Category Archives: Personal discovery

ST4S – Avoidance

theater-curtains-green-velvet-right-trompe-l-oeiltheater-curtains-green-velvet-left-trompe-l-oeilI’ve been avoiding you.

It’s not personal, believe me.  I’ve avoided most everyone lately.

My emotional plate has overflowed recently.  Some of it is because of the many things that tend to pile up around this time of the year by default.  A lot of it is a sense of foreboding that I cannot explain, but I’ve felt growing for several months now.  Some of it is seasonal changes.  Some of it has been being sick (the last two Wednesdays I’ve been pummeled with various “icks”).  Some of it is a sense of loss.  Some, a sense the world is spinning out of control…

And some of it is avoidance…  simple avoidance and escapism.

I’m sorry for that later.   But I’m still going to avoid you all for a few more days.

It’s personal.  But it’s not.

Walk Away

Walk Away (Photo credit: DavidB123)

Some Words Sunday — Sabbath Day

Rest Time

Rest Time

The term Sabbath has religious connotations to many.  Defined as the seventh (and last) day of the “First Week” when God rested after creating the Earth and Heavens, etc., the Sabbath is often observed with worship and rest to honor God’s gift to his people.

For me…  there are no religious connotations.  I do celebrate the eight sabbats of the pagan (Wiccan) calendar, but the end of a regular work week is not special beyond a chance to get more things done around the house.

So when I took a Sabbath Day today, I’m speaking metaphorically.  I did take a day of rest, but I did so for personal, not religious reasons.

I do think that taking rest days is a good thing for our spiritual selves.  We all hurry around so much these days, especially those of us with passions that we aspire to make into careers (writers and artists certainly but also others).  The business world keeps telling us to move faster, faster!  Time is money, and all that other nonsense…

Truth is, it can wait.  Most anything can wait except dire injury or extreme dehydration and starvation.

You didn’t get your book written today, and now the agent who was looking for it said you missed your chance?  Market it again.  Try again.  If your product is good enough, there will be an audience or a buyer out there.

You will get to the point you want to be at, eventually.  It might take a touch longer without that “break”, but you will do it.  In fact, the harder things are earlier on, perhaps the easier they might be in the long run.  A lot of people who took the early break had to do the uphill struggle later on in their careers when their agents or fans demanded a repeat performance of their first success.

It’s taken me some time to get to this point, time where I came to realize I was actually getting less done when I was pushing myself so hard to do it all.  Now, I’m taking that rest day every week.  It’s not always on Sunday.   Indeed, this week’s Sabbath was Friday.  This coming week, I suspect I’ll be taking my break day on Thursday.

Do you take a Sabbath Day?  If so, what made you do so?

ROW80 Check-in

It’s that time again….  Time for me to say “Ack!  I haven’t gotten much writing done!”

I haven’t.

After taking some time on Friday to rest, I looked at the state of affairs in my WIPs Saturday morning between fits of nausea and a migraine.  Perhaps not the best time to give one’s self a critical assessment given that nothing seemed worth doing, and all efforts felt suck-worthy.

It worked anyway.  I looked over what I’d been doing all month mostly as last month was such a complete bust from the many weeks of family flu-like ick.  Though I haven’t completely forsaken my writing, these past few weeks have been spent more in recouping and refilling than in producing and creating.  Indeed, this past week’s Friday Photo post was the first one where I felt like I was finally hitting my stride.  Wednesday’s post was the first one for a long time where I felt comfortable exploring a somewhat controversial issue and writing an opinion piece on it.

It’s almost the end of the month.

I’ve been reading ravenously lately.  Getting out and about for social events and photo opportunities has been huge for me.

All this activity fills the emotional, spiritual and creative wells…  and oddly enough, I didn’t realize how drained I’d allowed myself to become until I looked back and realized how much more full and at peace I was.  I still need to do more recovery, but now I feel sparks and direction again.  I’ve started to remember my dreams again.

You can’t imagine how relieved I am to have a sense of my dreams once more.

Anyway, that’s really about it.  I haven’t written much… two more handwritten pages since Wednesday.  I’ve dealt with my sponsor duties.  I had a lot of fun visiting not just ROW80 blogs, but also the blogs of the Thursday’s Children bloggers and more.  I learned about the WIPpet posts and will be changing the Wednesday theme from What’s With Wednesdays to WIPpet posts, as they will inspire me more to work on my stories.

I figured out a lot of things, and though I’m completely tanking on my CampNaNoWriMo wordcounts, I’m in a better place for the JuNoWriMo and August camps than before.

It’s been a good few days.  I even got all the laundry in the house done.  😉

Splash!

 

Some Words Sunday–Tag Lines

To short cut to the ROW80 check, click here.

