The O of Living Imperfectly: Feeling Oppresively Busy #atozchallenge

horse busy

O Challenge LetterFeeling overwhelmed seems to come with the territory of perfection. So much to do, so little time and the constant need to be busy.

An article in my Sunday paper today proclaims:

Are you too busy? You should be, and you should let people know in a proud but exasperated tone.

The concept of busyness for busyness sake has been on my mind for a while now. Being a professional woman and mother means being surrounded by other busy professional people constantly bemoaning the lack of free time. Are we really all that busy or are we really projecting our fear of being perceive idle. For somewhere along the line busyness has become acquainted with a mark of social status. As my Sunday article says, “If you are busy, you’re important and you’re leading a full and worthy life.”

To be perfect, you must be constantly busy, right?

Busy for busyness sake is a total paradox. Being this sort of busy may make you feel important for a fleeting moment, but denies you time for making deeper connections with those that are likely to be your busy in your older age when busyness tends to stop. Having deeper connections also tends to be more fulfilling than temporarily shortening your to do list by three entries.

There are some people I know who determine their importance by the number of phone calls and emails they receive and yet bemoan the fact that they are always busy. They revel in having a list of tasks to perform that in the end weave a discordant fabric around their self worth. And taken to the extreme, they feel uncomfortable when others are idle. Never waste a single minute,let alone an hour or a day. This need to be perfectly busy seems exhausting and counterproductive.

According to my Sunday article, researchers apparently call this “contaminated time”. This is doing so many different kind of things that baroness of a busy lifethey all blend into each other.It probably won’t surprise you to know that women are generally more susceptible because they have a harder time shutting down the to do list in their heads.

I remember as a mother of young when the golden egg was laid and I found a rare hour or two for myself, the feeling of elation and relief was short lived. Because of the rarity, I used to put myself under enormous pressure to make these hours count, to do something worthwhile. Reading a book or falling asleep in the sun never felt enough, even though that was what my spirit was calling out for.

I’ve since learned that free time is exactly that, free time and should be approached without guilt, regret or judgement. It should be practiced with mindfulness.

Real importance is measured by our positive impacts on others’ lives. Busyness as part of perfectionism is a shield. It’s time we laid it down and gave our self permission to just be. And to be there for ourselves and for those who matter.

The L of Living Imperfectly: Losing Yourself In Fear #atozchallenge

OK, so I know I’m not perfect. The past week of commitments has meant that I had to let the Challenge slide. It’s the first time in 3 years I have done so and whilst I would have preferred to be putting up my “O” post today like the rest of you, I am content to be back at “L” and continuing my Challenge journey. I’m looking forward to catching up all around, on the reading on the writing and on the commenting.

All of this is just to prove that I don’t pre-bake my Challenge posts. If I was that perfect I would have written them for the week and programmed them to magically appear. Whilst that’s a great idea, I prefer my posts to reflect what I feel on the day.

What’s a Challenge without a challenge, right?

L Challenge Letter In my K post I commented briefly about being held hostage to another’s fear. This is something that is always a possibility in a relationship. In our strive to love someone and make someone else happy, we can take on their fears.

When my kids were younger and invited their young play mates over to our house, it was always interesting talking to these children because  more often than not, at that age they are a reflection of their parents. A veritable transmitter of their parents’ fears. Now, everyone has the right to raise their kids the way they see fit so this is not about judging anyone’s parenting style. But it wasn’t long before you could see what grown up fears and ideas had been transplanted into these young minds.

The fear of catching a cold or of becoming messy were the real obvious ones. But there were others like fear around certain foods that were not for medical reasons or fears about activities that were perceived dangerous, something like walking on the sand at the beach near the water.  Of course, as the parent of the host child you listen, adjust and respect the visiting parent’s/child’s values.But how many of these kids were missing out because of their parents’ fears? How many of these kids would end up losing themselves because of these fears? And how many of them would transmit these fears across the generations to their own children?

In adult relationships the same thing can happen. Your partner has certain fears. For ease, let’s use dancing. How many of you have stopped dancing because your partner doesn’t like it? You go to weddings and other celebrations and you don’t dance because your partner fears looking like this and getting this reaction:

dancing

 

Dancing is a relatively straight forward fear and probably most of us can get by without dancing if we have to. But what about those more complex fears, the ones that go to your core, your passions, who you are? They can’t be sacrificed so easily without losing your sense of self.

