#JournalingInJuly Over 50s Lifestyle

#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 5 & Wrap Up

August 3, 2019
#JournalinginJuly Challenge - Week 5

It is the final few days of #JournalinginJuly and I’ve certainly come to enjoy the theme and prompts. Today I’m writing #JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 5

Thank you to all who participated, followed along and commented. A special thank you to my ‘partner-in-journaling’, Debbie Harris from Deb’s World who has been a fun and witty co-host (she also happens to be a dear friend).

Thank you to my guest writers for the Challenge:

If you missed any posts or want to start following the journal prompts in your time to can find JOURNALING IN JULY HERE

The last linkup for #JournalinginJuly will be this coming Saturday and Deb and I will continue the Saturday link up for August with the them of Ageing Well in August. I hope you will join us and share your thoughts.

#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 5

I looked at the prompts for the last few days and sure enough, I haven’t made them easy! I suppose that is really what a challenge is about though – pushing us to do more than just the normal or taking the easy way. I also need to warn you that some of my thoughts seem to be darker than usual. Life can’t always be ‘rainbows and unicorns’ and these prompts have made me delve deeper into what I truly want from life. I certainly need to take my own coaching advice and stop for a moment to see where I am and where I would like to be.

Day 28 – A Daydream

Daydream a series of pleasant thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present.

Lately, I could do with some daydreaming especially when I read the definition of ‘daydream’. I’ve been thinking about my choice of two words to define my year in 2019. They were Commit and Evolve and 2019 was going to be the ‘Evolution of Sue’. I’m on track to achieve these two words as I review my year so far, however, it suddenly hit me reading this prompt that in my evolution I haven’t included any time for ‘daydreaming’.

When I first read this prompt I didn’t think I could write anything but now the words are pouring out and I probably need to write many pages. Warning, this might not be your idea of a daydream!

Daydreaming and finding contentment is something I need to revisit as lately life has been too full of commitments and not enough of daydreaming. Of course this is all self imposed and during my upcoming holiday to Alaska and Canada I will be seriously considering my life options, because something has to change. I need to find the elusive balance between feeling fulfilled by my goals but also enjoying life and being with my husband. Perhaps it is time to ‘take the foot of the pedal’ and ease back – but am I capable of that?

Life is like that for me. I set my goals and then am driven to achieve them but sometimes that can be at a cost that perhaps I no longer want to pay.

Day 29 – Freestyle – any subject that you choose or feel moved to write about

I’m with my grandsons today, Ethan 5 and Elliot 1. Each Tuesday I travel to Brisbane (a one hour drive) to spend time with them. I walk Ethan to school and then spend the day with Elliot until it is time for school pickup. This is the one day of the week when I feel free. I spend my time learning about life through the eyes of a 5 and 1 year old. I am not looking at social media or spending time online. I’m focused on enjoying the simple pleasures of conversations about life with Ethan and the joy of seeing Elliot crawling, standing and growing (too fast!).

This feeling of freedom is something that I need more of. I probably am kidding myself when I say I would enjoy having my days unplanned and a just taking life as it comes because in reality that is not my personality. However, the sense of freedom from responsibilities that I have created is certainly inviting.

Perhaps it is timely that we have a holiday planned in September. A cruise to Alaska and then touring Canada. I’m looking forward to spending time with my darling husband and perhaps taking some time to actually stop and think seriously of what I want in my life and what needs to go.

Day 30 – My Best Friend

#JournalinginJuly Challenge Week 5

I don’t have a best friend – there I’ve said it. I did have a best friend throughout school.Her name was Kerran and we met on the steps of the Post Office before we started school. We did everything together, school and ballet and she was my daughter’s Godmother. But through circumstances on my side, the friendship faded. Since then I’ve never really had what we would normally term ‘a best friend’.

