Tag Archives: blogging

silence is golden

i had lunch with a new friend on wednesday afternoon. it was a “business lunch.” i needed to prepare to speak in her class by finding out more of what she expected from me. i left lunch (over three hours later) nearly as clueless about the class as when i had arrived; however, i knew the heart of the professor which gave me insight into the class.

speaking to her class was such a privilege

aside: i am writing this on a plane. i have no idea why i am not capitalizing things, but it feels good and somewhat rebellious to do so. i think i have only done this “style” in one other post, and that was because i was in a hurry and feeling scattered. i am not scattered today, so rebellion is the only answer.

sometimes we need a little rebellion in our lives

after the lunch on wednesday and speaking in my new friend’s class, she sent me a thank you email and commented about my blog (to be honest, i sent the link…it’s easier than explaining what i have thought since 2010).

but she commented about it as an accomplishment. this blog. this blog that has sat dormant for nearly two years. the last published post was actually written by my daughter as she tried to deal with a diagnosis that we have since found out was wrong but she has a different (better? worse?) diagnosis instead.

and then the blog went silent

the details of the past two years are numerous and complicated. there is plenty of good (see my facebook world for that), but there is also lots of hard. health conditions, changes in living arrangements (airstream!), expanding a school program, children becoming adults and about to graduate (didn’t I just write about high school graduation?), and those things that happen that just cannot be blogged.

sounds mysterious, right?

oh, you have them too. family, finances, and fun are all recipes for disaster while being avenues for great joy. sometimes, it is just too hard to explain things. sometimes, it is just too hard to write what you think, feel, and experience.

and silence becomes a friend

i did not stop thinking for the past two years. my mind did not slow down for the past two years. instead, i filed away the thoughts that have bounced in my head and have taken hold in my heart so that i could pull them back out when the time was right.  and i started a podcast for my school which has been life giving, creative, and fun.

too much of the past two years is not my story alone. when my story intersects with the stories of others, i have to be sensitive about how i write about them. i might be happy as a clam to share my dirty laundry, but i should not take the liberty to share yours, his, or hers. this time has been reflective for me.

what is my story?

i have a story to tell, but it mostly is a story of some wonderful people who have made me who i am today. the comment from a new friend about my blog shook me a bit. i have been playing around with a couple of book ideas. one will essentially write itself. the other will tear me apart and put me back together (because we should all have that done  at least three or four times in our lifetime).

a clearer story

one of the cool things that has come from these two years of silence on the blog has been some clarity. i used to write anything that came to mind and hit publish. then i wrote nothing and published nothing. i think that i should write more and publish some. i think i should care about what i care about (and what God cares about…) and care less about what anyone else wants from me.

what is your story?

do you know how to tell your story? do you think that no one wants to hear your story? i LUV (yes, I am on a Southwest Airlines flight!) hearing other people’s stories! you all are so fascinating! the question is this: how can your story and my story be told? in telling our stories, we find the common themes in our lives and can come together to support each other.

talk less – smile more…

our nation is divided because we are not listening to each other’s stories.  silence is golden sometimes. my listening to your story helps me to know you better. we need to find some silence in our hearts, some listening in our ears, and some quiet in our minds.

only then can we see that our stories are unique and similar and hard and wonderful.




Filed under Relationships, Thoughts

When the Blog is Silent

I missed a post yesterday, and now it is Thursday. Tonight will be no better in attempting to “get going” on a post for tomorrow.  And the next month is crazy.

The funny thing is that I just signed up for a blogging class!  And guess what? The start date has been pushed out a week.  And I am so grateful.

Life is busy.  I have a full-time job, am a full-time mom (because we all are!), and have a lot of things going on in all realms.

I want to blog regularly, but that might not happen.  I will say this: I want to keep the Music Monday posts at a minimum. But I am not going to promise that either.

What I do promise is this: I will write blog posts when I can and when the fingers cannot deny what the mind requires.

So – if the blog is silent, this is why.  It is a priority, but right now it is one of the lower priorities.  This is just a season, and some day I will come back to it.


Filed under Thoughts

Where to Start?

I have started this post three times.  I have deleted those three posts.  They will never be again, for the words are lost and I have decided they are not for the ears of others.

Where to start?

I find that writing can be hindered by one thing: the beginning.  Often writing teachers will tell students to create and outline with the material for the essay – the body paragraphs being the most important. Once that outline is created, the introduction and the conclusion will be more obviously constructed once the bulk of the material has been thought out.  It seems to be true, and it can even be true of blog posts as I started with the thought below and now have constructed these opening thoughts.

Life does not start in the middle.

