Tag Archives: life

There is Always Light in Darkness

Things have been grim since Heath’s dad passed away. I’ve seen him cry more than I even thought he was capable of and his pain resonates loudly in my soul. I want to take it all away, but there just isn’t really anything I can do outside of just being there for him. I am grateful that God has given me a heart big enough for the both of us, because it’s been every bit of necessary. People say time heals the wounds, and I know they’re right, but time, or lack thereof, is what upsets him most. There is no more time with his dad. You can’t get back all the time you regret not spending with him now. And experiencing this has changed something in Heath, for the better.

 

We’ll celebrate our 11th year together this summer, 7 of which we’ll have been engaged. I think we’d both just sort of already felt married and so actually making it legal didn’t seem all that pressing to us. But it did to our families, particularly Heath’s dad. He was always asking when it was going to finally happen and we’d shrugged it off too many times. He’d also asked about grandkids time and time again and it always left Heath and I in a bad place because I’ve always wanted kids, three to be exact, but Heath didn’t. I’ve imagined myself a mother since I was just a little girl and watching my sister’s kids grow into these perfect tiny humans only makes me want my own even more. Ever since I turned 30, I’ve worried about running out of time to have kids. Women have that biological clock and all and mine’s ticking fast. And so I’ve been praying for years now, for God to let me know if my future really didn’t include kids. That my purpose in this life wasn’t to also be a mother. And all this time I’ve grown more and more frustrated over not hearing or feeling His answer. Never confident in what that meant for mine and Heath’s future. But I know now that God was answering me all along and his answer was: Patience. A lesson I seem to constantly be learning.

 

On the way home from Heath’s father’s viewing, we talked about how hard it was to watch his dad die the way we did, but that we were glad we were all there for him, that he didn’t die alone. And I admitted that it’s one of my biggest fears, dying alone. I’m not afraid to die, I know heaven is far better than this life, but I want to be surrounded by love when I’m heading out. It was still a few more days before the conversation I wanted to have would take place, but the entire time I just kept thinking: Neither of our parents are all that healthy and the likelihood of them outliving us is slim, which means when we’re on our deathbeds, we’ll be all we have and once one of us is gone, the other dies alone. Heath must have been thinking the same thing because a few days later, he changed his mind about having kids without any provoking at all. He realized how important family was to him and decided he doesn’t want his family to end with him.

 

Despite all the sadness I’ve felt over losing his dad, my heart feels so hopeful again. And I just know he’s in heaven right now, proud of his son for changing his mind, even if it took him passing for him to realize what his dad had been telling him all along.

 

Heath’s conditions were that we have a house before we try and that works out well since we were already trying to get our bills in order so that we could be buying a house by the start of 2016. That plan is still in place and baby making can start once we’ve reached that place, but in the meantime, we figure, we should probably go ahead and get married finally. So, on November 7th, I’ll officially be Sarah Harris and I’m more excited about it than I thought I would be. Being with someone for 10+ years means the lust of new love has worn off, and quality friendship has sunken in. But I feel in-love with him all over again and it’s exhilarating. We’ll still be mourning his father, for a long time to come, but we’ll have these beautiful distractions from keeping us stuck there in darkness, and I just know we’re making his father happy right now.

 

God works in the most mysterious ways. 😉

 

P.S. If you’re curious about what my wedding might look like, I’m plotting it HERE!

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

Sunday night my fiancé’s father, Bobby, was rushed to the ER completely unresponsive. After getting him stabilized, it was determined that his COPD ridden 1 & 2/3 lungs (he lost 1/3 of the left to cancer 5 years ago) had double pneumonia. Pneumonia that was likely left untreated for months. For days he sat in the ICU, doctors trying to get his oxygen level up high enough to go home, but that just wasn’t a reality. A ventilator was really the only way to preserve his life, to force his lungs to work at a reasonable level, but that would have meant spending the rest of his life on it, a life lived in a nursing home (which is no life at all really). Bobby didn’t want that, even though none of us were ready to accept what that meant for his fate. He just wanted to go home and in the end that home was to God.

 

Thursday afternoon the “comfortable way to die” was initiated. Watching and waiting for him to pass was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed. Bobby’s mother celebrated her 88th birthday watching her only son pass away. Even if I hadn’t known this man and his family for the last 11 years, I would have been crushed. Friday at 1:30, he took his last breath. He was only 54 years old.

