365 Challenge: Day 311 – Purpose

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Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists

purpose.jpg

This morning has been different, but I expected it to be. W needed to get back to work today, and with Ryder gone, it means I’m alone in the apartment for the first time. Between the silence, frequent memories and constant head shake when I realize I don’t need to give Ryder his pill, check the water bowls, let him outside or look for him between my feet as I wander around, I’m lost this morning. I felt it the most when I sat on the couch with a cup of coffee and began reading through overnight email. It’s part of the process and I understand it takes time to figure it all out. I question the purpose of taking away such a lovable member of my family too many years too early. Part of what I am struggling with today is the realization that my life will be different. When I left my corporate position over a year ago, I felt like I had less of a purpose than I did previously. I no longer needed to leave the apartment on a certain schedule, nor did I have a deliverable due to a boss or an organization to support. With Ryder gone, there’s one less thing I am responsible for, which has made me question my own purpose again.

It’s mostly in that no one truly needs me or my attention in the same way they did before. As an author, my deadlines are generally my own, which can be positive and negative. I still have milestones to reach, networking to do with fans and followers, and stories to tell, but they are because I want to and choose to focus on these tasks — not because someone tells me I have to do it, or because I am a caregiver. I’m not ready to pick up my second novel, Father Figure, and begin wading through the beta reader feedback I received last week; that is the next step on this book. I will not meet my February goal to have it with the publisher to begin their launch process, but that’s okay and I can re-adjust my schedule to fit what will work for me right now. There is one thing I can and need to do when it comes to fleshing out my purpose. And that’s the 365 Daily Challenge.

When I began this daily blog challenge on March 13th, 2017, it was 365 consecutive days to post a characteristic about myself, ending on March 12th, 2018. After a few months, the daily blog challenge evolved to include my connections with other people (author alerts and spotlights), interesting news about my novel, or lists that we could all debate. It seems the daily blog challenge will need to evolve once again, as I missed 5 consecutive days of blogging while supporting Ryder and grieving his loss. But I’m okay with the change and in no way do I feel like I didn’t follow the course I set for myself back when this started. As I thought about it over the weekend, it became clear how to pull this back together. I could double up posts, but in full disclosure, the next few days or weeks are going to be difficult to focus on strong, quality content; one post per day is quite enough. Thus, I’ve found a solution that works for me.

I’m going to extend the daily blog challenge by 5 days, which means it will now end on March 17, 2018. In a way, this is more ideal. This challenge was born out of all the major changes going on in my life at the time — leaving a job, publishing a book and turning 40. My 41st birthday is March 18, 2018. With the new end date being the day before my birthday, it’s a fitting way to end one year (plus 5 days!) of introspection into who I am. As I wind down in those last few weeks in March, I will reflect back through the year on this journey; everything from Ryder’s Rants to the Author Alerts, the lists of things that described who I am to the stories I’ve shared about my life. My goals are still front and center, and the extra five days provides me a way to jump into the next year of my life with so many positive changes and friendships. It also gives me a chance to work through my grief and find the best path for my future — to find my purpose.

Thank you to everyone for their support and guidance the last few days (and the last ten months)… and believing in me and this 365 Daily Challenge — plus five!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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69 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 311 – Purpose

    The Cozy Pages said:
    January 22, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    365 Daily Challenge — plus five!
    That works really well. 🙂
    Will be here to read.

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 11:19 AM

      Thank you… I’m glad to know it resonates, as I wanted to find the right solution and connection for the absence in posts and with Ryder. xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

    Patrick Dykie said:
    January 22, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. With my book launch soon, I’ve been preoccupied, and haven’t been blogging or visiting as much. I wish you well. My dog chase is my constant companion. He follows me everywhere, is very needy, is constantly underfoot, is totally dependent on me, and often drives me crazy. However, if he were gone, it would leave a huge whole in my life. I’m almost finished with your book, which is getting great reviews. I’ll write one when I’m finished. It is very well written, and has great character development. I wish I had your writing skills, and the ability to write such a captivating novel. I guess I found my niche in simple humor. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:45 PM

      Hi. Thank you. I’m glad you have Chase… totally understand where you are coming from.

