That’s Okay.

Summer has flown by for me.

It has been full of growth, experiences, and a season of transitions. Good and bad. And not just for me but for the world it seems. It was just full to the brim. Overflowing, really.

I think I felt overwhelmed by so many things and in some ways shut down. Yet at the same time I was observing all that I could. Really feeling life. Really trying to understand all I was seeing and experiencing. Which was great!

I’ve also been exploring different outlets of creativity which is fun and exciting.

My writing stopped. I kept up with my journaling but not really any other writing. The strangest part of that was that I didn’t care. I go through dry spells but when I do I’m always wondering why or worried about not writing. Not this time. I didn’t worry and it was okay.

I think my energy was going to other things. There is always so much to deal with in life so I was doing that. Again, good and bad. I just went with that energy.

And that was okay.

Now the words are coming back. The first sign of that was not sleeping well. I have to be writing regularly otherwise my thoughts become too numerous and unruly. They are like petulant children who aren’t getting enough attention and begin demanding it. My priorities become unclear and I end up doing too much of everything except writing. Writing helps keep me and my life in order.

I don’t even realize that this is the problem until I try to write it out. And then its like the flood gates open and I get writer’s cramp from trying to get it all down as fast as I can. And it comes out in a disorganized jumble of thoughts.

This gets messy. And this is why I should know better than to let it go so long. But it’s exciting to get back into it again. I hope it lasts to become a habit again. Time will tell.

I decided to write a blog post. You know, start small and say hello again. Hello!

Well, that became five pages of handwritten notes that probably could be revised into at least a half dozen or more topics.

Like this post. I’m sitting with my scribbled notes and had planned on writing something totally different. These are the thoughts that made it first. Fascinating, isn’t it? The way our minds work?

And that’s okay.

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More Than One Book at a Time

Do you read more than one book at a time? Apparently this is a shocking concept to some people.

I’m always reading more than one book at a time. Plus magazines. I don’t give it much thought or think this is unusual but when it comes up in conversation a lot of people are surprised. Most people say they could never read more than one book at a time and that they would never be able to keep the stories straight.

I like to have options depending on my mood or the time of the day.

Reading nonfiction is very different for me than reading fiction. It’s easier pick up a nonfiction book and put it down because I don’t get as caught up in it like I do fiction. I can read a paragraph or a page or two, put the book down and do something else while I absorb what I just read. I read nonfiction out of curiosity and the desire to learn.

With fiction my goal is to escape. I tend to lose track of time and motivation to get things done so I try not to read it when I need to pay attention to what is going on around me or if I only have short amount of time to read. I get lost in the story and sometimes find it jolting when I have to put the book down and deal with real life.

Variety is important depending on my mood. If a day is going badly it’s wonderful to be able to lose myself in a made up world for a little while. It’s a mini vacation. And that comes in very handy when waiting for something like a doctor’s appointment. It makes the wait easier and keeps me from getting as nervous.

I don’t like to waste time so I always have something handy to read; like during commercials while watching TV. There are so many commercials now that I can get a lot of reading done! I don’t watch a lot of TV but the few shows I do watch are loaded with commercials. I used to be able to watch shows on demand and fast forward through the commercials but can’t seem to do that much anymore. Keeping a book ready passes that time in a good way.

Often I’m reading something for a book group. I don’t want to stop reading any other books so I just add another one. This reading involves taking notes for discussion or making up trivia questions for fun at the group.

Book pile

I like to have something lighter to read before going to sleep at night. I avoid anything really scary or full of graphic violence before drifting off. Those are not the kinds of thoughts I want to have dreams about!

Usually I have at least three books going at a time. Often more.

I know I’m a bit book crazy but wonder if other people do this as much as I do. I’m more surprised when people tell me they never have time to read. I find that amazing!

How about you? Do you read more than one book at a time?

Play Day

I need a play day. Being a grownup is a lot of work and not enough play. As a grownup I find that I don’t make enough time for fun. When this goes on too long and I don’t pay attention then usually I end up getting sick. So really a play day is a good health day.