 

If you’re the praying type, Heath’s family could use all the prayers for strength they can get while they learn to live life without Bobby.

 

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Heath holding his father’s hand for the last time

 

2014 In Review: Everything Else

Last year, I made myself six resolutions. Relatively easy ones, really, and for the most part I achieved all except one. Let’s review them with a little more depth…

 

1. Have more Moxie: I think this is the one I’m most proud of because I made such an effort that things that used to terrify me, now seem so easy it’s weird imagining myself ever afraid of them before. This year I met my favorite author twice (the second time without an ounce of fear), chopped off the long hair I’ve been hiding behind for 10 years, went to a day long writing conference with a bunch of strangers, took on strangers as clients without making my sister tag along with me to the photoshoots, etc… Sure there was probably a lot of other ways I could have shown moxie, but I’m glad I made this resolution because all year when I was faced with something that would normally scare me, I felt compelled to prove the fear wrong.

 

2. Get another Tattoo: This is really the only resolution I failed at and it wasn’t because I didn’t have enough moxie, it was mostly because I didn’t have enough time. I have four tattoos planned now, all of which I can’t wait to have, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have some sort of new ink any day now. 😉

 

3. Write: SEE – 2014 In Review: Writing

 

4. Live a Healthy Life: Well, I did and I didn’t. I’m still overweight and out of shape, maybe even more so than last year because all that overtime at work bit into my workout time. And I still haven’t taken myself to the eye doctor, despite my quickly declining sight. But I did get myself on a better sleep schedule and my skin has never been healthier thanks to a daily H2O+ skin cleaning regimen. I also went to the dentist twice and they couldn’t even yell at me for not going in so long because they said I take extremely good care of my teeth. I’ve definitely still got some things to work on next year and I plan to, but I don’t call this one a total failure.

 

5. Give More: This one is also a yes and a no. Sadly, my biggest contribution last year, Sevenly, ended up being my smallest contribution this year. They’ve stopped carrying cuts suitable for a girl my size/shape and so I didn’t buy nearly as many cause shirts as I might have liked to this year. But I did give in other ways like: cookies to all delivery type people (mail and food) during the Cookie-Thon. That was one of the most rewarding acts of giving, seeing their unexpected appreciation and entire demeanor change over such a small gesture. I helped out at church for the big events – Valentines Day, Easter, etc…, I donated some books to the library. But I think the thing I did most was giving of myself this year. To anyone that needed me. Sometimes that meant missing out on my own life and sometimes other people’s burdens were super hard to carry, but I feel like being there for them was necessary and I’d gladly carry the burden any day.

 

6. Save More: SEE – 2014 Savings Challenge

 

I know some people aren’t fans of resolutions and I can see how they’re not for everyone, but as a list maker who is too busy for her own good, making a list of things I’d like to work toward really keeps me guided in the right direction. They’re like little reminders all year long to keep me on track and I’m happy for it.

 

So, what’s on my to-do list for 2015? Just wait and see! 😉

 

What’s Happening

I realize I’m pretty bad at this blogging thing. I go months between posts and I say that it’s partially because no one reads this blog, but maybe if I wrote more they would.  Anyway, it’s October and fall has arrived, which means I’m busier than ever and yet somehow far more productive than ever too. I don’t really understand the power the weather has over me, but in the exact moment that fall shows it’s face, everything about me changes. There’s a peace hovering around me in everything I do and my creative juices start flowing in excess, making me want to do ALL the things.

 

I’m not complaining.

 

I am, however, far busier than I’ve ever been in years past. And it’s strange because I hadn’t even planned to be, it just sort of happened. It started in September with shooting a vow renewal, a wedding, and a sunflower field. I also attended a writing conference (my first ever) and learned quite a bit about querying, finding an agent, and publishing in general. It was hosted by the Harford County Public Library and the classes were taught by published authors, agents, and small publishing houses (so, you know, people who actually know what they’re talking about). There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on self-publishing, which was a bit of a disappointment for me since I don’t intend on going that route, but overall there was a lot to be learned. I would definitely sign up for the event again. I would say, though, that the facts about publishing were a bit discouraging. I’d say it was a good way to weed out the people who are actually interested in putting forth the effort from the people with pipe dreams because the facts about just how many people try to get published vs. how many actually do is alarming. I wish I’d been brave enough to connect with a few local writers, since all of my writer friends live states away, but my introverted self was too nervous by just being there to step further outside of my comfort zone. Maybe next time.

