31 Days


The past is important but it is the future that matters....
This is my snazzy button pic for 2015! I photographed this rainbow on my coffee table (Yes, I instagrammed it) but it is a reminder that God’s promises are spectrum beautiful and right smack dab in the middle he puts grand babies….

I have gone back and forth as to whether or not I was going to do 31 days this year. It was one of my favorite experiences last year and pushed me to focus on something specific in the midst of a mass of change.  This year I know I won’t be able to post every single day-I simply won’t be able to do it. Rather than beat myself up about it, throw my hands up in the air and give up I am going to give myself grace to be less than perfect and grateful for what I WILL be able to do (if you read last years 31 days intro further down you will see that I am a recovering perfectionist who relapses regularly). I WILL be able to think about writing every day and I WILL be able to post-I am just not willing to say how many I will actually complete because the cycle of frustration will begin even before I do!

This year I am not going to be thematically appropriate (I can never manage appropriate in most situations).  I have reached an age, and a set of circumstances, that has caused me to become increasingly introspective. One reason is what I call the Joy of ALLLLLL Life (second only to God) and that is grand babies. I will be going from one to three here PDQ and just pray my heart and hands have the ability to expand to manage them. One is amazing-three will be the best. thing. evah. EVAH.  This info matters because-and I promise here and now-this is not an endless blog on the perfection of my grand children current and future. In my defense I may lapse and post a teeny tiny bit about them but the main idea here is to make a mark. To leave something that tells something.

I am a master of pastlessness. I also make words up so please bear with me.  I have a history-much of which is a mystery to me. I was adopted in a time when all doors to information were closed and you went pot luck with your past.  What I have observed is that I am obsessed-right this minute-with future. As much as there is a blur about where I come from there is a clarity in where I am going. I have a lineage. A line that now stretches forward before my eyes that makes me weep with joy.  I had my children and loved them-they are my heart-but seeing them grow families and, yes, gift me with grands (because they are mine not theirs after all…can I get an amen all you grannies out there??) has lain a book before me that will be written long after I am gone-but my name will be in there and that is an incredible gift indeed.

Should you decide to go on this journey with me you will find stories of a searcher and you may even find some fiction along the way-sometimes the truth is weirder-trust me. I will write from a place that longs to open up something that has been buried for what feels like dusty eons.  I have always keenly felt the unbelonging in my adopted family. Seen and felt the difference in who I am and having felt marked by God early in my life and separate in almost every way. Even as an adult I still feel not there in some ways (I am completely here mentally-don’t get me wrong and don’t ask my family to confirm that fact thank you very much). The past stretches out like a dust storm where I try to pick out figures that I might recognize but they are obliterated in a moment as if they never existed-which in many ways they never did.

OK-save it for 31….I wish I could say with certainty that you will find X and X when you visit but I can only guarantee you will find words.  As for last years 31 days? I did get the tattoo and I am still busy living in the And….

P.S. you can find me on Instagram at thatsmesusanmulder, Pinterest at susanmulder and on Twitter at susanmulder and I am one of ‘those’ people who quit Facebook and never regretted it a second….

P.P.S. I am counting this as my first day *wink. You will find links to the days I do write here…

October 5 link…

October 6 link…

October 7 link…

October 8 link…

Want to see what 31 days looked like last year? Keep reading to get a glimpse….

31 Days-2014

What's your 'and'?
The future happens in the ‘&’

Secretly, I have always wanted a tattoo and it would be one of two things, a – or an &.  I also know where I would put it-on my ankle because when I look down it would remind me to look up and think of what comes next.  It may not seem like this has anything to do with 31 days but it kinda does-trust me…

31 days is a writing challenge put out there by The Nester, Myquillyn Smith, of the lovely blog-The Nesting Place.  I stumbled on her blog purely by accident and it has become a go to for me for inspiration for my (yet to be found) home and attitude.  I am also a fan of her book, The Nesting Place-its kinda like having a little hard copy of the blog to carry around and love wherever you happen to be.  And, I am grooving on her philosophy (last gush-I promise!)- “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.  I think this pretty much sums up a truth that should (I don’t usually like dropping the ‘s’ word but I think it works here) be applied to a broad spectrum of life. And, yes, this applies to why I am doing 31 days too…