Today I’m trying to take a play day. I started the day by taking my time which in itself is such a wonderful luxury! I sat and had more than one cup of tea and the one I’m having right now is a delicious specialty blend that I bought at a tea shop. It is cocoa caramel sea salt tea and how can I possibly feel like a responsible adult while sipping on this? I can’t!

While sipping my tea I watched two (two!) episodes of Star Trek, Next Generation instead of the news. Yes, I’m a Trekkie. I have been all of my life. Watching a fun show makes me feel like a kid.

I have discovered that I’m not very good at play days and I have to work at having one which seems ironic. Despite my best intentions, I still have things that I have to get done whether I want to or not. So in keeping with the childlike frame of mind I want to maintain today I am doing a lot of grumbling and whining about having to do my chores. Little by little I am getting things done like laundry and stuff. Ugh.

However, I am determined to play. How? Well the great thing about being a grownup is that I have a lot of options! I can play video games, I can color, I can read, I can write, I can watch a movie; all of which sound fun and best of all none of which I have to do. I think that’s the key. Finding something fun to do, something enjoyable. Doing something that I think about doing a lot and keep telling myself that I will when I have time. And how often does that time come up? Almost never. 

I have been given a lot of coloring books to choose from. Fun!

I have been given a lot of coloring books to choose from. Fun!

So I am making time today. Playing enough to take my mind away from all thoughts about what I should be doing. Forgetting about time for a while. Doing something so enjoyable that I will realize that a few hours have gone by without my noticing.

What do you do when you play? What brings out the carefree kid in you?

Wish me luck! Because I am going to go play before I think of something I should be doing!

Super Bowl Confession

I’m not really a football fan. I know! I can hear your collective gasps of shock! I happen to catch bits and pieces of a game when somebody else has it on the TV during football season. And I hear who is going for the Super Bowl. And I even know which teams are playing this year! (The Falcons and the Patriots) Otherwise, I really don’t care.

However, what I do like about the Super Bowl is how it pulls the country together in a big way. I love how it is so American! I can’t help but get into the excitement. I enjoy seeing people excited about this game and the fun rivalries that happen. (It is a game, people!)

I love the rituals. The flying of the flag, the singing of the National Anthem, the fly-over of the Thunderbirds, the coin toss and the first kick-off and play of the game.

I admit that I look forward to the commercials; the only time I can say that.

I love the half-time show.

I enjoy empathizing with the players knowing that this game is the dream of a lifetime for all of them and trying to imagine how that feels. We get a glimpse of that when they show their excitement when a play goes their way.

I also find it fascinating that there is a primal level to this game. The love of a battle and winning at all costs. The adrenaline you can see in the players’ eyes. This game is a wonderful outlet for those primitive urges.

As far as the entire game goes, I usually listen to it and glance at it when it seems there is a big play happening.

I love that people gather for parties, food and camaraderie.

There is a feeling in the air of fun and patriotism.

So even though I’m not really a big football fan, I do enjoy the Super Bowl.

No matter who wins, I hope all of you enjoy it. Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Adjusting To Old Fashioned Sundays

Around here just about everything is closed on Sundays. I remember everything being closed on Sundays when I was a kid. I think this is a good thing. Having one day a week to focus on what is important in life, revisit your spiritual beliefs, visiting with friends, neighbors and family, or just relaxing seems to be almost a thing of the past.

Not here. It has taken some time to get used to the idea that if I want to run to the store for something, then I have to plan on driving further and it taking longer. And I will have to deal with the traffic and all the other shoppers rushing to get things done before the day is done.

Around here the Amish celebrate Sundays with church and visiting. So driving around is slower. More buggies to pass. Lots more.

But you know what? It’s really nice to be able to slow down, take in the sites you would miss while driving at full speed. Like seeing Amish families all together at one farm, dressed up in their Sunday finest, talking, eating and playing.

I seem to be changing my thinking about the day. Most of the time I stay home. Just knowing that I don’t have to go anywhere and thinking about it being Sunday makes me relax and prioritize in a way I don’t the rest of the week.

Sometimes family or friends visit. Sometimes we go visit them. This is a really nice way to spend the day before the rush of the work week is back.

I think everyone would benefit from this, don’t you?

Creative, Fun and Playful 2017!

