriately designed! FAIL.

As I humored myself while rocking on my high-horse, I thought that at any moment someone could’ve walked in on me in a men’s public restroom taking pictures of urinals thinking: What kind of pervert takes pictures in a public restroom?

Lesson learned: Don’t be so quick to judge.

Another Year

31 Dec

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Hmmm. Based on my experiences this year, I’d say that some things happen for a reason, but not all things.

There are certain things in life that may never be explained or comprehended, leaving humanity always asking “Why?”

But in the question lies the quest, and in that quest is a hope. We strive for redemption, a new chance at things; a new outlook. We keep striving.

Though 2010 was tough for many of us with a lack of work, health, relationships, we have all experience growth in one way or another.

So I challenge you to reflect on the year, and be honest with yourself on how much you have learned about yourself and others. You are still here, surviving and making headway to reason and purpose.

So here’s to another year, 2011. Things happen for a reason, most you have control over and some you don’t. Let’s take advantage of the things we have control over and make the most of them. CHEERS!

So Real

22 Jan

So many dreams I’d like to forget
The moment I wake, I wanna sleep again

-Lover’s Anthem by Paper Route

Ever wake up to a harsh reality after an intense dream?

After experiencing James Cameron’s motion picture Avatar, my ability to articulate my feelings was shattered. Hours passed, and in an instant the shards of emotions came together.  Watching the film reminded me of every vivid and virtually tangible dream I can remember, even ones from over twenty years ago.  Throughout my life, I have a handful of dreams when at the time of slumber, seemed real to me, causing me to wake up in panic, excitement, sorrow, and even relief, and to this day, I can still remember the feeling, sight, and sound of these specific dream sequences.

The emotions elicited by these dreams were extreme. Some situations would be: casual and personal hang-outs and sessions with popular musicians and inspiring artists, the death of a loved one, an ex-girlfriend wanting to reconcile after a recent break-up in reality, meeting female celebrity crushes,  having the ability to fly, or finally breaking through to someone who has been closed-offto me.

Waking up to a reality where none of this is true, I would angrily and bitterly react by striking my bed or pillow, and ask (God) out loud “WHY?” as in “Why would you allow this to happen? What’s the point of all of this; this emotional tease which ends in emotional conflict which I have to deal with in reality and conscious mind?!”

Tired of dealing with this alone, I sought someone to confide in as I expressed my distress. I learned this lesson which I now hold valuable:

Dreams are like unforeseen (or even tragic) events which may occur.  They are beyond our control, and we rarely know exactly why they happen. However, we still have the ability to treat them like any other questionable circumstance in our lives, and just like any other uncontrollable situation, we need to wake up and realize what we can control, such as the ability to choose. How will you respond? We have a choice in the aftermath of almost any circumstance thrown at us. We can learn from dreams, we can let them haunt us, or we can think nothing of them, moving forward. Because in reality:

1) I did not have lunch with Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne at the peak of their career.

2) My my father is still alive.

3) My ex-girlfriend at the time did not give me another chance.

4) I will probably never speak a word to any of my celebrity crushes.

5) I cannot fly.

6) I still need to work on the relationships with the people I care about no matter how long it takes for a breakthrough.

7) I am not a giant blue person from an indigenous tribe that can fly on giant prehistoric animals living in a glow-in-the-dark forrest.

REALITY CHECK.

Though old ghosts still haunt me, I have learned to appreciate what I do have in my life, where I currently am, and even more importantly, where I will be heading. So in a way, I am thankful for a movie like Avatar as it has allowed me to get a tighter grip on reality, which sometimes to me is…unreal.

So yeah…

-Marlon Reid

Written January 8, 2010