The loss tends to come incrementally until one day the light goes on. So what do you do at that point? Do you keep losing yourself for the sake of the relationship or do you make changes in your own life to reclaim the lost parts of yourself?

The choice is not easy and there are a whole lot of complexities to sort through, particularly if the happiness of the other person is important to you. The bottom line though is that you are just as worthy and your happiness is just as important as that of your partner’s and no-one has the right to force their fears onto you. Acceptance does not mean total conformity and losing your identity. A true equal relationship is about both people being free to be able to be who they are.

Reclaiming who you are is not about being selfish. True selfishness comes from requiring someone else to live by our standards alone.

Dare to be imperfect, dare to be you.

The K of Living Impefectly: Keeping It Real #atozchallenge

 

Being yourself battle

K Challenge LetterAs most of you know this is my third A to Z Challenge and every year this sneaky letter K causes me grief. This year is no different and I’ve really grappled with this K post. I’ve never thought about K as being a problem letter, but clearly this is a lesson in imperfection teaching me to park my expectations at the door.

Keeping it real has always been a big one for me. I have always firmly believed that building meaningful relationships is all about trust, of which one of the central pillars is meaning what you say and saying what you mean. Clearly this is not always the easiest path to take and at times can be quite a solitary journey. There are other times when I meet a kindred spirit on that road and that’s when I can really feel the friendship flow and that sense of connection. There are yet others when people at first blush appear to be the real deal, but scratch a little below the surface and you know you are dealing with a pretender.

Keeping it real to me also means:

  • not having to appear busy to increase my worthiness
  • keeping commitments that I have made, but being discerning about making them
  • not being afraid to express myself respectfully
  • trying new things and laughing at failure
  • backing myself and knowing I am the real deal
  • understanding my value proposition
  • rolling up my sleeves to get the job done
  • helping people when and where I can
  • owning my part in an outcome and not blaming others for my own failures
  • eliminating passive aggression from my life.

That last one in particular is a big one for me right now. I deserve crave authentic communication. Real discourse that gets to the heart of an issue/problem so we can get on with the business of fixing it or going our separate ways if that is an option.

What makes keeping it real also hard is that we don’t want people to perceive we are selfish when we practice it. However, the reality is that although we like to think we can control perception, we can’t because by its very nature it is derived from another’s thoughts.

duck authenticity

In the end, I believe it costs us more to be what others want us to be than it is to keep it real. It takes real energy to constantly mould and play into others’ expectations. I’d rather channel that energy in becoming acquainted with myself and to manage my own expectations.

The J of Living Imperfectly: Why There Are No Jewels in Judgement #atozchallenge

want-to-be-around-people-that-things-amy-poehler

J Challenge LetterThe quote for today goes to the heart of what living imperfectly currently means to me. I’ve been writing about authenticity for the last nine days and I’m about to take a huge step in that direction by admitting that the weight of duty is currently weighing heavily. This is not an easy admission to make, because my sense of perfection is all wrapped up in duty, or more specifically the discharge of it.

I have never been the type of person who can ‘play” knowing there are things that have to be done. By things, I don’t mean housework things, I can happily let ironing, washing and cooking slide, except when they directly relate to family occasions. By things I mean work things, social obligation things, parental obligation things, wife obligation things and daughter obligations things. Seems like a lot of things to juggle before I can get anywhere near me time.

Except now I have started to become a lot more discerning in relation to those duties that really are to be given priority. This is largely because these duties involve being around people who don’t bring anything to my table. They judge, they gossip, they certainly don’t support and they don’t do things. It is extremely small-minded to comment on other people doing things from the safety of your comfort zone.  The way I see it, judging others is a past time for those who seek distraction from the mundane or who don’t have the courage to face up to the issues in their own life.  The gratification that comes from believing you are superior or from grading someone else’s life or performance against your exacting standards is short-lived and misconceived. It might kill time and serve as a bonding tool, but what kind of healthy relationship can you have built on negativity? Just look at female cliques as a typical example.

And that equally goes for judging ourselves and the relationship we have with ourselves. How can you have a healthy relationship with yourself comfort-zone-3built on negativity?

There are therefore no jewels in judgement.

If someone wants to be held hostage to their own fears that is entirely a matter for them. However, it does not mean that I have to be held  hostage to them as well. I have a choice and for the moment my choice is no.

Which means there is some unavoidable jettisoning of relationships and the judgements and negativity that go with them. Which also goes against the grain of my strive for perfection. The perfection paradox is multi-layered indeed.