The start of a new year is always refreshing. It fills us with hope, inspiration, and goals. It sounds like there is a lot of relief that 2016 is over too. I hope that the new year has started well for all of you. It can be a lot of pressure if we make difficult resolutions. I’m not doing that this year. Instead I’m going to do more enjoyable things.

56-icicles-begonias

Ornaments, lights and begonias

I love the holiday season. Between the gratefulness that Thanksgiving represents and the spirit of giving and serving others that Christmas represents, how can I go wrong? Well, things can go terribly wrong if I get caught up in the material craziness that the media says is the important part of these seasons. If I stick to the real meanings then I enjoy it. I love the lights, the music, the wonderful tackiness of holiday sweaters, decorations, flowers,

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

food and goofy gifts.

Most of all I love spending time and sharing all of those things with family and friends.

Unexpected gifts are very sweet; especially cards and small, thoughtful items that the patrons at work gave to me. I never expect those and their kindness fills my heart.

I also love that my kids, who are now adults, put so much thought into the things they get for my husband and I. (Okay, maybe one or two things I asked for specifically but they did really well!)

My biggest surprise was my husband giving me an antique typewriter! As soon as I put the paper in it and started typing I was immediately pulled back in time.  The unique sound of the keys hitting the paper brings back amazing memories!

Another gift I’m excited about is a new camera.  I have been making do with the camera in my phone and there are times when that just isn’t good enough. I’m amazed by what this camera can do and am slowly learning all the ways to use it. Between the user’s manual and the software manual I will be learning new things for a very long time. I hope to include more photographs in my blog posts. But don’t expect greatness! I’m just having fun!

What do I look forward to in 2017?

Creativity. Being more creative. In any way I come up with. Writing, of course. Photography. Coloring. I may even dust off my old sewing machine and see what I can make with that. How about drawing and painting? I plan on painting walls and old furniture. That’s all creative. No pressure. Just playing like children do. Having fun with it.

Play. I want to play more. We don’t do that nearly enough as adults. My brother sent me a new game called Codenames,6-codenames which we played on Christmas day and it was a lot of fun. I loved it because you need to use words to win. My daughter got the picture version of it and we switched back and forth. Talk about being creative and playful!

All of the responsibilities of life take up so much of our time so we need make more time for more fun in life.

Creativity and play. That’s it. Nothing fancy.

How about you? Do you have creative plans for the new year? What playful things would you like to do? Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it.

Happy New Year!

Another Kind of Blank Canvas

I haven’t had the urgent need to write for a while and that’s concerning to me. After giving this a lot of thought, I think I’ve figured out why.

It’s this new house. The fact that it is new and we are the first people to live in it means it’s a blank canvas; ready to be filled with whatever we decide.  

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

In February I made a note to myself with these words:

New house. This is a blank slate, an empty canvas waiting for us to paint our lives onto. It holds no secrets.

Today I will add: It has no expectations. It exists. Now it is up to us, to me, to fill it with wonderful things.

And that’s where my creative energy is going.

I find myself visualizing what colors to paint the rooms. What kind of furniture and art to decorate it with. (Mainly how to refresh what I have since I haven’t won the lottery!)

Most important of all is to fill this house with love, positive energy, laughter and happiness. Because I truly believe that wherever we live absorbs our energy and I want to make sure that is good energy.

I feel like homes, whether they are individual houses or apartments, take on the life of their inhabitants. You can feel that when you enter any home. Some places make you feel like you need to be very careful not to disturb anything and a need to leave as soon as possible. Other places invite in, encourage you to take off your shoes and curl up on a soft seat.

Have you ever noticed how quickly a house will fall into disrepair when it has been left empty? It seems to happen much quicker than seems natural. When a house is truly abandoned it quickly falls apart.

Which brings me back to my point. This house is taking a lot of my energy to turn it into my home. To turn it into a space that is as nurturing as a person. My refuge. My cozy safe space. A place where I can recharge my energy, be creative, be happy.

So I will try not to worry about not writing as much as I have in the past. I know I will do more writing in the future. I have too many characters, stories and ideas not to.

I see many ways to express myself creatively which I look forward to. I’m being creative and that’s what’s important.

Stay tuned! I’m sure I’ll have more to say and maybe more to show!