Creative Writing for Today

Let’s see if I have a creative bone in my body today:

I don’t think I do.  My brain is mush, fried from a day of answering and making almost a hundred phone calls.  I spent my day answering questions about mental health services. Medical services, medications, counseling, psychosocial rehab groups, group homes, independent living homes, preauthorizations, verifying insurances, and so on and so on and so on.  Then there’s writing mental health assessments – which is actually quite interesting when one can stay awake long enough to get through an entire mental health assessment.  Lastly, there is dissertation – a really interesting project that can really be a challenge and make me fall asleep after a couple hours of work.

I just think my creativity is hanging out there somewhere – the same creativity that I used to tap into on a semi regular basis for writing, photo journaling, trying to sew, crochet, knit, and so many other things.  Then I come home and walk about three miles with my daughter.  By the time I get five minutes of downtime, I am so tired that creativity is drown out by the days events.  Once in a while I am lucky enough to have a creative streak.  But one has to exercise that creative muscle in order to get it to work right more often.


What do I like about this site

This is the one time I can just write my thoughts without planning anything out.   I’m in the process of writing a dissertation, have three papers and three books planned for when the dissertation is completed.  For once, I have a space that is not one of my fifty notebooks strewn all over the house with my thoughts in them.  I have none of that organized.  I am too busy trying to organize my at work work, my home work, and the second job and counseling client(s) I am working on building up.  My home life is almost as unorganized as these writings.  But, that’s okay.  There’s nothing wrong with that when so much else is organized and going right.

I am so blessed and fortunate!  I have a husband to be who is a wonderful police officer and does his job extremely well winning the trust and respect of the people he works with because he treats them with respect.  He is a wonderful husband type person!  He’s a leader in our family and leads us with loving kindness.

I have a son who seems to be an online marketing genius.  He seems to be doing really well, learning a lot, and is a very intelligent kid!  I am so proud of him for finding his “niche”.  He has grown so much as a person and as a professional!  And he has a great work ethic!

I have a daughter who is a film maker.  It’s in her heart and soul.  She has a long way to go but has gotten a running start in the industry with her good work ethic and talent.  She has also grown so much as a person and a professional!

I am so proud of all of them!  I am so thankful that they are all a part of my life and I am able to be a part of theirs!

There was a time, not all too long ago, when I never thought we would see the positive growth and success that we’ve seen in this lifetime so far.  I am so thankful for where we all are today.

And, me?  I’m living my dream of becoming a doctor – doctor of psychology.  I’m learning and growing every single day through my education, work, and home life.

Life is all about take steps towards progress and success.  Success can be whatever you want it to be as long as it isn’t becoming stagnant.  Find a passion, see it through, work for it and keep moving forward!

Writing Diary

I guess this will double as my writing diary.

It’s the dead of the night and quiet reigns in the house except for the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard.  Close your eyes and listen.  The warm light from the lamp next to the table is all that softly brightens the room.  Be present in the moment, even if only for a few seconds.  The crisp cool air outside signals the end of yet another summer and the beginning of fall.  It is a windless night, the crickets are singing their song and being heard by anyone still awake.  Experience this moment, the perfect moment in time.  Back and front porch lights shine against the neighbor’s houses and street lights illuminate the cement; no one is out there.  It’s beautifully peaceful.  Not even a footstep is heard outside tonight.  How perfect can this very moment be?  As perfect as our Maker intended it to be, but how often do we enjoy these perfect moments in time? Not often enough.  Not by far.

Close your eyes and listen.  What do you hear?  Feel the air on your skin.  What do you feel?  Take a deep breath, what do you smell? Open your eyes and what do you see?  I see the stillness of the night, the softly lit kitchen, the darkness outside and in the rest of the house.  I feel the peace that blossoms late in the night.  I feel the slight cold breeze of the outside air.  I see the emptiness of the streets and yards all around me.  I hear the tapping of the keys on the keyboard and the crickets singing their songs.  To be in this perfect moment is peace.