 

Neff Family || Fall 2014

October’s wasting no time with the busy. Yesterday I did my first fall shoot and there are five more already scheduled. There’s also Abel’s 1st birthday shoot & party on Halloween, new cookies to bake for all my friends with October birthday’s, Halloween gifts to wrap and send out, Trunk or Treat to help with at church, a pumpkin patch to take my nephews to, and meeting Maggie Stiefvater for the second time this year at my local library (I’m far less scared this time)! Somehow, writing has to fit itself into this schedule too, because my characters are louder than usual, begging for some horror fueled attention that I really want to give them!

 

I have to be honest, I’m the most shocked by how heavy my photography schedule is lately. In addition to all the October shoots on the schedule there are five more scheduled for Christmas Cards already in November and December. When I made a resolution to shoot more in 2013, I was happy with the handful I did that year – with those few Christmas cards hanging on the back of my door, but I had no idea I’d more than double that in 2014 without even trying. Now I go into people’s houses and my work is actually framed on their walls and it’s a form of flattery I never imagined feeling. It amazes me that people trust me with their memories like this.

 

I’m sure I’ll blink and October will be over already, because that’s the unfortunate thing about my favorite time of the year. It moves too fast. But I’ll try to record the memories and report back before the month’s end. I’m going to have some cool things to share (like custom art my BFF Heather Holden is making me!) and I want to make sure I post it all while it’s still relevant.

 

What happening around your way these days?

 

On Moxie & Meeting Maggie

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I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between my teen years and adult years I lost the ability to be social. When it comes to interacting with anyone (but strangers are even worse), I am basically crippled. It’s an especially frustrating thing because it’s not like I want to be this way. In fact, it’s the opposite. I want to do all sorts of things I never end up doing out of fear and then I’m left with regret.

 

This year, you may remember, I made a resolution to have a little more moxie. Because my life is slipping away from me fast and I can’t accept being old with even more regret for all the things I’d wished I’d done. So I told myself that if events came up this year around me (concerts, book signings, etc…) I would make myself go, no matter how afraid I was. This promise I made to myself was finally put to the test today and I’m happy to report I passed. But it wasn’t easy.

 

The event I’m referring to is Maggie Stiefvater’s Sinner Tour. For those that don’t know, Maggie is like my writing hero. I’ve never really aspired to be like anyone, ever, but if I could be even a percentage of the writer Maggie is, I’d be happy with life. Her writing ability, dedication to her craft, and overall brave attitude about life is admirable and it encourages me. It seemed fitting that the first author I’d meet be one so important to me.

 

In the weeks leading up to this event, I asked as many people as I could to go with me, thinking it’d be less horrifying if I wasn’t alone. Because it wasn’t just being at this event that was scary, it was actually getting myself there since it was located in the city – the city in which I never wander and certainly not alone, but no one was up for the trip and I couldn’t be mad about that. For a minute there I almost talked myself out of going, but I held onto that promise I made myself. This morning, in preparation for this event, I mapped my drive there on Google Earth, put a bunch of music on a CD for Maggie, and got myself so worked up over going that I almost made myself sick, but I refused to back out. For one, I’d told her on FB that I’d be there and she even replied and two, I’d promised a friend something from the event. I’m not good at breaking promises, especially promises to other people.

 

The drive there was less terrifying than I pictured it. Either that, or I’d gotten myself so worked up before even leaving that I’d exhausted all my nervous resources before it was really time to be nervous. I got there a half hour early and was the 14th person in line inside a bookstore smaller than my entire apartment. It already felt packed with just the 14 of us and then about 100 more people showed up. At least. To make the closeness of so many strangers a more uncomfortable thing for a person like me, the A/C was ancient and nearly useless and it was 90 degrees outside. At one point I was so hot I started to feel faint, like I might pass out of throw up. Thankfully neither happened. I met two lovely ladies (Ashley and Shana, both book reviewers you should check out!)  in the line who nudged my social anxiety aside and helped the heat seem more tolerable. And after some parking space drama, Maggie finally arrived.

