Main Menu

Posted by

november project, day 3: learning how to unicycle

november project, day 3: learning how to unicycle

HipstamaticPhoto-531367042.190135

I signed my daughter Lucy up for a unicycle class on Thursdays through November.  When we got to the gym on the first day, I found out that the class was open to adults, so I joined.  I am so excited! This photo is from last night, our second class.  Lucy and I both started going short distances with no hands.  I cannot wait to go down our street, which just got newly blacktopped last summer, and roll around the neighborhood with Lucy on our unicycles.

I love learning new things, filling my creative well with little adventures along my way. It keeps my brain fresh, my body awake. Unicycling makes me sweat with the effort of moving my body a new way. I love it.

Life has taught me that I can’t dwell in a routine too long or I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and I get depressed.  I guess this speaks to the dance of balance–knowing when the dance is stale and needs new breath.

 

 

Read More

Posted by

november project: filling the creative well

HipstamaticPhoto-531070266.273089

A few days ago, I wrote myself a prescription for November.  I wrote it because I need some creative medicine.

For the past few months, I have been running along the edge of an empty tank. My time is spliced between too many things, things that feed my soul and enrich my life, but that require a lot of physical, mental, emotional, and social energy.  At the end of the day, I am left with little for myself.  My kids get the last fumes, and that’s a wrap.  Paul and I hang out, but since we are in the same boat, we are bogged down together.

By nature (and identity), I am a writer and a creator.  But life has been so immersive, I have not been able to try new things with my writing. The last extensive project I engaged in was a full revision of my second novel. I finished that project in May, and haven’t written a word of fiction or posted a blog since.

And in the meantime, I grew comfortable.  And fearful about sharing my writing.

I still write daily, filling blank pages with thoughts using thin-tipped markers.  But I haven’t written anything for anyone outside of myself to see. And the longer I’ve been away, the more apprehensive I feel.

What am I going to write about? I wonder in a low-level writer’s despair.  I have a million ideas, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t sit down and risk bringing them to light.

My creative energy is flat, and I’ve been banging my head, feeling a like a fraud teaching leadership when I’m out of balance in my own life.

A week or so ago, I figured it out: I’m hiding in my comfort zone, in the pages of my journal, where my thoughts are safe from judgement or scrutiny. But in the comfort zone, there is no risk, no growth, no innovation, and after a while, stagnation.

I’m a writer, after all.  And part of being a writer is letting people read what you write.

So I wrote myself a prescription to push me out of my comfort zone to practice what I preach in class–to bravely and creatively express what is within.

HipstamaticPhoto-531253542.217175

For the month of November, I am going to nurture myself creatively, in some way, every day.  You are welcome to join me, or sit back and take it in.  Whichever, I hope my quest to fill my creative well inspires you to do the same.

Read More

Posted by

space

space

We have become successful at near-total immersion in time-saving technological devices.  We are creatures of the immediate.  Our attention spans are shrinking.  We and, as a by-product, our kids are nearly constantly plugged in and occupied.  Doctors are baffled by the explosion of kids diagnosed with ADHD.  I have more friends on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds than off.  When asked how we are doing, the usual answer has become “busy.”  Go to any restaurant and watch what happens when one of two people leaves the table to go to the restroom or to plug the meter–the one left at the table will invariably grab their phone and gaze into the the light–the nuks of modern society.

I think we are losing it.  Collectively losing it.  And I think we are losing it because we allow no space to exist between our moments.  We fill all of the spaces by returning texts, voice mails, emails, messages, and tweets.  We make no space to not do.  We make no space to not talk or not respond or not answer.  We are all on-call 24/7.  The days of dads ripping the phone from the wall because someone is calling at dinnertime are over.

I think we need those times back.  We need someone to rip the proverbial phone from the wall and give us a little peace.  We need some damn space to think, to create, to reflect, to pause so we can decide where we need to take our next step and why.

We are all worth our undivided attention and time, to fill our wells, to empty our minds, to step back into our lives with a little more clarity and lightness of being.  We have the power to take it back, to return to ourselves, and to make space to step in and slow the cadence.  We teach what we do.  So what are we teaching our children with all of this doing?

Read More