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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

16 January 2015

What The Elderly Woman At the Y Said To Me

Today I was able, for the first time since spilling the beans (post of January 1), to put real clothing on. Naturally, I went to the Y.

I saw a woman this morning I've seen many times before. I guess she's in her seventies, but she's in such good shape she could be ten years older and you'd never know. I admire the vigor of her workouts, the disciplined way she goes about her stretches. She exudes health and well-being.

She happened to be next to me at one point, so I couldn't resist saying, "I really admire how in-shape you are."

She looked at me. "It's just doing what you're doing now, and don't stop."

Photo by William Marsh

She doesn't look like she has any disability like migraines or any of the other hidden diseases some of us have. She doesn't look depressed or anxious, or as though she has a mental or emotional challenge. Perhaps it was easy for her to say, don't stop

But I don't believe she's never had trouble to overcome, so I refuse to slip out of the challenge. I may never have calves that look like they were carved from granite, but by this time next year I am going to be in much better shape than I am now.

Finally, it doesn't have to be about going to the Y and getting in shape. Some of us have jobs and family and obligations. Some cannot afford it. Some have bodily or mental ills that keep us from doing what we want. But somewhere in our lives there is something challenging us to grow, to change, to evolve. It may be physical, mental or spiritual.

Never would I say it's easy. And overly simplified formulas like "don't stop" can make a truly depressed or ill person tear her hair out. I'm grateful I have the energy and mental focus to make the choice. My wish for all my readers is that they are able to find and commit to one thing - whatever it is - that causes them to make a decision not to stop.

Thank you for reading my blog. You can comment below or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com.

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