Hello. It’s Been A While. (A Ten Things of Thankful Post)

Categories Family, Health, Home, Life, Love, Self

It’s a good thing I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution to post here more.

Somehow I got out of the habit of delivering any finished product to this page. It’s not for lack of ideas or inspiration; I have a ton of things drafted and scribbled in my notebooks. They somehow just don’t make it to the page. If a messy desk is a sign of genius, I should be producing a whole lot more brilliance.







I think it’s probably more that I got distracted (not that distraction is new for me). It goes without saying that the headlines of late have been pretty overwhelming and that has definitely affected my state of mind. I had to back way off of the Internet and social media. So if I seem absent…I am. On purpose. Let’s call it self-care.

I’ve also been distracted by my physical state lately. There is no question that for the last week I have been in the throes of an active RA flare with a whopper of an eczema flare thrown in for good measure. A result of stress associated with the news? Maybe. Hard to say. At any rate, I’ve been trying to focus on what my mind and body need to be more at peace. It’s only fair to say here how thankful I am that my Hub and Zilla have been more than understanding, even though I’ve been pretty horrid.

So what else has been going on…?

Well, I guess my biggest news is probably that I entered a writing competition. Yup, I did it. I just put up a post about that experience if you want to check that out. If not, then keep moving along…

I actually have been doing a bunch of writing, but so far most of it has been for my eyes only. What will become of these efforts is yet undetermined. But the writing feels good. I have started a ton of things to join my semi-usual link-ups – Six Sentence Stories, Finish the Sentence Friday, and Ten Things of Thankful. But despite those efforts, I haven’t managed to join. I plan to remedy that moving forward.

I’ve also been reading a lot more lately than I have in recent months. More self-care, I suppose. That feels amazing. I read three of Bradbury’s books in a row – Dandelion Wine (a re-read), Farewell Summer (stunning), and Something Wicked This Way Comes (completely creepy in an awesome way). Right now I’m working on finishing The Martian by Andy Weir (loved the movie – book is even better) and I have about five things queued up to hit next.

Absorbing others’ words has been good for my mind and my soul. I’ve joined a couple of writing challenges for 2017 and choosing books for those has been fun and also helped me continue to take advantage of the offerings at my public library. I’m doing a handful of reads for folks I know who have published their books and I’m thinking maybe I’ll review those here on the blog and introduce you to to their work. Stay tuned.

What else?

Thanks in part to the accountability factor provided by the Graviteers, I’ve managed to hit a weight loss goal (again) so I think it’s safe to say that I am steadily working toward my weight loss and health goals. I’ve been walking more regularly and upping my number of steps each day (insert eye roll). That feels good. Next stop: The Bowflex machine. I’m laughing just thinking about it, but sure enough one has joined the team in our basement next to the treadmill and I’m planning to get on there regularly. Weight-bearing exercise is important for women, especially as middle age creeps closer on the horizon. So I’m pretty excited about that.

Kidzilla is kicking butt and taking names with her school work and all related sub-topics. That little girl works so hard and loves learning so much. I love that she sees hard work has tangible rewards. And speaking of school, the Hub is back in school working on a new degree – one more step in this journey of career change that was forced upon us. He’s also doing a fantastic job and just a few weeks in is already ahead of his projected timeline for this term. I am so proud of both of them. Shameless gushing. <3

I’m happy to report I’ve found my groove again in the kitchen. I don’t know what happened, but I feel like I pulled away from cooking anything decent at home and we resorted to bring-home or go-to options far too often over the last several weeks. Granted, the holidays are a strange time and then we were all so sick during and right after Christmas and into January, so maybe that’s just it. But even with my flares lately I’ve been happily tossing pots and pans around in the kitchen again. We’ve tried some new things and I’ve gotten back in my habit of rolling leftover parts of one meal into the next.

We’ve had pinto bean tacos with cabbage slaw, oven-baked lime butter cod served with the leftover slaw, some awesome Mexican street corn as a side – that was delicious. We tried mujadara – lentils and brown rice with caramelized onions – which is a new favorite here. Red beans and rice are always warming and satisfying, Salisbury meatballs were a hit for my meatball-lover daughter. Up tonight is a basic roast chicken because I’m out of chicken broth and need to make some. So I’m out to get that little bugger in the oven. Besides, I think I’ve rambled on here quite long enough.

I haven’t counted or numbered, but I’m certain I have at least ten things in here. For these and for so many more…I am thankful.

