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Journaling in July Day 21 – 31

July 30, 2019

My blogging friend Sue from SizzlingTowards 60 & Beyond has put out the challenge to bloggers to join in her Journaling in July Challenge challenge. Sue is not a genealogy or family history blogger. Her blog focuses on lifestyle issues at they relate to the midlife experience.  I mainly follow lifestyle bloggers on my other blog Next Phase In Fitness & Life . However I plan to join Sue in the July Challenge on this blog, as I feel their prompts will help to build up a story about myself that will be useful in creating my family story. As I look at the prompts, and how they apply to me and my life, I can see that some will be short posts and others much longer, some posts may even be just bullet points. I’d love you to take a look at Sue’s post for further information about the challenge.

Here in Central Victoria, July is usually one of the coldest months of winter, so as I will probably be spending more time indoors than usual, I plan to spend extra hours on my blogs. This challenge fits in perfectly with that plan.

Message from Sue: Here is the list of topics and I do hope that you will have some fun and enjoy this ‘challenge’ for July. Remember NO PRESSURE, some days you may find inspiration from the prompt and want to write and other days you won’t. I would also love to hear your feedback and perhaps you have some topics you could add to the list going forward.


When I first heard about this challenge, I thought it was great and knew that I’d love to be a part of it. At the time, I was working longer hours than usual, and wasn’t sure if I’d have the time to commit to posting every day in July. My plan was to give it a go, and not allow myself to stress over time issues and not getting posts done in time.

The first two weeks went really well. I managed to post every day and expected the rest of the month to continue in the same way.

Of course, the best made plans often fall into disarray, as did mine. I was expecting to be working less in week three, but unexpectedly had extra hours, which meant it was a really busy week, with hardly time to do what had to be done, not to mention time to do what I wanted to do. This does happen from time to time with my job. So I have decided that for days 21-31 I will just choose a few prompts from the list, instead of completing the entire list.

I’m Excited About

I am very excited about August as there are two events happening that I’ve been eagerly looking forward to.

Firstly, there is the Bendigo Writers Festival an annual event held over three days, early in the month. The first Bendigo Writers Festival was held in 2012, as a small experiment to gauge how successful a writers festival would be in a city outside the capital. There was an amazing and unexpected response, with all sessions heavily booked and packed out.

I know this for sure, as in the first year, I was a volunteer for the entire weekend. I loved the experience of volunteering at the festival.  Since then the festival has grown and is very highly respected with many well known authors, both Australian and International, attending and speaking. This weekend is always my most indulgent of the year. I have my three day pass ready and will be uncontactable for the entire weekend, as I immerse myself in all things literary.

Later in August is the DNA Downunder conference, to be held in Melbourne. It is a one day event and I am very excited to be an Ambassador for this event. As a family historian, I am very interested in DNA but my level of knowledge is not high, so I have much to learn on the subject. I’m looking forward to immersing myself into DNA for a full day and then putting all that I have learnt into practice.

The Best Thing About Today

Today was a full day off work for me. As much as I absolutely love my job, and enjoy going to work every day, I also look forward to my days off. I’ve just worked seventeen days straight, so was very much overdue for a break.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been starting work at 6am and working until about 3 or 4pm. So one of the best things about today was a bit of a sleep in. I was out of bed by 7am, but compared to 4.30am, that is a big sleep in.  I didn’t even do an early morning session in the gym, as I really thought that I needed to start the day a bit slower than usual. Firstly, I headed into town to walk for about 90 minutes, and did my gym session afterwards.

Another highlight of today was that I spent a couple of hours in the garden, doing some much needed weeding. I was surprised to find this tiny flowering jonquil, amongst the weeds. That made me smile as I realised we are over half way through winter.

How Has This Challenge Changed Me?

I don’t think this challenge has changed me at all, even though I have have enjoyed it.  Some of the prompts did challenge me and caused me to stop and think. I loved this about the challenge. After giving thought to a prompt, I would often write about something that hadn’t occurred to me. I did expect to panic if faced with time constraints and deadlines. Looking back at the past 31 days of this challenge, I can honestly say that I didn’t panic at all. When challenged I was able to accept it for what it was, without beating myself up, as I usually would.

My Best Friend

So that I don’t upset anyone by naming them as my best friend, I have decided to focus on my best four legged friend. Actually my two best friends – Molly and Oscar. I don’t know where I’d be without them. Molly is very old now and doesn’t like walking long distances any more. But over the years she has walked and run many many kilometres with me. Oscar is two years old and very much full of life. He tends to keep Molly active by insisting she chase him around the garden. The chase is short, with a long sleep for Molly after it’s over. Oscar is my walking buddy these days. He loves nothing more than to go into bush for a long walk or even the occasional trail run.



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One Comment
  1. Hi Jen, it has been wonderful having you part of the Journaling in July series and I just love your two best friends. You are very wise not to name anyone aren’t you 🙂 Having a day off work would be cherished and the daffodil is just beautiful. You will be a fine ambassador and I’m sure you are looking forward to the DNA conference and the writer’s festival. Have a lovely weekend and thanks again for joining me xx

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