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.

Pushing Boundaries

Let’s just ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in ages. Deal?

Deal.

Moving on…

I’ve been trying to push the boundaries of my comfort zones in different aspects of my life. With any task, I can usually go only so far and pinball around in my own small space of familiarity. I ricochet off the same ideas over and over. But, how long before I hit TILT?

I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a chameleon. I take bits of what I see and know to help myself evolve. The problem is, I’m not finding my own way. When I recently started a project journal, I decided to stop allowing the lined pages confine me. I’m varying the size of my print, the margins and using words to carve pictures. For every little step across a line, I feel a little more liberated. And also a bit more inspired.

Creativity is something I always envy in others. Whether it’s writing, art, cooking, fashion, anything really. I’m always thinking, I wish I had that ingenuity. Now, I do think that this is not always a learned thing. Some people are just born with that door open. However, I don’t like limits and I do believe that you can be taught, conditioned, to a certain degree.

So this is my current self-improvement project. Pushing my boundaries. Letting my brain forget about common practices and finding what works for me. I’m hoping to pick up some forgotten art projects to give me a push in the right direction. That was actually one of my wants in a previous post. And as an update, numbers 2 through 7 I’m doing well with. I’m still working on 1 and 8.

Even if your goal is to write, exercising your mind in other areas helps you branch out. If I can pick up an old craft project, I can look at it and see how to make it better. I can dig in and clip here, add there. The same goes for my writing. Editing is like pruning the rose bush. Or adding a red stripe to that abstract painting. And the more I push my creativity, the better that final product is going to be.

*Please feel free to share how you boost your creativity in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Done Waiting

It was 2 weeks ago that I posted about how I need to step up my game. In writing and in life.

So, did I do anything? Am I all talk and no walk?

Yes, I did and no, I’m not.

Wait…you get that, right?

I started with a movie. I took myself to the movies. I went to a matinee to see Hangover 2. There were about ten other people in the theater, so I got to stretch out and get comfortable. (I’d like to add that matinee is prime time because if you heard a whole theater laughing, you may have missed half of the jokes as they were layered in one after another.) While I usually bring my own snacks in my oversized purse….ssshhhh!…this time I bought myself a snack and drink there. Hey, if no one else is gonna splurge on me, why don’t I do it? I spent two hours in worry-free bliss, relaxing and laughing.

A few days later, I treated myself to some new summer clothes. Nothing extravagant, but a few bright colored things from Old Navy perked me up a bit.

This week, I took my kids to the local zoo. Not a big city zoo, but a local one where we can still walk around and enjoy the day outside. The kids had a great time and I was at ease allowing them to run around and watching them ooh and aah at every little creature.

Tuesday. Tuesday was a big day. I took my son to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My quest to spend more time in the city has begun. A bit nervous on the drive in, we made it there with no problem. I only freaked out mildly when I found out I couldn’t park in the usual parking lot in front of the building.

WHERE DO I GO?!!

Street parking…ugh. We found a spot, and the bonus? I didn’t have to pay for parking. Score one for me.

And even though the residual effects of the stress tainted my stomach for the next two hours, I managed to suck it up and make the most of the day with my son. We strolled. We admired. We wondered. He received several compliments on his hat; he has a fedora he loves to wear. There’s something elating about seeing your child beam at random compliments. We even marveled at our favorite room…The Armor Room.

All in all, I think I’m on the right track. The past two weeks gave me a boost and I feel like some life has been breathed back into…well…my life. I’m definitely going to take myself to the movies more often. And finding things to do outside with the kids will be a priority, as well. There are a bunch of playgrounds nearby. Maybe that will be next week’s fun.

What are YOU doing to live a little more? Let me know!

All’s Fair in Love and Exes

It may be that my iPod hit too many Alanis Morrisette songs the other day, or maybe it was one of those mushy quotes that I read on Twitter.  Either way, I thought it would be theraputic to let go of some old ex-boyfriend baggage and look for the lessons I’ve learned from them.  In my journey of making my life right, I’ve continually reaffirmed my happiness by counting my blessings.  So, I decided the ill wills that may have laid dormant in the back of my mind needed to be cleaned out.  The more I pondered it, the more I realized each one held some valuable lessons whether it was a good or bad relationship.  In order to protect the innocent, and guilty, I’ll simply number them in chronological order with just a first initial.  No names will be shared…lucky for them.

