TToT – A Month of Progress

Categories Family, Health, Life, Love, Self

Hello! It’s good to see you here!

I know I’ve been sort of quiet on these pages – and around the online world in general – for most of this month. I’ve been working on some projects and doing some shifting of focus and priorities. One of those shifts includes not spending time online during the weekend when I am spending time with my family. It’s been wonderful.

I’ve been busy to say the least. I’m moving steadily forward on many of my goals so I’ve been focused steadily on the path in front of me. It’s been a rough month in a lot of ways and perhaps I’ll write more on that later. But for now I’m thankful to be making steady progress.

I recently completed an online course through my public library and start two new courses in a couple of weeks. I am thankful for the opportunity for free (yup – free) online learning opportunities through the public library. I’m thankful to have finished the first class and aced the exam. The material was terrific and I’m looking forward to the next ones.

I am thankful for the gift of creativity in the kitchen. It allows me to stretch the food budget when necessary, and also to dig into the cupboards, fridge, and pantry and use up what’s left from cold weather cooking. Time to move in the warm weather menu! Spring and summer cooking is much less time-consuming and fussy in our house, and I’m looking forward to that.

I am thankful for my faith. It is a constant reminder that God truly does provide in all things, sometimes literally.

I am thankful that Cat One is starting to feel a little better. He’s been a bit under the weather all week and I’ve been terribly worried. Today he seems to have turned a corner so we are hopeful.

I am thankful for friends who care enough to wonder where I’ve been and check in. It’s good to know who cares about you. And I’m thankful that my friends and family understand that I’m not ignoring them – just doing what I need to do right now.

I am thankful for making progress on many goals over the last month. I’ve hit my lowest weight and highest fitness level in a long time. I’m well on track to hit mid-year and year-end goals I have in mind in that department. I have made significant progress on my children’s book series this month. Maybe not quite as much as I had planned (because I tend to over-plan in general), but I am in a pretty good place. I’ve done some work on some other publishing projects, too, and expect to do much more with those as I ease past the completion and release of the first children’s book.

Related to that, I am thankful for my husband’s foresight in grabbing my domain nearly three years ago when I left my teaching position. So far, I have used it as my self-employed website and am currently reworking it into my author website in anticipation of the release of my first children’s book. I’m targeting a release date sometime within the next two months (hopefully sooner), so stay tuned for details as they emerge.

I am thankful for my husband’s undying belief in my dreams – and Zilla’s. Without them, I’m sure I would’ve given up a long time ago.

And on that note, I need to move on from here. I have some books waiting for me to read them – perfect way to pass a cool and cloudy afternoon. Please do check in below in the comments – tell me what you’ve been up to, what’s new in your life, what you’re working on. Tell me all the things!


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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.

14 thoughts on “TToT – A Month of Progress

  1. Hello 🙂 I was so glad to see this post pop in, I’ve missed you online! I understood you were busy working though, and I heartily support knowing when to shut off the computer and do family time!

    I’m grateful that you can see progress being made on your writing efforts, and I’m so eager to check out your children’s books, can’t wait until the first one gets published! You are showing us all how hard work and determination pay off! The classes sound great too, what will the new ones be about?

    Oh yes, faith, the rock that keeps us grounded during the ever-changing winds of life! Without it I long since would have given up!

    I’ve seen your culinary talents in your FB photos, and it always looks and sounds delicious! It is nice to look forward to the lighter fare of summer, and lots of fresh produce to enjoy. Since being home I’ve learned to be much more creative in using what’s left in the fridge and pantry before payday. 🙂

    I’m very glad to hear that Cat 1 is feeling better, we worry so much when our furkids aren’t acting right, and I wish they could tell us what’s wrong. Toby has had a bad week with his asthma too, but is finally back to his normal “can I have some of that” attitude. 🙂

    How cool that your husband had the foresight to nail down that domain for you, I suspect it’s going to become a very active place in the months to come as your publishing efforts take off! His support of you becoming a professional writer and following your heart and the very best, real love encourages us to reach our dreams!

    Have a great week ahead and check in when you can, get out there and enjoy a little Springtime! 🙂
    Thank you so much for coming to join us at TToT, the thankfuls update has been awesome! XOXO

    1. Hey, thanks for missing me! <3 I really have been pounding away and I expect after this brief surfacing for a breath of air, I'll be right back under again for the next few weeks. You know where to find me offline, though.
      We are very excited about the books - did an edit of what's ready so far and started illustration work. Hoping to have the rest of the words drafted by Friday and then keep moving forward.
      The class I just took was on writing and publishing children's literature. I honestly can't remember what I'm taking next (too many I considered!), but I know both have to do with fiction writing.
      Cat One is only sort of feeling better. He is still not quite himself, but improvement. Calling the vet tomorrow to see if there's anything else we should be doing. Say a prayer and cross your fingers.
      Talk soon. xo

    1. Thanks, Anna. Good to see you here.
      I’ve been doing short fiction on the blog pretty regularly, but not much else. Just have my focus elsewhere.
      Here’s to a new month and seeing what lies ahead!

