Back to the beginning . . .

Oy vey… I have decided to become a blogger! It has taken me quite a while to take this first step. Why? Intimidation. I grew up in a world where writing meant putting pen or pencil to paper, writing a few rough drafts, typing it and correcting the old fashioned way. Do any of you remember how we did that? With a typing eraser and fudging to wriggle in a missed letter. I remember how ecstatic we typists were with “white out,” at least until we started working with it and discovered how messy it was, and how fast the bottle dried out, which was far faster than that which was applied to paper….That never dried and then it would gook up the typewriter keys. When home computers became ubiquitous, our children taught us how to use the things. They, my children, grew up with computers. I don’t think a one of them ever used a typewriter. When the kids were in the early elementary grades I returned to school to get my masters. I was so proud of myself because I was able to write my papers (many papers of great lenth!) on a Brother’s Word Processor! A huge step above the typewriter. I don’t know what ever happened to that processor. That went by the wayside years ago. Now I’ve been on the computer for many years. But this is my first attempt at blogging. So why start now? Actually, I decided to become a blogger for very selfish reasons. I’ve been unemployed for almost a full year (ugh) and the boredom has become tedious and obnoxious. My brain is going to mush with FarmVille and Farm Town being the most stimulating activity of my days…day in and day out. At one time I was a very good writer. One of the things I plan to do with this space is to revisit/rewrite some of my old sermons. This will also be a place to write “new” stuff. I need to keep my brain and creative juices flowing. One thing I’m learning in the few minutes of setting this page up is that I will have to learn a whole new language: tags, Post Tags, trackbacks and pingbacks, shortlink. What does “blog” mean, anyway? At any rate, I have a lot to learn and I look forward to the process.

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I wrote the above blog entry on November 12, 2009. It is now five years and a few days later and wow, is my life different! Reading the above entry sparked a flood of memories about the reasons I first began blogging. My expectation (hope? prayer? wish? last ditch effort???) was that this creative exercise would break the log-jam in my thinking that was keeping me stuck, unemployed, and depressed. I wasn’t sure where blogging would lead me, or if it would lead me anywhere. But writing was something I enjoyed, and this “new” way of communicating sounded intriguing. At worst, blogging was a way of mass communicating with my immediate family and close friends.

Another motive for charging into the blogging world was the fact that many of the places I applied to for work required recent writing samples. While I had numerous writing samples, none were recent. Blogging would not only allow me to hone my dormant writing skills, but would provide “recent” and ongoing samples that might help secure gainful employment. All I had to do was add a link on my resume. Or if requested, I could print out a blog entry that would fit the job in question and send it along with my application.

Within days of the first entry, as I was learning how to set up my “site,” and while still learning the jargon of the trade, I felt alive, creative, excited, and most importantly, hopeful about my future and endless possibilities awaiting exploration. My husband always believed in me but this new endeavor excited him, too. Creative juices were flowing and ideas were percolating!

In no time I found myself methodically evaluating my strengths and weaknesses, my interests and dreams for the future. I began to think proactively about how I envisioned living in my later years. Being proactive required taking a hard look at what I had to do to make that dream a reality. This exercise in combining dreaming and hard-core reality testing evolved into the notion that I could turn my strengths and passion into a career that would support me/us through the remainder of our years on this earth: counseling.

To make a long story short, I wrote my first blog on November 12, 2009, and began my first course in graduate school (second masters) the first week of July, 2010. In addition to beginning graduate school, I rediscovered a hobby that had fallen by the wayside during the years of raising kids and doing other life things. As academic writing superseded blogging, photography added another dimension for social communication and made my blogs more interesting for an increasing number of “blogging buddies”.

I completed my studies at Capella University on December 15, 2013, was conferred a masters degree on December 31, 2013, was called in for a job interview on January 3, 2014, and was offered a position as psychotherapist with Ohio Guidestone on January 7, 2014. And then on May 5, 2014 I was granted an Ohio license as a Professional Counselor. I am now working toward licensure as a Professional Clinical Counselor at which time I will be able to hang out my own shingle.