      Thank you so much for reading my novel — that’s so kind, especially everything you’ve said about it. There are part of the book I know are very well written and the words come alive, but there are also areas where I realize I embellished too much, cut the wording/technique/punctuation too easily and need to improve in the future. It was a good first book and learning curve for me to figure out my writing style.

      I’m sure you are quite talented in your writing. If you need any early readers or reviewers, let me know. I’m swamped thru early March, but I will make time for this before if you need. We can also do a splash on my blog when you’re ready, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    January 22, 2018 at 12:00 PM

    I’ll be reading, as well. (I’m so glad I came across your blog; I’ve learned a lot, which is a VERY good thing.) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:46 PM

      Thank you, I appreciate it. I am glad to connect too. I’ve been off other blogs and all of online for the last 10 days, but I will start reading again soon. I look forward to catching up on yours.

      Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    January 22, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    As I said with my 365 picture challenge, my challenge, my rules. I did not really take a picture every single day. Some days I didn’t take any, some days I took two or three to make up for it. I like 365 plus 5 (rather than 370) and since you didn’t start on January 1st, you already made an exception, right? Yay Jay

    Liked by 2 people

    N. N. Light said:
    January 22, 2018 at 12:20 PM

    Jay, there will be times in life where priorities shift as do our life’s purpose. I know you feel bereft and alone with Ryder gone. He was so much a part of your everyday life, it’s understandable. With him gone, your purpose as caregiver has to readjust. You’ll figure it out. Maybe you can volunteer at a shelter or be a dog walker. An opportunity will present itself.

    In the meantime, it’s important to adjust goals and I like your new 365 Challenge goals. Sounds like a workable plan.

    Please don’t sit in silence. Put some music on or the television. Use it as background to fill up the void.

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:52 PM

      I put some music on in the background today. I was busy this morning between some cleaning, the gym, today’s post, etc. It was hitting me after lunch that the quiet was there to stay, so you are right. 🙂

      I appreciate all the advice. I need to try some of it to get out of here each day for a bit. Thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

    Jessica Rachow said:
    January 22, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    I’m glad to see you’re not doubling posts and putting extra stress on yourself. This is a perfect solution. Here for you, if you need. Keep your head up.

    Liked by 2 people

    By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff said:
    January 22, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    I think this is a great idea Jay. You do not need anymore stress or upset in your life right now. I for one will be here to read whatever, whenever you post.🤗 I think it’s obvious from the responses that all of us are here for you as you work through your grief. And Jay, I promise it will get better.

    xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:53 PM

      🙂 good to know, I agree… nothing too big right now, keep it calm but focused, and a little background noise!

      Liked by 2 people

    misifusa said:
    January 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    I think this is a great solution to your challenge. I think it’s important to find ways to continue after life throws us the most unexpected, sad curveballs that upend our lives in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. Dear Ryder is with you in spirit Jay. You may still notice his energy with you as he’s still connected to you and W. Be kind to yourself during this grieving time. Take extra care of yourself and W. I’m sending hugs xo

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:54 PM

      I will tell W tonight. I keep waiting for that pressure against my leg, foot or thigh to tell me he’s here. I do keep finding his fur all over the floor. I should sweep it up, but maybe I can live with it for a few more days!

      Liked by 1 person

        misifusa said:
        January 23, 2018 at 7:55 AM

        Live with it for a few more days. Take the time you need to grieve and to mourn. Ryder’s presence is there with you. In subtle moments, you will feel him in ways you can’t describe or pinpoint.