  2. ok… progress is, in and of itself, a very good thing. Not simply the effect (on goals and needs and tasks and such) but the fact of progress. Way beneficial.
    And a steady and deliberate sense of progress is great in that, while not spectacular, it avoids the feast and famine that is such an easy cycle to fall victim. Slow and steady wins the race, yo.

    good TToT

  3. I’m so happy your children’s series is ready to be released. Of course, I tried accessing your page, but could not, and I’m anxious to visit when it’s up. Sometimes taking a step back and refocusing lurches you ahead two or three steps. You just need that sometimes. It seems to have worked for you. Getting off-line for the weekend is healthy and refreshing. Speaking of which – congrats on your weight and fitness goals. Seems I make the most progress on mine in the spring. Funny, I feel as if you’ve been with me on-line as much as I’m on-line. “See” you soon.

    1. Well, not ready to release just yet…but definitely in the works. The other site is not live at the moment – I took it down to do some remodeling.
      I really hope you’re right about the step back preceding steps forward. That has been very true in the past, and right now in the thick of what feels like huge steps back, I am hoping and praying that we are about to take off running. So hard to hang in and have faith that things will work out when it looks hopeless. But that’s when we need that faith most.
      When I was teaching, I used to lose weight in the fall when we went back to school and I was on my feet all day plus running activities after school. Now? I don’t know what my pattern is – I don’t think I have one any more. 😀 But I’m happy for fewer pounds, looser pants, and feeling pretty good overall.
      Yes, “see” you soon! 🙂

  4. Good news all around Lisa! I always enjoy coming round your place because there is always a positive vibe:)
    How exciting, encouraging, maybe a little scary? (I’d be lol) for all the new things happening – especially the upcoming book. And a series too. Excellent!
    A balancing act without doubt, glad you’ve found your way to make it all work 😀
    I applaud you for reserving time for your family (duh!), time for yourself, taking classes and such, and from the looks of it, doing a lot of writing! It’s all about the steps forward. Even if those steps are small.
    I’m glad that Cat One is doing better. I will keep fingers crossed he keeps improving.
    Faith is the cornerstone to everything.

    1. I’m happy you said that because honestly? Lately my internal vibe has been far from positive. I think I did this TToT mostly to keep myself from slipping across to the dark side. 😀 But truth is that I really have been working hard, taking very small steps and moving forward. It just doesn’t feel like forward right now. It feels like a treadmill. I’m walking and walking and walking but I’m still in the same place. I’m praying – a lot – and trying to remember all the things that come with leaning on that faith. No, prayers aren’t answered immediately. Sometimes the answer is “no” or “not right now.” I’m trying to remember to be thankful for what is and not worried about what might be.
      It’s hard, you know?
      And yes, I am writing. It helps. Some of it is private journal stuff, some makes it here to the blog, some is for my WIPs. But it’s good.
      Cat One is still not doing great – we’re working on this new dose of meds to see if it works, but I’m not feeling very hopeful. And that’s upsetting – are we doing the right stuff? Are we doing enough? Is he miserable and can’t tell us? He’s definitely not himself yet and it’s terrible.
      Thanks for your comment. I’m hoping (planning) to be around more this month and forward. Still working hard on stuff, but I need my peeps, you know?

  5. So sorry your cat isn’t doing well. Hoping for the best.

    I am so so excited about your children’s book and hope to share it with the little ones in my life as soon as you are ready and the time is right. I love that you have yourself a partner who strongly supports the dreams you have. You deserve that.

    Missed you here Lisa, but I knew you were busy working on your other stuff. Those classes you’ve been taking sound helpful and fascinating. I always mean to sign up for some, but so much else to do.

    Keep us updated.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. He’s definitely not doing well, but we’re hopeful that this increased dosage will help. If he isn’t better by the end of the weekend, it’s back to vet. He seems slightly better…maybe? I’m probably just trying to convince myself. Poor little guy.
      The book is in the works. I hope to have an idea of release date soon – heading into beta reads, editing, illustration, etc. right now. Very exciting!

  6. You have really made a lot of progress — an online course completion, and a series of children’s books in the works. I can’t wait to hear what your children’s series will be.
    Good for you in being able to recognize your creative skills in the kitchen and realizing how faith has blessed your life.
    Friends checking in with you to make sure you are okay almost in itself has a healing quality. I know it makes one feel loved and appreciated.

    1. All true, Pat. I realized (again – because I knew it already) that I have to remind myself that even if it sometimes feels like I’m spinning my wheels, I have made tremendous progress in many areas of my life. I’m excited about what lies ahead.
      And faith is such a huge part of it.

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