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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

It occurred to me in the shower this morning that I am paralyzed by fear. Stuck stock still, feet set in concrete. I’m scared out of my mind. And here is what I am afraid of: that I will never change. That I will always be wondering where my motivation is hiding. Wondering what my problem is–blaming the stagnant patterns in my life on OCD, or depression, or my childhood, or something else external that I have no control over (my sister’s death…). Scared to death that if I start something–anything–that I will just run out of motivational gas and go back to wondering when my life is going to change. I have started and fizzled out so many times–the memories of pushing off and heading out full speed only to fail and stop lay on top of each other in my head like a pile of unmovable rocks–heavy and unyielding.

The other obvious related bullet I’m trying to dodge is failure. I haven’t written on here because I’ve been so fearful of having nothing to say. A friend of mine over at Snarkington Post told me wisely on facebook the other day: “Blog about being blog-blocked.” Good advice. Of course the conversation started because her sister, my dear friend, told me gently (and I quote) “Update your blog you wiener!” I would link to HER blog, but she too has been on hiatus (wiener!).

So I guess that is what I’m doing. I’m just going to start and be boring and make mistakes and sound stupid. I found this super inspiring blog yesterday by Christine Kane. Her tagline is Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous. I love that. Especially because I’m in need of some courage. She wrote this great post about taking imperfect action. How taking action–however imperfect–is better than taking no action at all. Which is where I have been hiding. Where it is safe (but boring and terribly unsatisfying…)

I want to look my fear in the eye and not flinch. I want to roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders and just dismiss it.

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I have a teeny tiny problem with perfectionism. If I can’t do it perfectly, (I tell myself) I can’t do it. So projects pile up, clutter collects and my life goes from order to disorder in a blink. I have journal entries dating back to 1997 that say the same thing: why can’t I get my crap together? What’s wrong with me? Do I need a professional organizer? Should I pay someone else to clean my house? Why does life feel so hard for me??? (Haven’t I written this blog entry before…)

I’ve tried all kinds of house systems and ordered all kinds of de-clutter organizing books. I joined Flylady.com and bought a Bubble Planner. I’ve asked everyone I know: what works for you? How do you manage kids/house/stuff? Because I seem to suck at it. Even just as recently as last week, I went on an info spree and spent 5 hours (over the span of a few days) on the internet researching organization and productivity and housekeeping. Oh. and how to stop procrastinating. Years and years have gone by while I have tried to find the answer.

I was watching Kung Fu Panda with Sadie when I had my aha moment. Po’s dad finally reveals the secret to his best-selling noodle soup: ‘there is no secret ingredient.’ Then it dawned on me: I have everything that I need within me already. I haven’t been trusting myself. I’ve been beating myself up for not ‘succeeding.’ But what does success even mean? For me, doing something is better than the overwhelmed NOTHING I have been doing. So I decided to change my expectations of myself. Instead of a job well done, I’m going to settle for a job done half-assed. At least it’s done.

So I came up with a Plan for Half-Assed Success. I will add one or two things to my schedule and do them every day until I don’t notice I’m doing them anymore. I will write said one or two things in my planner every day and then highlight them when I’ve completed them. So last week I put in my planner: ‘make bed as soon as you get up,’ and ‘unload the dishes while Sadie eats breakfast.’ I was already doing these things sporadically–so it wasn’t earth-shattering to add them into my life. By the way,  I’m using the words ‘planner’ and ‘schedule’ loosely– I started using a planner at the beginning of January (a cheapy one from Walmart), and by ‘schedule’ I mean ‘the random stuff I do at random times in my life.’ So I did it. I wrote those two things down every day and highlighted them when I finished them. So YAY me! I will celebrate the small successes along the way: I now have unloaded the dishes AND made my bed all of last week and today.

My mom used to say ‘you don’t get praised for stuff you should already be doing…’ but I’m going to disagree with her. I made my bed and I ROCK! (I love you, Mom :))

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Since I’m beyond remembering what was significant about the post I lost, I’ll just move on. I haven’t been posting for awhile because 1) I’ve been wheezy sick. If I laugh a little bit, I sound like I’ve been smoking for 100 years (and I don’t smoke, except for that one time in college when we were around the campfire and the guys were smoking old-man pipes and reading poetry and being all literary and I took teeny puff–awful putrid stuff–but the guys thought they were so cool at the time…) ANYWAY, I looked up symptoms of pneumonia but as is customary for me, I’m jumping to the worst possible conclusion and really what I have is a lingering cold/cough that half of my town has, so I just should get over myself and stop worrying about the fact that I’ve never been able to spit. I’m serious. I couldn’t hork to save my life. I think it has to do with my irrational fear of throwing up. It is kind of in that same category to me. And I’ve heard that if you have pneumonia, you have to get all that gunk out of your lungs somehow and I’ve been wondering what on earth I’m going to do. I know this is totally gross, and isn’t your body supposed to know how to get the stuff out? Maybe it’s because I didn’t have brothers or something, but every time I try to work up to spitting, my throat closes and I swallow automatically.  Sorry. I hope you weren’t eating.

