Wednesday Quotables: Being Unapologetic

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In the spirit of today’s post I will not apologize for my long absence from my blog. I will say that I missed it and am glad to be back.

I was scrolling through twitter this morning and found this awesome article posted by Women’s Health.


If you have a minute, watch the video clip. It’s not long and although it is ultimately a Pantene commercial, it still carries a pretty great message: stop saying sorry for everything! What a perfect topic for quotables. Here are some inspiring quotes about being yourself, owning yourself and being unapologetic about it.






Isn’t this the most wonderful message? Be you. No apologies. What a great lesson to pass along to our daughters. Hold on to your power, listen to your inner voice and proceed with confidence.

Have a great and unapologetic Wednesday!

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Having a Baby Does Not Mean You Will Lose Yourself

I follow an organization for parents in the Greater Toronto Area on twitter: Life With A Baby.  Today they had a great tweet and link to their blog:

When my son was born, my world stopped.  It all revolved around him.  At first I was so out of sorts.  I had no idea what I was doing, felt completely incompetent and in true Karen fashion, decided I would master this whole mothering thing. I failed to realize that I didn’t need to master anything.  I was enough the way I was for my son.  I also failed to realize that he wouldn’t be a newborn forever.

Since this is my second go at having a baby, I know what I need to hang onto myself: stop trying so hard, time to sleep, write a blog post or two, read something other than parenting books, ask for help, rely on my friends. These things will all help me to remember me and to survive the demands of a newborn. However, I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is that it is all temporary.

Those first few weeks of figuring out feeding and sleeping are insane.  It is so much work as you get to know the little person that lived inside you for 40 weeks!  It is overwhelming.  It is exhausting.  It is frustrating and amazing and awesome. And, it won’t last forever.

Very soon there will be time to go on dates again, go back to the gym, read books I love, keep up with the twitter/facebook/blogging world, meet friends for lunch or coffee etc. Once those first 6-8 weeks pass and the craziness passes, I will have a chance to reconnect with myself.

I will be able to play with my son,  play with my daughter and revel in being a mommy without being defined by it. I will enjoy every minute, be grateful for what I have and remember that I am living in a temporary reality that will change and change and change.  The demands of a baby will disappear into the demands of a toddler and I’ll eventually have another pre-schooler saying “I Know Mommy!”  when I remind her to pick up her toys or finish her veggies. The baby that demanded my time will be gone forever and I’ll have myself back.

Above all, I think the most important thing to remember is to keep in touch with that internal voice. If it says “I am happy”, then all is good.  If it says otherwise, then I will listen to it and act accordingly. After all, this is what we do when we are being true to ourselves.

How did you hang on to yourself after having a baby?  Any strategies that helped and you’d love to pass on?

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Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

Yesterday’s topic:  Beyond the Blog.  At this point in my blogging venture my gains have been entirely personal.

Books: I find myself reading things I would not have normally read.  I teach many classics during the day…so I certainly would not have sat myself down to read classic literature in my free time.  I am doing just that and (for the most part) am enjoying it…I have found a few books that I would love to bring into the classroom.  I am reading literature I never would’ve tried before: historical fiction and thrillers. 

Blogging: I had always heard about blogs.  I knew people wrote blogs.  But I had no idea what this whole business was about.  I felt like an infant blindly navigating wordpress and becoming giddy when I discovered how to insert images or add hyperlinks.  It was a peculiar mixture of exhilaration and feeling pathetically outdated.  Nonetheless, I happily continue in my writing and blogging journey.

Blogs: In my real life, I discuss teaching strategies, classroom management strategies, literacy scores, and of course, the books we teach.  Rarely, do we get the chance (or, create the chance) to truly discuss the books we’ve read that we love – it’s always about the job.  I am learning so much from this community of book bloggers and writing bloggers.  There is a wealth of knowledge in every blog I read.  I love hearing the passion in your writing about books and writing.  I’ve always felt like a bit of a nerd for my love of literature, reading and writing…but in this space it feels fantastic.

Social Media: I only started on Facebook a year ago. The main purpose was to keep in touch with family in Colombia and U.S. I realize that linking facebook to my blog is probably a good idea, but I’m not comfortable with having my two worlds collide.  I may have to start a facebook page just for writing and blogging – perhaps when I have more time (because of course more time will just spontaneously arrive).  I started with Twitter about a year ago as well.  I wasn’t really sure how to use it or what the purpose of it was.  Honestly, it wasn’t until my husband began to tweet that I understood its potential.  I love reading Twitter, catching up on tweets and all the interesting news and information posted.  My own challenge is to tweet more (again, when more time is magically created for me).

The Courage to Write More: creating my blog brought me back to my first love: writing.  I love teaching; adolescents are hilarious and make for some pretty fantastic stories, but my real passion lies in writing.  My blog has proven to me (if I may), that I’m good at it, that I can reach others with what I write.  And, so it has given me the courage to call myself a writer, to start sending out queries and familiarizing myself with the writing game.  Perhaps it might turn into a career change or at the very least, an opportunity to do more of what I love in different arenas.

 How have you moved Beyond the Blog? Looking forward to reading responses here and on your own blogs.

Armchair BEA: Networking

This discussion of Armchair BEA is all about Networking.

This is a new experience for me…not just blogging, but networking.  I am a friendly, outgoing person who strives to make all those I come in contact with feel comfortable and at ease.  However, when it comes to putting myself “out there”, when it comes to promoting myself or what I love to do (read/write), when it comes to asking others for help in getting me “in the game”…I am absolutely terrible.  Terrible. 

Starting my blog nine months ago was step one.  Finding other bloggers and commenting on their posts and sites was step two.  And then, they responded…I heard back from like-minded people and I was floored.  Other people actually cared about what I had to say…I loved it.  So, my “networking” just sort of happened.

I am motivated to continue networking when I see increased traffic to my site and I come across awesome people online.  I’m concentrating my efforts by joining weekly memes, seeking out other blogs and commenting, being more active on Twitter, and just generally getting my blog seen.

In my career as an English teacher, I discuss books and writing all day long without “plugging” my blog since I want this to be separate from my teaching career.  I tried joining a book club a while back, but everyone was so busy there were never any meetings, and it all just fell apart.  So as far as “real” people are concerned, my networking is essentially non-existent.

Having said that, I’ve met and am meeting people that I highly respect and admire online.  There are so many versatile, fresh, inspiring book and writing bloggers that I feel this is the forum for me.  

I was inspired by all the little bits on networking I’ve read at Armchair BEA, so I contacted a book blogger I love to see if he will feature me on his “Friends” page.  Haven’t heard back yet, but the lesson is…it never hurts to ask!

My only tip for networking as of yet is not to stop blogging, reading and commenting.  And, Tweet often.  I’m sure there are other more efficient ways to network, for now this seems to be working for me.