Category Archives: challenges

#fiveminutefreewrite #9: water

I’ve lived my whole life living within 5 driving minutes from water. salt water. I actually grew up on an island. there was am ocean on one side and a bay on the other. at the north end if the island you can actually see where the two meet. it’s pretty cool. 

This time of year, I don’t always appreciate the water where I live. you see, my water is salty, atlantic ocean water. there is nothin tropical about our water. but it’s home. it is December and therefore not your typical month for outdoor, water activities and very easy to take for granted. 

Another thing about water and taking water for granted….

My girlfriend’s son has given up Christmas for the last 5ish (maybe more bUT  bad with numbers) years. he has instead raised money for charity.or an organization who helps build wells in places without access to fresh water. 

This boy is amazing! (tomorrow I will add in a link here for more information about Bridger’s Christmas water campaign)

And one final thought….

I am not drinking enough water these days. how do you drink a water by the ton when it’s not hot outside?


#fiveminutefreewrite #8: maybe


Maybe I should start this earlier. I’m tired at 1053 (the time I am starting). I’m in bed. and I don’t like taking my phone to bed and currently, my only way to blog. but, here I am. (lack of capitalization is the biggest tell of blogging on my phone)

Maybe I need more yoga and meditation in my day. I’m feeling somewhat unfocused….not entirely unfocused but I’m really not sure my next move, my next step. I have several irons in the fire but no really plan for what happens when I pull an iron out.

Maybe I’ve been avoiding may mat and maybe I kinda think I’m figuring out why. maybe avoiding my mat means I can avoid feeling and dealing with things. 

Maybe I am starting to feel and deal anyway. only starting. you see, I realize the gym is therapeutic. I feel energized and ready to tackle stuff. I’m even beginning to process different thoughts .  

Maybe I need more writing. this little bit of writing has been pretty amazing but what if I need more private journaling type writing. maybe that could be a place to work thru the swirling thoughts about what I want next. I have so many ideas and maybe of I journal it I can declutter the swirling chaos.

Maybe I can declutter more than just my mind. my house is kinda cluttered and maybe it’s starting to get on my nerves. but true confession: I’m lazy. 

Maybe I should work on that . 

#fiveminutefreewrite #7 PLEASE



Please forgive me, I started to write this last night and I fell asleep. I was in bed but it was sort of early. Well, early for my usual bed time.  I don’t usually fall asleep in the middle of doing things. I am that person who can read and think it will help them fall asleep but instead, I am the person who will find themselves still awake at 3am finishing just one more chapter.


Not an easy prompt.

An easy little word. Just one little syllable. Yet, it must be a hard word to say. So many people forget to use it.

ALL day long at school, I hear myself responding “please” when students are asking for things. It seems like they forget they were ever taught the word. But teenagers are not the only ones who forget this word.

I know I am occasionally guilty of not using that word.

I will try better to use it all the time when it is appropriate.


#fiveminutefreewrite #6:clothes

5 minutes on the clock 



  • I have a love/hate relationship with clothes 
  • I need new clothes
  • Stuff that makes complete outfits. 
  • I also need some shoes. 
  • Wearing pants is overrated and at home, when I can, I go pants free. 
  • I love my leggings. 
  • But lately, I’ve been feeling this urge to wear dresses. 
  • Maybe leggings under my dresses will be my way to go. 
  • Christmas is around the corner. a family gift is a mini-mini-vacation/mini-shopping spree.
  • Lancaster Outlets here we come. 
  • I’ll have my Q to help me find the perfect dress styles/shape. 
  • I also like the idea of simple slacks and blouses… these things truly come in a material that does not need to iron?
  • Confession: I don’t own an iron. 
  • Ooh. cardigans. 
  • My classroom temperature is totally infreakingsane. Hot cold hot cold. all day long. 
  • I feel like I need to dress just a little more put together.  
  • A little more grown up. 
  • I need to move somewhere tropical…sandals and sundresses I totally understand. no effort
  • Truth: sandals and sundresses always fit. that is part of the charm. 
  • I have a ton of clothes: clothes that fit too big, too small, and my leggings; winter clothes still in the attic; summer clothes still in my closet. 
  • I need some organization and purging before we go shopping .  
  • From clothes to purging ……

#fiveminutefreewrite WEATHER

Ha. what a funny prompt. I came home early from school and went back to bed. with my phone, Netflix app, and a mission. 

Gilmore Girls reboot. 

I have somehow avoided spoilers for an entire week. in the social media world we live in this is surprising. but I managed to avoid all spoilers. 

Don’t worry. no spoilers here either. 

But everyone knows there are four episodes, each named for one of the four seasons. 

I came home early, rested and watched  GG. I think I am starring to feel better and I don’t think that is the Pepto talking. 

Tomorrow is Saturday and I have absolutely nothing planned. which is good because after feeling like crap all week long, I feel the need to open my windows (for as long as the weather cooperates) and air out the sick. plus, I am so behind in my chores. the laundry is piled up to ridiculous heights for only two people. add in a week of sick and the sheets must be washed first thing. 

If the weather cooperates and I can feel well enough to be very productive, I’d like to talk a small little walk. I have done no workouts this week. I have not been able to eat or drink very much water the last few days and this is not a good  way to  prepare for the gym. part of me is ready to go back but then I remember I am still sort of queasy and very tired. 