Of course my husband is my closest friend and confidante, I love spending time with him and we have a relationship where we are contented just being together even in silence. He is supportive and loves me unconditionally even putting up with all of my ‘ideas and goals’ and my ‘gung ho’ attitude. My daughter is also someone I can confide my inner most thoughts to and love our relationship because we can ‘vent’ to each other with no judgement.

However, I am also fortunate to have friends who although are few in number provide quality friendship in spades. These include my friendships ‘in real life’ such as my Saturday Sisters who I run with and my closest blogging friendships that I’ve formed in the 4.5 years I’ve been blogging in particular my Best Blogging Buddy, Leanne from Cresting the Hill, Debbie from Deb’s World and Donna from Retirement Reflections who is so supportive of my blog and who I am excited to be meeting when I visit Canada next month.

Day 31 – How has this challenge changed me?

The biggest change I’ve experienced doing this challenge is being able to put my inner most thoughts down. I’ve tried journaling on and off but have usually sat down with a beautiful journal and pen and a blank mind to match my blank journal page. The use of prompts has definitely helped me to focus and although at times I didn’t think I could write anything, inspiration came. Some days I would mull over the prompt before writing anything and other days the writing would be much easier.

The challenge has surprisingly shown me areas of my life that I’m not happy with or the realisation that I don’t really want to follow certain paths any longer. It has also reminded me that I need to find some time for living, daydreaming and enjoying each day without putting self-imposed pressure on myself to ‘perform’.

I’ve also learned that others have enjoyed the theme and felt it helped them to gather their thoughts. I would definitely like to undertake the process again in the future.

If I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure that I would continue to journal without prompts or the challenge that I developed through the blog. There was a responsibility to follow through and I’m proud of myself that I achieved that.

I’ve come to realise that journaling is a way of writing our story and it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that we don’t share with others. Although I have read comments from my readers to suggest that their journaling helps them to solve problems or to write down their feelings rather than acting them out. Some even burn their pages when they have finished.

Did you take part in #JournalinginJuly? If so, how did the experience change you?

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  • Reply suzanne vosbikian August 3, 2019 at 06:35

    Hi Sue, this is an excellent wrap up to an excellent month. Thank you for allowing me to make a small contribution. Hopefully, some readers were inspired to take up the practice of journal writing, or at the very least realize that blogging is in a sense very similar.

    My life stands still compared to yours. That is okay with me, as it suites my internal drive and personality, but I completely understand individuals like yourself who need to continually achieve. That word, BALANCE always seems to pop up and remind us to slow down and smell the roses. Best wishes for a wonderful August. I look forward to following along.

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins August 3, 2019 at 09:02

    Hi Sue,
    Great series and nice wrap up. You know that I am a “work in progress” with journaling; in many ways my blog is personal enough that it serves some of the same functions. I did find a few of the prompts thought-provoking and so I thank you for the nudge.
    Looking forward to the Aging Well series also…am exploring healthspan vs. lifespan, the connection between spirituality and science as well as the Japanese concept of Ikigai. I think all of these are variations on living well – and aging well.

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 3, 2019 at 09:19

    You really have embraced this challenge Sue and I love your wrap up thoughts. You’ve been honest and reflective and it’s been a great way of getting to know more of the inner workings in your life. You are incredibly busy, driven and organised and I can only commend you on that. I agree that it has shown how you would like some changes and more freedom in your life but as you say, that’s not always a part of your personality. I’m glad you have your holiday coming up soon and it will be a nice time away from your usual daily life. Thanks for mentioning me as a friend and I love how you get to have a special day each week with Ethan and Elliot – what a joy! It’s been a pleasure to join you throughout the month so thanks again for having me. xx

  • Reply Linda Curry August 3, 2019 at 11:09

    As someone who has kept a journal since retirement in 2005, I found the prompts help me write about things other than the mundane everyday things I normally write about. What I would like is a prompts for a whole year appearing at the top of my page each day as I start to write (type). Now there’s a thought for a new App.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:27

