Courage…..if you don’t have it, can you build it?

I follow a couple of different blogs that are geared to writers, and something interesting occurred within one day of each other back in March. Rachelle Gardner (an editor) posted an entry talking about having a “thick skin” in the writing/publishing world, and Kristen Lamb talked about courage in her post “Voice – The Key to Literary Magic part I”. What I took from both posts (which arrived in my inbox literally within one day of each other) is that one needs to have courage.
Now, I don’t think I have a lot of courage. Kristen refers to the movie, “Midnight in Paris” (which I haven’t seen, but it is in my queue on Netflix and I will get it this week), and how the main character, Gil, lacks courage. In Kristen’s short summary of the movie, I can identify with Gil – I too yearn to leave my life as a teacher and become a “real” writer (although I don’t make the $$$ Gil is making as a screenwriter – curse the luck! LOL). So why don’t I? A lack of courage, a lack of finances, a lack of believing in myself – these are the reasons why. You see, I don’t have a fiancée snipping at me and my dream. I’m perfectly capable (and able, and do) of snipping myself! But I’m working on stopping that damn inner voice!
Rachel’s blog post also hit home with me. I too have a fragile heart – although the vast majority of people who know me would never think my heart is fragile. I’ve learned to become a master at hiding it, and portray myself as not caring one way or the other about what others say or do to me. Oh….how I wish this was in fact the truth! It’s not, so as Rachel points out in her blog – you learn to survive.
This is what I’m learning to do. Survive having the man I was falling in love with fall in love with another woman. Survive having people who I thought were friends saying they would read my writing and give me feedback, but they didn’t. Survive the uncertainty at work – going in day after day, never knowing if that day was the day I would be fired for something I didn’t do, and had no knowledge of. Basically, surviving life in general!
So maybe this is what courage really is. Learning from past experiences, surviving the pain (and joy) that comes from living life, and waking up each morning willing to try again. I may never develop “thick skin” and I may never have the courage to throw caution to the wind, quit my day job, and spend one year doing nothing but writing. I think courage is an individual thing, and something that we can help to grow (however small the growth may be) over the course of our lives.

So what about you? Are you willing to wake up each morning, and try again? Are you willing to work towards accomplishing a goal, no matter how small the steps you take may be?


From diaster to YAY! A closet’s journey….Part II

I left you yesterday with my closet about half organized.  But come Sunday, I decided to that I wasn’t going to rest until I had a functionally closet!  The first thing I decided to do was to work on my purses.  I tried lining them up on the shelf above one of my clothing rods – but wasn’t happy with the effect.  Then, I remembered reading in a book by Maria M………. that she hangs her purses up on hangers.  So, I decided to try this concepts out!


I decided I actually liked this much better!  If you look closely in the left corner, you can see some of the purses hanging up on hangers.  After tackling that, I looked at the small black wire shelf I had bought from Target, and decided that it would be the perfect place to store store my watches, parafin wax kit (I use this for my hands and feet – that is when I can find it!), label maker, and exercise equipment.

I decided something had to be done with the junk on my bed that I had pulled out of all of my purses (yes, I even cleaned them out!  I was sooooo on a ROLE!!)  In sorting out the junk, and thinking about the things I’m always wanting when I’m out and about, I came up with the idea that it would be wonderful to have a container where I could put the stuff I always carry in the purses.  This way, when I want to change out a purse, but am in a hurry, I can do so really quickly.  Here’s what my idea looks like in reality!


Having finished with one side of the closet, I decided to focus my attention on my costume jewerly, belts and scarves.  I’m a visual person, and tend to wear the same things over and over again.  Why?  Because if I don’t see it, I forget I have it!  So I hung my necklaces on the jewerly hangers I bought at Michael’s over Christmas break, put some (but unfortunately not all) of my bracelets in the jewerly pouch I got from Michael’s as well, hung the scarves up and the belts.  Now my closet walls (the ones without any rods) look like this!


From diaster to YAY! A closet’s journey

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Rome was not built in a day.”  Well, guess what?  Neither was my closet cleaned and organized in one day!

The first thing I did was take pictures – and I must say that I’m almost too ashamed to post them!  My closet had become a dumping ground for virtually EVERYTHING!  I’ve lived in my rental house for seven years now, and there were boxes I hadn’t unpacked (sad, I know!), clothes that I didn’t wear because I had forgotten about them, etc.  I had made attempts in the past at organizing, but never completed the project(s).  So….. I decided to pull up my big girl panties, take a deep breath, and start in!


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First thing on Saturday morning, I pulled everything that was on the floor out – and created a HUGE disaster in my bathroom and bedroom! 


Gigantic pile covering my bathroom counter – it almost made me quit!       

Then, I brought in the vacuum, and cleaned the carpet to within an inch of its life.  I honestly can’t tell you when the last time was I actually saw the entire floor of my closet, but I amazed at how much larger it seemed. I had a black wire shelf unit I had bought at Target last year (LAST YEAR!), and brought it in from the garage to put in my closet.  Wasn’t quite sure what I would use it for, but I knew I wanted it in my closet….

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I decided I would go through the clothes, and pull out the off-season clothes first, putting into two plastic containers as I went along.  When both containers were full, I pulled out my handy-dandy label maker (that I’ve had since I started teaching nine years ago!), and printed off labels to put on the totes.  This way, I won’t forget what’s in them, and everything’s organized.

With that out of the way, I decided it was time to tackle the mountain of shoes!  After bringing them all in, I mated them up, put them into shoe boxes, and labeled them so I wouldn’t waste 10-15 minutes in the morning looking for a stupid pair of shoes!

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 I would love to say that I was able to get this far in a matter of an hour, or two……. but I’m not going to lie to you.  It took me all morning to get this far!  By 1pm I was hungry, tired, stuffed up from the dust, and ready for a break!  Join me tomorrow as I show you how the closet turns out!

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