 

She parked her Camaro, Loki, right outside the bookstore and a couple of the younger girls squealed which was cheesy and adorable at the same time. Maggie strolled in wearing her signature outfit: a black tank top and boots, removing her sunglasses with one hand and carting a skateboard in the other. She had this air of coolness that made her seem even more famous than she actually is. I was shocked by how much it intimidated me for a minute. She talked for a while before signing, telling stories of her youth and why she wrote Sinner, and then took reader questions and immediately revealed just how regular she actually is. Awkward even, in that perfectly good way. She’s animated and excitable and I watched her in a bit of awe because I can’t even imagine ever having that much confidence speaking to a crowd if/when I ever do get published. I wonder if she was always that personable or if it’s something she’s developed throughout her career. 

 

The wait in the heat once she started signing was rough, but thankfully I was number 14 in line. Actually meeting her went by too fast. I’d only taken my Shiver series, thinking it’d be selfish to take all my books and waste so much of her time, but I wish I’d just brought them all now. She was really friendly, the kind of person you instantly feel comfortable around like you’ve known them forever, and totally understanding of my awkward anti-social self. I told her I was the one that had predicted WhitePantsNovel was actually about Cole on Tumblr so many moons ago and she did that whole, “That was you!?” surprised reaction. Felt pretty cool to come out of my anonymous status finally.

 

I left in the middle of a thunderstorm, never happier to drive in the cool rain. I still feel a little high over the whole experience. Partly because I met someone so significant in my writing dreams and partly because I told myself I’d do something terrifying and I didn’t back down. As lame as it might seem to some, I’m proud of myself and meeting Maggie was the reward for overcoming my fear. All-in-all, an awesome day.

 

Note: You can click through the pictures below. Sorry for the poor photo quality. Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t performing at it’s best. :/

 

 

Busy is my middle name…

I lose track of time so much more these days.

 

I think it’s been about 5-6 weeks now of getting up at 4am and working 11-12 hour days, 5 days a week at work. We got this giant 65 mile gas pipeline survey to complete in a 6 month deadline and it involves all of this research of the land back to the 1930’s to see when the easements for said pipeline were created and figure out how to draft them (in AutoCad) in the real world today. If there wasn’t such an intense deadline, the researching part might actually be fun – learning all about Baltimore County’s history, but reading ancient deeds and plats, that were hand written and then scanned for county documentation is hell on my eyes. I’ve been wearing my glasses every day and using a magnifying glass and I still end up having to guess sometimes whether I’m plotting a northing and easting with a 6 or an 8 in it. It makes the work take so much longer than it should.

 

That aside, yesterday was rather nice. One of my co-workers supplied Einstein’s Bagels for breakfast, then the company supplied an Italian pasta & salad spread for lunch, and then topped off the day with Rita’s Italian ice as an afternoon snack. It probably says a lot about me (and not good things) that just being treated with food can make my day lovely, but whatever. Yesterday was flat out delicious.

 

It was also nice, because while I frequently feel like Thursday’s are Friday’s lately (since I technically reach my 40 hours long before Friday actually arrives), yesterday actually was my Friday because our company is closed today for Good Friday! I’m terribly excited about having a three day weekend. I actually got to sleep for 9 hours last night, opposed to the 5 I’m typically getting these days. Boy do I feel alive today!

 

My weekend plans include: manning the couch with a book in hand (I haven’t read a book since January!), possibly (hopefully) writing the last 1-3K words of my nightmare novel Dreamsters (I’m SO close!!), catching up on the internet (My inbox is flooded and I haven’t even logged into Tumblr in 2 weeks! O_O), and then serving breakfast/brunch to the 400+ people our church is expecting on Easter Sunday. Sunday will be pretty draining, but at least I get two days before it to relax and rejuvenate my creative mind (because work is seriously eating it alive).

 

This busy life of mine only looks busier in the months to come. With longer, generally warmer days, people have already started asking me to do their spring photo shoots and somehow I’ve got to get back into a decent workout routine too. I had resolved to not stretch myself so thin this year, but we’re only 4 months into 2014 and it’s already happening. I just hope there’s some sort of backup energy reserve in my body that I figure out how to tap in to, because I’ll need it!

 

 

[Happy] Uterus Eviction Day

Someone wished me that on my FB this week, for my birthday. I LOL’d in real life.

 

Surprisingly, my birthday wasn’t so bad this year. It was super low key in comparison to birthday’s past, but it wasn’t bad either.

 

I’m not thrilled about getting older. Truthfully, I’m pretty terrified of it. And I have been since I turned 25. Being 32 now, you might think I’d start accepting my aging self, but I’m just as neurotic as I was about it then. Every year, a new mid-life crisis.

