I Wanted To Write

Dorothy Parker’s Mink Coat

I wanted

  • to write a book that would tear your insides apart with laughter, not heartbreak.
  • to write tiny bites of my life with enough humor to leave my readers with howling belly aches over exaggerated blimps and bleeps.
  • to write the best selling memoir full of wit and wisdom, one that would live on the nightstand of every parent on this earth who might need a quick dose of humor following a particularly harrowing day.
  • to write with a keen sense of humor to keep my readers turning the pages (or swiping their Kindles) to the very last word.
  • to write the takeaways that would lead to joyful resolution for all who read my words.

Meanwhile I have

  • written the necessary 90,000 words of a pitiful and shitty first draft (ala Anne Lamott), just to get over it.
  • highlighted the questionabull, deleted the distractabull, rewritten the sustainabull, and added the conceivabull.
  • hit the muddy middle and squirreled away at least sixty hours of mindless FaceBook gaming in the last thirty days.

The time has come

  • to send away the critics and bring in the clowns.
  • to let go of the past.
  • to write that final chapter.

If nothing else comes of this

  • I can say I wrote a book
  • My inner self will be sufficiently mended.
  • I can be a better person.
  • I still have a sense of humor.

BUT maybe one day I’ll sit at the Algonquin table in Dorothy Parker’s mink coat signing copies of my phenomenal book.

Will This Make Me Smarter?

desk

Here I stand. I’ve never tried standing to write other than a brief tweet or message once in a while on my smartphone. Some people stand all day at their computers. They say it helps their back, burns more calories and makes them think better. I remembered that when I was looking through the latest Costco catalog and came to the article about standing desks. Of course I immediately went on line to see what I could find. But I didn’t need to spend $600 or more for a whole new desk. I have a perfectly fine desk.

So I checked Amazon (sorry if you are one of those people who refuse to shop at Amazon but convenience wins when I need to find out about things, and I get free shipping). First search brought up three pages of desktop standing desks. I ordered this one. It was reasonably priced and the right size for my desk surface.

I came home from work just as the mailman was delivering our mail and waited patiently in the street since his truck blocked my driveway. I knew by the disgruntled,  look on his sweat dripping face that he wasn’t exactly pleased having to huff up the steep driveway in 90 degree weather. When I reached the front door I realized why. Hard to believe it but Amazon chose to ship this 56 pound package through USPS. Even harder to believe is that our slightly built mailman was able to heave it up the driveway.

It took two of us to bring it in the house. It took two of us to figure out how to get it out of the package. And two of us to heft it onto the desk. It took me two hours to clear off the desk, re-hook up the computer, glue on the little rubber feet and figure out how to make the innovative simple touch height locking mechanism lift the desk with ease. It would have helped if I had thought to remove the plastic shipping ties hidden under the desktop first.

So, here I am testing this out. It seems ergonomically correct. My arms are at right angles, feet firmly planted, and eyes a good enough distance away for bifocal work. Now about those extra calories we can burn standing – I know someone who says she walks on her treadmill while using a standing desk. Seems like a good way to multitask. Mayve I should check Amazon for one of those. But will it make me smarter? Or just poorer?

 

 

When Writing is a PITA

 

20170429_165308The journal is blank and the posts have been zilch for a reason this month.Writing literally became a pain in the a$$. It all began in shortly after Christmas as I sat on the edge of the bed and bent over to tie my shoes. Zing. I felt it from L4 all the way down to my toes, but mostly centered left butt. Too much information perhaps but that’s the way it went down. Sitting, standing, walking, driving, sleeping all became a thing of the past. Ice, heat, physical therapy, doctor visits, sitting on a donut, meds – prescription and OTC – nothing worked. Sitting at the computer to write after working at a desk all day was not an option.

Finally it came to an MRI – visual proof that this was not a figment of my imagination. I wasn’t going to wait for some doctor to see it first.  I simply slipped the CD disc into my computer and took a look. After careful comparison to photos at Dr Quack.com I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d be sitting in a wheelchair savoring meals on wheels.

Ortho guy studied the CD, watched me limp across the room, tapped here and there, tickled the bottom of my feet and announced “We can fix this slipped disc. All it takes is a needle this long.”  His arms extended to fish tale length.

