Addiction: The Good Kind

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m an addict. I love every one of my addictions, and am eager to share them with you. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Writing

writing2

If I don’t write something every day, I feel… odd. I enjoy writing. Focusing on writing anchors me. Steadies me. Makes me sing inside. Even when the writing is going badly. Well, that isn’t quite true. When I get stuck and can’t write another word until I get unstuck, I angst for hours, sometimes days, hashing over what to do to fix whatever the problem may be.

During this time, don’t expect me to be in a good mood. Trick I have learned over the years to get unstuck: jot down ideas, no matter how ridiculous they seem, get away from the work by doing something totally unrelated,  phone a close writing friend for input. From experience, I have learned that the solution will always come… in its own time.

2. Reading

books 1 blooksbookshelf

Three of the six bookshelves in my home.  The top two are in my office, and include my own books, some of my keeper books (books I reread occasionally and can’t part with) and reference books. The bottom photo is in the family room.

My husband is an avid reader, too, and we have three more bookshelves and a window ledge or two filled with books. Don’t even ask about the books on my e-reader…

3. Coffee

steamcoffee

As a naturally caffeinated woman :), I don’t NEED coffee, but I like everything about this drink, from the smell, to the ritual of grinding and brewing, to the taste. I also love treating myself at Starbucks, which I do once or twice a week.

4. Exercise

3ts

These are three of my newest exercise T-shirts. Exercise keeps me in shape and makes me feel terrific, and I work out six mornings a week. As you may know from my post last week, I also try to squeeze in a midday walk whenever possible.

Some of my most creative thoughts occur when I’m moving. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect all that physical activity occupies my brain, which allows my subconscious mind to jump to the forefront with really cool ideas.

5. Chocolate

dark chocolate

I can’t do without chocolate. I try to keep it to a minimum, with a square after dinner. But sometimes (who am I kidding: a LOT of the time), one little square is not enough. I like all kinds of chocolate – dark, milk, with or without nuts, with or without fruit, with or without coconut…

I especially enjoy baked goods of all kinds, hot fudge sauce, chocolate malts, candy… Really, all things chocolate.

So there you have it, my top 5 addictions. I’m sure there are more, but I’ve taken enough of your time.

What are your good addictions?  I would love to know, and I’m guessing others would, too!

Until next time,
Ann
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My Latest Obsession…

I’ve always considered myself something of a fitness buff, exercising almost every morning at my favorite gym, and occasionally walking around the neighborhood. But lately, those occasional walks have daily musts. Now that the weather is mild and nice, that’s great, but even when it rains, I walk. Around the house. Back and forth, up and down the stairs, and around the house some more. After a big meal, walking makes me feel better.

Now I’m searching for just the right arm band to slip my phone into while I’m walking or at the gym. And all because of an app that came installed on my iPhone 6. It’s called, Health, and it looks like this:

health app

The Health app is similar to the Fitbit, except on the phone instead of a wrist band. I’ve never been interested in the fitbit. Because, heck, I work out six days a week. What do I care about getting in my 10,000 steps every day?

However, with the Health app it quickly became apparent that I do care about those steps. I don’t need 10,000 of them, but I do try to take 5,000-7,000. But carrying my phone with me when I walk–I usually stick it in the back pocket of my jeans–is annoying. I don’t take it to the gym at all. That’s where the arm band will come in handy.

I have to admit, since I increased my steps, I feel amazingly good, even better than I usually do. And I get in some good thinking about whatever story I happen to be working on.

So no matter the weather, I’m going to stick with this extra walking business. While I do, I’ll be counting my steps along the way.

Do you have a fitbit or a health app on your phone?

Until next time and walkingly yours,
Ann
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I Am Too Superwoman (Tara Taylor Quinn)

I can lift half a ton of pavers in less than half an hour.  I can move five hundred pounds of cement in minutes.  With my gloved hands.  No machinery.  Just me and the matter.  I can do it all and hike six miles, too.

It’s all done the same way I do everything in life…one step at a time.  The pavers were small.  Individually they didn’t weigh much.  And with my assembly line style bend, lift and hand over to Tim, it really didn’t take long to unload half a ton of pavers from the truck.  It was the same with the cement.  Tim had jack hammered it into little pieces.  Bend, pick, toss in the trailer and it’s done.  The hike…one foot in front of the other.  One step at a time.

Then…I tried to stand up Sunday afternoon and had to sit back down.  My back was protesting.  It protested on Monday and Tuesday, too.  And as I was forced to tend to it, to feel the pain, I knew that I was having another life lesson.  Sometimes life hurts.  If you reach out, open your heart, dare to try to reach an impossible goal, you risk feeling pain.

I looked at the beautiful walkway my husband had created for a couple who were delighted with the finished product.  A solid end that will live on for many many years.  And I saw, too, a few precious moments Tim and I had shared during his workday life.  He took rubble and turned it into beauty.  That’s worth some pain.

On Tuesday, as I sat awkwardly, trying to find a comfortable spot to work – having tried the desk top computer, the laptop computer and then the tablet – my aunt asked me if I’d realized I wasn’t Superwoman. I grimaced.  Shrugged.  But didn’t answer.

I thought of the hike, the magnificent mountain views, the air, the larger than life vigor that filled my soul as I breathed in creation.  I remembered how I felt, walking on the side of the road, looking up at my beautiful Superstition Mountains.  Lucky.  Incredibly thankful.  Strong.

The answer to my aunt’s question was…Nope.  I’m not going to realize that I’m not Superwoman.    I might feel pain, but I am still Superwoman.  I was born Superwoman and as long as I live I will be Superwoman.  Yeah, my back still hurts.  It’ll get over itself.  It always does.  I’ll give it it’s due.  It’s heat and anti-inflammatory.  It can take a bit of a rest as I sit at the computer.  Really, it’s no skin off my back (haha) as I have a printout due, revisions due, and the first three chapters of the first book in the new series due – all by March 15th.  Sitting, or lying propped on pillows with a computer within reach, is all I need to be able to do right now.  Timing is perfect.

I’ll lift pavers again. The next time my husband has pavers to unload and I have half an hour to be able to help. And I’ll risk my heart to love, to dreams, to reaching for the seemingly impossible goals, even though love and dreaming sometimes brings excruciating pain. With everything I do in life, I make a conscious choice.  I’d rather feel the pain than have no gain.  I’d rather participate, live life, and deal with the pain, then sit on the sidelines and miss the things life has to offer.

To quote one of my all time favorite songs…”I am woman, hear me roar.”

Or, one of my favorite childhood stories, the little steam engine who said, “I think I can, I think I can,” and he always did.