I just feel weak and tender. 

I’d really like the weather to cooperate,  maybe be like yesterday (60° on December 1st) or close to it. I’d love a gentle walk out in the fresh air. 

South jersey is so weird and the weather cannot be trusted. it could be 30ish° when I wake up and 55-60° before dark. Sometimes we get all 4 seasons and sometimes we get a rainy, a cold, and a humid season. 

See. weird and not to be trusted. 

Fingers crossed for warmish and sunnyish weather to tomorrow. 

And don’t forget to cross fingers for a productive morning. 

Ha. my alarm went off without me even realizing it. 


Hello, December 

I’m chillin’ in bed. I’m sick and I’ve  been in bed since I came home from work. I used every ounce of energy to get through my school day. I am fighting the inevitable sickness that I feel invading my body. However,  I loaded up on Pepto and powered through the day. 

I absolutely had to be in school today. You see, today was the start of my friend Susan’s writing challenge. I was so inspired by this challenge  (see photo below) I decided to challenge my students to join me. I put it up on the board and waited. 10 kids wrote their names but 12 showed up to my meeting today. 

I handed out 12 journals to 12 at-risk  high school kids. These kids volunteered  to write. On their own time. I did offer some incentives to joining and sticking with it, but I think that’s ok. 

I have not been too great at writing every day. I set out in November with the intention to blog every day. OMG. Why did I do that to myself? 

I’m confident with prompts and only needing 5 minutes required writing, I’ve taken off a lot of the pressure of blogging every day. Without a lot of pressure, I think I can be successful. Scratch that, I know I can be successful. 

So here goes, DAY 1: HELLO

5 minutes on the timer.GO.


I wonder if I am talking to myself on this blog. 

It doesn’t matter if I am talking to myself. When I am here and writing, it feels right. I need to get some of my gunk out of my head and this seems to be my way. 

As I get older, I realize I must do things my way. In my time. Even when it comes to blogging. I’ve been blogging for a long time, off and on. I’ve never been totally consistent. 

I may not be consistent but I am persistent. I keep coming back. 

Hello, my name is Jen. I am slowly figuring out that I will forever be a work in progress. I’m figuring out how to have hiccups (sp?) and move on without taking incredibly long breaks. 

I missed a blog post in November and the first time it was no big deal but the song time it messed with me and I just couldn’t bring myself to start back up. I am working my way to a place where I blog consistently and frequently. 

I figure my blog will be very eclectic. December will mostly be devoted to Susan’s writing challenge. After that, who knows. I want to post often. I’m trying to tell myself it’s ok to have short posts. Writing helps me. 
Hello, December!

Speaking of December, it’s a new month and that is the perfect time to set some monthly goals. 

 have three goals for December

1. actively participate in this writing challenge (my writing daily and checking in with my students; encouraging and them)

2. get to the gym 12* times. 

3. yoga/meditation – figure out when and where. it is time to stop ignoring my inner/spiritual self. This goal is a bit looseygoosey but I’m working my way back to yoga. I want to do it on a gentle and loving manner. I’ll stick to beating myself up in the gym. lol
*I say this as I haven’t been to the gym in since Friday. That makes a week tomorrow because I will not be going tomorrow either – I have eaten half a bowl of oatmeal and a bowl of rice all day. I’m somehow staving off the full blown version of this stomach thing but I have enough symptoms to make me not happy. 

Quick hit. and then some.

Hey guys!

I’m just checking in real quick. I’m at job #2 and I’m sneaking a post in between bar guests. We are dead tonight at good old Applebee’s. 

Today is Day #1 of our end of the year 7-week challenge. 

Did you set some goals for this week? did you set goals for the whole 7 weeks?

My overall challege goal is to stay gluten free. I have been very naughty letting in a lot of junky gluten.  My belly is a mess and my itching is OUT.OF.CONROL. 

My bar got busy and I couldn’t blog anymore. School was very busy and I didn’t take much of a break


 I thought I had lost yet another post. I opened my app today while eating a very quick lunch at my desk and the page easy blank. I was too short on time, and too pissy thinking I’d lost another post, to rewrite this so I just closed my app and went back to grading papers. 

So where was I?

Oh yeah, goals. 

This week:

  • Choose gluten free – as I mentioned before, I’ve been way too lax about my food choices. 
  • Choose water – since going back to school in September my water drinking totals (if I’d been counting, which I haven’t) have taken a nosedive. Drought situations. 

7 main goals for 7 weeks:

  1. Enjoy all the holidays offer me. who knows how the next 7 weeks will shape up but I refuse to spend it so stressed out I don’t enjoy life and my family.
  2. No guilt over food. Just stay gluten free.
  3. Gym. Continue to make the gym a priority. Goal is 20 workouts.
  4. Restart my yoga and meditation practices. 
  5. Continue blogging regularly. I’m really enjoying the challenge to blog every day. (and I am very aware that I have not blogged every day but I am celebrating the small success of blogging almost everyday
  6. Read one book each week. 
  7. Work on 2017 intention(s)

    Each week I will evaluate and determine what is needed for the week and I will set my goal accordingly. 

    Week 1: back to gluten free and up my water intake. 

    Stay tuned for week 2.