The I of Living Imperfectly: The Irony of the Perfectionist #atozchallenge

I Challenge LetterThe fundamental irony of perfection is that we are taught to strive for it only to discover that it is that ever present striving that prevents us from living a happy life. On the surface perfectionism is an admirable trait as it usually produce excellence, but it comes at a cost. And that cost is the feeling that what we are doing is never enough, we are never enough.

I work in profession dominated by A type personalities. To play the game and succeed, we were all striving to bring not only our A game, but to perpetually push and push so that one day we would be able to bring and sustain our A+ game. Writing this now it reminds me of the old party game of blowing at an air filled balloon to ensure that it never reaches the floor. Having kept the balloon in the air, at the end of the game you are left breathless and dizzy, but with a fleetingly temporary sense of achievement.

I have been researching the ways that perfectionism is ironic and have come up with the following list:

  • if ever anyone could achieve the state of perfection, it is doubtful anyone could tolerate that perfectionist for long. Fun is an integral part of life.
  • true perfection is about enjoying the moment, enjoying life. Perfectionism tends to rob us of this enjoyment and of our sense of awe and wonder.
  • believing as a perfectionist that you must never make mistakes means that you will probably look out for any mistakes or signs of failure so you can correct these immediately.

  • the demand for perfection can actually impede performance. For example, you may turn you into a chronic procrastinator because of the fear of making mistakes. This also extends to being less innovative and creative or less open to new ideas.

  • far from being liberating, perfectionism is a psychological dictatorship. As one site puts it:

These personal restrictive ‘prisons’ are built on a solid foundation of rigid rules and assumptions of right and wrong, with walls of ‘should’s’ and ‘ought’s’ and ‘mustn’t’s’, strong bars of perfectionism, unbreakable locks of defeatism, and guards of arrogance on a constant duty to ‘be right’.

This description is so apt. I was trying to describe this very thing in my F post a couple of days ago and was struggling to put it Charlie Browninto words. I have discovered over the past couple of years that letting go of the black and white thinking plays a huge part in jettisoning perfectionist tendencies. That, and humour. However it is so very easy to slip back into old comfortable habits, so one must be ever vigilant and practice conscious awareness.

One thing that has struck me already about this Challenge is that in writing about perfectionism, I am taking a rather hard line. I don’t mean too, but it generally reflects the hard line I am taking with myself for having not realised all of this sooner (more perfectionism???). On the surface, perfectionism seems to have served me well, but I am only just getting a true picture of what I have missed in being the perfect perfectionism practitioner.

It is only now, by letting my grey matter think in grey terms that I am seeing colour. And that seems to be the most ironic truth of all.

Irony quote

 

 

The E of Living Imperfectly: Aiming For Excellence Rather Than Perfection #atozchallenge

Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good – Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers.

E Challenge letterVince Lombardi is heralded as a great coach and motivator who has strong views on winning and achieving success. True it is he took the Packers to a Super Bowl win but has he got it right with this quote? And would it work for everyone?

I stumbled upon this quote a couple of days ago and it really resonated.  Then I began mulling it over and I have to respectfully disagree with Mr Lombardi.

In our formative years we are taught that to strive for something less than perfection is somehow substandard. We grow up with the notion that the aim of everything we do, from our deportment, manners, fashion, education and relationships is perfection. Unless we have reconciled our position in relation to perfection in our teenage years, we end up taking this concept into adulthood and into the workforce. And we tie ourselves in knots in our attempts to reach that goal.

If Mr Lombardi were still with us today, I would ask him why is he coaching others to strive for something which he himself acknowledges is impossible? Why is it not enough to aim for and reach excellence? This seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that humans can never reach a target. Instead of making the target realistic and hitting it, the target is over inflated so that some perceived lesser standard is reached.

This is not only bunkum, it is dangerous as many a parent has subsequently found out.

Michal J Fox got it right when he said:

Michael J Fox excellence

 

 

 

 

The Oxford Dictionary defines excellence as ” the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”. Perfection on the other hand connotes the concept of being flawless.

And yet, we so often confuse excellence with perfection. Business and academia often subscribes to the notion that if something is less than perfect then you haven’t done your best.  A lot of businesses and consultants proudly proclaim that their product or service is better because it is the product of perfection. And how could we be disappointed with perfection?