While it may be good advice to give to writing students to start in the middle rather than remain stuck on the beginning, that is not good advice in other areas of our lives.  Although I would prefer to start my day in the middle of it due to my distaste for mornings (well, really just getting up whatever time of day it happens), starting in the middle of my day is not very practical.  I must complete Task A before I go on to Task B because often Task B is contingent upon the success or failure of Task A.

This is true in many of our life tasks.

Go ahead – take a minute and think of some….

(Note: there will be no ending to this post. Why? Because life is still going on!)

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Results of a Racing Mind

When a mind races, it needs to be helped.  That is what I have learned.  I did not always get the help that I needed, and sometimes – in the past – I had been wrongly medicated which only made the mind racing worse.  This blog stems from my need to help my racing mind.

And one of the ways that it has helped me is that it lets me have many blog worlds.

I started blogging on a regular basis (nearly daily) just over a year ago after a dear friend’s daily blog challenged me to join her.  She has been an encouragement ever since.  She blogs using WordPress, so I thought that was the right choice for me too.  I had set up my original blog using Blogspot, but I moved it to WordPress.

One day, another friend mentioned to me that the Fargo Forum was looking for bloggers who wrote about women’s issues.  I do not write exclusively about women’s issues, but I thought, “I am a woman.  I can write about woman stuff.”  I contacted the peeps over at the Fargo Forum, and they encouraged me to set up a blog using their site – Areavoices.

I did not get any featured spots on the women’s stuff site, but…things have been great with Areavoices, and I love interacting with people from Jamestown, Fargo, Duluth, Willmar, and all of the little towns in between.

Recently, I contacted the Fridley Patch with information about the musical that my kiddos are in this weekend.  From that email conversation, I set up a little blog on their site as well.

I am blogging in a lot of places!

Fortunately, I have one software piece that allows me to post to multiple sites with a click.  I can maintain the multiple locations without much work.  The cool thing, though, is that I get to have a variety of looks to the blog.  The Fridley Patch hosts their own software, so I have little say in how that looks.  But the others – I have full control!

This past week has been a racing mind week, so I made some changes…

Check them out, and enjoy the multiple creative sides of my personality.

I wonder how long this will last…

Other blog posts/pages about this blog and my racing mind might interest you.

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Several months ago, I snapped the picture below at my neighborhood Starbucks.


This caught my eye because someone had taken the time to label the pitcher so that it would have a specific use but then it was used for something else.

There was nothing wrong with the way it was being used.

No laws were broken.

Nothing bad happened (I hope) from this.

But it caught my eye and made me look a second time.

Possibly for the first time EVER, I have nothing really to say about this. In fact, I have no objections. I am sure that it made sense at the time, that it did not last long, and that everything turned out just fine.

So – I’ll ask the readers instead…what comes to mind when you see this?

I’d love to hear from you!


Filed under Uncategorized

Out of Things to Say?

Recently one of my blog followers emailed me with a question that seriously stroked my ego quite a bit.

“Are you taking a break from blogging?”

At first, I thought, “Well, no!”

And then I had to consider the fact that it had been a solid week between blog posts.

So maybe the answer is, “Yes!”

But that answer is unsettling also…because I am not taking an active break from blogging; I just haven’t blogged much.

This follower’s question was not the first that I had about my lapse in blogging, but to be honest with everyone….I have felt as thought I have little left to say lately.

After April with its pneumonia visit and then May with its weird cardiac-like health visit that turned out to be nothing but a chemical imbalance (albeit a dangerous one), my brain is tired. 

Perhaps the bipolar low energy has come to hover over my brain?

Whatever the case may be, I seem to have energy to get through the day, give time to those in require it, and then I need to sleep.  Writing – let’s face it – ranting is exhausting. The exercise of it is such a good thing, but it is tiring.

Perhaps this lack of writing is due to the verbal (written) vomit of thousands of words in the form of bullying content for ParentFurther’s website?


Maybe I’m just having a mellow time…

I am not done blogging.

I have lots to say – whether anyone wants to read it or not!

So…if you are faithful reader, I thank you.  Please do not abandon this!  I will be back, but I don’t know with how much frequency or with how much fervor just yet.

I am considering having some guest posts…so if you have been playing with the thought of blogging, but the whole thing is overwhelming and you’ve thought, “Perhaps I should try it”…give me a holler.  Perhaps you should write something fun, and we’ll post it here.

Happy Saturday – who is going to graduation parties or ceremonies this weekend? 

Speaking of graduation, I need to thank Ashley from the West Central Tribune in Minnesota for using a blog posting of a grad speech I gave two years ago as a printed article last week.  I was so honored.

