Take it or Leave it

Be a task master when you must but don’t become a slave to your tasks.

Leave things better than you found them. That might mean tearing down what is broken. One brick at a time, if need be.

Get your hands dirty – eventually mingled with the dirt, you will be.

Make the sad cashier smile, the one who looks like she is one thought away from sobbing all over her register. Keep doing it. Eventually she will light up at the sight of you, and you her.

Plant something edible, even if it’s one pepper plant in a pot.

If you plan to marry, spend more time talking about what you both want out of life than the festivities of one night.

Parents: teach your children to sit with the new kid at lunch.

Adults: invite new coworkers to lunch. Being “new” is hard; be the one who makes it easier, even if it’s just for a few days.

Appreciate the dead artists but please help support independent living ones including the creative in you.✨

Love fiercely. Hold onto objects loosely. Things fall apart, are stolen, or become unnecessary. Love is eternal.

Choose patience and kindness whenever possible, with yourself too. Know that sometimes you need to be a can of whoop ass, with yourself too.

Parents, encourage your children to play an instrument and don’t complain when they practice. When they are older and choose to stay in, they may delight in making their own music on a Saturday night.

Youth is not found in a jar of expensive cream; it is found in that which brings you joy.

Give your older self a reason to smile. The kind of smile that will glimmer in your eyes.

If you’ve stopped dreaming, your life might need a remodel. Regardless of your age. One brick at a time, if need be.

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you might recall I have been working on a book project since last year. I finished my third book edit a few weeks ago and after several revisions my query letter is now ready. Goodness! Natural childbirth was less laborious and when that pain was done, I had a beautiful baby girl to love. Who knows what will come of my book writing efforts. 😂 Maybe I should label the subject line in agent emails as, “Take it or leave it.” 🤣 Whatever happens, I am learning and growing and regardless of any other opinions, I have a manuscript I am proud of! If you are interested in learning more about my book and my writing progress, I encourage you to visit my “Writing Journal” page. 🙏🏻

Other writerly news: A new round of The Story You Need to Tell writer workshops, sponsored by the International Association of Journal Writers (IAJW), began last week. Author Sandra Marinella and I are off to a wonderful start, Zooming with writers from around the world. What an honor it is!

Thank you for visiting and reading! Be well. 💗 Michele

photo by Art Furnace

© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

107 thoughts on “Take it or Leave it

  1. You are a magnificent writer. That’s exactly what just came to mind. I think I’ll try that musical instrument idea. Been wanting to start my kiddo in lessons. Thank you. Congratulations on getting to query stage!!! I bet you’ll get countless “take its”!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Jessica. You are very kind. 💖 I do enjoy the process, which includes the learning, even though it can be exhausting! Bravo! 🎶 My daughter tried several before landing on the best fit for her: guitar/bass guitar. She taught youngsters guitar lessons when she was in HS. Isn’t that wonderful! 😊 Good luck on your/their instrumental pursuits. Buy earplugs. 😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yesssssssss- agree on the learning process! Oh wow, love that she taught kids and learned guitar/bass. We have small guitars but never officially learned to play them. I’m thinking of starting him on ukulele, just to get a feel for if he likes the feel of that type of instrument. I played flute in high school. Different instruments for sure. I’m interested to see what his fit/choice would be. And, of course, why only learn one?! ❤️ Ha ha on the earplugs!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, my daughter would come home from her lessons and complain that her students “didn’t practice.” Made me laugh. I stopped taking her to piano lessons because she wouldn’t practice. The ukulele is a wonderful sound. Do it! 👏🏻 Learning one instrument can help with another, especially when it comes to learning music. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha ha. I bet she could really tell if they didn’t. My piano teacher sure could tell if I hadn’t. Glad she found her instrument. I love piano. My mom drove me to lessons every week. Every time we visit my dad, when my son and I drive by a certain house, I say, “I had piano lessons there.” Music, it stays with us. Songs we hear or songs we play. I love this chat. Thank you. Made my day!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million, Rebecca. Much gratitude to you. 😊 I am sure there will be more edits if I am fortunate enough to have agent/publisher interest. We shall see… the journey continues. Such is the writing path. ✨ I am usually not one to give unsolicited advice, but I was inspired to do so this morning – thanks for appreciating! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a fascinating article with 15 Inspiring lines to read so marvellous 🌷🙏👍🏻
    Actually reality of life we can understand!! Take it or leave it , I’m taking gladly 🙏
    My grand children also talented Piano, music ,dance all learning beautifully 👏💕
    Thank you for sharing this lovely poem,story and grace wishes dear friend 💝👏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. An inspired morning. 🌞 I could have kept going but decided to save more free advice for another time. 😄 Thank you for taking it. Make them your own – use what works and leave the rest. 😊 How wonderful about your grandchildren. Their talents and presence must bring you great delight. 💞 It is my pleasure to share. Have a beautiful day, Thattamma. 🌷💗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, art, in all its forms, does demand a lot of us and it also gives us back many blessings, whether we are creating it or appreciating it. ✨ Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts about writing and for the book well wishes. 😊🙏🏻


