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Slow Down and Feel Strong – Week 8 Task

18 Dec

In this chapter of Julia Cameron’s book, Walking in This World, one task in particular spoke to me.  The title was: Slow Down and Feel Strong.  Even though my work is finally slowing down at year end, I still feel myself in a rush.   It’s almost like the end of a 100 yard dash, where you’ve crossed the finish line but the momentum keeps your body moving forward and you just have to keep moving your legs so you don’t fall flat on your face.  Actually, a better analogy would be a small child who, at the end of the day is exhausted, yet they get even more wound up and are literally running mindlessly in circles. Yes, that’s what I feel like at the moment.  So, if I’m truly to enjoy these holidays, I need to slow down. 

The task is to write down a list of 5 areas in your life where you feel a sense of haste and pressure.  Then, to determine if your urgency is misplaced or if you can reset your timeline, and ultimately to slow down, be more in control and not make yourself crazy!  Here is my list:

1.    Reading.  This one is odd.  And a little sad.  Reading is one of my very favorite activities.  I couldn’t wait until the end of the semester so I’d have time to read some books for pleasure.  But am I finding it pleasureable?  So-so at best.  Why?  Because I am literally racing through them.  Just let me get to the end so I can see what happens.  Oh, and check it off my list.   That’s the subliminal refrain I can hear if I slow down for just a moment.  I’m skimming, not savoring.  Ugh.  

This one I definitely need to change my timeline on.  And go back to enjoying reading.

2.   Home ‘refurbishment’.  I know why I’m feeling skitchy about this one.  Because we just finished a major project but there are other, smaller ancillary projects that spun off of it.  You know how it goes – you remodel your kitchen, then it’s obvious the living room needs painting.  And the dining room, and the den.  And then, oh, those window coverings could use a little perking up.  And on it goes.   And I just want it done because I’ll be hosting for the holidays and I want everything to be just right.  

Okay, if I’m being realistic, this is one I can change my timeline on, too.  The truth is, my guests will have a good time no matter what color my living room wall is.

3.   Holiday cards.  I usually like writing and sending holiday greetings.  But I’m rushing through it this year and to be honest, it’s not doing anything for my holiday spirit.  This one I can’t change the timeline on if I actually want people to receive their cards before Christmas.   I’ve already blown the beginning of Hannukah deadline, but I can still make it by the end of the 8 days.  

I could just say ‘forget it, I’ll make them New Year’s card instead’.  But I’m not going to.  This timeline stays.

4.   Eating.   Now, this one sounds really odd, but with everything else going on, I find the very last priority in my day is eating.  I sometimes literally forget to eat lunch or breakfast.  This has never, and I mean never, been my m.o.   Not only do I get painfully hungry and grumpy if I don’t eat often,  I truly love good food.   The thing that makes me such a picky eater is the same thing that makes me go all When Harry Met Sally over the perfect heirloom tomato salad or lemongrass risotto – I can taste every flavor x10.  But now?  I’ll realize among my working, painting, cleaning, making meals for everyone else, rushing to the store and drycleaners and so on that I never made time to eat.   And when I do eat, I just shovel it in.   But don’t worry about me.  I’m not wasting away.  I’ve actually gained 5 pounds in the last few months. 

This is a basic self-care issue.  I need to and I will slow down, make sure I eat, and enjoy my meals once again.

5.   This blog post.  I know, this one’s a little bit of a cheat.  But since it’s 5 minutes until midnight and I said I would get this out “today”, I have to make a choice. 

And, the choice is…no pushing back the time.  Finish it and hit ‘publish’.  And that’s what I’m going to do.


New Obsession: Site Stats

11 Mar

I have a new obsession.  I won’t call it an addiction yet, because it’s still so new.  But obsession?  Oh, yes.  Seeing the number of page views, knowing someone is interested!   It’s become a several-a-day habit.  Okay, several-an-hour.  Geez.  

I can’t help it, truly.  We human beings are social creatures.  When we know someone is listening, that they care, that they get us, it is so affirming.  Why would we not respond to that?  Like the rat going back to push the lever which releases the treat, I approach with pleasant anticipation.  And when I’m rewarded…ahhh…endorphin bath.

Also, perhaps it’s because each view represents a person seeking  and perchance finding what they are looking for – a new perspective, some encouragement, a dose of inspiration.  In other words: the Muse.   

We’ve just had our busiest day yet.  And we’re just getting started.

An Author? A Writer? What Am I?

26 Feb

I just stumbled upon this great question on the front page of WordPress.com: So Am I An Author Yet?

My natural curiosity just wouldn’t let me continue on with my own task.  I had to follow that link.  Because this is a question we who write struggle with constantly.   Er… I was going to say “we who have not been published” but then caught myself.

Why do I see myself that way — as someone who has not been published?  I have been published: one article in a national trade journal and a couple of articles in a now well-established and popular niche blog.   And yet, I feel the need to say “that’s all.”   Why??   It’s not a lot, but it’s a start, isn’t it?  Do I devalue it simply because it wasn’t a book or an article in the Atlantic or a national consumer magazine?

Am I an author?  Am I a writer?  What am I?  And who decides?  You see my struggle.

Anyway, back to that link…At the end of it I found a great post by C-C Lester.  She expressed the writer/author identity struggle eloquently and, ironically, it made me identify with her.  Aha!  I thought.  She’s one of us. In C-C, I recognized a kinswoman.  A woman-writer-perhaps-author chasing the muse, who also recently decided to share her story with the world via the blogosphere.   C-C and I, we may not know what to call ourselves, but we know that writing is an inseparable part of who we are.

An author?  A writer?  Who knows?  Who cares?  I write.  Period.

To read C-C’s post, click here: http://theelementarycircle.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/so-am-i-an-author-yet/

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