      Hi Linda, I think there might be journal books that give you daily prompts but you could be onto a winner there! I found it much easier writing to a prompt. If I didn’t have the prompt I would just sit there and my mind would be blank. I’m pleased you enjoyed the challenge and perhaps we can do it again as it seemed quite popular. x

  • Reply Trisha Faye August 3, 2019 at 23:54

    Thanks for hosting this challenge, along with Deb. I enjoyed participating in it (the days I actually DID sit down and journal LOL). It was a good experience for me and reminded me how this is beneficial to me. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:29

      Thank you Trisha for participating when you could. I didn’t expect everyone to participate each day but I did learn more about those who did participate including yourself. It is something we can do anytime isn’t it? Perhaps I need to make it a regular theme on the blog. Hope your week is going well. xx

  • Reply Miriam August 4, 2019 at 08:44

    Hi Sue, what a wonderful wrap up post and it sounds as though it was a bit of a break through month for you, in terms of working out what you want and don’t want in your life. Writing is so powerful like that. And what a great idea to have prompts. I’m doing something similar in my Life Mastery course and it’s proving to be life changing. I hope August is equally as enlightening and wonderful for you. Enjoy the ride. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:30

      I’m certainly at a crossroads Miriam and yes, journaling has helped me realise that there is definitely too much that I’ve taken on in life which is robbing me of happiness. Your Life Mastery course sounds so interesting I would love to hear more about it. Have a beautiful week and my birthday is in a couple of weeks so August will be another lovely month for me to enjoy xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 4, 2019 at 16:16

    Hi Sue – congrats on reaching the end of the month and all that soul searching and writing! I can’t imagine doing something like this every day – I journal about once a week and that is more than enough for me! Thanks so much for including me in your BFF list – I really do value our BBB relationship and I’m not sure I’d enjoy blogging anywhere near as much if I didn’t have you as my support person and confidante and cheerleader (big hug!)
    I also thought it was interesting that you were talking about freedom – one of my top two core values this year (along with flexibility). Sometimes I think life is trying to tell us to chill out a little and have a break when we put too much pressure on ourselves. Your trip away is going to be the perfect opportunity to take a breather and forget everything for a few weeks – and just enjoy being a couple on holidays (bliss!) xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:33

      I’m not sure I’m a daily journaler, Leanne but I did enjoy the challenge probably because I had a prompt to write about. Like you having you as my BBB certainly keeps me going with the blog. Life is certainly sending me messages at the moment and I seriously have to start listening. I’m certainly looking forward to time away with Mike and enjoying ticking off visiting two places that have been on our bucket list for some time. xx

  • Reply Candi Randolph August 5, 2019 at 20:07

    Hi Sue, I could feel your honesty pouring out in this journaling post, and am glad that you’re going to be going away with your man for a little while to mull over those thoughts of where you’re going and what you really want to do. I can relate to the characteristic of self-challenges and feelings of commitment and responsibility to meet the goals I’ve set. But you’re right…there comes a time when the goals have to be evaluated and maybe re-set for the future. xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:37

      Thanks Candi, it has been a revelation during July and I will definitely be considering all of my options whilst I am away from our familiar routine. x

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt August 7, 2019 at 08:33

    It was a great challenge, Sue, sorry I couldn’t stick with it! Your time spent with your grandsons and a holiday with your husband sound wonderful and will help you with your focus!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:42

      Hi Terri, it is difficult to keep up with all the challenges or ideas that come across our desks isn’t it? I’m so looking forward to spending time with Mike and enjoying ticking off some places that have been on our bucket list for some time. Hope your week is going well and you will soon be running around fully recovered. x

  • Reply Donna Connolly August 9, 2019 at 06:48

    Thank you for providing these monthly challenges for us, Sue.
    Your generosity, modeling and support for other women is incredibly inspiring.
    You have helped me to see journaling in a whole new light.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 9, 2019 at 06:57

      Yes I appear to have fallen into a pattern of themes and I quite like the idea. Thank you for your beautiful words and continued support of my blog xx

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