Why I did this

I have to do two blog posts today, since I didn’t write one last night. Like a student who didn’t finish her homework, I feel the need to explain why I didn’t get it done. After work, I did my leg workout at the gym, made dinner for my daughter, worked on a PowerPoint for a presentation today for college students from Ball State, and ended up falling asleep at 7:30. I suppose my body needed to sleep more than it needed to write a blog post.

This is day 20 of the challenge, and now that I’ve written almost 20 posts, I’ve been asked by a few people about why I chose to do a 30 day blogging challenge. The answer my brain has been saying is the following: “Well, I’ve written blogs in the past, but have never publicly shared them. I figured if I started sharing what I write and doing a 30 day challenge, it would hold me accountable and force me to write.”

That answer is true. But when somebody asked me the exact same question yesterday over text (as opposed to face to face), my heart had time to think about it, and my heart told my brain another answer. The answer was, “I don’t know.”

That’s because the reason I started is not necessarily the same reason I’m continuing to do it, day after day. Another way of saying that is that the reason I started it is not the same reason I am finishing it.

I started it to jump start the creative process. I was in a funk–and I’m not talking about a writing funk, I’m talking about a personal funk. During my fall break, I was given the gift of having two weeks off to recharge my batteries. But instead of recharging, I was letting that battery go dead. My battery was so dead that even those close to me who love me were starting to get annoyed that I had allowed my sparkle to go out. Instead of being one of those huge, awesome fireworks that are deemed “illegal” in the state of Indiana, (but that I always light anyways), I had allowed myself to turn into one of those little “snake” fireworks–the ones that you light and they grow into an ugly pile of ash. There’s not even a smidgeon of spark in those ugly-a** snake fireworks.

Perhaps I’m being a little dramatic with my analogies, but you get the picture. And this picture was no Picasso.

I wasn’t particularly worried because I knew this was just a season for me. Just like there are months or years of joy, sometimes there are months or weeks of crap. In the past, when I have felt crappy, I would look outward to get out of the funk. (I’m an extravert, and that’s what we extraverts do.) I would go on a vacation or spend time with friends, or go to the gym. All of those things are still positive things to do when in a funk. But they weren’t working this time in the same way.

“Dang it!” I said to myself. “I’m having fun, but I’m still not having fun!”

And then, like many of the ideas I get, this blogging idea came to me as I was reading about someone doing a 30 day blogging challenge. The idea came and I filed it. And it kept showing up. And then I spoke the idea out loud to someone. And that person affirmed the idea. And then after I had spoken it, then I had to do it, because it was now more than just an idea in my head. It was a goal.

I know I’m kind of talking in circles, but that’s what I do best. And as I’m writing this circular blog post, I realize even more my reason I have continued to do this challenge. And that is because when I write about everything I have experienced, it gives a purpose to those experiences. If I can find meaning in my experiences, then it just feels good. It makes me sparkle again. I’m working on getting my sparkle back up to the illegal firework level. It’s a process, but I think the fact that one of my students told me “I was on fire” today was a good sign.

So I want to thank you for letting me sparkle with you.

And if you want to really sparkle tonight, make this recipe for sparkling jello. My friends and I made it in college because we were poor, yet still loved sparkly things.

Gelatin Sparkle
1 package- 4 serving size jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup COLD carbonated beverage (Sprite, ginger ale, club soda, etc)
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add beverage and chill until set- about 4 hours.

Try: Lime jello with ginger ale, cherry jello with cola, strawberry or lime jello with Sprite.

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