COUNT YOUR T-SHIRTS

I have lost count of the number of times I stood in front of my closet agonizing over what t-shirt to put on for my early morning walks, or to go to the shop or even just wear around the house. Sometimes I wear the same T-shirt repeatedly simply because I believe I do not have enough.

In the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of travelling and last week I came home from a long trip away with loads of laundry. Knowing that I would soon be off again on another trip I decided that I would wash a little every day until I was done with the backlog. My washing machine is bad so I would have to do all the washing by hand. And that’s how I made this startling discovery.

While sorting through my t-shirts, I realized that I seemed to have quite a number more than I thought. I began to think that I possibly had up to a dozen or more. So, I started to count. I have a separate space for t-shirts in my closet which I had largely ignored and mixed up with up other items of clothing. I decided, ‘’no more, this space would be for t-shirts only.’’
Then I took inventory.

As of this morning, I have sorted, rescued, found, washed, hung and retrieved twenty-five t-shirts from various places of my house and still counting!
Twenty-five t-shirts? Me?? How? From where did they come? How is it I never knew I was so T-shirt rich?

I was pleasantly surprised. Simply by deciding to be more focused with my wardrobe maintenance I have found a huge cache of clothes I didn’t even know I had. All types, colours and sizes of t-shirts, bought by me or received as gifts at one time or the other in the recent past, yet I lived my life like I had maybe half a dozen t-shirts!

What other areas of my life might I be complaining and grumbling about simply because I’m not looking closely enough? What challenges are you crying over because you aren’t taking proper stock? Isn’t it possible that if we focused more on the blessings we would find that we aren’t lacking as much as we thought?

Maybe, before we complain about that thing that isn’t working, we should focus instead on what is. Maybe all we really need to do at this time is go count the t-shirts. They may be more than you think!

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Reduced to clear?

I was washing up yesterday morning when I noticed the label on this mug.

As an avid mug collector I’m always on the look out for pretty mugs at reasonable prices.

Sometime last year I saw these mugs in a shop, they had been reduced to clear and I quickly grabbed two. I took them home and because I had no immediate space I packed them away.

Recently my kids brought one of them out and we have been using them for a variety of drinkables.

More than a year after purchase, I notice that the shop label is still on it.

Reduced to 150

Not good enough to be sold at premium price

Been on the shelf too long

Bla bla bla!

My heart broke for my mug. I quickly yanked off the label and washed it clean. It was a little reluctant to let go of the label…”reduced!” It seemed to be saying to me:

“I’m unworthy, just leave me be..”

For far too many of us, the label that life and circumstances hung on us aeons ago is still around our necks.

Someone called you names in High school and thirty years and three degrees later, that label is still hanging on your neck.

A husband walked out on you and hung the label of “difficult woman” on you and ten years later you walk around with your head bowed in shame and low self-esteem!

Just like my mug -reduced to clear..

What you need to understand is this: the inability of the shop to sell the mug at market value does not take away from it’s intrinsic value.

The shop couldn’t handle it but the shopper bought it. It’s value to the shopper is the value of what it is capable of delivering. In this case, a delicious cup of coffee, beverage, juice etc.

Don’t allow a label hang on you past its date. The minute that mug was taken off the shelf in the shop its value changed forever.

Focus on the value you are capable of delivering today and wash off that old misleading label. Reduction may have brought you to where you are but it is recognition of your intrinsic value that will determine where next you’ll go.

My mug is up on the shelf, standing with pride. What about you?

Keeping the big picture in mind

I am currently doing a rewrite of one of my older books for children. I wrote this book several years ago but recently I needed to do a review and a rewrite.

This is part of the writing process I do not particularly enjoy. I like to write once and never go back to it again, ever! But it is something I must do. It is necessary, for now.

By the time I’m done, the book would be smaller, there would be fewer words, and I would have added a glossary, changed some pictures, and generally made enough changes to make it suitable for the readership I am targeting.

I know it would be exciting when I finally see the ” new old book” in the bookstores, I will be very happy to see the smile on a child’s face as they discover something new from this book I have written. 

But right now, I am not enjoying the process. I have sleepless nights and agonizing moments of wondering what to remove and what to keep as I hunch over my computer.

And as always, I am learning a lesson about real life.

Great outcomes are not always the result of enjoyable processes and procedures. No woman ever enjoys labour, or the whole process of being pregnant. The peasant farmer does not enjoy the grueling process of cutting and weeding and pruning. That something is not pleasant does not mean it is not good.

Buildings look ugly when under construction. When the process seems tiring and ugly think about the finish line and how the outcome would make you feel, change a life, alter a situation. Keeping the big picture in my mind makes it easier to go through the process.

