Friday, October 12, 2007

back to the basics

I've decided I need to change some things in my life. I need to get back to the basics. Things get so hectic, so stressful sometimes, and when that happens, it's easy to let it sweep you along with it until you're drowning in a sea of obligations that are doing nothing but stressing you out more and more until you break.

I think this is happening to someone I know and it's painful to watch. I'm doing what I can, but it's not really helping because when someone is in that situation, you can't force them to think about what's happening, you can only encourage them to take some time for themselves. Luckily, this person did that today so hopefully things will be at least a little better by Monday. Anyway, because I recognized it in this person, I am determined not to let it happen to me. Thus, the "getting back to basics" thought. I'm going to return to things I love and do them because I love them.

I spent some time knitting last night, not on a project, but just knitting little swatches to see how the yarn looked with different stitch patterns and needle sizes. I've never had so much fun knitting! It really helped to put down the big projects and just play with the needles and yarn.

I also spent some time with my camera, just taking pictures of silly, unimportant things. It's a new camera and I'm still getting used to its various settings, so it was good to just take it out and play with it a little. I'm going to do more of that tomorrow. I have 30 days to test it out and make sure it's what I want, so I plan to really test it!

Spiritually, I really need to get back to the basics. I'm determined to spend some time in prayer and meditation every single day, something I've always done but have neglected in the last few months. Seeking peace and wisdom is never, ever a waste of time. Never. Our world is so hectic, so noisy, and so demanding. It takes a toll on everyone, and I'm feeling very worn out because of it. When job stress starts to bleed over into life and ruin the precious few moments I have to myself, I know I need to make a change. A daily spiritual renewal is as important as a daily multivitamin for me. (which reminds me, I haven't been doing that either!)

I'm so excited about NaNoWriMo this year. One thing I love about NaNo is that because the exercise is more about quantity than quality, I am allowed to turn off my inner editor and just write. Writing is the activity in my life that brings me the most joy. Unfortunately, sometimes when I'm writing, my inner editor thrashes me because of a bad word choice or a difficult sentence. But for NaNo, I literally visualize my inner editor locked in a cell for a month. This allows me to really experience the pure joy that writing can give. Writing during NaNo is like being on a swing when you're a kid. You go just as high as you possibly can because you have no fear, and if you feel like jumping off the swing and landing in the sand of the beach below, you do it, because it feels great to be that free. For a moment, you are able to fly. When the inner editor is locked up, writing is like that. For a moment, your story soars to heights you didn't know were possible. There's a lot of rewriting to be done after November, but for me, it's worth it.

You know, I've always viewed writing (and reading, of course) as a way to escape my current circumstance and live in a different world for awhile. It started when I was a kid. We didn't have a lot of money, so I didn't have all the toys and video games that other kids had. But, rather than feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have every Barbie doll ever made, I would sit in my room, or out in my "writing tree" (a wonderful old pecan tree with huge branches just low enough for me to climb and positioned perfectly so that I could sit in them and write in my notebook) and make up stories. I would travel to many different places and meet different people and creatures. It was better than any Barbie doll, trust me! I was an awkward teenager, always tripping over things and falling down. I had friends, but I wasn't in the "popular crowd." I wrote stories then because my imagination was a lot more interesting than reality. It was also then that I discovered that writing about something was helpful to me in a very specific way. If something was happening that I didn't understand, I would write about it and as I wrote, I began to understand a little better. I've used this technique a lot, even as an adult. But my favorite writing is still (and will most likely always be) the kind that can sweep me away from the worries of my life and put me into a different world for awhile. There's nothing more basic than that, in my opinion.

Also as a part of the "back to the basics" campaign I'm starting, I'm going to really commit to being more healthy. Fruits and veggies, exercise, yoga... I'm going back to these things because I know they work on many different levels. I saw some pictures of myself the other day and I couldn't believe it. I knew I had gained some weight, but I really looked bad in those photos. If I don't do something about this now, serious health problems will follow.

There are some other things I'm planning to do, but I'm honestly just too tired to type anymore. More on this tomorrow...


  1. Ouch. You stepped on my toes. I need to do all those things with more frequency. Thanks for the reminder and now for my pitch.....

    Just visiting peace globe bloggers tonight.
    We will have another BlogBlast For Peace November 7, 2007. You are cordially invited to fly your peace globe and write a Dona Nobis Pacem post that day. Thank you for participating in the past. It will be a fantastic day in the blogosphere! Click here for the scoop and please spread the groovy peace vibe on your blogs to promote if you would.
    How To Get Your Peace Globe November 2007


  2. If you are as good of a counselor to "that person" as you are to me, they are feeling much better and will sleep peacefully tonight.