A writing prompt found on a calendar

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My sister gave me a perpetual calendar last year as one of my Christmas presents. I would be lying if I said I’ve looked at it a bunch. It sits on a shelf in my blue room (aka my office). I like to keep a neat desktop — my shelves and drawers are another matter (cough, cough — a work in progress).

Don’t get me wrong, I love the gift, I just don’t use it very much. It’s a unique calendar, and when I take the time to retrieve it from the shelf, it always makes me think, something that most calendars don’t do.

Each month is on a separate 10"x10" piece of cardboard-like material. After each day of the month, it gives a suggestion of what to focus on for that particular date. The suggestions run between one and five words and are sometimes practical, ‘Shine Your Shoes,’ and other times, whimsical, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence.’ Other specific examples are to to write a gratitude list and donate warm clothing.

On one of my solo brainstorming sessions in late 2017 about things I might want to write about in 2018, I suggested to myself I should use the calendar for inspiration. What writer wouldn’t want 365 writing prompts?

Well, today is the big day! Drum roll, please. It’s never too late to get this party started despite the fact that it’s now the 324th day of the year, and the New Year is right around the corner.

I felt I needed a writing prompt for today. I looked at my writing ideas notebook and didn’t find much that called to me.

I scrolled through a few websites I normally go to for inspiration, but nothing excited me.

I began to worry that I wouldn’t find anything to write about today even though I had to write because of my personal 30 day writing challenge. I couldn’t give up now! I hadn’t even made it to day 10.

But there it was, my unexpected muse, sitting messily on my desktop right in front of me, abandoned the previous day: my calendar.

I looked at the calendar and found the date. Today’s three word command: Walk the Talk.

First, before I go off on some tangent, I must define what ‘walk the talk’ means to me. At first blush, I interpreted these three little words to mean that even though I freely give out advice to people all day long every day of the week, I rarely follow the advice I give.

Here’s a classic example: The other day on Twitter (@Bloggoneit), I noticed a tweet from a 24-year-old girl (young lady? young woman? What does one call someone who’s a year younger than my oldest daughter?) where she made it known to all that her recent cancer follow-up tests had been negative. Yes, she had cancer at the ripe old age of 24-years-old.

I felt like I had some information I had recently uncovered relevant to her situation, so I stopped what I was doing, followed her, and inboxed her the following message:

Hi AJ. You don’t know me from Adam but I saw you had a cancer diagnosis at an extremely young age. I’m wondering if you’ve ever had your Vitamin D levels checked? There are numerous studies showing that low Vitamin D levels are common in those who have cancer. http://NutritionFacts.org has many videos about this very topic. Also http://GrassrootsHealth.net is a fantastic website dedicated to Vitamin D3 and cancer. I know the woman who started Grassroots Health personally. She’s teamed up with doctors across the US to study D3. Get your blood tested, see where you’re at and perhaps use a high quality supplement. Best wishes to you!

She replied!

AJ: Actually really interesting — I didn’t know they were connected, but I did just have my usual bloodwork done and tested for low Vitamin D levels last month! Was put on supplements. I’ll have to look into that, very interesting!

To which I replied to her response:

Hopefully they put you on a high enough dose. My current doctor recommended 7,000 IUs per day. There’s a calculator on the grassroots website that tells you how much D3 to take in order to get up to therapeutic levels. https://grassrootshealth.net/project/dcalculator/ … The site provides so much relevant research. Good luck in your research!

Flashback to when my youngest daughter was in 3rd grade which was about nine years ago. I was hanging out in the kitchen of a friend while my daughter and the friend’s daughter played.

The friend’s mom, Carole Baggerly, was talking to me about the benefits of Vitamin D3. She brought it up because I was complaining to her that I was sick again. She asked me how many times per year I ended up with a cold. I thought about it and told her that I was averaging about three colds per year with at least one of them ending up as bronchitis and requiring a doctor’s visit.

Ms. Baggerly suggested I have my Vitamin D3 levels checked and then take a supplement based on the number. She felt I was probably deficient and that by optimizing my levels, I would probably stop getting sick so often.

I didn’t truly believe her but decided she was the science minded one, and I should give her the benefit of the doubt.

My levels of D3 were indeed low so I started supplementing with 5,000 IUs per day. I never missed a day for years.

My initial conversation with Carole Baggerly was in March of 2009. I did not get sick again until January 2017 despite family members coming down with endless colds. I was in direct contact with every person in my family and cared for them as they sneezed and coughed all over me.

My husband was even diagnosed with pneumonia in September 2009, just nine days after being laid off from his job of 10 years, but I never so much as got a sniffle.

When I did finally catch a cold, it felt like I was on my deathbed but it took nearly eight years before I got sick. Going from three bad colds and/or bronchitis on a yearly basis to nothing for nearly eight years is truly a success story.

Why’d I get a cold? Well, I’m sure it’s because I became lax about taking my supplement — a combo of Vitamin D3 and K2 despite telling everyone how beneficial this one vitamin (it’s really a hormone) truly is. Most people are deficient.

I told my mom, who’s a nurse and was also getting horribly ill every year, about my success with D3 and suggested she get her levels tested. She didn’t believe me that something so simple would improve her health. After all, she reminded me, she is MENSA smart and has been a healthcare professional for over 50 years. She also noted how she made it a point to sit outside in the sun for fifteen minutes a day every single day; she was sure she wasn’t deficient.

She whined, “How could Vitamin D3 change anything for me?”

I tormented her for weeks especially after her tremendously scary illness where I thought for sure she would end up in the hospital, to get her D3 levels checked. She finally relented and sure enough, her doctor called her with the news that her test showed her levels were below 5 ng/ml. By comparison, GrassrootsHealth.net’s scientists and doctors recommend that everyone’s levels should be somewhere around 40–60 ng/ml. Other doctors recommend levels even higher. My personal physician said I should be at 60–80 ng/ml!

My mom’s doctor prescribed 20,000 IUs per day for three months. What happened? Well, if you’ve been following along, she stopped getting sick so often. However, like me, she suffers from the inability to keep taking prescribed medication and has recently started getting sick again.

Giving advice to others is all well and good but if you don’t follow what you tell others to do, what’s the point?

To me, ‘walk the talk’ means that I need to follow the advice I give to everyone about taking a daily Vitamin D3/K2 supplement after discovering D3 levels through a simple blood test.

Needless to say, I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. I have no medical education at all and rely on websites I trust. I highly recommend that you speak with your own doctor prior to taking any supplements, but also do your own research, too. Many doctors don’t follow the latest research on D3. You must be your own advocate and do what’s right for you.

Should you need a recommendation for a highly regarded website or two to begin your research, I always suggest GrassrootsHealth.net and NutritionFacts.org.

Day 9 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge I dared myself to start (and finish).

Far more interesting internally than externally. I write to quiet the voices. Deleted Facebook & Twitter thereby immediately quieting 1000’s of voices.

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