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Another thirty days to revisit and revitalize.

Preamble: Again? Again.

It’s hard to believe June is almost upon us. It’s like this year has crawled by, but somehow shot forward like a bullet from a gun. There’s a wave I’m riding that’s unconcerned about time, as each day is a new lifetime in and of itself, even if it feels wrought with routine right now. But there’s certain things I can see about myself that need a little course correct, as I’ve gotten too comfortable in my cocoon and need some kind of recommencement. So, for the third year in a row, I’ll be writing here for the next thirty days of my life, hopeful as to what June may bring as we wind down the first half of the year.

So with that, here are the four rules I’ve come up with. Some may look familiar, but we go with what works, I guess.

Rule 1: Return to form by writing every day.

I’ve got it easier than this.

I’ll be honest. I haven’t touched my first draft since the end of April. I just kept not wanting to see it, uninterested in what I’ve written, unclear of what comes next, and unwilling to actually go find it. The only thing keeping me going right now is the commitment I made to finish it before the year is up. But right now, it’s not happening on my own. I have to find ways to rekindle my passion for writing; To tell this story properly and give these thoughts the sendoff they deserve. It’s proven difficult as of late and I can’t even begin to explain why. So I figure if I can get back to a place of consistency, even for just thirty days, I can re-enter the second half of the year with a renewed sense of purpose.

Like all my other challenges, I’ll be writing an entry here every day. I’d like to tell a story or relay something that happened to me that day. This will act as a living journal for a brief period in my life. I will also be writing a minimum of 750 words in my first draft, letting you know the previous day’s total at the end of each entry. I was going to vault for 1,000 words a day, but considering how rusty I am, I figured that was too lofty a goal. 750 a day is doable. Stressful, but doable. I’ll try and push past the threshold as much as I can. If I can crack 800 a day, I’ll consider that a success.

My story feels more than halfway through at this point. There’s a lot accelerating as I hurdle toward the end, and that scares me a bit. I could very well be on my way to actually accomplishing a goal, and part of me doesn’t want the motivation to come from an arbitrarily regulated challenge. I’d rather these ideas flow naturally to me. But I’ll take what I can get in the meantime. Sometimes a little strict planning can take you places. Or slim things down a bit. Which leads me to this…

Rule 2: Return to basics by only eating meat.

No fork for me, thanks, just right off the bone will do.

I’m back over 200 pounds. Not far back, but enough to where I certainly don’t feel as light as I did at the beginning of the year. I’ve put on about ten pounds over the past two months, largely due to not balancing myself back out after adding fruits and vegetables into my diet. I don’t feel bad. In fact, I feel pretty good lately. I’m working out consistently and feel my body getting nice and lean. It’s my food intake that’s out of control. I’m eating like I have the world’s fastest metabolism, which I clearly do not. I’m not making the right choices and all my efforts to get back on track seem to be falling by the wayside. So I’m going to embark on something I can say for certainty works for me.

I’ll be going back on the carnivore diet for just the next thirty days, with a limitation on grains when June is ultimately over. I keep hearing conflicting reports on whether or not this diet is sustainable long-term. I think at this point in my life, I’m not willing to make an entire lifestyle change, but do just enough to where I can feel healthy and see some results in the meantime. I’ll also be cutting out soda during this time period. The only kind I drink anymore is root beer, and it’s becoming sort of an obsession. I’ll go through three cans a day easily, not sipping but downright chugging. I know it’s added sugar and highly unhealthy, so I’d like to hang up the bubbly when I can. I’d love to cut soda completely out of my diet, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

And again, no delivery. It hasn’t been that bad lately, as I’ve been enjoying what I can make for myself. But I need to not let the laziness win, especially when I’m not the one preparing the food. There’s something satisfying about knowing each and every ingredient in my meals, and I can sleep better with that sense of transparency. Which is a good spot to discuss…

Rule 3: Return to clarity by eschewing the news.

All these screens can’t be good for my sanity.

“It’s my job to report the news,” I keep telling myself, dizzying myself in the process. News has gotten so ridiculous lately. I’m recording it much like I did last year, but the veritable deluge makes it difficult to discern what’s even the biggest headline of the day anymore. It’s one gigantic smattering of politics, social politics, economic politics, and anger. Social media is a nightmare lately, and I’m finding it less fun to even be there. But until the day the news simply stops, people are going to comment on things that go on around them.

I have a unique advantage where I don’t necessarily “take my work home with me.” I do what I’m meant to do when my show is live, and then I go home. But In order to be a good producer, I should have a general sense of what’s going on, because daytime and evening news is a different beast than the overnight shift. But there’s a growing sense that sustainability in my industry has a time limit of its own, and “advancement” in my bill-paying career has seemed to reach its endpoint. I’m perfectly happy where I am, and I see no reason to go any further. I’ll show up and then I’ll go, until the day you no longer need me, and I no longer need the news.

So I’m going to make a real conscious effort to minimize my news intake except when it’s absolutely necessary. Some days I’ll have to step in and senior the show or put together the night note, which requires more focus on the goings-ons of the day. Other than that, when I get home from work, no news until I have to send off my evening headlines list. No email checking, possibly not even a huge dive onto social media. I won’t cut it out completely, but won’t be on for more than an hour a day. It’s only Twitter, after all. I can’t stand the Trump vs. DeSantis knob slob contest anyway.

And when the weekend rolls around, it’ll be no news whatsoever. My weekends are for me and my writing. I’d rather put the focus on creating something of my own rather than react to stories that are completely out of my control. When you live in a newsroom, it’s very easy to forget some people don’t turn on the television at all. I envy them. I need a reset of my own like that. Which is why…

Rule 4: Return to self by seeing the sun.

Good morning indeed.

I am incredibly lucky to be the owner of beautiful, Italian, olive skin. I don’t wear sunscreen nor wear sunglasses. When I’m in the sun, I’m there to crisp. I want to feel the vitamin D hit each and every pore, bringing out the cute freckles splashed across my nose and cheeks. But I’ve been an indoor gal for a little too long. It’s just too scary out there for me right now. Men have come up to me as I sit, asking to “get to know me,” baffled when I say no. Or it’s just depressing to people watch, seeing each and every person’s neck craned ever-downward, watching the world from a 5×7 screen. But I can’t let other people’s choices dictate my own, no matter how much I want to roll my eyes or put a hand over my penknife. Whichever the situation calls for.

In April, I did ten minutes of sunlight a day. In June, I’m going to aim for thirty. Ultimately, I want to get some color tomorrow by sitting out in the sun, letting it pour down my face and into my very being. I want people to ask if I’ve been to the beach, when I can just say I hopped up on my roof deck. The goal will be to get tan and maintain it all month. Therefore, I can confirm to myself that I got the proper sun I needed, with a killer golden bronze to boot. I can’t help it if it’s cloudy, but I can make the effort to get the freshest air I can. Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself at the beach at least once this month.

Ready to renew?

I keep waffling back and forth on whether or not I can actually call myself a writer. I feel like such a phony sometimes because “I haven’t written a book” or “I’m not published in magazines.” These are the things I have to get over. Because even if just one person looks at this blog, it will have meant something to someone. I keep doing these challenges and keep writing my words down because I believe they will one day go somewhere. Your guess is as good as mine as to where that is, but nothing’s going to stop me from trying to find the way. I’ve got my words, I’m good to go. Revitalizing my vigor for them is just what I needed.

Here’s to a happy and healthy June.

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