I often tell my clients that it only takes a small change to render profound results. Five years ago I was depressed, bored, and “unemployable” . . . or so I thought. Then I created a blog that I never expected to be read by more than a few family members and maybe a friend or two. Today my life is vibrant, happy, filled with hope . . . and yes, more dreams and reality testing for the next stage in my journey.

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2014, may you be blessed with a dream, the gumption to make the small change(s) that will open doors to realizing your dream, and the will to embrace hope and possibility.

Homesick

Wow! Another quarter in grad school is behind me as I continue on toward graduation and eventual licensure as a professional clinical counselor. I’ve been at this for what seems like an eternity now. Fortunately the end is within sight. With this mini-break in studies, I decided to take a few minutes to pop into WordPress and take a quick look around before charging into my day–cleaning house (which does not happen when I’m in the thick of coursework), some “away” time with my incredible, supportive and loving husband, and starting a novel! (reading that is; no academic stuff for three glorious weeks)–but as I scrolled through my WP reader list, I suddenly felt homesick for blogging buddies that brought so much pleasure in the past. I miss you all. I miss blogging. I also know that this “away” time is for a season only. This is my “going away to college” time. The learning is phenomenal, and friendships are being forged many of which will last a lifetime. But today, I’m homesick for the friends I’ve made here. Your photographs are phenomenal, as always; your writing is heartfelt, personal, uplifting, humorous, sad, and real; your willingness to share your selves with others is humbling. I am blessed with so much, and you all are part of those blessings. Thank you.

Until I once again get a chance to pop in and say “hi y’all,” I’ll leave you a photo and send good thoughts and energy your way. Some day, sooner than you think, I will rejoin you on this road of self-discovery, artistic expression, and forging friendships that span the globe. Enjoy!

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Time for a Break . . .

Yes, I am to that time once again when I will have to step away from the blogging. You may have noticed that I don’t get around to your blogs like I used to. Soon I will start my practicum and fieldwork and time will be at a premium. I love blogging. I miss visiting your blogs. But priorities prevail and for the next year I will be tied up doing what I’ve prepared to do for years now. Last week marked by third anniversary of blogging. I began this venture as an effort to maintain my sanity while looking for work. Through writing and photography, hobbies that I let slip away years ago, I was able to redefine the trajectory of my life. And I am still walking down that road and loving it. This blog has evolved from writing about anything that popped into my mind to showcasing my photography when academia began to sap my writing energy. I don’t want to let “Inspired Vision” slip away into oblivion, so I will leave a word, a photo, or whatever, as time allows. Once I complete my studies I hope to come back to this page, or possibly create a new, improved site that reflects where I am at that time. At any rate, enjoy your days and count your blessings. I’ll see you when I can.

R*E*A*L*I*T*Y Blog Award

Thanks to scrapydo for this nomination. Click on the badge to be whisked away to scrapydo.wordpress.com’s beautiful blog!

As with all awards, there are a few questions we are asked to answer by way of sharing a little more of who we are. So, without further fanfare, here we go:

If you could change something what would you change?

That we all become more compassionate, accepting of differences, caring and kind; that no child (or adult) should go hungry or cold; that ‘wonder’ at the awesomeness of life never cease. . . (I’m sure there is more, but this is a good start!)

If you could relive one day, when would it be?

I don’t know about ‘reliving’ one day, but I would sure like one more day with special people I have lost: my brother, my grandparents, Miss Mary, Aunt Florence . . . Some have been gone for a very long time, some, not so long. But each of them were special and I love them still. Just a chat would be nice.

What’s one thing that really scares you?

Reckless drivers scare the hell out of me! (This was scrapydo’s answer but it fit, so I left it in. 🙂 )

What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?