Click here for the online version of the article.

Click here for the original which was posted on my blog.

ps: My daughter had a GREAT idea for grad invites.  She thinks they should include the menu so that attendees can determine the order of party attendance based on the menus of the parties.  What do you think?

Ok, really – have a great day!  Smile


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Filed under Education, Thoughts

Where Have I Been?

My last post was on April 13, and I did not realize then (it was about a book called “The Survivors Club”) that I would take so much time off.  I had made a commitment to myself in August to blog daily, but I have realized that it has become more than I can handle at certain times.  I need to let myself have some grace and post when I can or when I want to do so and not be so tied to this “commitment” that I miss out on other things.

What have I been up to?

IMG-20120422-00410Well – mostly, I have had pneumonia!  I seem to be coming out of the woods on this, but –  WOW! – pneumonia is the worst. Coughing is awful.  If I were ever captured and tortured to get information from me, giving me something that would make me cough would definitely make me talk.  I highly suggest that chicken broth become a prescription, and why don’t they just hand out a 5 day dose of prednasone (sp?) right away?  I even skipped a fun weekend away because of this.

I have also been doing a crazy amount of driving for my job with testing season and court season in full swing.  I head to International Falls on Tuesday – that is on the Canadian border!  I do love to drive, but I am currently out of books on CD.  The library is on my list of stops tomorrow.

But – the fun part of why I have not been blogging is that I have been working on a project for ParentFurther.com.  They asked me to write some content for the bullying part of their website. This has been so much fun!  I just wrapped up 10,000 words of content and sent it off for their approval.  I am dying to hear back from them because I have no idea if it is what they want.

All of this to say to you all a few things:

1.  Don’t get so set on something that you miss out on other things.

2.  When you are sick, take the time you need to recover.

3.  Go after your dreams. Some day, you might just get that writing gig that you have always wanted to get.

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Obsessive Mind or Racing Mind?

This post is a culmination of quite a few thinks.  Well, at least I hope that this is the culmination as I am sort of tired of them.  When I think about things for too long, I start to wonder why I spend so much time thinking about them.  Are they that important?  The weird thing about these particular thinks is that they are about thinking.  I know, that is kind of circular thinking.  Who thinks about thinking?

Apparently…I do.

As a guidance counselor, I am semi-fluent in mental health stuffs. The education world  in which I work expects me to participate in IEP meetings and know what various diagnoses are without having to refer to a flip charts. As I engage with diagnoses in the students around me and then in others such as family members, friends, and coworkers, I see the threads of diagnoses and sense them seeping into many of our lives. In fact, as more and more diagnoses are developed, I have become quite certain that we all have the possibility to have a diagnosis.

I am certain that it would be understandable why this then causes me to think and think and think sometimes. I observe and analyze behavior. My brain knows the list of symptoms needed in order to diagnose someone with a mental illness.  Of course, this is dangerous…I am not trained to actually diagnosis anyone with anything. I have to watch myself, be careful, and keep my thinks to myself about others, their children, and even my children. If I would speak my mind, with its untrained and impulsive thoughts, I could create quite a mess and cause quite a bit of pain in the lives of others. This is unfair, cruel, and unethical.

All of that being said, when I apply my own thinks to myself, it is ok. There is nothing unethical about applying my own training to myself. This has been somewhat helpful in my journey over the past few years – first as I collaborated with my doctor and psychiatrist to determine the appropriate diagnosis and now as I continually learn how to understand my own brain. That is where the question leading to the title of this post and even the title of this blog site. I used to think that I had an obsessive mind, but I have realized that what I actually have is a racing mind.

What is the difference?

An obsessive mind finds one item on which to focus and then zeros in on that item. The think grows as one thinks about it more and more. Nothing else is important, all other thinks are suppressed somehow by the brain, and even other people have a hard time helping the thinkers move on to other thinks.  The house needs to be cleaned. The closet needs reorganizing. More cupcakes need to be made. The blog post is not perfect and needs to be rewritten. The list of what could become an obsession is endless.  Readers can continue to add to the list in the comment section if they would like.

On the other hand, a racing mind thinks many thinks, almost simultaneously, and has a hard time keeping the thinks in the mind long enough to sort them out. These thinks can be random, related, or tied to life. They can be re-thinks of thinks that came through the mind before, and sometimes –  when they come back around – the thinks are slightly different, contradicting, and lack common sense. Eventually, they may find their way into a blog post.