 

And I don’t even know why I’m so beside myself over this aging thing. I just feel like I’ll blink and then suddenly I’ll be 40, then 50, 60, and so on and still be mentally screaming, “What have I done with my life?!” I know I need to cut it out, to just accept it for what it is. There is no avoiding age, but I cling desperately to the notion that I’m still in my early 20’s. I’d be happy to stay there forever.

 

Aging aside, my birthday came and went this year with a lot of love. I jokingly said to my mom, “If you’re ever feeling lonely, like you have no friends, just have a birthday in the social media world and everyone and their brother will crawl out of the woodwork to shower you with love.” Because it’s true, on FB especially, people I never even talk to stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and even though it’s terribly superficial of me to equate that to love, I felt it.

 

This year was the first I’ve actually worked on my birthday in more than 10 years. I’m too overwhelmed with overtime that taking off wasn’t even an option and it was a bit weird to be in the office when I’d normally be sleeping in and spending my day with a book, but the girls at work unloaded copious amounts of sugary treats on me for breakfast and it’s pretty easy to win me over with goodies. For one, I’m the baker in our office so it was nice to have someone else bake for me for a change. And two, just the fact that they remembered and felt the need to do something was much appreciated.

 

I got singing phone calls from my grandparents (both sides), with their own renditions of Happy Birthday, which just always makes my day. I don’t think you ever get too old to enjoy your grandparents singing to you on your birthday. It’s like my mom still playing with my hair in church. There are just some things age plays no factor in.

 

My close friends and family gifted me some really cool stuff and I gathered together with my immediate family for pizza and dessert to celebrate after work. The day was made even better by my nephew Gideon greeting me with, “Happy Birthday!” when I arrived. That kid can make any day better just by smiling at me, but it’s especially awesome to see him talking so well these days.

 

Overall, I can’t complain. I’m blessed to have people around me that care to make the day special, even if I’m bummed about it signifying another year passed. I couldn’t ask for more, except maybe for Father Time to slow down, but I doubt he’s listening.

 

July: In Review

I’m blogging to you from my tablet and it is not easy. I was supposed to have a new PC by now – well, not completely new. My monitor’s still the same and my hard drives are still the same, but everything else – that will all be new. None of this is by choice. Last weekend, my beloved computer decided to commit suicide. It’s been slowly becoming problematic anyway, so it will be nice having a new computer, but man is my pocket sad about the unexpected expense. Especially since I spent a great deal of time this month planning and preparing for the Baby Sprinkle I’m throwing my sister in the beginning of September (money and I aren’t friends right now, clearly). What’s worse is that the new computer arrived this week, already defective. There is some sort of complete revolt going on against me where technology is concerned (seriously, my computer’s not the only malfunctioning product around me this week – I’m going nuts).

Anyway, July! Talk about passing fast. I don’t think I’ve ever been as busy in July as I was this year and to tell you the truth it was kind of annoying. And it definitely hurt my productivity elsewhere.

I only managed to read two books this month: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 6) by Charlaine Harris. I didn’t really have time for reading and when I did have time I tried to write. There’s no sense in photographing them together since that’s such a measly number, but one of them is worth talking about.

My Life Next Door was surprisingly good. I’d bought it on a whim, just because I was on a book buying binge and I thought it’d be a fluffy summer read. Like the main character, I was immediately drawn to the large, loving family next door. The story is also set near the water, where boat people come and go. As a kid, being out on the boat and visiting various marinas was the only thing I liked about summer. This aspect spawned a lot of good memories for me. The love story is perfectly sweet. But in addition to this is a political campaign staring the MC’s mom. And appalling, unexpected twists go down. And long story short, I found myself sobbing ugly, snotty tears for a good 40 pages towards the end as the author ripped me from this perfectly lovely summer story and stuck me in hell with the MC. There aren’t too many books that move me to this level of emotion, especially when I don’t see it coming. Really, this was one hell of a read and I’m eager to see what else Huntley Fitzpatrick has up her sleeve.

As for writing this month, well as you might remember I was participating in a private session of Grapemo over on FB. There are about 19 of us there, though not everyone is actually active. Still, the interaction on FB was far superior to the normal Grapemo and I’m positive it helped drive me to work harder. While I didn’t write as much as I’d hoped, I did write (which is better than the nothing I reported last month) and I shared a snippet from Dreamsters twice a week all month long. It’s the most I’ve shared of my book ever. And the members ate it up. It shocked me how receptive they were to the story, but was more encouraging than I could have thought it’d be. There are plans to leave the board open into August and I’m grateful for it. The accountability is extra important in the summer for me, when it’s so much easier to just forget about my book altogether until fall arrives. I doubt I’ll pump out some huge number next month, but I am confident I’ll write something and that’s fine with me.