        Liked by 3 people

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        January 23, 2018 at 7:59 AM

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    Kiersten said:
    January 22, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Just take it one day, one step at a time. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    Books Teacup and Reviews said:
    January 22, 2018 at 1:16 PM

    This is better than the stress of double post. I know such time can be tough, I couldn’t post when my granny passed away in December, everything slips out of normalcy. So I suggest to take it slow, don’t stress, and take care of yourself! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:57 PM

      You’ve been through this recently, too… how are you doing? I am trying to stay away from commitments for a week or two, just so I don’t feel the pressure. Thanks for reminding me.

      Liked by 2 people

        Books Teacup and Reviews said:
        January 23, 2018 at 12:45 AM

        I’m good, better now. Granny suffered lot before she passed away. In one way it was easy to accept because she was free from her unbearable pain and I had to stay strong for my mom.
        Take it slowly and don’t stay away from work for long. I’m saying it from my point, I keep myself busy so that it pains less. But do what you feel right. Do what Ryder liked, stay with his happy memories and at the same time work at your on pace without any deadlines to stress. Maybe that way it will help. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        January 23, 2018 at 7:38 AM

        Big hugs. It’s different for every person and you have such great points. Go at the right pace for you is excellent advice. Thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

    roseelaineblog said:
    January 22, 2018 at 1:43 PM

    I know you will agree that Ryder was a gift in your life, a beautiful special gift with a time limit. We have no control over what time we are allocated on earth James which is why we need to appreciate every moment.

    He was with you through so many important stages of your life and now was his time to leave. Ours is not to reason why !

    It is said that the spirit of animals stay around their owners and I have no doubt that Ryder will definitely want to create mischief from the other side. He had a good life with a loving family not all dogs can say that. ( That’s if they were gifted with speech as Ryder was) 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 2:58 PM

      Thank you, my friend. For the words, and making me laugh about Ryder and mischief from the other side. As as well as his gift of speech! 🙂 He could be a talker sometimes!

      Liked by 2 people

    thebookwormdrinketh said:
    January 22, 2018 at 2:08 PM

    A great idea to extend the challenge! Out with the old, and in with the new while beginning a new year of your lifetime seems very fitting!

    Liked by 2 people

    Beware Of The Reader said:
    January 22, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Well Jay in French we say “Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé” meaning something like “one soul/being is missing and everything feels empty”. That’s what you are feeling now with Ryder. It will take time of course but I do know you’ll find your purpose. Maybe it won’t be something you wanted but it will be something you’ll need. Have faith and lots of hugs coming my way ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    January 22, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    GREAT post,,

    Liked by 2 people

    anne leueen said:
    January 22, 2018 at 5:15 PM

    I agree with Kiersten just take it one day at a time. It’s progress not perfection.

    Liked by 2 people

    russtowne said:
    January 22, 2018 at 9:12 PM

    That sounds like a simple yet elegant solution, Jay.

    Liked by 2 people

    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    January 22, 2018 at 9:53 PM

    I think it’s a good idea, take it easy and I’m here (or on twitter) if you want to chat xx

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 22, 2018 at 10:07 PM

      Thank you. Today was hard but I got thru it. 🙂 I may take you up on that in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

    robbiesinspiration said:
    January 22, 2018 at 11:27 PM

    I am sorry for your loss, James. I understand your feelings. I have been toying with the idea of leaving my corporate job and actually resigned. It was a very strange and purposeless feeling. I ended up staying on as they can’t find a suitable replacement and so the timing is not yet right for me.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 23, 2018 at 7:37 AM

      Thank you. I hope things fall into place for you. Let me know if you ever want to chat thru it.

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    January 23, 2018 at 9:35 AM

    I don’t think we always know our purpose. Yes, mine was and still is to do my best to instill good values and goals in my offspring, to teach, to share and be the best human being I can be, but as my life changes, the little purposes or reasons for being on this earth change to. That is why we need to reflect, be flexible and embrace what life brings, good or bad. I feel your pain and confusion as I am still dealing with it. Patience will let us find our way. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 23, 2018 at 9:42 AM

      You really seem like you’ve got a good approach to it all. It’s inspirational. 🙂 I’m sure you are quite good at it all too. Patience has always been my weakness, but I’m learning to improve. 🙂 Thx.