Was he kidding me? Trying to scare the sh*t out of me?  My stomach churned. “And, if I do nothing?” I asked adding “I hate needles.”

“It will go away eventually. But why suffer?” he asked.

“I’ll take my chances on a quick recovery,” I commented on my way out the door.

The receptionist handed me a prescription for a Lumbar spine epidural” as I passed her desk. “Call if you change your mind.”

Instead I signed up for some yoga classes. Restorative poses and meditation seemed to be making a difference. I quit taking the pain meds and shopped for a grocery cart full of anti-inflammatory food. I ate turmeric until it poured out my pores.

This morning when I couldn’t see the road through the six foot weeds across my front yard, I decided I had no choice but to tackle the mess. Did I mention I am predisposed to hay fever – it happens every year on Mother’s Day. Like clockwork. But this year it arrived early. I pulled a barrel of thistles before the sneezing began. “Listen to your body” my yoga instructor had said. I stood up slowly, listening carefully. Hmmm. Is it possible? Could it be true? That one sneezing frenzy – was it the cure all?

Knocking on the wooden desk as I finish this piece…

 

 

Journals – Goals – OM

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The 4 pathways in a nutshell:

1. Intention – I intend to write for 20 minutes

2. Action – I am writing for 20 minutes – I have set a timer

3. Non-Identification – what comes up

4. Compassion – Props to finish – result

I’m on day 6 of Daily Om, a 365 day course to clear what is holding me back (finishing my memoir?). I bought this course for $10. There was a choice as to how much I was willing to pay. Since I have not experienced any other courses with Daily Om, I opted for the smallest amount. Maybe that is too cheap for 365 days of trickling in wisdom. Maybe I should have paid more. In the end, I can decide how much this has been worth. In the end if I choose to do so, I can buy another course and offer a bigger payment. Or I could just fess up to what it is worth to me and donate. Or perhaps I could pay for someone else to try this course. That is, if I finish this.

It is suggested that one should keep a journal specific to this course. I have already committed to using InnerGuide 90 day Life Coach In-A-Book to achieve up on my goals. Interesting enough when I look at the layout of the daily pages I see that this journal is much the same concept. Maybe all life coaches do the same routine. I’ve often wondered what exactly a “Life Coach” might be.

In this journal there are three short lines to state Todays INTENTION.

The Daily Planner breaks the day into half hour segments, perfect for showing ACTION.

Daily Check-In seems the appropriate place for NON-IDENTIFICATION. It’s the place where I have nine lines in two columns – the first column to confess if I have accomplished all your goals today and what I might do differently tomorrow – the second column where I look deeper into how this aligns with what I aspire to be.

Self-Assessment for Today is unlined. It’s a place to be kind and gentle, give props to finish the task, and notice how good it feels to finish the task. COMPASSION goes here. Perhaps the unlined section inspires one to draw. So far, I have only written in this section. But I have been using colorful pens to complete these pages – just for fun.

But there is an added bonus with this InnerGuide journal. Little side note places: On My Mind… I Am Grateful for… Weekly Goal Reminder… and Unfinished Items. There is space for only tiny snippets in these boxes. Random thoughts tend to find their place there.

On top of this, there is a Daily Challenge and Staying on Track suggestions. I need those.

There you have it – I wrote for 20 minutes. It wasn’t memoir writing, but it was writing. I can feel good about that.

Rethinking and Nanowrimo

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Anyone who follows me must know by now that I’m forever seeking the next challenge. As we enter into advent, it’s a time of year for reflection and hope.  In honor of this quest ( #rethinkchurch #rethinkadvent ), we begin with the first word… HOPE. I’ll hope to finish this one but at the same time have the grace to accept days that might slip by without camera in hand.

I’m a bit disappointed that I am not able to complete my National Novel Writing Month challenge this year. There were just too many complications and obligations to find the time to write 1667 words each day. I’m ending Nanowrimo with a word count of 17,654. I’m okay with that. I’m not kicking myself into a deep hole and hiding out just because I didn’t complete something. That’s the way life goes.