  3. Oh Michele my Belle, first of all my friend, CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your final edit. 👏🏼 Girl, I truly understand your pain with this process. But you have managed to come through it unscathed and victorious my friend. Now, as I stand on my chair 🪑 I applaud all of those practical, and moral points of doing your tasks, but not letting the tasks do you. Thank you for sharing those very valid points. I tried being a master of tasks, but my task-mastery almost killed me. 😜 The stress just ain’t worth it. Thanks so much for for your wise advice my dancing queen. 😎💃🏼🥰🦋💐💃🏽😍 Enjoy the rest of your evening. 🌙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thanks kind Kymbelina. 😊 You know all too well about the book writing process. Like life, it takes us on a journey! ✨ It probably won’t be my “final” book edit, but it is time to hit “send” and nudge my baby book bird out of the nest. 😆 I am grateful for your ongoing support, humor, and all-around-awesomeness! Thank you. 💃🏽💖💃🏻 Happy evening to you. 🌔🌠

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my amazing dancing queen, you got this! It’s always nerve-racking throughout the process, and I tend to hesitate before pushing that send button like a tug-of-war. LOL 😜😆😝 Look, I often read best-sellers where I find some editing snafu’s and although I try to be as perfect as I can, I just simply get to an exhausting point and say, the heck with it. So girlfriend, don’t sweat the small stuff, although they say the devil is in the details. 🥵 UGH!!! Like I said, you got this. Just make sure that your edits are reflective of “your” voice and not that of someone else! O-Tay? O-Tay!!! 🤣😁😂 Hugs and smooches! 🤗💖😘

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve learned a few things. Haven’t we all? 😅 Sometimes we have to keep learning for certain lessons to sink in and sometimes we need to unlearn! Thanks so much, Brad. The process can feel overwhelming at times but remembering to take it one step at a time helps and remembering to not become a slave to writing tasks is also important for well-being. 😌 As for motivation… it helps to keep the end game in mind, like a carrot. What are you working toward and why? That might help push you forward. Accepting that there will be drudgery in between the starting point and the finish line helps with mindset. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Very gracious comment. Thank you, Jeff. 🙏🏻 I am making progress. 😅 Plenty yet to do, but I suppose it is good to pause and acknowledge the milestones. A completed query letter feels like one – what a challenge! Thanks! Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week. 🍂 Enjoy your poetry orchard! What a fruitful season you are having! ✍🏻🌳💖

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am humbled by your comment. Thank you. That is a beautiful notion, yes. I had similar thoughts yesterday about the “sad cashier” line. What if everyone did that… lifted up those who seem to be falling or slipping. Many people do, but what if everyone did, as you wrote. 💖 One smile, one person can change our entire outlook. The positive ramifications are endless. 🦋

      Liked by 1 person

    1. An inspired morning turned me into a wise one. A fleeting moment. 😁 Thank you for appreciating and for the encouragement about my book project. I think I am feeling more celebratory about finishing the query letter than the manuscript! 😆 Probably because if that isn’t articulated properly there will be no request to read a manuscript! 😅

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happy to read you found value in my morning ramblings. 🌞 Thank you, Ingrid. As for writing a book – it feels like too much to do to celebrate, but I appreciate your encouragement. I know you understand. I started the query process. It is bound to be interesting. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful, inspirational post, Michele! Thank you for compiling such great advice. And your book news is awesome, too! I caught a glimpse of your writing journal and it is so exciting. I’m also working on my 4th book, another collection of poetry, so I understand your joy and excitement, even though they are different genres. Wishing you all the best and can’t wait for it to be released. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your generous support and for taking the time to read my writing journal page, Lauren. I will keep updating it through this process. It has been wonderful connecting with you! 💗 I wish you the very best with your 4th poetry collection. Wow! 👏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. You are one of the kind, Michele! Your writing always has this golden touch of relatedness and beautiful vulnerability that speak to the hearts of your readers💗.

    No matter the outcome of your book, you’re already successful! Bravo🥂🥳

    Liked by 1 person

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