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.
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?
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.