What ugly or unpleasant process are you currently going through? 
Comment and let me know. May you find the strength to go through, and come out stronger and better!

Do Editors need editors?

One of the questions that was asked during the W2I conference was, as a writer/editor do you need to give your work to another writer to edit for you?

Interesting question. Interesting stuff happens at trade shows!

Let me tell a little story to answer that question.
As a child I loved writing essays, and letters too. I loved anything that would require me to write for a long time, loved filling page after page with my not-so-beautiful handwriting. If it was for a test or an exam, I would shoot up my hand after a few minutes and say, “paper”, to the often annoyance of people less inclined to write long epistles. I could write five or six pages while my classmates were struggling to fill two sheets. And I always got high marks; but I wasn’t always top of the class in English language or essay writing. I was very often top, but not always and certainly not often enough for my liking. And I knew why.

I was bedeviled by a reluctance to read my work over. I would write and submit without going through it again to see if I had made a mistake, misspelt a word, or left out a vital point. And I would lose marks because of that. I knew the reason I was losing marks but I continued with my self-sabotaging practice.

Unfortunately when something becomes a habit it is difficult to break and that childhood habit followed me into my writing many years later. I would cring after posting an article because it was only then I would see how many errors there were in it. Yet, I was editing for others and making sure they had error-free documents!

Some of my earlier books have avoidable errors because I was reluctant to give out my work for proper editing. But I have learnt, and I have grown.

No document leaves my hand now until I have checked and cross-checked it several times, and no book of mine gets published until it has been properly edited by someone else.

There are several reasons why an editor needs an editor and soon we will talk about them in my newsletter.

So to answer that question, yes, an editor does need an editor!

Writing To Inspire 2018

Trade shows and the writing trade
Sometime in 2017, I had the privilege of participating in a webinar for a group of business people. It was a diverse group and the organizers somehow found a way to give general, yet relevant advice to everyone.
I do not remember all I learnt that day, (by the way, it is futile to think we can recall all we learn from seminars and workshops. That is why you must always take notes, refer to them often and try to apply as much as you can).
One of the things that stayed with me from that webinar is the importance of trade shows no matter your trade. The speaker said to us that trade shows have a way of inspiring and motivating the “trader” and he advised that we put aside some money every year for trade shows.
Earlier this year, I attended a trade show for my network marketing business and I’m still reaping the benefits of that trip.
This past weekend was another trade show of sorts for me. It was the Writing To Inspire conference 2018. 
It was very impactful just being in a roomful of writers, readers, booksellers, poets, songwriters, graphic artistes and so many others that make the writing industry possible.
I believe I came away a better writer. I made new friends, expanded my network, and strengthened my resolve to keep working at my craft till I “become.”
What trade are you in? What trade show are you planning for?
Comment and let’s see if we can help make your dream come true.

The Fire Conferences

I met some really phenomenal ladies last week; women who are making tangible differences in various fields of endeavour but who are held down by age old beliefs and retrogrssesive cultural beliefs about the place of the female Homo sapiens.

What I find particularly heartbreaking though is the attitude of some of my sisters. We seem like the proverbial horse tied to the plastic chair. Some of the issues facing us are really daunting no doubt but some of them are more issues of the mind than anything else. We seem to have bought the lie that there really is a glass ceiling that we are not allowed to shatter. Maybe there is a glass ceiling but hello?

That is why it is made of glass. Break it and don’t apologize. So many others have done it before you. And many more will do it.
Which is why I run the FIRE conferences, to help you light a fire in your career, business, marriage and life. You are female but you can be intentionally relevant everywhere.

Get fired up. Book to attend a fire conference in your city.

Keep Moving, keep moving!

June is generally accepted as Fathers month and I remember my Dad. My Dad was the very quiet sort, and he was not a particularly eloquent sort. He had more sons than daughters and he was fiercely protective of his daughters.

We lived in a sort of Close, but the path by our compound also connected to a larger street and the traffic through our close was quite significant.

My Dad would place his rocking chair on the veranda with a book in his hands and read, sometimes for hours.

Whenever we were playing outside or going about our chores, he would look up from time to time with an indulgent half smile and continue without saying a word.

All too often, a guy would pass by and slow down to maybe take a look at Papa’s girls, or not, but whenever that happened, Papa would lower the book, and stand up and say in a growly voice

“Keep moving, keep moving!”

It always worked. They kept moving. My Dad’s premises was not where you stood to stare if you had no business there.

This week don’t stand and stare at stuff that don’t add value to your goals. Keep moving in the direction of your dreams. Set a goal for this last week of June. Write your action plans, work it, and whatever you do, Keep moving!

Shalom.