We need to be careful not only of the marketing hyperbole but also our own self talk. Often what we are really striving for is to be extremely good or outstanding, rather than to be flawless. But like Mr Lombardi, we tend to raise our own bar artificially high, thinking that’s what we need to do our best.  To further demonstrate the incongruity that this creates, take the grading system for universities in this country. Universities generally grade students on a scale from Fail to High Distinction. The grades that you can achieve are:

  1. Fail – less than 50%
  2. Pass – 50-64%
  3. Credit – 65-74%
  4. Distinction – 75-84%
  5. High Distinction – 85%-100%

There is no grade called Perfect for 100%. You reach 100%, you will get the same grade just like all the students who achieved excellence. The difference may be in the percentage, but I have yet to see an academic who has awarded a perfect score on any assessment based on subjective criteria.

Aiming to do our best and for excellence keeps it real. Anything more and we sacrifice our humanness. And we need to remember that it is more than acceptable to be human. Indeed, my very best friends are.

PS. To my fellow A to Zers, I am running really behind on responding to your comments and commenting on your blogs due to a crushing work and academic load. I am hoping to catch up in the next couple of days. I beg your indulgence until then.

 

The Clock Strikes February, Time To Think About the A to Z April Blogging Challenge #atozchallenge

Time really does fly. It feels like the last A to Z April Blogging Challenge just finished and here we are again.

February is the perfect month to start thinking about and planning for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.

A to Z Participant Badge

Whether you’re new to blogging or have been blogging for some time, the A to Z April Blogging Challenge is a great way to build content and a following. It’s also a great way to field test new ideas for posts or consolidate and build on the direction you already have.

This is my favourite Challenge. There are three factors which work hugely in its favour.

Sense of Community

Achievable

Rest Days

Participating in the A to Z blogging Challenge makes you part of the A to Z community. Last year approximately 2,500 blogs from all over the Sphere joined in the event. It is an amazing site to see posts pop up from all over the world all starting with the same letter. Quite apart from building your own content and enhancing your blogging skills the Challenge is a nice way to find new blogs to read and to make new connections.  Moreover, the A to Z Challenge family has engaged a vast team of experienced Challenge veterans to help make participants welcome, to provide tips and encouragement.  This year the Challenge has 11 co-hosts who lead an able team of ambassadors to guide participants through the event. All of the Ambassadors have been through the Challenge before, know the benefits and pitfalls and are more than willing to give you the benefit of their learning.

I am proud to have been chosen as an Ambassador for this year’s Challenge. My team is lead by the founder of the Challenge, Arlee (Lee) Bird whose main blog is Tossing It Out. I got to know Lee through my first Challenge participation in 2012 and  was grateful to have been chosen as one of his ambassadors for the first time in 2013. Lee has assembled an able crew comprising:

Tim Brannan – The Other Side Blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief, Red Sonja, She Devil With A Sword, Amazon Princess

Yvonne Lewis – Writing For Pleasure (seriously suggest you visit Yvonne’s blog just to be able to groove the alphabet while you’re reading)

Jami Barone – Divine Inspiration (a fellow WordPress blogger)

Doreen McGettigan – Doreen McGettigan

Corrine Rodrigues – Everyday Gyaan

Rob Z Tobor – the Slightly Eccentric Diary of Rob Z Tobor

Yours truly.

Each of the other Challenge co-hosts have also assembled teams of able ambassadors ready to reach out and bring you into the Challenge fold.

Not yet convinced? Not only fun, the Challenge is achievable by bloggers of all standards and experience. I have been Arlee-Ambassadors-medinvolved in some Challenges which are run by beautifully professional business orientated blog sites. They are pitched at those wanting to run their blogs like a business and often I have felt like I am participating in one long advertisement. If you are blogging because you love writing or because you love being creative but don’t necessarily want to push products through your blog then this Challenge is for you. It is run by a bunch of down to earth bloggers, who want to have fun and get creative and understand the art of promotion but are not solely driven by it. So refreshing.

And finally the rest days. Some challenges mean you blog every day for a month. I have found that it is very beneficial to have a few blog rest days during an intense period of blogging. There are four rest days during the Challenge, generally falling on a Sunday which allow you to catch up on any missed posts, rethink your Challenge direction or plan for the next week’s Challenge posts. If you already have all your posts planned you can use the time to spread some comment love or catch up on your blog reading. It’s nice to have a pressure release available because nobody is perfect and sometimes life happens.

