My #GAPP_Week 4th July 2016

My #Gapp_Week 4th July

Gratitude: I’m Grateful for the summer holidays, for the lovely weather, for being able to rest and do my own thing (which is reading, writing, blogging and playing with my grandchildren) for six weeks!

20160704_132647-1

Achievement: I’m really pleased that I was able to wrap up everything at work. My work desk had been a mess all month due to end of term exams, evaluations, and final paperwork, but I managed to get it all sorted out.

Final staff meeting. The final report was typed up shortly after!

IMG-20160701-WA0001-1 (1)

I’m Proud of helping my colleague prepare his exam for a permanent teaching post. He has a temporary post at my school. I only met him five months ago, and he’s a hard-working and enthusiastic teacher who deserves to pass, but he needed a little help with some of the theory and encouragement for the exam.

20160628_120242 (1)

I also helped another colleague correct exams, because she was very busy with personal matters. She’s also one of my best friends, and you may think that doesn’t count, but it does. Friendship has to be nurtured, and friends shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Here are my two colleagues in another staff meeting. We were actually working, but we have so much fun!

IMG-20160630-WA0002

I’ve also posted some reviews on amazon for authors I don’t personally know or interact with. We all know how important reviews are for both readers and authors.

I looked after my grandson last Monday, while his parents were working. I don’t help them as often as I’d like to because I’m working full-time, so I’m pleased to help out when I’m on holiday. I’m not sure I’ve put this in the right slot, because really it’s a pleasure to look after Alex. I’m grateful for the games we play and the laughter we share.

20160627_100429

        Painting in the patio!

PLANS: My plans for next week are to finish proof-reading the print copy of my third novel…

Lucy Editing

Write some overdue reviews…

write-a-review

Tidy up my study at home, which is a terrible mess!

****

What about you?

Join in, pingback and read other GAPP_Weeks.

Or just read and comment, if you prefer 🙂

****

RULES (short version, longer version here):

Few rules. Life has enough of them!

1- Tell us about your GAPP_Week.

  • What are you GRATEFUL for? Beautiful yet simple things which make life wonderful.
  • What have you ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself .
  • What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others.
  • What are your PLANS for next week? Doable and simple, realistic steps towards your goals.

2- Pingback to Lucy’s GAPP_Week weekly post on my blog.

3- Add #GAPP_Week to your post title.

If you like, you can:

  • Write four sentences, 400 words, or 4,000 words!
  • Add pictures.
  • Join in every week, or whenever you like.
  • Write your post on Monday, or any other day of the week.
  • Check out other posts.
  • Add the logo to your post or to your page (when it’s available. I’m working on that!)
  • Retweet as much as you like!

Happy #GAPP_Week!

I do like Mondays! #Gapp_Week @Gapp_Week

Modern blogging started in the last decade of the 20th century. It evolved from an online diary, where people shared their thoughts, reflection and lives publicly on the Internet through the use of Blogs, derived as we all know from the terms web (World Wide Web) + log (as in diary).  Some blogs were focused on news, others on fashion, literature, the arts, education, or just bloggers’ own random thoughts.

blogging image

I haven’t actually done much of that type of blogging. I do have some personal posts, but I wouldn’t call them a diary because they’re not consistent in theme or regular in their publication. They simply crop up now and again, and they’re closely related to my writer’s life, not my personal or private life.

Well, I’ve decided that’s going to change. I’m going to give real blogging, as in diary blogging, a go, at least until December, and probably longer, I hope…

The idea behind this (very) personal blogging initiative is that I believe I (and we) can improve our lives through consciously and publicly striving for a better quality of life for ourselves and those we interact with.

I’ll be channelling my random thoughts into four basic pillars and I hope you’ll join me:

1. The first pillar is Gratitude. The benefits of gratitude have been widely discussed by people who are much more qualified than me on this topic. If you’re not convinced, you can type ‘the benefits of gratitude’ and you’ll find plenty of pages. One of my favourite is the great Deepak Chopra: A two and a half-minute explanation. ‘We are all made of stardust’. I love it. If you want to read more about his theories here are his books. Here’s his amazon author page    

Gratitude Chopra

The first question I’m going to answer is: What am I GRATEFUL for?

Things that made me smile, laugh, feel good. It could be a phone call from a friend, a hug from my son/grandson, a beautiful sunset….

2. The second pillar is Achievement. Each week I need to feel I’ve progressed at least a little, because I’m nearer to accomplishing my goals. I need to identify the steps I’ve taken and the things I’m proud of having achieved. I need to feel I’m moving on, progressing, getting better. I need to believe in myself and encourage myself by pointing out my achievements.

IMG_20160704_100456

Let’s think about what we’ve ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself that you’re happy about. Perhaps you wrote 1,000 words of your novel, learnt something new, finished reading a book, ran a mile!

3. The third pillar is Pride in doing things for others. Paying it Forward or Random Acts of Kindness.

Our interaction with world shouldn’t be selfish. We need to help others creating a pay it forward chain. The third pillar is Pride in helping others. What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others. Perhaps you’ve listened to a friend who needed to chat?, written a review for an indie author’s book you enjoyed, helped a student with their homework, held someone’s hand when they were ill, helped someone who was lost or couldn’t speak your language very well?

Make sure you do random things for people who are not necessarily your family and friends, but of course kindness to them is also included!

We can all make the world a better place if we each try. The ripple effect starts with one person.

