People in Funny Hats

Staring out the window on a car ride I saw a man and a woman, both of a more mature age, talking. I imagined they are neighbors, standing at their property lines, engaged in the ordinary conversation of “how is so-and-so” and “did you ever get that window fixed?” They stood in what looked like clothing appropriate for yard work with gloves and funny hats included. The kind of hats found in the gardening section of a store with loud patterns and wide brims to provide shade from the bright sun.

And as I glimpse these people for this one moment in passing, I think about how with each year we age, we become a little more comfortable in life.  A little more at ease with who we are. We discover a little more. We accept a little more. Maybe we do it at different paces, but it happens.

This image of the two of them relaxed and chatting gave me a vision of the years to come. Years of enjoying the time I have, doing things that I love and absorbing the joy of the people around me.

Years of wearing funny hats.

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.

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!

Get Inspired

Trying to get inspired is proving to be more tough than I thought it would be.  I’ve been exploring different television shows and movies attempting to stimulate my mind visually.  Reading new books in any topic to spark my imagination.  I have even engulfed myself in decorating our new home to get my creativity flowing again.  The good news is, my mind has flooded with ideas.  The bad news, I don’t know what to do with them all. 

I am definitely well aware of my interests, but I am having difficulty deciding how to focus them.  I love the entertainment industry, enjoy the evolution of fashion, follow current trends, I even did stand up comedy once.  Now, how do I mix this with writing?  Do I try to become a critic?  Write analytical pieces on the latest happenings?  It would be opinionated and hopefully quick witted.  How about a book?  I also love design and organization topics.  I am an excellently smart shopper and could provide insightful tips on how to purchase items that are not only right for you, but how to save money doing it.  Then again, I have quite a bit of accumulated advice about how to live a happy life.

Where do I go from here?  Gather multiple writings about multiple topics?  With the social media world developing so fast, I could use that to promote my writings.  My biggest question is, how to find a singular direction?  And quite frankly, do I have to decide singularly?  How do you break into an industry that requires experience and extensive credentials?  With any luck, I’ll find an unlocked door to stick my foot in.  I truly believe that everyone should be able to do what they love.  Every person should be able to wake up in the morning and look forward to working.

A Few of My Favorite Things

I am surprised to admit that spring cleaning is actually an enjoyable experience for me.  Here are a few things that I look forward to during and after the clean up:

1.  Replacing flannel sheets with lighter linens.  Slipping into them at night feels cool and comfortable as the heat turns up outside.

2.  Opening all the windows in the house.  There’s nothing like fresh air blowing in to make you breathe in a little deeper.

3.  Cleaning out my car.  Giving the windows and interior a thorough cleaning almost makes it feel new again.

4.  Getting rid of clutter for a yard sale.  What’s better?  More space, or the thought of a little cash in your pocket? 

5.  Giving the dog a bath.  Let’s face it, she may be cute, but she’s kinda smelly. 

Spring is always related to renewal and I truly believe the warm fresh air does wonders for our winter cabin fevers.  I know the minute I can open the windows in the house, I feel like new life has been brought into my home and my family.  It’s as refreshing as walking out on a warm day to feel the sun on your face and a light breeze at your back.