75 Words or Less

     I've recently been compiling freelance work to submit to magazines, writing contests, and any and all other known sources of literary fineness.  This entails very long hours of market research, very late nights of writing and revising, as well as having to put together a short "75 words or less, please" biography to have printed alongside my published works should a fish ever bite down on my hooked rancid chicken liver. [revise this later; gross, unappealing image.  Good grief!  What are you thinking!  Get more coffee!]

     Have you ever tried to write a 75 word biography on yourself?  [then it's an autobio.- do i want to change this?]    It's challenging and quite revealing.   I think I would be able to write one on someone else in a fraction of the time because there would be less fear of misrepresenting who they really were.   It sounds harsh but honestly, I don't know who they REALLY are; at least not in the way that was giving me so much trouble on my own definition of who I am and why someone should want to read what I write.

     I typed it up in a short period of time [quickly], pressed 'save', put the computer away and rolled over to sleep for my 3 hour power nap before work.

   "Gotta change that wording.  It's a mixed metaphor. [it's not a metaphor, it's an analogy!  and it isn't mixed, it's misleading]  Wow, I wonder if I do that a lot.  It seems much sharper than I really am.  Should I mention being a Christian  if it's not relevant.  Is it always relevant?   Would I always put Buddhist if I were.  Yeah, okay.   Am I living too softly?  It seems much sharper than who I am! "

     Eventually I did sleep, as I almost always do, but the words kept rolling through my mind all night at work; the mixed metaphor mostly.  [it isn't a metaphor!!!  Good grief, take a class!  It's a misleading analogy!]

     My biography, and maybe most biographies are like this, seems to tell what I want to do as opposed to what I really do.  Well, here...judge for yourself.

'I write to inspire action, bring conviction out of complacency, and encourage the everyday man to live passionately for others.'

     This is the beginning and really, like I said, it's ideally what I want my obituary to say about who I was and how I changed the world, but it's seems....well....'sharper' is the best word I can find!  I feel soft and ineffective in comparison to these words; Inspire!  Conviction!  Passionately!

So here goes!  I'm about to inspire the socks off ya!

A 'Write Your Own Bio.' challenge!'  And here's what you do:

1) In 75 words (or less of course) write up the description of your identity.  (yeah, I told you it wasn't easy!)

*Some tips for you!*

- A bio. is factual ......in a very optimistic way.     Am I the Queen of England?  No, but perhaps 'I have opened doors internationally with my leadership potential'.  See what I mean?

-This is not a list of goals, but more like a short resume'.  And this is not the time for modesty!  You are selling yourself; what do you have to offer?

-This is an inspirational exercise so dig deeply.  Are you who you want to be?
If not, use this bio. to more sharply define the strengths you want to  develop, such as my bio. did for me.
If so, use this opportunity to highlight your strengths in order to better utilize them in your life and the lives of others.

2) Email me:  crystalmaywaring@yahoo.com
- In the 'subject' type 'Bio. Challenge'
- In the body of the email include:
       *your bio.
       *your name (or 'anonymous' if you would prefer that posted with the bio)
       *And for the lucky Q-townians who received the personal FB invite, don't forget  
         your shipping address and to mention from which of the 3 Q-town landmark
         retail locations you would like your inspirational goodie!!

(all addresses will only be used for this challenge and will not be posted or used        
         for any other purpose or challenge)

Your bio. will help christen my new blog
  Challenge Me!   www.inspiringchallenges.blogspot.com,
and will be posted in the comments section under 'Bio. Challenge'

Okay, here's my completed bio. as it seems only fitting I should expose myself first (behave!), and you can use it as an example if you need one.

I write to inspire action, bring conviction out of complacency, and encourage the everyday man to live passionately for others.  As an ex-wife to an ex-pastor I utilize my behind- the-scenes church experiences to expose tradition/superstitions and soft redundant sermons.  I began writing as a child, have been blogging for 3 years and have only recently begun to submit poetry, short stories and devotionals to other sources.  

Let's see if you are as inspired as I was and actively strive to live out your claims.


Unambitious or Content?

      I was once accused of being content. I'll admit, it was confusing. What the accusor was really angry about was what they saw as a lack of ambition. So I'll pose a question; what is the difference between unambitious and content? Is there a definite laziness factor or is it a financially responsible distinction? If it has to do with finances I'm afraid I'm not one to be easily convinced on the concept of "financial contentment". I don't believe that there can ever be enough money for someone who looks toward "financial contentment". (Notice the "quotes" around those words; yeah, I do that to show my contempt for the idea. If I were in front of you I may even use the air quotes gesture with an eye roll tossed in to drive home the point so picture that if you want to ) And don't mistake financial contentment with financial responsibility! Pay bills, yes! Save if you can, absolutely! And if you apply living simply but meaningfully into this equation, contentment, for me at least, has been attained.