Pay it forward

Planning ahead in small steps. Instead of ‘Find a Job’, which is a long-term goal, think of smaller, but vital things you can do to get there such as, update my CV, or search online for places to send my CV, or look for a training course to do while I find a new job…

Goals

What are your PLANS for next week? What would you like to achieve for yourself and do for others. Thinking about this can help you write next weeks’ Achieved and Proud. Every large goal is achieved by a series of smaller steps. Think  of doable, realistic steps towards your goals.

Single step

How is this going to become a reality? We need something tangible. Something we can look back on and think about at a later date, so we need to write it down.

My Gapp_Week Jar

I saw this idea in January. Everyone writes New Year’s Resolutions, but what about being grateful every day for a year and reading all your gratitude notes on 31st of December.

Happy-New-Year-2016-Wishes-Greetings-7

I thought about this a lot, and while it’s a good idea, I wanted to make it into something that would help me keep my life in a more general perspective. I’ve come up with a similar idea. Below is my jar with my first Gapp_Week post-it, neatly folded inside. I plan to add one each week and open it to read them whenever I need reminding that life has lots of wonderful things we sometimes forget about.

20160704_132153-1

If this doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. Yo can use a diary or notebook to jot down your GAPP_Week pillars, or simply use twitter, or your blog. Whatever works for you. You might like to show us a picture of what you’ll be using to keep track, a jar or a notebook.

Why Mondays?

Well, let’s face it, Monday isn’t the most popular day of the week! It’s a good day to get some good vibrations going. Reminding ourselves of the positive things we’ve done the previous week and planning ahead for the following week could help increase our motivation. It might even be a wise idea to plan or write it on Sunday evening and post on Monday…

101059-i-love-mondays

I think it will help me be happy and focus on what I want and do what I need to do in order to be a better and happier person. It’s a big aim, but I’ll be taking it in small steps.

To sum up. I want us (you and me) to concentrate on four simple, but vital aspects of our lives every week to help us on our way to a better and happier life.

Do you want to join in?

RULES (short version, longer explanation above):

Few rules. Life has enough of them!

1- Tell us about your GAPP_Week.

  • What are you GRATEFUL for? Beautiful yet simple things which make life wonderful.
  • What have you ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself .
  • What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others.
  • What are your PLANS for next week? Doable and simple, realistic steps towards your goals.

2- Pingback to Lucy’s GAPP_Week weekly post on my blog.

3- Add #GAPP_Week to your post title.

If you like, you can:

  • Write four sentences, 400 words, or 4,000 words!
  • Add pictures.
  • Join in every week, or whenever you like.
  • Write your post on Monday, or any other day of the week.
  • Check out other posts.
  • Add the logo to your post or to your page (when it’s available. I’m working on that!)
  • Retweet as much as you like!

I’ll be including my #GAPP_Week for 4th July in the following post.

What do you think of this idea? Any suggestions?

****

 

Post 100: Generosity, Gratitude and Rosie’s Book Review Team

This is my 100th post on my blog, and I’d like to make it special, especially because my readers are special, and I also feel special and honoured to be able to write this post with all of you in mind.

A short time ago, I discovered a Rosie Amber’s Blog through a comment she made on Noelle Granger’s Blog, and I was very impressed.

Have a look because it includes book reviews, guest authors, resources for writers, and her amazing ‘Doing Good Deeds’ personal initiative, which is in its second year.

I asked to join her book review team  and am thrilled to be part of this wonderful group of readers, some of who are also writers, who generously (in their own time with no material reward) and gratefully (because they love reading) read and review books.

I feel privileged to be part of this generous and grateful group of bloggers and reviewers, and am pleased to include my first review, as part of this group, in my next post.

Generosity and Gratitude are two wonderful words which I don’t want to glide over, as if they were simple concepts, because, on the contrary, they are very complex and essential aspects to making this world a better place.

Those of you who read my blog know that I’m an enthusiast of ‘playing it forward’, and generosity is the simplest way to do this. Giving someone your time, which is something we will never recover, we are being immensely generous. Listening to someone as well as hearing what they say, reviewing a book thoughtfully, as well as reading it, commenting on a post, as well as skimming through it, speaking to someone, as well as chatting, helping someone, instead of ignoring them, asking, instead of walking by, advising someone instead of watching them act thoughtlessly, are all generous acts we do every day, and may not even realize how valuable they are.

Make no mistake: without generosity we would be an indifferent and uncaring society.

On the other hand, the most beautiful word in the dictionary has to be ‘gratitude’. According to Margaret Mazzantini, Italian writer and actress, in her novel, Don’t Move ( Non ti muovere),  the most beautiful word is ‘grazie’ or ‘thank you’. By using this word, we accept and acknowledge our need of others. Gratitude is always directed to another person who has helped us or given us something we value, and we therefore show our appreciation.

Make no mistake: without gratitude, we would be a solitary and selfish society.

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all my readers and to all the blogs I follow. I may not always have enough time to comment and drop by, especially during my present (waning) holiday period, but I love reading your posts, full of advice, information, reflections, poems, flash fiction, short stories, photographs, travels, and personal anecdotes, etc.

It has taken me about 10 months to write 100 posts, although I started at a slow pace, and have been writing more consistently in the last four months. At this rate, I should be celebrating my 200th post in the New Year 2015! Let’s see!

In the meantime, please keep generously reading my posts and writing your own, which I will be reading expectantly, and gratefully, as often as I can. 🙂