A breeze snuck inside the back screen door and wrapped its arms around me, gently pulling me out to the back porch and then it faded away into the evening sky. I sat upon the cement steps of my haven while the most beautiful, perfect moment happened upon me. To my right, peeking out over the neighbor’s garage roof top sprawled a heavenly sight. The sun, on its downward trip, falling to signal the end of the day, donned the most magnificent dreamcicle orange I have ever laid eyes upon. A streak of puffy clouds that resembled a scrumptious pink sherbet enveloped the dreamcicle orange sun. This Artist’s rendition of colors was contrasted by skinny brown limbs of newly budding trees with arms outreached in various directions. These arms lightly touched by the artistic disparity of small green buds of life on the almost barren dark brown limbs. Bright green blades of grass covered the ground like a soft, snug shag carpet, and a chilly breeze floated through the air. Bright red birds, brown birds with red bellies, a wood pecker, and other birds wearing a variety of colors from The Artist’s pallet filled the air with their musical voices. As another soft breeze soared through the sky, the faint smell of freshly cut grass completed God’s three dimensional work of art. For that moment, peace filled my heart. Every sense in my being was saturated by the beauty and wonder of that moment in time. Whether experienced alone or shared with another, life is all about those perfect moments in time, those gifts which can only be given by the Greatest Artist of all.

Private Time

By Melissa Chovan

I kind of like having this private time, this page I can write on and access at my will.  It’s a notebook I cannot lose unless I forget what webpage it’s on. So far so good, a couple of weeks in the making and I haven’t forgotten the webpage yet.

Maybe I shouldn’t just use this to track my goals.  Maybe I should use this as a writing diary.  Maybe I should use this just to talk at the end of the day.  My entire day is about listening to everyone else’s life, issues, and helping them work towards resolving these things.  I often get lost in the mix.  Just who does a therapist talk to when everyone else talks to the therapist?  I talk to my husband to be.  Sometimes to my daughter or a friend here or there.  But I have so much on my mind most days that I forget half of what I have to say.

I am excited because I’m learning how a book comes together through writing my dissertation.  I have a fiction book idea that will be derived directly from my dissertation and I’m looking so forward to working on it when the time is right.  I’ve learned that writing is a real pain, but a great pain and the product can be absolutely amazing even when it’s not quite perfect – even when you don’t think it’s ready yet – even when it’s not quite what you planned on to begin with – which happens most of the time.

I’ve always wanted to write.  I’ve always loved writing.  I just read a blog by someone who writes a thousand words a day every day.  This is a great practice to get into.  Something I need to begin doing again.  I miss writing for fun!

The Little Successes

Some days all a person can see is what was done wrong, that mistakes were made, and all seems lost.  Well, what about the things that were done right?  Most every day most people have a series of small successes that often get overlooked due to some other error or “failure”.  If people could just see all that they do right or well in a day, it would all add up more quickly.

For example, if I looked at the failures of my day and focused on that, I would be down on myself for not going out for a walk in the evening to maintain the level of exercise I need right now.  I would berate myself for not getting all of the calls back made at work or for leaving work on time to manage my home life – yes, I have one of those.  If I looked at failures, I would tear myself up for a mistake I made on a client’s paperwork today.

However, I would rather focus on my successes:

  •  I made about 20 phone calls in about an hour – pretty impressive I think!  I have probably 30+ more phone calls to go, but I got 20 done in the very short period of time I had to do so.
  • I was going to eat a large cookie today – which would not have helped with my “diet” at all (trying to eat healthier and watch calories to lose some weight I’ve gained during grad school).  However, I became distracted and did not eat the cookie – it was an accidental success but I’ll take it.
  • I managed to get a little bit of a workout in this morning – not a great work out, but I did something.  A successful step in the right direction.
  • I completed two treatment plans and paperwork to go with it.  That is a success, a work success, but a success none the less.  Two more files off of my desk!  Yea!
  • I received an e-mail from my dissertation committee telling me that it is felt that my proposal is ready to be turned in!  Yea!  No changes asked for.  My study was called both solid and interesting!  Can’t ask for more than that!  First major section of my dissertation is almost done and I’m almost onto phase II.  So excited and nervous all at the same time!
  • Even though my daughter and I went on a weekend trip and spent more money than we realistically had to spend, I still managed to add to my savings accounts this week and get bills paid!  That is a huge success!  So excited about that as well.
  • My daughter received five different awards for her film over the weekend!  That is exciting!

My daughter and I had a great discussion surrounding how we perceive and present our life to other and consider it for ourselves.  We both have plenty of failures daily.  She has had several rejections from a number of film festivals; however, she was also accepted by a handful.  If she focused on her rejections, she never would have kept going and received the acceptances, much less the awards.  If I focused on my rejections, I would have given up on exercise (as me and the scale are fighting as usual), given up on my dissertation (due to my own rejections of my own work, and may have given up on my job and career.  But, we both try to take every failure as a lesson to be learned and continue on.