The number 2) reason I haven’t posted in a while is because it’s spring  break around here, and for this family, that means House Project Time! We have our tax refund money and are in the process of repainting, reflooring and DE-cluttering. In the past two days, Dan has painted the entire living room, dining room, entryway, and main hallway. Including primer and two colors: a lovely cafe latte/cream combo. Thanks to Trish over at Simple Pink for her mad consulting skills, we are on our way to a brand new space. Seriously. She could run one of those shows where the experts go in and look at your space and find stuff somewhere else in your house and make these simple suggestions that you would have NEVER thought of in your life, and BAM. Your house is amazing on a budget. I have long despised my hideous couch, and Trish suggested to switch it out for the cool-looking futon that we have in our spare bedroom. Why didn’t I think of that? It looks incredible in the living room. So we’re really on a roll. And the computer has been down so Dan can paint, and now since he’s done, we’re up and running again. Oh, and also, Trish found a great little computer desk in our garage. Dan had all of his oil changing stuff on this old wooden thing that we’ve had forever, and she said “hey, that would be a great little computer desk.” Oh. MY. Word. It changes the whole look of the living room. She’s amazing, that one.  Thanks again, Trish!!

So to sum up: wheezing, obsessing and redecorating.

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Storytime

So on Wednesdays I go to Sadie’s school, and after helping her teacher with copying or laminating or cutting or stapling or whatever a Kindergarten teacher needs, I read the class a story. It’s a blast to go in there because all the kids know me, and they joyfully ram me from all sides with their sticky exuberance. They actually form a line to hug me. I see these cute little boys who in, like, two years, will be too cool to show any emotion, and I just cherish it. Five and six year olds are PRECIOUS. They all want to show me what they are working on, and they shove books into my hands so I can read ‘their’ book to the class. Of course Sadie gets a bit possessive of me, and has to sit DIRECTLY on my lap when I’m reading the story, which poses a slight logistical problem. I have to hold the book out around her, make sure SHE sees the pictures first (she gets VERY offended if I show the class the pictures before she gets to see them…) and then turn the pages with my arms out almost straight. But they are the BEST audience. They laugh in all the right places and gasp on cue. I’m all dramatic doing crazy voices and dramatic pauses and wild hand gestures.

This week I got the idea that I would bring in a Charlie and Lola book. For those of you who don’t spend 7 hours a day with the Disney Channel as background noise, Charlie and Lola is this great British cartoon about a big brother who has to take care of his precocious little sister. Go to the link, their accents are CHARMING. So Sadie loves the books, and when I read them to her, I automatically do them in a British accent. “The class will love this,” I thought to myself. You know when an idea sounds good in your head, but when you actually carry it out, you wish you would have thought it through a bit more? Turns out my ‘British’ accent is not so good apparently.

I figured most of the kids would get it, since this age group lives for the Disney channel, and would be familiar with these two English kids. So I tell the class by way of a grand introduction that I will be reading in this accent just like the show. But when I started reading they all looked at me with these puzzled faces. I heard myself then, and realized that the accent wasn’t working AT ALL. I panicked. I got all hot, and then my face went red and I stuttered a little with the words and all the while, they just looked at me with their heads tilted to the side and their little eyebrows furrowed. Suddenly I was aware that there was a new student teacher in the class, also looking at me quizzically. My mind was racing: do I commit to the awful accent? Do I try to drop it slowly? Do I quit cold turkey?

I decided to commit. I finished it out but I don’t think one kid understood what I said. Of course then I obsessed about it, and replayed the whole awful business in my head over and over again. Let it go, Let it go I kept saying to myself afterward, They are Kindergarteners for pete’s sake. So much for being dramatic 🙂

Note to self: stay on this side of the Pond, please.

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It!

Caroline over at Rainbow’s Start and End tagged me and here are the rules:
Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Post 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
Tag 7 people and link to them.
Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Seven Random or Weird Facts About Me:

  1. Tight shirts make me cranky. I hate having anything up against my armpits.
  2. I wasn’t that sad when my dog died.
  3. When I was little, my imaginary friends were Jesus, Laura Ingalls and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. The three of us used to ride bikes. 
  4. When I moved to Arkansas, I didn’t believe in chiggers. (I thought they were like Santa, or the Tooth Fairy) Then I sat in a nest of them and got 28 itch-my-skin-to-the-bone welts.
  5. I was the Hula-Hoop champion of my block when I was 8. I beat out a thirteen year old.
  6. I never learned to parallel park.
  7. I am not friends with Math. I can’t remember my times tables, do fractions or figure out percentages.

Here are the seven people I shall tag:

Rock on friends!
 

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All Hail the New Laptop

laptop.jpg

Merry Christmas to me! After pining for five years for a new laptop (my old one was the 1997 Toshiba on the right–weighed like 60 lbs…) I have a new Gateway. We got this super secret in-store sale email from WalMart (don’t even know how we got on that mailing list…) but it said that the very next day, they were selling 5 Gateway Notebooks for–here’s the miracle–$398.00. Dan, the love of my life, went to WalMart at 7:15 to get in line for the 8:00am sale. I love him sooo much. He HATES standing in lines for sales. You know, the whole pushing and shoving and Oklahoma Land Rush thing that happens at Christmas time. But he knew HOW MUCH I wanted a laptop. And HOW LONG I’d been wanting one. (Of course, he was probably just sick of me talking about it…)

He called me at 7:45 and said “I’m second in line…you’re getting a laptop!!”

Now all my dreams will come true.

(p.s We win for Ugliest Couch Ever. It is super comfy though…)

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I have decided that I’m ok even if I don’t make a schedule for housekeeping. Even if I don’t swish out the toilet every day or vaccum on Tuesdays, I am still a fine person. When did I get it in my head that my housekeeping ability equaled my worth as an individual? It is about time I look at myself and say Just because I do it differently (or not at all…) doesn’t mean I am a failure.

I have given myself permission to follow the House Muse. I’m just going to wait until I damn well feel like it, that’s what. But hold on there missy, says an evil voice inside my head, If you wait until you FEEL like doing something, you’ll never clean the bathroom.

HA! I say to that evil voice, I CLEANED MY BATHROOM YESTERDAY!

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