I used to think that I struggle with an obsessive mind. I was wrong. I struggle with a racing mind.  A lot.  Sometimes it is not really a struggle as it can be very beneficial to think about a lot of things at once. This is true when sitting in meetings that bore me or when waiting outside of a court room for a truancy hearing. However, more times than not, some thinks – some very important thinks – get lost in all of the racing. Who is supposed to pick up the girl from school?  What is going on tonight? When was the last time I paid the bills?  Not good thinks to lose.

This blog in its entirety is a coping mechanism for me in order to deal with the racing mind that at times keeps me awake at night. As the thinks plague me, I sleep less. Writing, getting the thinks out, and forcing myself to focus in the writing process has become a huge asset. When thinks interfere with my day, I open up the started blog posts related to the thinks and do a mind dump (similar to a verbal vomit but in the written word instead of the spoken word).  At just about any time that one would find about four blog posts in process on my computer.

Blogging has helped with the racing mind immensely. When my mind refuses to shut down so that I can sleep, I just get up and write for a little while.  This happened on Monday evening; a great blog post came out of the sleeplessness, and I eventually went back to bed with an empty mind.  Unfortunately, life still required me to wake up only a few hours later. All in all, however, this has become a link to sanity and has also allowed me to reduce medication strengths.

If we can cope with the manic tendencies by blogging, let’s do so!  I just wish I could figure out how to cope with the lows in a different way than heading to bed for the day.


Filed under Uncategorized

I’m Back!!!

Hello!!!  I decided that getting rid of this blog completely was a bad idea. There are many in the WordPress world that had found much to enjoy here, so I’m back.

How?  Let me tell you – I’m posting to multiple sites!!!  It’s the same material, but it is on different spots.  I found that Window Live Writer allows to blog and then post to different sites.  It requires all of 3 extra clicks, and the platform is wonderful – allows for various fonts and sizes as well as picture resizing with ease.

I’m happy!!!  Watch for the daily blog to continue!

Thanks for reading,

Stacy – thegirlwiththeracingmind

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To Ancient Times and Distant Music

My son loves a game called Quelf.  It is a crazy game that has no true strategic advantage for those who are brainiacs, great at drawing, or anything.  While it has those aspects to it, the game also has these weird things thrown in called Roolz which, according to the instructions, are “‘rules’ that you must follow as long as the card is in play, or else pay that card’s penalty.   The effect of that card doesn’t just last for your turn – it may last for the remainder of the game!”  As I was noodling around with how to write this post, one of the Roolz from Quelf came to mind. One of the Rooz that I have drawn in the past required me to say “to ancient times and distant music” every time I took a drink of something.  Then every had to clink glasses with me.  If I forgot and someone called me out, I had to move back a space.

This is the last actual post that I will write on this site, and it feels like I should say a toast of some kind to this blog and to those who have come along side me as readers.

Today is a great day. I am launching a new blog site here on areavoices.com. This is a big day for me because I have toiled through some technical difficulties in order to get the new site (slowingtheracingmind.areavoices.com) up and running.  The site maintains the name because I feel it really describes the why behind my blogging.  The racing mind is what brought me to blogging, and though I now love the blogging “art” itself, the continued practice of it has helped slow the racing mind, bring clarity to my thoughts, and engaged me in ways with others that I probably could not do in person as well.  I am a thinker; my thoughts are not clear in the moment always.  Writing seems to help that.

Nearly a year ago, a dear friend on Facebook started writing a blog each day as part of the WordPress movement to encourage more writing. I watched as my friend grew as a writer and decided on August 1, 2011, to join her. I made a Fresh Start, and it felt good. My children had spent the summer working at Village Creek Bible Camp in Lansing, Iowa, and I had started to sense that it was time to start thinking past their high school graduation. My huz had asked me over the summer, “What will we do to fill our time when the kids graduate and are gone?” I want to write. And the best way to write “someday” is to start writing today. I chose WordPress because it had the Blog a Day graphic. I merged my Blogger site with my WordPress site because I like to preserve history.

Today I experience a fresh start again. A friend who has followed this blog saw an advertisement in the Fargo Forum for bloggers who write about topics that women find interesting. I figured that a good majority of people who follow my old blog were women, so I emailed the person whose email was provided and inquired. That person suggested that I start blogging through their site – Areavoices.com.  It widens the readership a bit, and I thought it would be a great opportunity.

I am humbled that you have chosen to read what I write. I am thrilled when my ramblings can help someone else see things anew or feel like they are not alone in the world with their thoughts.  I hope that you will continue to read as I make the move over to the new site.  My plan is to post the link from that site on this site for a while.  I am trying to figure out how (if) to allow for email subscriptions as I know some readers have signed up for that.  Here is the link to today’s post: http://wp.me/p-a.

Thanks for reading!

To Ancient Times and Distant Music!

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