I Give Up

Love is a funny thing. Some people jump in with both feet. They are more than satisfied not knowing what will happen. Some people wade in slowly, testing the waters and then easing in a little bit at a time as their comfort grows. 

Me? I swan dive. Face first. Every time. Sometimes that water can be pretty shallow and I wind up nursing my injuries. But other times, the water is so deep, you wish you could hold your breath forever. And just as quickly as I dove in, I can jump back out if the temperature changes.

When I have a job, I’m absorbed. I do everything I can picking up tasks the second the first is finished. I find things to do that no one knew needed to be done. I organize. I clean up. Then I try to make things easier or better. And if I work from home, I am a slave to the “one more minute” theory. It’ll just take me one more minute to finish this email. Two hours later, I’m still working. 

Books. I devoured books as a kid. Then there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t read at all. I like to refer to this as the zombie-parenting era. In the past few years, I’ve picked them up again. My bookshelves are overflowing. My husband is complaining. Thankfully, he bought me an ereader or I would start stashing them in any open space. 

This is me. I get addicted. I obsess. 

The good news is…I know it. 

We try to hide the characteristics we don’t like. We deny them. We don’t let them come out. But I find that the more I discover about myself, the more I have to find a way to like that quality. Somewhere along the line I stopped trying to fight my personality and now I work with it. I no longer try to change everything, I embrace it.

There is only so much you can change. There are certain aspects of ourselves that are simply rooted in our personality. Figure them out. Learn about yourself. And then see the positive. 

If you are told to build a cabinet, it’s easy if you have wood, nails and a  hammer. But if all you are given is some dinner plates and a hot glue gun, you’re going to have to figure out a new plan. 

MacGyver did it. So can you. 

 

 

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Hooray for Monday?

I realize that usually everyone hates Mondays. I’m generally one of them. 

But, this week, I can’t wait for Monday. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Monday.

Why? What spurred this moment of insanity?

A JOB.

A real, “get dressed nice and go to the office” job. Thanks to a call from a temp agency, I have a new opportunity for the next few weeks. They called last week with an opportunity at a nearby company. One that I had been applying to for the last few months. The company is being bought by another and is in need of a few extra hands to make some changes to their system. After a quick group interview last week, I was approved to start work tomorrow. 

It feels weird. I’m overly excited about it. I already have my outfit picked out. 

I am so thrilled to get to work that I already have these grand plans in my head that I’ll be their star employee and want to hire me for a permanent position. 

Too ambitious? 

Who cares? I’m going to work. And I’m going to work my butt off. Then I shall report back to the Twitterverse to report my success. 

Having a job is something we have all taken for granted at one point or another. Those days when you felt you were beaten down, defeated or just too exhausted. The times that you spent well over 40 hours toiling away even when you weren’t getting paid for it. Even the times that you simply did not feel like getting up in the morning.

But, for those of us who have been searching endlessly for a job and submitting resume after resume only to get another rejection form letter in our email boxes, Monday seems like a pretty good day. 

 

 

Ramblings

~Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.

~ The Adjustment Bureau

This movie gets my wheels turning. What I like most is that it can be interpreted in different ways. I’m not particularly religious and while this movie hints at a nondescript divination, it doesn’t necessarily make that the focus. The focus is more on choosing your own path and it stirs me in so many ways. And watching Matt Damon and Emily Blunt together, I think they made a surprisingly convincing argument as a believable pair of regular people finding that intangible “something” in each other. The type of connection that is brilliantly clear from the first few moments and couldn’t, or shouldn’t be severed.

Love or no love, choose your own path. Make your own roads. View things from your own perspective and if you don’t like what you see, change your course. Whether you believe that your life is predetermined or not, you do have the power to make your own decisions and even if they don’t turn out the way you want, there are many other turns in the journey ahead that can lead to what you are looking for. Or better yet, what you didn’t know you were looking for.

The One Where I’m an Idiot

I’m an idiot.

Okay, in reality, my trying to foster the right type of mood for the writing I was working on was headed in the right direction. I consider myself pretty self-aware and know what changes my moods. Like my sister and a good friend both mentioned in the comments, music can be very influential. I couldn’t agree more. Music has soothed my soul for as long as I can remember. Even before I can remember if you want to go by my mother’s account of the excitement I expressed when John Denver would come over the radio.

On Monday I was way too chipper. The weather was sunny and fairly warm. I had lots of errands to take care of and the day went way too well for me to flip the switch to somber. Tuesday didn’t look any better. I was starting to hunt for the right CDs to edge me into a darker tone. Maybe I could draw the blinds and eliminate some of that glorious sunlight. 

And then…

Then the rain came. The gray, chilly rain. This seemed promising.

You might be wondering where I realize I’m an idiot. It’s about to happen.

I put on my favorite sweatpants. I make a cup of tea. I grab a blanket and the remote and get comfortable on the sofa. I found a movie on the Sundance channel that I had missed once before and as I watched, felt the clouds gathering over my head. Then it hit me…MOVIES. All my life I have wanted to act or have some involvement in the entertainment industry. Just like reading a book, you are watching a story unfold in front of your eyes. Your emotions are manipulated by what you are seeing and hearing. When I leave a movie theater, I feel like I was a character. My mood is fully enveloped in what I’ve experienced.

