Blooms to Blossoms: Integrating Wellness, Lifelong Learning, & Personal Development

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Practicing What I Preach: Year in Review

By Elaine Guerrazzi | December 30, 2019

Late 2018, when the idea of Blooms to Blossoms was starting to take shape, I saw Vora’s blog post Share To Learn.  His brief narrative and sketchnote were instrumental in visualizing my plan.  His sketchnote clearly depicts the goals for my blog. 

Since I published my first blog (May 2019) I have been promoting integration of wellness, lifelong learning, and personal development.  As I consider my plans for 2020, I thought it might be a good idea to share my year in review.  

**What have I done in 2019 to practice what I preach?
**How can I build momentum into the new year?

So, it is time to look back, remember, learn, and plan.  

Personal Growth – Health & Wellbeing – Relationships
Year in Review

Writing Blooms to Blossoms

Writing the blog has been rewarding and challenging.  When I think about it, those are two outcomes that I had hoped for when I was developing the blog idea.  I wanted to express myself and share ideas about topics I find interesting.  After writing 30+ blogs I feel I am on a good path toward making a difference/adding value to my readers living and learning. I am sharing knowledge about a topic passionate to me. My blog work provides an academic/critical thinking outlet for me, enhances skill development through writing, expands my network of friends and colleagues, and broadens my scope of reading.

Hobbies

This summer I wrote a series of blogs on music.  The last post, titled Music Matters: Music for Me!! Music for You??, I shared that I started taking asynchronous piano lessons.  Coming from a background of teaching online for 15 years, it would seem a logical choice.  While the structure was fine and the teacher excellent, I was not satisfied with the overall experience and progress.  I found that I needed more structure, wanted a more personal connection with my teacher, and most important I wanted to choose the music I was playing.  In October I found the perfect teacher and now take weekly lessons (face-to-face).  Piano, as my primary hobby, provides a learning opportunity by being able to physically put the written music into action on the piano keys, enhances my social network through engagement with my teacher, and provides cognitive development as we discuss music theory.

Health & Fitness

I have been active all my life. In fact, sometimes I wonder if my first steps might have been at a running pace.  I have written about the influence of sports/activity in my life in prior blogs titled, Run for My Body, Run for My Soul and Mentoring is Enduring.  You could expect that being active and eating healthy continue to be key aspects of my life.  Transition from being an “athlete” for over 20 years (high school through post college competition) to just being “athletic” has been a challenge.   Recently I changed gym memberships.  I joined F45…a 45-minute functional high intensity interval training workout.  Their tagline is “team training, life changing”, and I would agree 100%.  In October, after watching Game Changers, a movie about plant-based eating and strength along with doing some of my own research, I started eating a plant-based diet. My exercise and my diet provide a lifestyle that fits my personal goals, enhances my social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional wellness.  I continue to learn about myself and how to live a healthy life as I actively engage in workouts and learn more about diet, exercise, and aging.

Relationships

We all have various relationships in our lives, acquaintances, colleagues, friends, pets, family, that are important.

**My blog has opened doors to relationship building.  I have reconnected with friends and colleagues from the past and am expanding my network. 

**Over the past few years my family has sacrificed location and convenience to move nearby.  I am grateful for what they have given up so we can share life more fully.

**Reggie, my first girl cat, passed away in February.  She was with us for over 18 years and is now with her brother.  During Reggie’s last few months she helped welcome our boy DJ to the family.  

**Every year is better because of my husband.  Life is good.

Personal Growth – Health & Wellbeing – Relationships
What’s Next

In the coming year I plan/hope to:

**combine my blog writing with my desire to sketch by including sketchnotes in my posts.

**continue to expand the scope and breadth of my reading.

**continue my piano lessons and strive to be more comfortable playing for others.

**complete at least the first five books in the Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Snell and Ashleigh.

**improve my ability to draw/sketch.

**continue an active lifestyle keeping in mind my motto (as I get older) that “something is better than nothing.”

**increase readership of my blog/social media presence as outreach to achieve the purpose that together we will create a community of scholars, practitioners, and pupils.

**build my network of friends and colleagues.

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing,
it’s about doing, being and becoming.”
unknown

I felt it was important to share with you that my actions are consistent with the thoughts and ideas I share in my blog.  My purpose is to live an integrated life that focuses on wellness, learning, and personal development.  My actions are louder than my words.  Wellstone, academic and author, states, “Never separate the life you live from the words you speak.” 

You may be reflecting on 2019 and planning for 2020 to be your best self.  Be true to self as you plan and align your words with your actions.

We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called opportunity and
its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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I want to include your insights, experiences, ideas, and knowledge in upcoming posts.

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