Tag Archives: challenges

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 TwoWritingTeachers.wordpress.com):

  • “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

Slice of Life 12: Tenacity

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

Last month marked the 85th anniversary of my father’s birth day. He wasn’t physically with us for Evan’s graduation or wedding, but I have been thinking of him a lot as I consider how to honor his memory.


Dad hated that we had to make the house “handicapped accessible” with bars in the bathroom and a walk-in shower, but those accommodations meant that he was able to be independent at home. Dignity.  Self-sufficiency.

Why was that important?

Dad fell and broke his hip.  With his diabetes and his myopathy (and heart problems including a pacemaker), his recovery was slow. He needed therapy and care beyond what Mom could provide.  Entering a nursing home was totally out of the question, but it was also the only solution.  Dad’s goal was to work his way out as quickly as possible.  He wasn’t always the “happiest camper” but he was willing to do “anything” that would get him out of there and back on his own two feet.




Absolutely, but also willing to work through the pain to meet his goal!

As I reflect on his life, I have even greater admiration for the way he achieved the goals that he desired.  Thanks for your tenacity, Dad!

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 .

Slice of Life 11: Challenges

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

So life happens to you.

Challenges in life are pretty common and often fit into these descriptors.

1. Problems are inevitable.  If you don’t encounter problems, check your pulse.  Are you alive?

2. Problems are unpredictable.  If you could plan for that flat tire, it would NOT be during a blizzard.

3.  Problems in life come in all sizes and shapes.  You may have a big problem today and three little problems tomorrow.  It varies.

You will be remembered for your response to the challenges that face you!

What is your response to adversity?

A. Do you turtle up?

Pull your head and your legs inside your shell.  Protect yourself by withdrawing inside yourself.  Leave a calm expression on your face while every muscle is itching to “run” somewhere.  .  .  anywhere!

B.  Do you say, “Thank You for this Wonderful Opportunity to show the world what I am made of!”

Hold your head up high.  Make a plan in order to be better prepared for similar events in the future.  Plan to “learn” from this event.  Be thankful that you have your “mistake” for the day and plan for a better rest of the day.

C.  Do you make a list of pros and cons and then carefully consider your actions?

Thoughtful. Considering multiple possibilities. Consulting others.  Allowing emotions to subside so hasty decisions are not made that end up backing someone into a corner.  The ability to ask:  Is this really that big of an issue?  Sure it is annoying, but does it really matter in the bigger scheme of life?

Which response is the most like you?

Your response shows your level of perseverance and endurance and includes:

    • The ability to stay until the purpose is accomplished.
    • The ability to stay under pressure.
    • The ability to keep on keeping on.
    • The ability to hang in there.
What does this look like at home?  at work?  in the world?  What would be the evidence of your perseverance?

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 .

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