So, today’s life lesson is to learn to accept failure, accept rejection, learn from it all and keep on keeping on.


I have just spent the past two hours talking with my daughter and we were discussing our goals and careers.  It was a really interesting conversation seeing that we are in a very different place in life now than we were a couple of years ago.  She has completed college and is working at a good job in her field.  I have a kind of cool job and for the first time in my life I see a path being created for me in a career direction that will be successful.  All I have to do is keep working at it.

Therefore, it’s time to get back to the goals.  It’s okay to fall off track every once in a while, but then we have to get back on track.  I’ve been semi off track for the past week, partially due to a family emergency.  But, now it’s time to get back on track.


So, how do we go about measuring whether or not we’ve made progress towards our goals?

First we have to look at our big goals:

I want to build a career that can accomplish the following:

  1. I need to create enough of an income to pay down and off debt, making a decent living, and save for retirement.
  2. I need to be able to work and travel between our kids simultaneously while still having part of the year at home to “live off of the land”.  Freedom and flexibility are the key words.
  3. I need to move work towards more physical activities or at least a balance between physical activities and sit down activities in order to live a healthier lifestyle.  I also need time to work out/get more exercise, create healthier eating and sleeping habits, and relaxation.
  4. I need to develop at least two different forms, if not more, of residual income.
  5. I need to be able to “give back” to society whether in the form of free services, money to donate, or find other ways to give back.  But, in order to give, one must get above their own circumstances and that takes time, effort, and planning.

Then we need to identify the smaller, shorter term goals that lead to the larger, longer-term goals.

  1. Finish dissertation in order to move towards the next level of my career.
  2. Being able to work and travel between the kids simultaneously means completing my dissertation and then stepping out into a newer career.
  3. More physical activities balancing types of work between sit down thinking and physical labor working.
  4. Developing residual income takes some research.  Research is where I need to begin here.
  5. Giving back . . . this is a much longer term goal, not one I can focus on today.

So, building my new career depends a lot on completing my dissertation – so what shorter term goals do I need to build to accomplish this?

I need to complete my proposal:

  • Edit Chapter 1
  • Edit Chapter 2
  • Update references
  • See what feedback I get and update accordingly
  • Put all three chapters together in one document, add cover page, table of contents, possibly abstract, and references
  • Create a power point presentation
  • Turn the project into my Chair and Committee Member and IRB.

Health and more physical activity:

  • Walking 12000 steps per day at least 3-4 days per week.
  • Start working on Jillian this next week
  • Keep sugar intake down
  • Watch food intake.

Research for residual income:

  • Wouldn’t hurt to purchase Warren Buffets book
  • Continue researching rental areas and properties.
  • Begin researching penny stocks
  • Begin researching regular stocks
  • Continue looking into residual income opportunities.

So, where did we line up this past week?

  • Completed editing Chapter 3
  • Walked at least 3-4 days last week – achieved 18,930 steps in one day.
  • Lowered sugar intake by about 75%.
  • Ate more fruits and salads.
  • Did some research on properties, houses, what rentals go for in the area I’m currently searching, and what the property taxes are.

This was last week.  Looking forward to next week.  No walking outside tonight due to the weather – 82 degrees with 81% humidity and a rather severe thunder storm expected.  Have to go look and see if it began yet.  The lightening was beautiful a half hour ago.

Good night and have a wonderful, healthy, and productive week!

Goals and Objectives

The process of writing goals and objectives seems so easy.  After all, don’t most of us do this every new year’s eve? I’m going to lose 10 pounds.  I’m going to go to the gym every day.  I’m going to get better grades in school.  I’m going to work hard and find a better job.  Many people write yearly goals that become forgotten in weeks.

There have been several studies on goals and why people are not able to achieve them.  Long term goals need to be reasonable, reachable, and followed up with shorter term goals connected to objectives and action items that can be achieved.  The goal of losing 10 pounds is not huge; however, without an action plan and some level of accountability it may not happen.

The long term goals, objectives, and actions need to connect to smaller goals, objectives and actions that lead to accomplishment.  For example, the concept of building residual income is not new to many people.  However, it is fairly new to me as I never would have considered it before.  So, how does a person take steps towards building residual income?  What are the short term goals, objectives and actions that lead to the long term goals, objectives and actions that equate to success?