One dream is becoming a licensed clinical counselor, and I am on my way with that one. . . 2/3 of the way through school. Another dream is to sell photographs. I think that is doable, but can’t really concentrate on that aspect of my life now. It will have to wait till after graduation. Hopefully I will then be able to apply more energy and time into improving my photography and sell a few here and there. 🙂 All of this is doable, AND I’m working on making these dreams a reality.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

Oh my! I’ve lived long enough now to know that everyone has his or her problems, whether we see them or not, and I’m not sure I want to take someone else’s persona or their problems for even one day. SO, I’ll just stay who I am and continue to be as authentic a ‘me’ as I can be. 🙂

Nominations for this award:

This is the part of the award I always dread, so much so that I usually write some sweet piece about how all bloggers deserve this award, so I bestow it on all my blogging friends. Copout? Most definitely. This time I’m taking a bit of a different approach. I mean it when I say that all bloggers who spend time and energy baring their souls, sharing their thoughts, exposing their talents are deserving of these awards. This time however, I decided to highlight two blogs that have invited bloggers to interact with each other more by providing wonderful challenges for us to participate in each week. I don’t always join in due to course demands (school comes first) but I appreciate how their weekly challenges serve to build community. So, I pass this award on to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Jake’s Weekly Sunday Post. Head on over to their blogs and check them out. If you click on the badges below, you will be whisked through the blogosphere to their respective sites. Enjoy the trip! 😉

Thanks, scrapydo, for honoring me with this award. Much appreciated. 🙂 Thanks, too, to Cee and Jake for their contributions to the blogging community. I hope the rest of you will pay them a visit if you haven’t already.

Blessings to you all, and if you are an US citizen, please remember to VOTE in tomorrow’s elections.

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you to Doris for bestowing this beautiful blogging award on my blog. There were no ‘rules’ passed along regarding accepting the award. To be honest, it is nice to be recognized without strings attached, so I thank you Doris for your thoughtfulness. Due to the fact that I am back in school now and my time is limited, I am not going to “choose” who deserves an award such as this. So if you are a reader of this blog, feel free to take this award for your page. All of you are deserving! Blessings to you and may today be filled with contentment and gratitude.

A New Day!

Birds are chirping outside my window and the sun rays brighten the landscape of our back yard. Bees buzz around the rose-bush, and the tiger lilies that grow along the side of the garage are in full bloom. A breeze ruffles the leaves of the Oak tree that grows along the back or our property. A mother rabbit, followed by her bunny, hop across the yard quickly going from the pile of brush behind the garage to the shelter under our deck. Squirrels have already made their morning run to the bird feeder, and now many species of birds are joyfully enjoying the feast and playing in the makeshift birdbaths. A chipmunk scurries across the deck and I feel lighthearted as I quietly observe the morning activities in our back yard. Finally I have completed ten grueling weeks of study and am free to enjoy this new day unencumbered. What joy. I have missed blogging, really blogging. I have missed visiting your blogs. Thank you to those of you who continued to pop in now and then to see how I was doing. For those who haven’t stopped by, I am anxious to renew old acquaintances. Hopefully future quarters will not take as severe a toll on my husband and me as this one has. But I don’t need to worry about that now because for three weeks I am free. 🙂

After a little R & R, I have so much to share with you. And I look forward to getting caught up with y’all and what you have done and are blogging about, too. Have a great day and I will be seeing you around. 😉

WORDPRESS, READ THIS BLOG!

Dear friends and occasional readers,

I just want you to know that I have been stopping by your blogs and often leave comments. I realize however, that you would never know that because my comments just disappear. I don’t know why this is happening. I’ve sent emails to WP Support, to no avail. You might check your ‘spam’ folder to see if my comments end up there, but for now, I don’t know what happens. Like I said, I just want you to know that I have been reading your wonderful postings . . . at least for now.

I’m heading off to study (I’m back in school), so my absence will be real for a while, but until now I have been to see you. Maybe WP will see this (or maybe not) and possibly something will be done to correct the situation (possibly). At any rate, thank you for stopping by, and sometime maybe I’ll once again be afforded the opportunity to comment on your wonderful blogs. Who knows?

Sincerely,

Cecelia Futch