A Place at the Table of New Ideas

The other day, I was playing a game with friends around a table where we had to guess the answers to a quiz – we were all equally clueless as to what the right answers might be. I made my choice and voluntarily offered my argument to the group for why I chose it.

A wonderful, witty friend laughed and simply said, “You’re full of shit!” Her intent wasn’t to hurt my feelings; she was teasing and hoping to get a laugh from me and the group. And, normally, she would have.

But this time I didn’t laugh. Instead I countered with, “How so? How am I actually ‘full of shit’ here?” Continue reading

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I Blame Christmas

The other day, I couldn’t reach my Dad.  He has Issues and I hadn’t seen him in a few months so I decided to check in to see if he would be free to catch up over dinner for the holidays.  But the number I have for him doesn’t seem to be good anymore (a bad sign). So, after I ran out of all the techniques I use to keep myself calm, I still ended up crying in the car on the way home from work.  I felt a little better after (I seem to do my most productive crying there) and finished the night with a couple glasses of wine and an early bedtime.

I thought it was over (why?) and the next night, on the way to a friend’s party, my boyfriend and I got lost and I nearly had a panic attack while trying to read addresses on darkened houses in the middle of the snow-filled street (turns out we were on the wrong street altogether).  I had a brandy when we got there and felt better.

But I blame Christmas nonetheless. Continue reading

Down the Rabbit Hole

The other day I told a male friend who I’ve known for many years that I’ve been writing fiction. I actually mentioned this to him once before and he didn’t really react (which is fine) so we didn’t discuss it further. Then this past Monday, he (we’ll call him Mitch) asked me how my weekend went and I said I was in Chicago for a writing conference.

“A what?” he said.

“A writing conference. I told you. I write fiction.”

“What? How long have you been doing that?” he said with alarm. Continue reading

Letting Go of Letting Go – My Seven Practical Rules for Better Peace of Mind

As I surf the Internet I often see many articles and posts on letting go. “Just let go”, “Let Go and Let God”. These are nice sentiments, but I always prefer actual practical advice on how to do so – so here’s my own personal short list:

  1. The right things will come to you when you are ready for them – not before.
  2. Not everyone is supposed to like you and you aren’t entitled to an endless stream of applause.
  3. You can’t have expectations of others and accept them for who they really are at the same time.
  4. No one belongs to you. People belong to themselves and to the greater scheme. You and the rest of the world get to share them for a little while.
  5. When in doubt, just say you’re sorry. It’s probably your fault and if it is, at this point, what’s one more error on top of the pile? If it’s not, well that was your good karmic deed for the day.
  6. You can’t actually “let go” – it’s not in your nature – you can however practice letting go every day and as you do so, you’ll find you feel a little better about things.

And finally…

7. You are a tiny primate residing on a little planet that is teaming with other life forms. This planet spins by itself and then spins around a sun with a small group of other planets in one solar system among many on the outer edge of one galaxy in a near-endless universe. There is very little you are in charge of – so just try to enjoy ride!

The Fog That Lifts

Every now and then I go through a gray period.

This isn’t like a depression, more like a fog that settles around me making things obscure and blocking out some of the light. I can’t really tell you when they begin or end or exactly how many come per year but I estimate there are about three or four of them annually.

I don’t always know why they come and I think that’s part of the reason they are so difficult to get rid of. In addition, sometimes I don’t even know they are happening, except that I feel tired and my writing motivation is poor, my creativity sucks and work just seems like a bigger drag in general.

If they’re especially not good, I might withdraw more, avoid seeing people and just focus on spending more comfort-time alone, reading, watching movies and waiting. I have no idea if this is the right approach but it always seems more obligatory. For example, if you stopped over and said, “Ok! We are getting you out of this! Let’s go out!” it wouldn’t work. They seem to operate on their own terms.

The latest one came on about three weeks ago. I have a feeling it was due mainly to a big change that was coming. Continue reading