      Liked by 1 person

    coffeelovingbookoholic said:
    January 23, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    i think that’s perfect jay! ending one day before your birthday and starting fresh into a new year of your life! that’s really great!
    and don’t worry about deadlines or missing posts! everything can be adjusted and you need your time to grief! nobody will be mad! 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    Rae Longest said:
    January 23, 2018 at 1:11 PM

    Sounds like you’re ready to face the future. I am proud of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    Dani☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆ said:
    January 23, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss Jay. Losing a furbaby is such a horrible experience. Even though this is such a devastating time, I wanted to say that your tributes to Ryder and how you bring him to life through your words and emotions are beautiful. You are such a great writer and as hard as this time is, please know that you bring so much joy to people. You are truly an inspiration and accomplished your dreams. I think your idea is great and am supportive of whatever you write!:) Don’t stress yourself too much and take all the time you need to heal. As much as things hurt now, time does heal your wounds. That doesn’t mean he will be forgotten or it won’t be hard at times but you will feel better!😄 I am sending you lots of good vibes and sending all my condolences to you and your family. Xoxo
    -Dani

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 23, 2018 at 11:07 PM

      Oh, Dani! Thank you for this wonderful message. Was just getting into bed and popped on my phone to see if anything new came in. You made my night. Such kindness. I appreciate everything you’ve said. It’s been a rough week but I’m starting to feel a bit more normal. Changed and unsteady yet ready to face the new future. I’m so glad I could share him with everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

        Dani☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆ said:
        January 24, 2018 at 3:42 AM

        You’re welcome and *happy dances* that I made your night! I’m so glad you are starting to feel a bit more normal. I’m glad you shared him as well! I LOVED hearing about him. I lost my cat last year in a horrifc way and it still has me torn up at times but got to focus on the positive things.😁 Hope your days get even brighter soon.

        Liked by 2 people

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        January 24, 2018 at 7:55 AM

        Oh sorry you had to go thru something in a bad way like that. I am putting together a memory book of Ryder so I think that will Help too.

        Liked by 1 person

        Dani☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆ said:
        January 26, 2018 at 1:28 AM

        That’s great!🐶💖

        Liked by 2 people

    Didi Oviatt - Author said:
    January 23, 2018 at 8:35 PM

    Excellent logic on the dates/birthday match up! I hope things are getting a little easier, though in the grieving process is important to take slowly. It sounds like you’re doing great. If it’s any consolation, you look a gleaming 25!! I would never in a million years peg you as being over the hill 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 23, 2018 at 11:17 PM

      Thank you. It did kinda fall into place with the dates. Ooh, 25! You’re so kind! Haha over the hill. Yes! I’ve aged well —lucky, I suppose. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    Sassy Brit (Reviewer) said:
    January 24, 2018 at 7:56 AM

    Totally understand your need to re-evaluate everything, you’re going through a tough time. Take it easy. You’ll always miss Ryder, but it will get easier, over time. Maybe you’ll even get another dog to keep you busy and follow in his footsteps with his or her own blog posts? I know he’ll never be replaced, but you will make another dog’s life as happy as Ryder’s was!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 24, 2018 at 8:00 AM

      Down the road we will probably adopt more. Want to give ourselves some time to heal and decide the best approach and time. I haven’t petted another dog since we lost Ryder last week. I’m not sure how I’ll be that first time. But it will get easier. Thanks for being there.

      Liked by 2 people

    declutteringmylifeweb said:
    January 24, 2018 at 2:22 PM

    We have to be set up new purposes so often in our lives that it is a wonder we manage to get anywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    mainepaperpusher said:
    January 27, 2018 at 9:25 PM

    ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    Atwood Cutting said:
    February 3, 2018 at 7:11 PM

    Way to go, guy. You can do what makes you comfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

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