Life

Building daily habits

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Back in September, I started a daily journaling exercise called the 6-Minute Diary. The basic outline is that for three minutes in the morning you answer three items:

  • Three things to be grateful for
  • A couple of sentences on how to make the day great
  • A positive affirmation

At the end of the day you complete three more exercises:

  • Your good deed for the day
  • How you’ll improve
  • Three great things you experienced that day

I just passed the critical juncture (66 days according to research cited by the author of this book) for establishing a solid habit. This is 66 days of positive thinking first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed. I have to say it works for me and makes my days a little more meaningful. I have to put thought into my daily good deed. I have to think about how I can do better tomorrow. Even on a bad day, there have to be three good things.

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Life

Synchronicity

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The term synchronicity shows up early on in week three of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (which I am currently halfway through!) and she likens them to answered prayers (which she says are scary). She tells you to be on the lookout for them every week there on out. One minute you are wishing, praying for something and the next thing you know, it’s right there. A weird coincidence. I don’t think synchronicity is scary but I’m not always paying attention for it either. A couple weeks ago it bowled me over.

If you have been following along these last several months, you might recall I have been unemployed since early January. I had a few weeks before unemployment benefits would kick in and from there I would have 26 weeks to find another job. I scanned the job listings casually at first, looking for a good fit. I was steering away from marketing jobs which I’d been doing for the last fifteen years, wanting something a little different. I also wanted to work part-time so I could spend more time writing. What is out there that fits this description? Retail, service jobs, low paying jobs. I am cool with less money but after thirty years of work history, I didn’t want something at minimum wage level. This is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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Writing

Holding onto Fall

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Ambling through a breezy park, the day is brisk
and nearly empty of others like you,
hoping to catch Fall by her tail, to keep her a bit longer.

The colors have faded or dropped to the ground
allowing sunshine into the thick wooded part of the path,
as though nature were opening herself to you.

Further along, the geese are taking in their last moments
at the foot of the man-made pond,
a last bite before they move along to destinations south.

 

Who will be left in a month when the temperatures
fall further and the fish sink to the bottom of the pond
where they’ll wait out the long winter, dreams of children with their crumbs of bread?

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MC

Writing

Surviving a week without books or media

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My week of reading deprivation ended on Tuesday night and while parts of it didn’t seem so bad (staying off social media for the week), there were other things that were so so hard, particularly when it came to no reading. The ban which is part of Week 4 of The Artist’s Way, a 12 week course in finding your higher creativity, included not only reading but television, YouTube, podcasts, visiting web sites, Netflix, movies – virtually anything that included being exposed to someone else’s ideas. I was able to listen to music, although I kept that to instrumental pieces and it was truly a godsend.

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Clearing

Skipping Through Time

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Creating my artist’s space, a week 4 Artist’s Way task

Day one of my no reading/digital media challenge, otherwise known as reading deprivation week, found me up in our loft determined to clear away the clutter that has been building over the years. This is mostly clutter of a personal nature: photos, books, cd’s and cards we’ve received through the years. After I cleared a path, I filled the top of the table space with every loose picture we have. These spanned from when I was young through high school, college, post-college, pre-husband, dating, wedding, honeymoon, baby, holidays, vacations. So many pictures.

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Writing

A Reading Challenge

 

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Can you go a week without reading? Anything? Books, blogs, social media, newspapers, online content, cereal boxes. If you are anything like me (and I suspect you are due to reading this blog post) going a week without ingesting other people’s words sounds like a hellish kind of existence. From the time I could read, which was second grade back in the day, I have never gone any length of time without reading something. And yes, I was a big consumer of the words written on cereal boxes in my younger years because what else would you do over breakfast?

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Writing

Refooting

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Parenting is hard work,
so they say.
Holding a sleeping baby. Easy. Beautiful.
But the years unfold at a pace
too fast and I can’t keep up.

The boy is hungrier for
independence with each new year.
Our silly chats lose their rhythm
and my joyful morning boy disappears with
the moon.

Mornings have sharper edges now
and I’m made to grow a thicker skin.
The car rides, silent, as
I adjust to you and the new tempo
of our days.

But there are glimpses still, of this boy.
Funny, smart and kind.
Parenting is hard work,
they do say.
I am learning from it, though.

 

Writing

Listening to Creative Inspiration

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“Are you a witch?” This was the question posed five minutes into the first of one of my many internet organized blind dates. Without much of a pause I answered, yes, thinking my sense of humor was being vetted by the bespectacled man across from me. I laughed nervously before noting his face was serious. “Wow, you’re a Wiccan!” he exclaimed. What the hell is a Wiccan? The year was 1997 and I was barely into my 30’s, still very much the naive girl who grew up in rural small town America. Internet dating was in its infancy, a veritable wild, wild west of electronic relationship interaction.

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Writing

Friday Flashback: A short saga about about a very bad day

A father, not mine, dying at 2 a.m., his children surround his hospital bed and he makes it through the night. At work I am tired and hungry, fasting bloodwork for an afternoon appointment where I’m admonished for letting my inhaler prescription lapse as she observes my shallow breathing. Go to the pharmacy now, exclaims my doctor. There is no parking and I pull on the curb illegally to run in for the quick errand but the line is deep and I worry about a parking ticket as the clock ticks. But a ticket does not await me – instead a flat tire – punctured by the curb and my hasty parking. I fret about being away from work so long and yearn for my waiting bed. I pull around the corner of the busy street and call the boyfriend whose father kept us up into the early morning but he cannot help me, too busy with work where he is self employed. I can do this. Our 8th grade gym/science/health teacher taught us and I find the jack nested, but unmoveable and I go to the glove compartment for the manual and as I’m passing by a sewer grate my heavy keys slip and glide cleanly through the slat.

Writing

Table For One

I never realized just how social eating out is until it was just me.

Alone.

On my own.

Other diners came in pairs and threes and more.

I sat among them, conversations floating

… a woman venting

… a man joking

… a son listening to his elderly mom

Did it feel like I was with everyone or no one?

I was with myself.

Alone.

On my own.

MC