   Perhaps the difference between contentment and lack of ambition is based on what other people think you're capable of achieving. If you haven't been reaching for those lofty stars you either must be afraid of failure or just plain lazy. Real nice "outlook" (air quotes, eye roll). I've been accused of the 'fear of failure' one as well and to this I have spent some thoughtful nights considering the possibility but again, contentment has nothing to do with fear. It is very much lacking in any fear of anything. Otherwise there wouldn't be a content mind but an anxious and nervous one.

Now keep in mind that I'm smart. Not 'medical school' smart, mind you (my focus is a bit too shaky for hovering over an open chest cavity and due to such focus issues I'm a bit of a scatterbrain) but smart nonetheless. It is not, however, in my intelligence that I am most proud. It's in my ability to connect with everyday people. And when I say 'everyday people' I'm referring to the state of mind in which an individual's defenses are down. We all have moments of being 'everyday'. I'm talking about real people doing real things. We all need groceries and most of us use grocery stores. No need for titles, airs or fronts; you're grabbing milk. And here is where I not only get to throw in another shout-out for my love of night shift but for my love of the common man as well. It's a misconception that there are uncommon people out there; we are all the common man when we're pumping gas, waiting in line, and at the end of our days just looking forward to rest. This is the man in whom I continue to have faith. This is the man that keeps my hopes of humanity aloft. I love the common man! And with all of my valuable night shift, grocery experience I can personally affirm that the common man at the end of his day is......wait for it.......cordial. Friendly, down to earth, and just damn cordial! Do you know why? Because he is face to face with another common man.

 It doesn't get much lower in the eyes of society than night shift stocker, janitor, or cashier. We are the grunts that get stuck giving our days away to another job or responsibility which is why we have to work nights. That is indeed factual. So here is your common man coming face to face with someone who has no judgement of him and no need to manipulate or trick him into doing something he doesn't want to do. They are there to ring out his milk. His relief is shown when the clerk smiles and asks if it's debit or credit, paper or plastic. These are possibly the easiest decisions of this man's day! So not only does cordiality come out from the exhausted business common man but gratitude to the grocery common man for not expecting more of him. And small conversations are carried out and the man's night is to an end and he finished it with another tired common man smiling back at him. And in this, I find contentment.

Now, not only am I smart (yes I'm getting to the reason for such emphasis!) and gifted in the art of connecting with everyday people but I am known most for my incurable habit of seeing the positive in every damn situation that is thrown my way and here is where the real confusion over the meaning of 'contentment' comes into play. When someone is around this optimism and hope during the darkest situations their lives have yet to encounter the optimism appears to be more of a personal delusion. Contentment within sorrow or poverty doesn't always give hope to the others sharing in their dire situation. It becomes mistaken for foolishness, misplaced faith, stubbornness, and naive thinking. And in these times, when strength and action seem to be the most valuable tools in the arsenal, contentment can be the enemy.

I'm going to put together the aforementioned elements of me; I'm intelligent. I'm gifted. I'm hopeful. These are not the attributes of a lazy or unambitious woman. (Okay, here's where the intelligence really comes in to play.) And I have no delusions that I am alone in my perspective of what is truly valuable.

So, as the end of this pat-on-my-back blog post reaches near let me broaden the scope to the point of application in everyday life. Contentment is also not an attribute of an uninspired person. Contentment takes motivation. It doesn't, for myself anyway, always come naturally and so I work at bright-side, less is more, embrace the moment thinking. And, as I mentioned, so do others. Why do we do this?

it helps the common man in his own contentment.

 1) inspiring others and 2) appreciating what you have before it passes are what we've
found to hold two of the major positions near the top of the 'important lessons in life' list.

we love to give and hope is free.

 Got an optimist in your life? Thank them. (You're very welcome :)



This year has taken unexpected turns. Big turns, mind you, have all of a sudden cropped up in front of me and it has taken all I have to throw my body against the wheel and squeal along the grassy edges to avoid destruction. But, that being done, the road is looking a little straighter now, for a few miles anyway, and I'm left riding along with some interesting new decisions that have to be made if I'm ever going to find my way back to familiar territory.

I am now a divorced Christian woman. Public Christian opinion aside, I'm okay with the status. I know where my faith stands and the intricacies within my own situation but being divorced is different than being single in ways that anyone outside this particular experience can't fully understand. Because of the intimate union of marriage until you are no longer united, you don't realize how much of your own identity had been shared with your mate. My point of view was not from an individual, as I once thought, but was that of mutual beliefs and a connected understanding. I am now left to decide alone. My emotional state was cushioned by a companionship that comforted and calmed. I now have to get back to the practice of rationalizing my own moods and keeping my emotions under control by my own strength. My identity has changed, and quite unexpectedly I've found myself facing the question of "Who am I"?

The verse I have always held next to my life as a guide is Galatians 2:20;
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Call it my 'lifeverse' if you want. It reminds me of the greater power in which I have handed over my identity and it always brings me strength. I think, however, that I'm going to add another one to this new stage of my life as well.

  1 John 2:27 "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

"Father, I seek your wisdom in not who I am, but in who You want me to be. Thank you for your presence, the Bible as my guide and the knowledge that I have a unique purpose assigned by You and am never left lost and alone." Amen