Writing Excerpts – March 28, 2016

Welcome to Week #8 of my Writing Excerpts.

Note: This series of Writing Excerpts was originally inspired by this post and Jeff Goins’ My 500 Words challenge.



I can’t even count how many times I hear that around New Year’s, in words that have the meaning of: “I don’t make resolutions, I’m just going to sort of half-assed try to (insert *whatever* – eat healthy, work out, save money, etc.) because I know I’ll quit in three weeks.”

Okay, seriously, people.

Yes, I know resolution is a strong word. It’s supposed to be!

Every time I hear the word resolved (or resolution), I can’t help thinking of Nicolas Cage in the movie “National Treasure” when he is passionately talking about the Declaration of Independence and how strongly the Founding Fathers were in their intentions. “Be it resolved…”

Have we as a society become so afraid of hurting our own feelings that we cannot make goals firm enough to be called resolutions?



I found this writing prompt on a list of 120 words. When I saw it, I thought, “yes.” Then I continued to read the list and it was on there again. I laughed and thought the woman who wrote the list must love her blankets as much as I do.

In fact, I’m writing this in the evening, after my nightly ritual of turning on my electric blanket before bed. I love my electric blanket. There is not much I hate more than getting into a cold bed. But the coziness of a warm bed… that is what I look forward to from the moment I get up in the morning.

And naptime. Those rare, wonderful days when you have a spare hour to kick back and sleep during the middle of the day. But only with a blanket.

Even my dog loves blankets. He sleeps under one every night. It would be adorable if he didn’t like to use the same blanket I like for naps.

Fleece blankets, woven blankets, quilts, comforters, velour blankets… just about anything but wool. I don’t like scratchy.

*smiling* I think it’s time to head to bed now and browse my phone for those last few moments of the day before falling asleep under my warm blanket.


Spring Break

Ah, the luxury of spring break. I’m glad I went back to work for the school system so that I could enjoy the school calendar breaks. It’s even better than being at home full-time. 😉

I have an unrealistic number of reading, writing, and blogging goals. I’m smiling, because I don’t even care that they are unrealistic. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to attempt them.

We are not planning any family trips. My husband still has to work this week. (Thankfully he has work.)

Tuesday evening we will be having dinner with his family. It might be the last one for quite a while when my husband is together with all of his brothers and sisters. One of his sisters is moving to where there is more available work. It’s fun watching them all together, and it’s really good for my boys to be around silly people.

I also have to grocery shop next week. Ick. It’s been about a month. I’m hoping to further improve on my “shop quick and get out of the city” method. The plan is two hours for shopping, just over an hour driving, home before noon.

It should be interesting to see if my older son even mentions his housing situation for his upcoming work term.


Dark water

She was no stranger to big water. Lake Michigan was her friend. Sometimes quiet, ripples so small they barely made a sound on the soft sand beach. Other times angry, whipped by the wind into a frenzy of massive waves crashing and tearing at the shore. She loved fishing on boats for salmon and steelhead during the day, never afraid of the depths below the boat. She could also sit on the beach all day, digging her feet into the sand, reading, watching for freighters at the horizon, mesmerized by the changing colors of the sky and water. And the sunsets, nothing could match the beauty.

But then night came and the water turned dark. She didn’t mind hearing the water, whether in the form of relaxing ripples or exciting crashing waves. Neither was she afraid of the dark.

But there was something about dark water that disturbed her. She just KNEW there were massive fish that swam to feed closer to the surface at night. She had seen pictures of monster-size sturgeon and shuddered at the vision.


Success is something that happens in spite of everyone’s advice.

Do you feel successful? I know there are times in my life when I have felt successful in one or two areas of my life, but never all of them at once. It’s so easy to feel like we’re doing pretty well at something, but then we start listening to others.

“You have to do it THIS way if you want it done right.”

Take food as an example. You decide you want you and your family to “eat better.” You stop buying sugary prepackaged food items, you cook more from scratch, you eat more vegetables. After a few weeks you notice your family is looking healthier, and you can tell that you personally have more energy.

But you are on a budget, so you have been doing this using non-organic foods. As you get more into the lifestyle, you read more and more articles from people who ONLY feed their families organic food. So you feel pressured to start buying organic vegetables and fruits. Then milk. Then meats.

Then you read about how the organic foods industry is not all that different than the conventional food industry and if you love your family you will grow your own vegetables. So now you have to become a gardener. Your family does not understand. You are stressed. You feel guilty that you wanted to make a meal for your family that required flour, but you did not grow and grind the wheat yourself. You feel like a failure.

It’s time to take a step back. Refocus on your goal and what you are willing to do to reach that goal.

Remember how you initially felt with the first changes you made? You felt successful. You probably felt better than when you were trying to do EVERYTHING right.

Stop listening so much to other people. Success is a mindset that is not always measured in visible ways.

Have you been writing lately? Post a link in the comments — I would love to read it!

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Writing Excerpts - March 28, 2016 | www.fillingthejars.com | Welcome to Week #8 of my Writing Excerpts. This series of Writing Excerpts was originally inspired by Jeff Goins’ My 500 Words challenge.

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4 thoughts on “Writing Excerpts – March 28, 2016”

  1. Dark Water!! Wonderful work, Julie.
    I hope you had a lovely spring break.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing with us, Julie.

    1. Dean, thank you so much for visiting and for the kind words! Spring break has been very relaxing and productive at the same time. 🙂 Love the #MMBH – I always find something new and interesting!

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