Research! One has to take the time to understand what the processes are before one can write the goals, objectives and actions that lead to the overall goals.  With a very little bit of research, I have learned about penny stocks, investing via an investment broker, and real estate renting and sales.  These are potential extra sources of income that have different ways to pay out.  Penny stocks pay out when they are sold.  Investing via an investment broker can be a retirement option or if one is good at trading over time, that could be a residual income.  Real estate might be a better source of regular monthly income without a ton of work involved on a weekly basis.  These are just some ideas.  I will be looking into more over the upcoming weeks.

Changes Step by Step

Sometimes we put living on automatic pilot; acting without thinking, not having a plan, not considering the long term consequences, and eventually the consequences catch up with us.  For some people that may mean going from one relationship to another watching things get worse every time instead of better.  For other people it may mean falling out of healthy habits and getting stuck in a rut of unhealthy habits.  For others it may mean being stuck at a job or career and not being able to move forward.  And for others yet, it may mean being in a rut of not being able to save money to get ahead. We all have our vices.  We all have our challenges, our struggles, and our issues.  Well, I have mine too.

I am writing this blog for a small number of reasons:  1) I have goals that I want to achieve by making small changes one step at a time and blogging may be one way to hold myself more accountable, 2) as I do succeed and document how I came to succeed, hopefully that can positively influence others to find and work towards their dreams, and 3) to document all of the successes and failures along the way as an experiment and learning tool – as I would suggest for anyone striving to make changes for his/her future.   So, I am writing this blog for myself first and for anyone and everyone else after that whom it might help.  It all begins with the first step and following a sequence of steps after that regardless of what life throws your way.

As I am writing this, I realize that I have been working fairly consistently for the past 31 years towards these goals, but was lacking any real long term direction or insight as to where I was going.  I have always had the short term goals, but have finally developed the ultimate long term goals needed to plan that path.

There was a lot to learn to get here and there is a lot more to learn to get to the next level.  But, the first step (somewhere during my college career) was learning about my own values.   While I currently have long term goals developed, those goals may change.  What I do what to know is that those goals are based upon MY values.

My values: God, family, freedom, flexibility, health, financial independence, education, money, simple living, love, sharing, caring, respect, trustworthiness, honor, honesty and so on. . .  That is a good list to begin with.  This gives me a basis for my life goals and a strong foundation and center for decision making.

The greatest want I have ever had was to spend as much time with those I love and care about as possible.  However, I have spent much of my youth working two and three jobs trying to get my financial head above water.  So, basically I have spent my life treading and sinking in the financial waters of the world.  And, all that I accomplished was to work through my youthful energy to focus on barely making a living.  Had that energy been more focused and disciplined, much more could have been accomplished.  In time, I would like to rewrite all of this, research various successful people’s paths, and understand the thought processes of those who continually struggle in order to help some people move forward – once I get a handle on it all.

With that all being said, the way I am going to move forward is by deciding what I want to achieve – regardless how simple or complicated.  So, first a description of the overall picture:

I want to build a career that can accomplish the following:

  1. I need to create enough of an income to pay down and off debt, making a decent living, and save for retirement.
  2. I need to be able to work and travel between our kids simultaneously while still having part of the year at home to “live off of the land”.  Freedom and flexibility are the key words.
  3. I need to move work towards more physical activities or at least a balance between physical activities and sit down activities in order to live a healthier lifestyle.  I also need time to work out/get more exercise, create healthier eating and sleeping habits, and relaxation.
  4. I need to develop at least two different forms, if not more, of residual income.
  5. I need to be able to “give back” to society whether in the form of free services, money to donate, or find other ways to give back.  But, in order to give, one must get above their own circumstances and that takes time, effort, and planning.

When I consider what values of mine these ideals encompass, I am looking at the value of God/faith, being financially independent, family, freedom and flexibility, health, education, simplicity in living, loving, sharing, caring, respect, trustworthiness, honor and charity (though this list could go on).  So, I believe I am on a decent path.

For other people, the goals will be different.  I know people who are happy working 40 hours a week and living life around that.  There is nothing wrong with this at all. That is their way of living, this is mine.

But, how does these goals get accomplished. . . especially at my age?  We will begin to identify this in the next post.

This blog will ideally have new posts on Wednesdays and Sundays of every week.  This first post identified the overall life goal(s).  The next set of posts will break down this goal into smaller goals and objectives that cover a 5 year plan, a 1 year plan, a monthly plan, and a daily/weekly plan of items to accomplish to build towards the life goal.  Following that will be the successes and failures of working to accomplish these plans. This will offer information on identifying personal strengths and weaknesses and how to work with, over, and around the strengths and weaknesses.