Total July Word Count: 3,812

So, nothing all that exciting to report for July. I’d say the coolest thing that happened in July was that I dyed my hair peacock colors. I’m rather in-love with it.

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How was your July? Anything fun to report?

Long weekends are supposed to be relaxing…

But this four day holiday weekend wasn't relaxing at all. If it's possible, I'm more tired now than I was when it started. However, exhausting doesn't completely mean bad in this case.

Thursday, the 4th of July, I got up early and baked a super delicious Apple-Berry pie (strawberries, blueberries, and four different kinds of apples) and it wasn't just yummy, it was actually pretty and patriotic, too. See:

4th of July Pie_Cropped
Unfortunately while peeling the apples, I shaved off a portion of my pointer finger/nail bed so that's been pretty painful to deal with all weekend. Still, the pie was gone in a matter of minutes, it was so well received so it made it feel pretty worth it.

We ate said pie at my aunt Kim's house, where we also consumed customary cookout foods, swam, and watched fireworks. If they weren't already dressed in patriotic garb, I made everyone pose with a flag to capture the holiday. You can see the whole photo set by clicking the picture of Gideon and I below.

Sarah & Gideon 4th of July

Friday I was supposed to clean (my house is in desperate need of this) and perhaps write since I'm participating in Grapemo and I'm not exactly off to a good start, but I was so tired from the day before that I got swept away in a book I had no expectations for and found myself hours later sobbing like an idiot over.

Saturday morning I had that photoshoot I mentioned with a friend of my sister's and even though it was 90+ degrees out, I the shoot was a success (or at least better than that last shoot I did with a non-family/friend). The family even said they're interested in having me do Christmas pictures in the fall for them, too! I took a lot of pictures, but I figured I'd share just a few of the best ones here. (Click the pictures to enlarge them.)

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Coleman4748 [50%] July Photoshoot

When I got home from the shoot, I baked another pie for another family get together, this time at my mom's. This pie was very different from the first pie, super rich and nothing healthy about it at all. It was my rendition of Dangerously Delicious's Baltimore Bomb Pie aka Berger Cookie Pie. It was sinfully delicious.

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No matter how tired I was today, I had to clean and get ready to return to work tomorrow, but life had other plans and shortly after church I received a hysterical phone call from my sister to rush to her house and watch Gideon because my brother-in-law had been attacked by a swarm of bees. He went into Anaphylactic shock, his blood pressure dropped to nearly nothing and he was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. Thank God they were able to revive him, but he has to remain in the hospital under observation for the next 24 hours. It could have ended a lot worse, had Rachel not been home it's very likely he wouldn't have made it at all.  

All-in-all it wasn't a bad weekend even if it didn't end on that happy of a note, but it was long and tiresome. I'd say I'm looking forward to a regular weekend next weekend, but there are more parties my presence is required and so I'm sure I'll be feeling pretty tired come next Sunday, too.

Did you do anything special for the holiday weekend?

Words You Should Have Said…

Whenever I write something, no matter the significance, from as small as a twitter post to as big as my novel, I chose my words very carefully. And I re-read them several times over before completely committing to them, trying to imagine all the ways those words could possibly be taken. I even re-read them several more times after they’re official just to make sure they still come across the way I intended them to.

It’s the same with speaking for me. I hate the idea of saying something and not being able to take it back so I better really mean it before it leaves my mind. And I’m not one to speak up about something factual unless I am 100% sure I know what I’m talking about.  I say something over and over again to myself before I unleash it from my tongue. I even practice different scenarios in my head so that I know I’ll react properly should I be confronted with one of those situations.

Despite all this effort, I’m constantly reminded that no matter how cautious I am with the words I write or say, I can never truly predict the way someone will perceive and react to them. I often find myself wondering if there was something else I should have said, something to have garnered a different response, but I know it’s really just a waste of brain energy. People are going to view and react according to their own disposition. Nothing you did or didn’t say/write would have changed that.

Do any of you obsess about saying/writing the perfect words only to find yourself shocked by the reactions of those on the receiving end?