halfway

I just realized last week that we’re about halfway through 2011 already. I know what you’re thinking: “What?!

At least, that’s what I thought. This sage response was quickly followed by a sense of fatigue – not of the physical variety, but stemming from the fact that I am bored with finding myself thinking and looking and speaking like the world.  It’s not new to be startled at the passing of time. Ironically, it’s practically expected.  I’m pretty sure I can do better than that.

Consequently, I decided to do something about it (this in itself denoting some personal growth; normally it would be December 26th before I even noticed.)  I started putting together a little emergency motivation kit, full of tricks and tools to help get me going.  Here’s what I have so far:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
In the profound words of Esquire magazine, this book is a major kick in the ass.  While I don’t agree entirely with Pressfield’s conclusions on where inspiration originates, his insight into why it’s so hard to accomplish creative and personal endeavors is staggering.  I am a better, more aware, and best of all, more consistent fighter for having read it.

The Good Wife
Okay, I confess: I began watching season one of this show on DVD this summer as an escape / procrastination mechanism.  By the end of the first disc, I realized that I had stumbled into a personal goldmine.  I found a sympathetic hero in the character of Alicia, whose life is rent violently by outside forces and who discovers in her recovery that the work she obtained for survival is actually a profound calling.  I also have enjoyed the level of writing and acting and production on this show – such a healthy treat. 

MindTools
I am good at many things and I have a lot of ambition, but my time management skills, in a word, suck.  I am the queen of setting lofty goals and intricate schedules only to visit them months later, Rip Van Winkle-style, wondering how I got there with nothing accomplished.  This website has baby-stepped me to near functionality.  If I get to December 31st with nothing to show for it, it will no longer be because I didn’t know what to do.

A Love Note from Jaden
Besides granting the obvious warm fuzzy, this letter encourages me by providing physical evidence that impossible is a myth.  One year ago, this girl cried at the very suggestion that she might sit down and color with her sisters.  Writing was just too hard.  Now I routinely find her in the dining room coloring, reading, and writing both for school and for fun – and she’s communicating / self-expressing!  How could I look at that and ever let the word “can’t” enter my lexicon again?

Sacred Space
My office is small.  It’s really just part of a wall in my bedroom, anchored by a desk, a file cabinet, and a bookcase.  I have too much stuff and too little space and little to no privacy at all.  These are all my excuses for allowing my desk to become a cluttered catch-all, full of whatever I threw down the last ten times I walked into the room. 
Looking at it afresh, I realize that it deserves better.  This is my workbench, my birthing room, my altar.  It is here that I lay down time, talent, and spirit in the hope that the God Who first bestowed them will craft them into light and power…and yet I covered it with dust and life detritus.
So I made some changes this weekend.  After the prerequisite cleansing of clutter, I gave the furniture a good shine and polish.  I freshened my pens and updated my calendar.  I added a candle to signify the presence of the Spirit that I invoke and serve, and the image of an angel holding a star to remind me of the forces that minister as I attempt to shine in the darkness.  What was old and common has become new and sacred – or rather, has now been restored to its original destiny. 

Here’s praying that the physical change will take effect in my heart and craft as well.

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7 thoughts on “halfway”

  1. Please do not underestimate yourself. Since we’re none of us perfect, I won’t get into your assessment of your private failings, but I do want to point out a major strength you’re completely overlooking. Do you think that love letter came out of the blue? Do you really believe that your time management is completely under your own personal control? Well, consider this: I have never seen a woman with better mothering skills than yours. You have worked with your children and played with them and suffered with them (and for them) and laid your personal life aside literally for years on their behalf, and I wish you’d acknowledge that as the major achievement and accomplishment that it is. Next to that, any other “faults” you may see (or imagine) pale to unsubstantial wraiths.

    Other than that, great post! We could all benefit from taking a hard look at ourselves and turning around the things that we can see are not working for us. Tough to do, but necessary at intervals. I pray the best for your efforts, and I am proud of your track record.

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  2. Great post. Saw the link on Twitter; didn’t click. Saw on fb, clicked and read. And enjoyed it very much. You made me buy Pressfield’s book, look up the Good Wife on my Ipad, and be inspired to ask my child for another drawing tomorrow. Thanks. Blogging impacts others.
    Lindsey O’Connor

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    1. Thank you, Lindsey, for the unexpected encouraging feedback! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did/am. I’m going over it again to try and catch what I missed in my awe the first time through…

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  3. Wow- I thought this link was from an article from Esquire or The New Yorker or something that you had gleaned from your vast literary resources! BUT IT’S WRITTEN FROM MY GIRLIE!!!! I don’t know whether to be more impressed with your content or your style… or whether I have the good fortune to know you and will be first or second in line at your book signing- let’s call it a 3 way tie!
    -From your (evidently) 2nd biggest fan!

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    1. Tom, you are my hero. When I manage to grow up, I want to be just like you.
      Have a GREAT trip next week; we are all praying for you guys!

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