I’m already planning my Challenge theme and scouting the Sphere for new Challenge blogs to follow. So, if you are looking for a Challenge that is:

artistic, brazen, brisk, brash and boisterous, captivating and creative, dynamic, exhilarating and engaging, fun and frantic, genial and gratifying, huge, intense and interesting, juicy and justifiable, known and kinetic, lucrative, memorable, neighbourly and noticeable, opportune, productive, prominent, quaint and quirky, rewarding and researchable, social, tenacious, ultimate and understanding vibrant, versatile and variable, wild and worthwhile, (e)xtreme, yearly, zealous, zesty and zippy

come join me and sign up here.

You don’t have to be an A type personality to enjoy or complete this Challenge, any letter will do.

November is Here So Let’s #NaBloPoMo

Nano NanoWoke up this morning to social media buzzing with the sounds of NaNo NaNo. This is not be confused with the traditional Orkian greeting of Nanoo Nannoo, although as the month progresses, we will see writers increasingly engage each other in monosyllabic tones.

If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it is the chant of writers everywhere as they gear up to participate in National Novel Writing Month. The aim of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel of 50,000 words from start to finish in November. If you are interested you can sign up here. To all of you are attempting NaNoWriMo you have my complete admiration. Please remember to eat, move and breathe whilst you coax your characters to life, they are counting on you.

Whilst writing a novel was briefly on my bucket list when I was ten, that’s way too ambitious for me at this point. The only chapters I am able to write at the moment are called ” How to Survive Parenting in The Teenage Years With Your Hair Intact” and “Existence for Dummies”. Certainly not enough on which to base a whole novel, although there are enough dilemmas and plot twists to keep readers engaged.

My plan to write the next great Aussie novel therefore remains dormant for now. Despite this, I have decided to get in on some of the NaNo action by participating in NaBloPoMo. Despite what it sounds like, it has nothing to with blowing one’s nose. It is in fact the bloggy cousin of NaNoWriMo. National Blog Posting Month means thirty blog posts in 30 days during November. It is run by BlogHer and you can sign up here until 5 November 2013. Whether you run with a theme or post 30 unrelated posts is entirely up to you. The BlogHer site provides daily prompts which you are free to follow or you can write about whatever floats your fancy. At the time of posting, there are about 1200 blog participating. By contrast, there are about 245,000 writers participating in NaNoWriMo. That’s some serious verbage and means that we are in for some fantastic reading in December.

NaBloPoMo_November_small

Please come and join me for my NaBloPoMo ride. This will be the allsorts of blogging challenges with a bit of this and a bit of that. There is nothing like spontaneity to keep a blogger on her toes. Blogging challenges are great for getting into the blogging groove and really test blogging boundaries and for this one I’m leaving my little black dress at home and going themeless.

So lets NaBloPoMo… it’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the ri, ri, ri, ri, right. With your hands on your hips, you bring your knees in tight. Ok, you can even thrust your pelvis if you really want to.

Today I Give Myself Permission to Reflect on the #atozchallenge

You know that feeling you get when your sweet cousin Myrtle, the one that talks all the time, finally departs your place? That feeling of immediate relief but with a sense that something is now missing?

Well, that’s exactly how I feel now that the Challenge is over. When I put the last full stop on my Z post, I felt nothing but relief. Now, a few days later I’m missing the structure and the creative impetus the Challenge provided. I have seen that some of my fellow participants have jumped right back in feet first to partake in a challenge involving a post a day in May. There is much to be admired about such blogging stamina. Good luck to all the intrepid bloggers who have decided to take that plunge.

Having participated in last year’s Challenge I knew what I had to do to maximise the time I had to visit other bloggers participating in the Challenge. Of course, I did none of them, not because I wasn’t prepared to, but in the end that experience felt too clinical. There’s a real buzz and energy that is generated from watching the posts of that day’s letter go up one by one. A veritable post string linked by the letter of the day, the desire to create and achieve punctuated only by differences in time zones. So to all my fellow WordPress uses who were involved in the Challenge thanks for the motivation and the inspiration.

I went through a few incantations of my Challenge theme before deciding on permissions and even explored some possibilities with my poor hapless family members. Needless to say, they would have liked to give mepermission slip permission to stop turning every family gathering into a research focus group and just get dinner on the table. And then, a funny thing happened on the way to the letter Z.  What started as 26 posts to fulfill a blogging challenge ended up as an online journal chronicling my own personal growth story over the last 18 months. This is the first time I have ever written any of this down and whatever else the posts might be or end up being, they have served as an affirmation of sorts.

