Slice of Life 13: From Challenges to Turning Points

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

When tax time hits every year, I yell loudly that I will change my spending habits NOW.  And yet I recognize that with 25% of the year gone before submitting my taxes that would REALLY require about 200% effort.

How do I turn challenges to Turning Points (courtesy of Anna Gratz Cockerille) in my story of life?  Do I want to change?
Is the pain great enough?

Let’s review turning points (a la Lucy Calkins, Units of Study, TCRWP as quoted by Anna Gratz Cockerille 3/11/14

  • “Times they learn something new
  • Times they change their routine or way of doing things
  • Times someone close to them (or they themselves) act out of character
  • Times they try something for the first time
  • Times they do something for the last time (last piano lesson, last page of a great book)”

So a turning point in my life to avoid the “pain I feel at tax time” could be attributed to the second bullet  “…change their routine or way of doing things.”  If I want the result to be something different, then I must change my behavior.  (I think I hear an echo in my head!)

I have had a second, summer job for 30 years. (No summers off for me!)  That “job” has always paid for my “book habit” and yes, I need a 12 step program to curb my work-related spending.  At tax time, I go on a rant and declare, “This year will be different.”

By the end of April, you may hear a whimper as I visit a bookstore and collect a stack of books.  I will mentally review the total and put at least three books back on the shelf.  Or it may be that app that I want to try that will “organize me!”   But by July, all thoughts of my “declaration” are out the window as I explore the school supplies on sale in every store!

Do I really want to change my routine?  Is this a turning point?
What turning point have you encountered lately?  Did you recognize it at the time?

Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers


23 responses

  1. Great post. I have huge anxiety about taxes. I have to think about turning points some more. This has given me food for thought.

    1. Thanks for your comments! I don’t have a class writing but I am really enjoying @AnnaGratzCockerille’s posts for classroom slices!

  2. I am so bad this way. I just keep going until I bam! I either hit a wall and can’t go any further or I get to the moment I’d call the last straw. I’ve been putting up with something for years and all of a sudden, I’m done, no more. Strange and interesting to look at. That book habit has only been made worse by ebooks and apps. Eekk.

    1. Julieanne,

      There are several things that it seems like I am pretty OCD about! Sometimes it seems easier to continue on a path, but is that because it’s easier or just doesn’t YET feel the pain!

  3. Change is so hard. I read an excellent book, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess which helped me tremendously with my spending habits. But of course I did buy the book first. 🙂

    1. Cindy,

      Thanks for the book rec. Since I work “extra” to cover costs, I have never thought it was “Excessive” but now I have to continue thinking!

  4. at the point
    where i turn
    to look at where i’ve been
    i realize quite suddenly
    that in my haste to get
    to what’s ahead
    i have lost sight
    of what’s behind
    and once again
    I have to dig the map
    out of my pockets
    for direction.

    PS — I am lifting lines this morning for small poems. Thanks for sharing your post.

    1. Thanks so much, Kevin, for the poem.

      It is so easy to get lost – in the present, future, or past!

  5. Speaking as a book-aholic too, I cannot offer you any advice to give it up, but I did write about two books I discovered at the bookstore. You might want to stay away from my post today. 🙂

    1. TOOOOOO Late! But reading your post did NOT cost me anything YET! Thanks for the warning!

      “Book-a-holic” It doesn’t sound good but yet a love for books cannot be all bad!

  6. I am looking forward to reading the next installments, Fran. I like how you are writing about a future turning point. That is a really nice twist I may just have to try.

    1. Anna,

      I am just thinking through all the possibilities and having a plan may increase the likelihood… may!

      It will get messy on this lovely life journey!!!

  7. I am an unapologetic book addict, Fran. As addictions go, this is a good one to have – it nourishes my soul and makes me (marginally) more interesting to talk to. As for taxes? UGH!

    1. Tara,
      I love that phrase, “it nourishes my soul”. . . The tax man always wants to know if I “have to buy these books for my job” or if I just think I “need them” and hates that I make zero distinction between those two! I have to buy them because I need them! Next question! LOL

      Thanks for commenting!

  8. Oh those school supplies sales- they will get you every time! I need to stay out of the stores that time of year, I just can’t leave without buying one more.

    1. Exactly! Always NEED something! And supplies are SO much cheaper then. . . . December stocking stuffers just kill me at full price!

      Thanks for commenting!

  9. I always seem to rationalize my spending on books because I don’t spend excessively in any other area of my life. Occasionally, I have actually given myself anxiety, though, when I see how much I have yet to read!

    1. It is usually only when I see the total for the year; but I also don’t have any other bad spending habits!

      The TBR (to be read) pile does not seem to be decreasing, but I also always have a reading plan so I’m working on that book study book or . . . .

      Thanks for commenting!

  10. This is a question I asked myself last night as I was preparing for our visit to our tax lady. When I saw what I had spent on books last year, I gasped. Then there’s the space issue. And yet, so many worthy books. If you figure this out, let me know!

  11. Book spending is one thing I don’t feel all that bad about. most of the books I buy are kids’ books. Which I usually take to school and share. So that’s ok, right?

    1. Carol,
      Absolutely! If they are going to school, yes!

      And I often give books away when I teach classes!


  12. […] When have someone close to you acted totally out of character?  (Turning point!!!) […]

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