We’re here to love each other, serve each other, and uplift each other.” — my morning Yogi tea tag line

I’m a huge fan of tag lines…  the kind one finds on the tea tags of certain brands of tea.  I started out (with my Nanny’s help) with Salada tags when I was about six years old.  She would save them in quart-size Mason jars for me, and when  visited, I would sort them by saying, reading them over and over.

Moment of Heaven

Moment of Heaven

Then I found Good Earth teas (I’m not a huge fan of their Original Blend–too sweet for my tastes) and indulged heavily in their Energizing Black tea with Maté and Citrus (yum!) for a time.  I also indulged in my passion for collecting tag lines, because Good Earth gave me a whole new selection of (sweet, sometimes trite) sayings to muse over.

It was after I broke my wrist last December and found that caffeine was causing me problems with my pain meds that I ended up finding my latest tea tag supplier–Yogi teas (yes, I know I could just spend time looking through a website or book of quotes, but the morning discovery is more than half the fun).  They have some wonderful caffeine-free flavors (tisanes and infusions really–since tea actually only comes from one plant, Camellia sinensis) that I’ve grown quite fond of.  If you want flavor recommendations, just ask… then remember to tell me to stop.  😉

(As a side note, I love the porcelain figurines in Red Rose tea too.  I’m not a collector, but I enjoy it when I get one from a family member or in a box.)

But WAIT!

This post isn’t about tea… Is it?  Well, in a sense, it is.  It’s about what tea is to me–connection and family, love and contentment.

My recent What’s With Wednesday post, despite the fact that it still feels like it needed to be written as it was, has left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I don’t like to read posts where people dwell on the ills they suffered in their youth, especially that harm done by those people who should love them most.  I don’t like to read books about child abuse and neglect (the reason I’m struggling through Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, despite his flair for words).  I don’t like to dwell on the negative.

It’s a power thing…  I hate the thought of giving power and credence to the horrible things we do to each other by speaking about them.  And I hate that I’ve written about them, both in an active sense in my blogs and a more passive sense in my fiction.

I hate it, but I also understand how therapeutic it has been for me to admit that bad things have happened and that not only have I survived but grown and improved… not despite the bad but sometimes because of it.

That said, it’s wrong to dwell on the negative.  Positive things are all around us, and they deserve equal, if not heightened, promotion in our lives.

I was not fair to my father at all in my Wednesday post.  No, Dad is not a perfect person.  Even now, Dad’s temper can be a challenge to deal with.  My own temper can be too, and I’ve witnessed myself acting like him too many times for comfort.

It doesn't go any further back for me than this

Family

But Dad is an amazing man in so many ways.  He is insatiably curious about the world; it’s from him that I discovered my love for Classical music, gained the courage to sing, and useful life skills like swimming and how to fix my car (I don’t own the equipment to rebuild an engine or do most automotive work these days, but it’s a rare issue that leaves me stranded for longer than a short trip for a supply or two).  I know Dad loved his role as a father, and he loves working with and being around kids.

Both Mom and Dad gave me a love of reading and words.

And they both also gave me my love of tea.  Iced tea was Mom’s gift.  Dad introduced me to the joys of brewed tea, not just tea bags, but the delight of watching balls of Chinese Gunpowder unfurl in hot water, of the many subtle flavors and nuances that one can achieve with different steeping times or waters.

Tea is comforting and delightful on its own, but it’s more for me.  My tea drinking might not reach the level of a true tea ceremony, but when I have tea with a friend, to me, it’s always the fifth cup.  It draws on the good things I grew up with and enhances them.

Tea reminds me of how much I love my parents.  And the tag line

ROW80 Check-In

The tea tag line at the beginning of the post also seems to be the theme for this ROW80 check-in.    It inspired my sponsor post, which will be posted some Monday during this ROWnd.  It’s the essence that encouraged me to become a sponsor; it’s the reason I found myself drawn not only to the ROW80 but also Kristen Lamb’s WANA Tribe.

Any creative person knows how hard it can be to work at an endeavor without knowing if his/her efforts will be appreciated by others.  But we do it anyway.  We have to–it’s our nature.

Communities, like the ROW80 and WANA, allow us to support and nurture each other.  And we’re uplifted when we bring another person up.  It’s the same power thing I mentioned above.  Bringing good things to the table is always more empowering than rehashing the bad.

Cafe OfficeThat doesn’t mean denying the bad.  It’s there, and it needs to be dealt with–but positively.

At least that’s what I think.

So along with the good in this post, let me acknowledge some bad.  Despite my choosing to do the April CampNaNo, I’ve taken two days off of writing fiction.  My wordcount is behind but not irrecoverably so.    When I wasn’t pondering the aforementioned sponsor post, I was taking time out to play Minecraft or spend time going to museums or on walks with my family.

I feel rested and rejuvenated.  I feel uplifted.  And I’ve gotten a bunch of exercise and reading done toward those goals as well.