#1-J:  Dating should be fun

Being friends after a break up is possible

Never “re-date” after a break up

#2-S:  Don’t stay in a relationship just to have a relationship

Know when you are done and end it

Being respectful of someone’s family counts

#3-J:  Listen to your instincts

Consider your friends’ advice

Friends who care will show it when it counts

#4-J:  Communication is key

Anger is not worth holding on to

Two wrongs don’t make a right

Be yourself

#5-M:  Know who you are

Stand up for yourself

An argument is okay, a fight is not

Music can be a therapist

Spirituality can be healing

You deserve better than you think

#6-R:  Some people deserve better than you

Don’t be suspicious of being treated well

Learn to recognize when someone genuinely cares

Trust is precious

Never say never (see boyfriend #1)

#7-M:  Soulmates exist

Timing is everything

Fight for what you want

Broken hearts will eventually mend (even if it takes years)

#8-T:  Fun doesn’t equal serious relationship

Figure out what you want from the other person and TELL THEM

Never return to bad habits

#9-M:  Trust is necessary

Even though you might grow up, it doesn’t mean they will

Have faith in yourself and your strength

Children change everything

No one ever said dating was easy.  I never assumed it.  I just never thought that the day I got married would be the day I could shake off all those old feelings and pack them away.  We are approaching our fifth anniversary in October and I’m glad that I have finally realized that the lessons I have learned from the past have guided me into a truly happy marriage.  I wouldn’t trade any of the heartache I experienced because it made me who I am today.

 

I Hate Exercise

It’s true.  I totally hate exercising.  It’s exhausting.  It makes my body hurt.  After I’m done, I have to sit down for 20 minutes to let the endorphins settle.  I can’t even eat afterwards or else I’ll feel sick.  Yet, I just keep doing it…

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned how I had some health issues in the beginning of the year.  Well, as part of making “my life right”, this is something I needed to work on.  Sometime around March, I decided to take back my health and start exercising and being more careful of how I eat.  Ever since, I have been working out at least 5 times a week.  I started with a nice easy yoga workout that I found on my cable on demand menu.  When I started to feel like my muscles were holding up, I added a Jillian Michaels workout once or twice a week.  I try to fit in a bike ride or a walk whenever I can.  Additionally, I make more trips up and down the stairs on purpose for an extra benefit. 

With no particular weight goal in mind, I started losing the pounds that have still lingered three years after having my daughter.  Twenty pounds later, I’m feeling healthier and stronger.  Most days I have more energy, but on the days that I don’t, I don’t feel so bad about being lazy because I work so hard the rest of the week. 

So, what’s the point, you ask.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  I despise turning on the TV and working out.  I dread having the sore muscles and losing a half hour of my day so that I can collapse in a heap of sweat.  I finally found workouts that I can tolerate.  My body is under my control again.  The pounds have started disappearing and I feel better about my health and about the way I look.  More confidence = feeling even better.  And because of the daily endorphin rush, I’m happier.  Happier even though I’m doing something that I don’t want to do.  Weird, right?

This month, I’m adding Tae Bo workouts….look out!

Moving On

So, I am working on de-stressing these days and getting my focus back into career mindedness.  It seems amazing to me the amount of housework one finds that needs to be done when faced with being home all day every day.  I sometimes wonder how I got any of it done when I was working for eight or more hours a day during the week. 

In preparing to search for a job, I find myself looking for work much more obscure than I have ever ventured into before.  It is obviously not easy to create a career out of thin air, but there are so many more open doors than there were ten years ago when I started at my previous job.  Now I can spend hours researching on the computer to find something I feel passionate about. 

Recently, I find myself searching intently for opportunities to work from home.  While this was something I did for a company that allowed me a laptop to work on, it’s a lot different to look for a job with this specific quality as first priority.  And if working at home is something you seek, you must be diligent in evaluating the validity and integrity of the positions to find. 

I have decided I will continue to press on.  I am going to find a way to continue to write.  Whether it’s articles, books or something like site content, it is all appealing to me.  Being able to put my words in print seems to be my ultimate goal.