During the course of the Challenge, I met many great bloggers from all over the sphere writing in various niches. Some were experienced bloggers partaking in their second or third Challenges, other were new to blogging. Some were not participating in the Challenge at all and still managed to stumble on my blog. All of them enriched my Challenge experience. Thank you to everyone who visited, commented, liked or read – permission granted to come by any time you like and continue to raise that curtain.

The Challenge also had another dimension  this year and that was my role as Arlee Bird’s Challenge Ambassador. It is no hardship to spread Challenge goodwill as I have a strong belief in its premise and benefits. I did notice on my travels that a few bloggers threw in the Challenge towel after the first week or so, thinking that as they had missed one post there was no point in continuing. The Challenge is about creating and achieving and whilst there is a schedule it is not so inflexible that you can’t make up a post or two or three. It’s such a shame to drop out after only missing one or two posts. Please don’t be discouraged, just keep writing and posting, posting and writing.

Finally a big thank you to Arlee Bird, the other Challenge hosts and my fellow Challenge Ambassadors for imparting your knowledge and creating a sense of camaraderie around the event. It remains a terrific concept and vehicle and I’ll be back for another round.

 

Still Sitting On The Fence? Come Join Us On The Grassy Verge for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge #atozchallenge

From your perch on the fence, you’ve seen the A to Z Challenge banners pop up around the place. You’re thinking that WordPress is looking smart, spruced up as its is with all the banner colour around and you sense a stirring excitement amongst your fellow bloggers. Your creative juices are starting to flow – the Challenge is about to begin.

blogging and fenceYou then start to seriously consider taking part and the executive committee inside your head starts its questioning. Can I handle a blog a day? Is this too big a time committment? What happens if I miss a post? Is my writing up to scratch? Will I know what to do?

Let me help you to address the concerns of the executive committee.

 

 

Dear Committee Members,

Thank you for under taking your usual comprehensive risk analysis on the proposed activity.

Your concerns have been noted and can be mitigated as follows:

  • X may not blog every day, but X knows that X has several posts in them. Sometimes X gets the urge to post more than once a day because X reads or experiences something that triggers the words. There are plenty of people who undertake the Challenge without a plan and blog off the cuff.
  • Alternatively, X may choose a theme for his/her blog posts which will give his/her alphabetical creations a bit more structure. Doing the research for the posts will an enjoyable and educating process.
  • There is always an opportunity for X to programme his/her work to post on a given day and time, so that X does not have to write every day. This is particularly useful if X knows he/she has a another commitment during April.
  • If X misses a day or two or three, X can make up the missing posts during the Challenge. There are plenty of bloggers who post multiple posts to catch up.
  • The posts don’t need to be particularly long. Whilst it’s up to X to choose the length, a rule of thumb is that the optimal length for a Challenge is between 250 and 750 words. It’s quality that matters, not quantity.
  • Every participant brings something individual to the Challenge. X’s writing and ideas are unique.
  • The concept behind the Challenge is simple, blog and comment. X is undertaking these activities already with much aplomb.

This is a unique opportunity for X to grow as a blogger.

Rest assured that the Committee’s work is appreciated, however April will be the optimal time for the Committee to take a much needed vacation.

Alphabet blocks

Still note sure?

Take a look at some of these WordPress blogs taking part in this year’s Challenge:

Daily (W)rite – Damyanti is a Challenge co-host and will be showcasing Indie books and authors

Circles Under Streetlights – first Challenge and writing about all things bookish, writing and fictiony

Sound of One Hand Typing – an A to Z chronicle of White Sox baseball players. Batter Up!

Tropical Territory – the theme of this blog is pictures from Australia’s Northern Territory, particularly the Top End. Can’t wait to see what this blogger comes up with.

Peter Denton – Writer – Peter writes flash fiction, scripts and short stories

A Common Sea – returning for a second round after last year’s Challenge

Bob’s Wife – who will be sharing little illustrations of the Islands of the Philippines … from vignettes of beautiful scenery to images of the Filipino way of life

Mental Indigestion – blogging about imaginary friends

Irreverent Feminist – a feminism theme

The Speeding Turtle Gets Fit – a new blog from a new blogger. If you do nothing else, check out the fantastic banner photo on this blog!

And there’s a whole lot more WordPress blogs taking part, not to mention a bunch of Blogger blogs. Total participants now number more than 1,200.

That fence starting to feel slightly uncomfortable?

Hop on down and join us. 1 April is just around the corner.

Join up by clicking the here.

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

It as easy as …..the quick brown fox jumping over a lazy dog post!