Get Off My Lawn, Technology!

You know how they say it’s important to keep stretching your mind so that the old brain cells don’t atrophy? Like brush your teeth with your left hand if you’re right-handed…or learn a new language…or take a different route to an oft-visited spot.

But I don’t have to bother with all that. All I have to do is check in to my tech-heavy platforms occasionally. That is, assuming I can still get into ’em. Because everything–EVERYTHING–is constantly changing and you need a degree in quantum physics or computer engineering or both to keep up.

Take this here blog at WordPress. For reasons only they know–though I’m sure there’s some delightfully cheery WordPress post explaining all and telling me how these changes are going to make my life easier–I’ve been switched to a different editor. Frankly, I think it’s because Blogger switched their editor, though honestly, I’m not sure who switched what first. I am sure that now, I can’t use what little brain cells I have to think up brilliant words and put ’em together into posts; I have to expend my grey matter on figuring out all the tech changes.

I realize that with everything going on in the world right now, this seems somewhat petty, complaining about the constant changes in technology. But that’s exactly what’s so annoying: with everything going on in the world, I’d like one thing, one thing to stay put for a minute.

I want my smart phone and my smart TV to quit being such smartypants. I want to slip into my website and blogging platforms without thinking, like when you’ve been on the road traveling but you finally come home and breathe that sigh of relief because you know where everything is. I want appliances that don’t have a gazillion options to figure out before I can even use ’em and I want a car that I can just get in and drive without needing a 15-minute demonstration on how the dad-blamed KEY works. I want…I want…I WANT TECHNOLOGY TO GET OFF MY LAWN.

Ahhhh, that felt good.

Anyway, I dropped in here to tell you, ironically, about my latest blog post over at The Muffin: Do You Do This? (And How It Can Make You a Better Writer). It’s ironic because…well, you’ll have to zip over there and read the post to get the irony.

Just doing my part to keep your old brain cells sharp.

P.S. I wanted to insert this very apt image in a clever and intuitive way into this post but I’ve already used up all my thinking. So here’s the pic and you are free to just imagine a great spot for it:

What I Really Cannot Do Is Write

TheMuffinHeaderUm…it’s August. AUGUST, y’all.

When last we met, it was June and I was walking my way to better. Which I’m still doing. What I’m not doing is writing.

I think my feelings about writing can best be summed up in the song, Sing! from the musical, A Chorus Line. Except where the character says “sing” please insert “write.” (Because ironically, I can sing.)

Lest you surmise that I’ve become a complete slug, I have been doing things.

I’ve done lots and lots of thinking. Mostly on the back deck, whilst taking in some vitamin D and slurping on a frozen concoction. You can read what I’ve been thinking about in “New Thinking About Old Goals”over at the Muffin.

I’ve been reading lots and lots, too. I’ve read the complete series of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith and I’ve learned SO much about Botswana! But I’ve learned other interesting stuff, too, reading sites like Bored Panda. And of course, I’ve read my email, at least the personal ones. And that’s been interesting and informative, too. (You can see for yourself in “What a Writer Wants from a Professional Critique,” also over at the Muffin.)

And painting! Holy Bright White, so much painting! It’s been kind of inspirational, actually, and you can see what I mean at “Writing Tips, Compliments of the Kitchen Painting Project.” Yep, it’s at the Muffin, too.

Last but not least, I’ve been getting ready for Oldest Junior Hall’s wedding. Which has been challenging in the middle of a pandemic but there you have it; one must make the best of things, so we had a Zoom Bridal Shower. And I don’t mean to gloat, but I sort of outdid myself, making a slideshow for the happy couple. So fine, I guess that is gloating, and you can read all about the splendiferous slideshow in “Storybook Story” over at the Muffin.

Um…I suppose you could say technically, I have been writing.

Never mind.

 

Walk Your Way To Better

walkyourwaytobetterI don’t often sign up for a WOW-Women-on-Writing book blog tour. Not because I don’t read much but because I do read so much that’s work-related, whether it’s mentor texts or books on the writing craft or blog posts or newsletters or webinars—whew! It’s all focused, intentional reading and sometimes, it makes my head hurt. So my non-work reading is rest for my weary mind, usually pure entertainment or meditative. Honestly, those books have to earn their place in the limited space of my brain.

Then I saw Walk Your Way to Better by Joyce Shulman and it called to me. And here is what it said, “You’re already walking and you’re all for being better so here’s a book you need to take the time to read.” And so I read and contemplated as I walked; I made some notes, too. But I must confess that I haven’t finished this book yet. And I think Joyce would be fine with that because this is not the kind of book you speed read; this is a book where you read and walk and think and journal. Maybe you skip one of the 99 walks that doesn’t pertain to you or maybe you spend a whole week thinking about one particular topic. Or maybe you don’t walk so much as relax for a few minutes while you’re on the lounge chair on your back deck and getting your vitamin D when a sudden realization from Walk #27 hits you.

The point is, Walk Your Way to Better is an individual experience. For you, it could be a speedy jaunt, while for me, it was—and is—more of a wandering ramble. But I’m far enough through the journey to share a review:

What I enjoy most about Joyce Shulman’s Walk Your Way to Better is her voice; she shares her life experiences, introducing us to her foibles, her ups and downs, and where and what she’s learned along her journey, often learning it the hard way. But despite her hard lessons learned, there’s no whining here. Instead, you’ll find someone who picks herself up, admits her mistakes, and moves on. She’s all about progress, not perfection, and not too preachy, either. And she genuinely wants you to move on to bigger and better, too, so she’s come up with this format:

Each of the walks examines a particular topic to help you be better, whether it’s physically better (she’s a huge proponent of healthy eating, particularly breakfast), emotionally better (she drills down more than once on goals, dreams, and what brings you joy) or intellectually better (decision fatigue—it’s a real thing, y’all). These are short, conversational meditations that usually end with an expectation of an actionable response from the reader.

Not every topic will resonate with every reader and some of the topics may be all too-familiar. Many of Shulman’s suggestions are already a part of my daily, weekly, or yearly routine. But here’s the thing: I more often than not found a gem that made me think a bit differently, maybe for just a moment or two. But that’s how we change our lives, how we get better, right? It’s usually the little things that make a difference, the small steps we take every day that eventually get us where we want to go.

Just like a daily walk.

 

You can find Walk Your Way to Better on Amazon, and you can find more reviews on Goodreads, too. Plus, you can find Joyce Shulman online here:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/joyceshulman

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-NR50srbDzKdUBx5BPgQQ

https://twitter.com/joycershulman

https://www.instagram.com/joyce.r.shulman/

https://www.joyceshulman.com/

AND, her book blog tour is still going on! So don’t just take my word about Walk Your Way to Better. Take a look around:

WalkYourWaytoBetter-BlogTour-JoyceShulman