How did I not think of this first?

Between the rain and the movie, I felt myself sliding down a slippery slope to gloom. I opened my laptop and the words started to flow. New ideas struck in intervals along the way; the lightning that sparked my character into motion. It felt good to get all those scattered thoughts I had been having come to fruition.

I’m not sure if I’ll have to wait to be wholly inspired to work on this piece again, but at least I know what can nudge me into the right state of mind now. The facepalm from not using what I’m so passionate about in the first place was enough to knock  the sense into me. 

 

Brewing a Storm

Recently, I started writing something I didn’t expect to write. I was thinking and my thoughts seemed like an nightmarish movie playing in my head. I wanted to get rid of it so I did what I do to cleanse my thinking palate, I put it on paper….well, sort of. My thoughts poured out out of my fingertips, furiously typing to drain the storm cloud over my head. When I finished, I had what seemed like a few pages of a good idea for a book. 

Rainstorm Over the Sea by John Constable

I tucked it away in my documents folder for another rainy day. It’s been a few weeks and lately I’ve been feeling anxious to work on it. More ideas have been stirring on how to shape it and where it will all lead. The inspiration is brewing, but what I really need is another storm.

Every day brings different emotions in varying depths. Whether I’m up or down or pensive or dreamy shapes how my writing develops. However, never have I intentionally looked for a dark mood to come to create an intensive writing environment. This week will be my trial. In the past few years, I’ve made it a habit to wake up deciding to be happy. So, this week, I’ll decide to be sad. Sad and morbid with my heart heavy.

It’s a path I haven’t taken before, but I’m interested to see its effects on my project and my life. It should be a strange week, but hopefully a productive one.

I’d love some advice from other writers on how you “get in the mood” to write darker pieces.

Know Your Story, Know Yourself

My blogging has dwindled because my writing has dwindled. I have put everything on hold to find a steady job instead. Notice I say steady because freelance really isn’t when you’re a novice. However, to help myself, I asked for a voice recorder for Christmas which I’m dying to use. My husband though he was buying me a device to help me remember things like grocery items. Bless his heart.

Why would I be so practical?

My objective was to be able to be more free in my writing. It’s been difficult to allow myself time to write when I have other priorties looming. When I finally find time to sit and focus, I have to hope that I’ll be exorbitantly inspired in those few moments and hammer out some thrilling work. I think it’s safe to say we all know that inspiration has no intention of being convenient.

My brain would rather write as I speak, so this recorder could be the key to me producing more organic writing. I can carry it in my purse and whenever an idea arises, I push one button and blather on until I’ve gotten it all out. Then when the time comes to sit down and write, I already have the material. All that’s left to do is transcribe. It may be more work in the end, but I think it’s a smart way to get more quality writing.

Discovering the ins and outs of what works for you is integral to creating successful writing. As writers, we get to know our characters or topics or plots, but we should never neglect to get to know more about ourselves. There are factors that we can manipulate to get the best from ourselves like the time of day we work best, or what our environment includes. A quiet room or a park bench can have different influences on what we are working on. Realizing that a voice recorder could help me get my ideas down sooner should be a big help to my time management.

Now I just have to find the time to learn how to use it.

Anti-Resolutions

I’m not really a New Year’s resolution maker. I never have been. I don’t like the pressure of assigning tasks and having people ask if I’m keeping up with them. It’s none of their business if I’m losing weight or being nicer to people than I was last year.

However, the insanity that we designate as “the holiday season” always makes my life a tornado of activity and I forget what my daily routine used to be. So, when the new year has arrived and the gifts are put away, I take a look at what I need to do with myself. “Setting goals” sounds much more promising than “keeping resolutions” to me. And since I have already assigned myself to a path of self-improvement, adding some new goals doesn’t seem like such a chore.

This past year, I read 25 books. I decided that’s not enough. The amount of books I want to read is astronomically high. As in, I really hope I can read in the afterlife or I will never read them all. This year, 35 sounds pretty good. I’d like it to be higher, but I think being realistic is more important at this point.

Continuing my exercising and eating habits is in the plan, of course. I’ve been successful with it, so let’s keep that on the clipboard as a “to do”.

I think my biggest goal ahead of me is better time management. I’ve always been so good at it professionally. It’s one of my best attributes. I need to apply that talent to my everyday life at home. I get the important things done, but I don’t seem to allow enough time for the things I want to do. More reading, more writing, more blogging, more fun time with my kids…all of which I feel like I push to the side for things like dishes and laundry. Balance is important to maintaining happiness. Not just your happiness, but that of your family, too. The people around you will be better off if you are content with the life you are living. And who doesn’t want to make the people they love happy, right?

By the way, thanks for coming by again. I know I’ve neglected this page, but I’m thrilled to return and keep it up. I’ll keep coming back if you will. And while you’re here, let me know what your “anti-resolutions” are for the year.