Anyone ever heard of Atelophobia? I hadn’t until last week but if we had to walk around with tattoos that described personal traits I think this would be across my forehead-hopefully in cool script because I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me based on a bad font.  Simply put, it is the fear of imperfection, of not being good enough.  Um, yeah-totally relate to this-even at my age!  I have spent a lifetime trying to be more of whatever it would be to make everything all right.  Now, I find myself living in a sort of limbo (quote from a previous post)-

As a life long perfectionist, recovering perfectionist, relapsed perfectionist and ever hopeful that if I just got it right I would be ___(you fill in the blank here-I prolly thought it)___ I have found myself without a home (not as bad as it sounds) and the opportunity to take a long hard look at what I really want for the next phase of life.  So far this has been a year-ish of letting go of a variety of things ranging from tangible ‘stuff’  to the less than easy to peg down realm of dreams, ideas, hopes and personal ‘stuff’.  I quit blogging a year ago, ran off to Wyoming for the month of January for an artist residency (turned my practice upside down), sold my house, let relationships fall away and have been in waiting.

When I came across the challenge my first thought was to say no (I have become very good at saying no these days-not always a good thing) but took a deep breath and thought ‘why not?’-I also knew immediately what I was going to do and, well, AND!

So, back to the tattoo thing. If I ever have the cajones to get one it will be either a dash (-) or an ampersand (&). I like the idea of the dash because of what it represents.  It’s that little mark in between the year you were born and the year you die and all of your experiences, loves, losses, highs, lows and everything in between are held in that little mark.  There are two problems with it-it’s a little line, pretty boring for a tattoo and could look like a mistake PLUS  it is finite. There is a beginning and an end and it is limited. On the other hand-the ampersand-apart from being more visually interesting than a dash-is a whole lot more. I had a professor that use to ask “and, what else?” to keep a discussion going-to force us to think about other possibilities. The and, the what else, the what comes next, the and then what happened-thin of the possibilities!

This all brings me back to the 31 Days challenge and what you can expect from me in the month of October.  When I relaunched the blog a couple of weeks ago (pop over here to learn more about  &)-which kind of coincided with the announcement of this years writing challenge-I decided to rename it. A fresh beginning for a new phase in my life and in the life of the blog.  I bounced a few ideas around but always came back to “&”.

So, what can you expect? Just about anything. What I can promise is that it’s gonna be real. It might be something as simple as a quote for the day or I may tackle a subject I am grappling with or I may share some inspiration I have have found out in the blogosphere.  I am doing my best to live the &, the what comes next AND I hope you’ll join me for the next 31 Days to see what happens!

P.S. Grab a button from the sidebar for an easy way to link to And. Per Se And!!

P.P.S. I will post links to the daily posts on this page so you can always stop in here to see what”s up!

P.S.S.S.  Check out that sidebar!  Lots of other 31 Dayers have shared their buttons-have a look!

Day 1-And So We Begin…

Day 2-Coffee Pot with a View

Day 3-Step away from the post…or not.

Day 4-Secrets, Who Me?

Day 5 –Breathing Space for Sunday

Day 6-A Little Pumpkin Sitting

Day 7-…Brevity is sweetness…

Day 8-Earworm Wednesday…you’re welcome

Day 9-Bear With Me…

Day 10-A Day for Sowing Seed

Day 11-A Little Art-A Little Less Serious

Day 12-An Oldy But Goody

Day 13-Off to Autumn

Day 14-The Redcoats are Coming

Day 15-Do Your Own Work

Day 16-Saying Yes to Rejection

I know this was the filler until 31 Days officially started but it’s still pretty awesome so here ya go…

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8 Replies to “31 Days”

  1. Oh goodness! I had completely written you a nice long comment saying how glad I am to have stumbled across your blog and then it all vanished when I went to post. Sad, sad, sad. But I knew that I couldn’t leave it unsaid that I am thankful to have just found your blog. I can already tell that I want to snuggle in each day with a cup of coffee and allow your words to encourage my soul. I look forward to getting to know you over the next 30 days. 🙂

  2. So glad to have found your blog — it’s been fun catching up on your 31 Days. I’m loving the challenge both in writing and in discovering other blogs. I’m loving your concept of &.

  3. and THIS is why I do these challenges … finding treasures like your blog. I have followed and look forward to reading more from you beyond the 31 days.

    and I LOVE the Cover of All about that Bass. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thank you Cynthia! Glad you found the blog and I look forward to following your as well. Popped over just now and love your colorful, beautiful journal pages!

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