Behind in the count

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I told a fellow blogger that I’d support her commitment to write 31 blog posts in 31 days. Tia Sunshine Dye is the wife of a soldier with the 1-5 Infantry of the 1/25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. She’s a mom, a military wife and a writer. Here’s a link to her blog.

Writers often work in solitude and sometimes wrestle words to get them on a page….or into a blog post. I offered to match Tia’s efforts as a sign of support and solidarity–and as a way to spark my own writing.

Today is October 9 and I’ve posted six entries on my blog to date. I had originally intended to write a post a day. Clearly, I missed that mark. Now I intend to honor the 31 posts in 31 days.

I wanted to thank those of you who are reading, commenting and encouraging me. I appreciate it.

As a photojournalist and a fan, I’ve seen plenty of batters knock home runs when they’re behind in the count. I’ve seen tennis players and golfers rally to take championships. As a rower, I’ve been in an eight that came from behind more than once to win a race.

I’m behind in the count.

And I’m not counting myself out.

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31 days

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Tia Sunshine Dye started a blog, Military Wife Theology 101, and she declared that she would write and post every single day in October. Tia is the wife of Maj. Jason Dye, with the the 1/25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1-5 Infantry Battalion, stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

She started reading my blog when I was embedded with the 1-5 in southern Kandahar province in December 2011 and February/March 2012. She was always gracious with feedback and comments. On cold winter nights in the dark mud hut where I wrote and filed my stories and blogs, her words and those of others who wrote and thanked me for my posts encouraged me to continue.

I decided to support Tia in her commitment to write daily for 31 days. I committed to do the same. It sounds easy. In reality and in practice, I know it’s not as easy as it seems. For example, it’s almost 2100 now. I’ve had a full day of work and it’s not even a teaching day for me. I still have a stack of papers to grade. If I hadn’t made a commitment to Tia, I would have easily skipped my writing and gone straight to reading my students’ writing.

This past weekend I made a list with two columns. One column I titled “Things to Do for Me” and the other I titled “Things to Do for Others.” On my list, there were three items. Those same three items have been on my list for a few weeks. On my others list, there were 20 items. I made good progress on the tasks I needed to do for my work and no progress whatsoever on the items that would nourish and serve me. I even missed on opportunity to apply for a job that interested me.

I’m hoping by honoring this commitment to support Tia in her writing, I will support my own writing.

And, in turn, I will support and honor myself.