I’ve missed chatting with all of you here. What’s new and exciting in your life? What have you been doing the last few weeks? How are your self care habits? Talk to me…


Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

12 thoughts on “Hello. It’s Been A While. (A Ten Things of Thankful Post)

  1. So good to see you sharing a TToT this week! I think it would be a real shame to let the TToT die. I love that things are finally starting to look a little more up for you as we move into February, your year definitely got off to a rough start. Renewed interest in cooking is a great sign, and as always, you are blessed to have the love and support of your family to get you through the rough times. Delighted that your hubby has decided to return to school, and that Zilla is powering through it this year! More reading is definitely on my to-do list, along with better self-care. Praying for you always, stay strong and let God sort the rest out! XOXO

    1. Thank you, Josie. TToT won’t die – maybe just stretch and grow a little. Like life, right? I just don’t do well when I don’t get it done early in the weekend. Once the two of them are home for the weekend, my time is limited.
      Yes, the year started rough. Being sick right at the beginning of January was no fun! I think we’re all over the colds, etc. (knock wood) and my flare is starting to calm down. So yay.
      I love more reading! Are you on Goodreads? We should compare book notes. I love hearing what other people are reading. Prayers and love to you, too! xoxo

  2. I know what you mean about hitting the weight loss goals (again)–or at least, I’m headed back in the right direction (again) and hopefully should hit one of those in-between goals (again) on my way to the final goal (again, again!) 🙂

    You wrote a beautiful post, and I’m glad to hear you are getting back in the groove of TToT posts!

    1. I have been on a pretty steady trend in the right direction for several weeks and I’m glad. Hoping it keeps up and taking steps (haha) to make sure it continues.
      It feels good to be back in the groove. I hate missing but I feel like things have been crazy since…I don’t know…Thanksgiving maybe? 😀

  3. Congratulations for taking that leap into entering a writing competition! I’m glad that you are feeling better. One’s physical state certainly can cause havoc in so many ways. That is a nice post of a week’s worth of menu ideas too.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Not sure when I decided that was something I wanted to do, but I did!
      I am definitely on the upswing. The mind/body connection never fails to fascinate me. Our physical state can affect our mental state and vice versa. A vicious cycle sometimes.

  4. Some shameless gushing is totally understandable. Good for them. Hard work paying off.
    I have been writing more things for publication, like the article I wrote for Bustle last month. It is my baby toe dipping into the freelance writing pool. The writing is great. The invoice stuff is new to me and contracts and all that. I want to keep doing stuff like that, but I am still pretty intimidated.
    I wrote something during my week long writing workshop and hope to have it published somewhere. Just not sure where it would fit.
    Sorry you are experiencing flares and I get pain and all that. It slows you down and gets in the way of doing so many things you want to do, but it sounds like you are getting back into your groove. All that food sounds amazing Lisa.

  5. The news. It’s a good thing I meditate, lol.
    And I remember seeing the photos of your office on FB and thinking, yes…that is often my office, too. And then I’ll get into this fit of needing to clear it all off before writing or working and…
    Then I think about how I want to work from home again so badly…
    But, I also had a question. Have you entered writing contests before? Do you think they’re worth your time? I just ask because I’ve never done it and have always wondered if they’re worth it.
    Love your words and hope you have a wonderful week! xo

    1. This is my first contest entry, Cynthia, so I don’t have much to offer on the topic yet. I do plan to enter more, though. My “So I Did a Thing” post talks a little about the experience of this particular one if you want to check that out. It was a bit stressful because I didn’t really care for the genre I pulled, but I think that’s one of the benefits – stretching my writing muscles into areas I might not otherwise try. And I love the challenge of a prompt and a time frame. Was it tough? Oh yeah. But in a good way, you know?

  6. Lisa, wow, so many changes! Congratulations on leaving your job and deciding to devote yourself to writing full time (I dream of something similar, but haven’t yet gotten up the courage)! And that’s wonderful news about the writing competition. I have to remind myself sometimes–at least when I worry about the outcome of certain things–that nothing lost, nothing gained, and you never know! Good luck!

    I know what you mean about needing a break from social media…and the headlines. Sometimes, the internet-less life is nice. Since we moved to Delaware, I’ve become a sporadic blogger, although I always have good intentions. I’m trying to better this year, but also want to read more books and not always be in front of a screen; striking a balance can be hard.

    I was looking back at an old bread post I had written earlier this evening and, when I saw your comment, I wondered what you were up to these days. I just wanted to say hi!

    1. Katy, hello!!! I’m so excited to see your comment here. I admit that I lost track of your blog somehow in the middle of changing computers and losing my marked favorites, so I’m really glad to reconnect! I loved your blog. I’m adding your blog to my read list again right now and will be over soon to catch up.
      I’ve also been posting far less than I’d like and trying to read more. So funny that you use the word balance because that’s the word I’ve chosen to use as my focus this year. It is hard, but I heard something this morning that made me think a lot about how we perceive balance and I think I might have to write a post on that.
      Bread…love bread. And I’m trying to write a short fiction based on the word bread right now. Maybe I need to go eat some inspiration! 🙂
      So good to see you – look forward to reading you again.

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